Case Studies Archive

Azure

ABBYY

Founded in 1989 and with headquarters in Moscow, Russia, ABBYY is known worldwide as a developer of OCR (optical character recognition) systems and well-known within Russia for its dictionaries and language tools. The company provides document recognition, data capture, and linguistic technologies and services. Its products are used by people in 150 countries. The company wanted to utilize the advantages of cloud services for its ABBYY FineReader Online and ABBYY Cloud OCR SDK. After choosing Azure, ABBYY found it to be cost-effective and easily configurable, and enjoys benefits from improved reliability and scalability. ABBYY cloud-based products now reach close to 400,000 users.

Agate Studio

Located in Bandung, online game company Agate Studio has grown quickly to become one of the biggest game developers in Indonesia. Since its beginning in 2009, Agate Studio has created more than 100 games and worked on more than 20 parallel projects in entertainment, advertising, training, and education. Its goal is to deliver a fun experience with every game it creates—with the motto: “Live the fun way.” After receiving media attention, it enjoyed increasing success with its social games on Facebook. But as the number of players increased, the company experienced challenges meeting demand when traffic peaked. Agate Studio decided to migrate to the Azure cloud service to take advantage of its scalability and its support of open source development technology. Now Agate Studio can manage peak loads quickly and easily, and devote attention to developing more games.

Avanade

For Avanade, the Accenture/Microsoft joint venture that provides business technology solutions and managed services, it is not enough to use the latest Microsoft technologies to run its business. It also has to demonstrate compelling expertise in those technologies to win new business. The company saw the chance to do both with the release of Windows Server 2012, Microsoft System Center 2012, and Windows 8. Avanade created an innovative way to deploy Windows 8 worldwide, using Azure, and then used the new software to give remote workers faster, easier, and more secure corporate access. Additionally, the company’s mission-critical Dynamic Computing Services—which runs a private cloud environment for development and testing solutions for internal and external customers—uses the technologies to gain the cost-effective scalability necessary to support a large and growing business.

BayCloud Systems

BayCloud Systems saw an opportunity to help organizations comply with an emerging online privacy statute. To shorten development time and minimize capital costs, it decided to use cloud technology to build and host its CookieQ solution. After evaluating Amazon EC2, BayCloud Systems chose to use Azure. Within the first three months of 2012, BayCloud Systems added 60 new customers throughout Europe and is now positioned to expand globally.

BMW Latin America

When BMW Latin America had to promote the launch of two new model lines, it wanted to kick off an interactive marketing campaign through the Facebook social network that would support the launch and collect audience data. BMW used Azure to support a solution that integrated the Facebook promotion with its internal Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment, engaged 90,000 consumers, and converted 900 campaign participants into sales prospects.

CHING HANG INFORMATION CO., LTD.

CHING HANG INFORMATION CO., LTD., a developer dedicated to the business software markets, is entering into cloud computing services with its Enterprise Information Portal (EIP) services. EIP helps many small and midsize enterprises consolidate information from their daily operations and management. By avoiding the high cost of software and hardware packages, the cloud-based EIP system overcomes such obstacles and opens up new possibilities.

eClaris Software

A professional services firm, eClaris Software specializes in eDiscovery consulting. It wanted to expand its offerings in the legal field to include software solutions, beginning with PHIGRID, a legal project management application that it intended to host for customers. eClaris engaged Microsoft Partner Network member Hanu Software to build PHIGRID into a commercial application. Hanu suggested that eClaris migrate PHIGRID to Azure to avoid purchasing and managing on-premises server and storage infrastructure, which had become a serious barrier to marketing the new product. This move avoided upfront IT expenses of more than US$1 million, reduced time to market by 25 percent, and improved customer service. For eClaris, embracing Microsoft cloud services was a key step in launching a new line of business to increase market share and differentiate its offerings in the legal field.

Esmart Systems

Leveraging Microsoft Azure to provide a highly accessible cloud platform, Serbia-based Independent Software Vendor (ISV) E-Smart Systems has created an energy management solution to help organizations of all sizes, from schools, municipalities and families to major companies, to monitor, measure, and manage their utilization of electrical power. By finding ways to reduce wasteful and unnecessary use of energy, these users have been able to improve their sustainability while lowering their costs.

Essex County Council

Part of Essex County Council, Target Tracker develops software for schools. Its Primary Target Tracker application—which provides information to support learning—ran on Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software. To stay ahead of its competitors, Target Tracker rebuilt the solution using SQL Database in Azure. The firm now has an application that scales to meet the needs of thousands of schools in England and overseas.

Fredrikson & Byron, P. A.

Fredrikson & Byron is a global law firm whose attorneys travel frequently, often working from airports, their homes, and client sites worldwide. To enable secure and convenient access to resources from outside the office walls, the firm deployed Azure Multi-Factor Authentication. The service reduces risk and boosts client confidence by adding a second layer of authentication when attorneys sign in remotely. The easy-to-use solution helps attorneys stay productive and gives the firm high availability and flexibility.

Gameizon

Gameizon, a subsidiary of Mactores Technologies, is an online gaming company established mainly with the mission of connecting people through sports. With more offerings being added to its product list, the start-up company needed to find a technology solution that could help it avoid the costs and operational overheads of traditional IT infrastructures. After ruling out competitors’ offerings based on scalability limitations and maintenance requirements, Gameizon developed its solution on the Azure platform. As a result of using Azure, the company gained the scalability it wanted, while avoiding capital expenses. It has also reduced the entire turnaround time by 30 percent and is now projecting a savings of 40 percent on costs.

Global Grid for Learning Limited

Global Grid for Learning (GGfL), a global online platform for teachers and students to access educational resources, needed to replace its on-premises solution. It chose Azure, which provided a cloud-based platform that best met the requirements for flexibility and lower costs. GGfL is now delivering digital content from 50 different providers, and teachers and students are able to work with content through the Microsoft Office 2010 suite.

Harris Corporation

Fortune 500 company Harris Corporation wanted to speed IT performance, increase resource utilization, and boost scalability. Rather than adding more hardware, Harris is moving offerings to a cloud solution based on the Azure platform. As a result, Harris substantially speeds plotting performance, significantly reduces hosting costs, and increases agility, flexibility, and availability.

Harvey Norman

In early 2011, Australian retailer Harvey Norman wanted to launch an online daily-deals business as rapidly as possible. However, executives faced a dilemma: if they over-estimated web site traffic, they could waste millions of dollars buying web site-hosting servers they did not need; if they underestimated traffic, the site would crash as soon as the business launched. To minimise operational risk, as well as capital expenditure, executives deployed their custom-built BiG BUYS retail site on the Microsoft cloud computing platform, Azure. After just eight weeks of development, the launch proved straightforward, with executives managing web site infrastructure through an easy-to-use portal, increasing and decreasing capacity to meet customer demand. The firm’s cloud strategy has been swiftly vindicated, with executives able to accommodate site traffic peaking at 23 times normal levels at less than one hour’s notice. Having avoided risky hardware investments, the company only pays for servers used, ensuring the business’s costs of sale are directly related to purchases.

Herbalife

Global nutrition star Herbalife wanted to increase its web presence as a way to expand its business. But for Herbalife, that meant supporting at least 100,000 websites for its independent distributors over the next few years. It met this extraordinary scalability challenge by using the Azure cloud-computing service. It gained faster time-to-market and sees tremendous savings compared to the estimated cost for an on-premises solution.

Hogg Robinson

Hogg Robinson wanted to extend its core travel platform to work seamlessly on mobile devices. It created a mobile version of its application using Azure—including Cloud Services, Service Bus, and SQL Database—to deliver travel information and booking services to mobile users. The company has already saved up to 80 per cent in start-up costs and improved the development team’s productivity by 25 per cent with Azure.

Human Equation

Human Equation develops digital marketing solutions based on innovative technologies. The firm used the Bing Search API to provide sophisticated search capabilities for Echo Alpha, its cyber investigation platform that helps customers solve business issues by leveraging the vast quantities of data that are available online. By using the Bing Search API, the firm has created an affordable way to bring its customers a competitive advantage.

Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and industry

After the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry in Japan (METI) helped support those needing assistance by promoting the sharing of resource information among ministries, agencies, prefectures, and cities. METI worked in cooperation with partner agencies to find a way to connect resources with those who needed them. In January 2012, METI launched the solution—the Recovery and Reconstruction Support Program Database, powered by Azure. Now disaster victims, companies in disaster-affected areas, local government employees, and others can use a one-stop public service to search through nearly 500 support programs.

Kaggle

Kaggle is a company and platform launched to provide a link between organizations needing specialized analytic and scientific skills with a global pool of researchers and scientists who can provide those skills. The Kaggle offering caught on so fast that it quickly grew beyond the capabilities of its original online platform, which could not provide the scalability or flexibility that Kaggle needed to grow and support market demand. So the company turned to Azure and Microsoft development tools to relaunch the site. With Azure, Kaggle has a highly scalable platform capable of supporting quick spikes in new users and data traffic, along with a development environment that supports continuous innovation.

Medialogia

Customers pay Medialogia to search thousands of web news sources and let them know when they are mentioned. However, Medialogia had trouble updating all of its content in promised timeframes. By moving the indexing portion of its solution to Azure, Medialogia has doubled the amount of content it can crawl. The company can also deliver near-100 percent service availability and has reduced data center maintenance costs by 50 percent.

Microsoft Research

Although researchers are able to collect, store, and analyze tremendous volumes of data, technological and storage limitations can severely impact the speed at which this data can be analyzed. A new algorithm developed by Microsoft Research, FaST-LMM, runs on Azure in the cloud and expedites analysis time—reducing processing periods from years to just days or hours. An early application of FaST-LMM and Azure helps researchers analyze data for the genetic causes of common diseases.

MiiCard

Online identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) provider miiCard (My Internet Identity Card) wanted a secure platform to allow customers to prove their identity online in just a few minutes. It is using Azure to power its service, increase competitiveness, and offer a global service to an industry that demands resilience and scalability. Customers in nine countries already use miiCard, which can support 100,000, or 10 million users as required.

Molplex

Across the globe, Molplex is helping scientists reduce the time and cost of screening large data sets of chemical compounds to identify potential drugs. Researchers are using automated tools in the cloud to increase the rate of success in drug discovery as they work to treat tropical diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and dengue fever.

Nexon

Nexon, Korean online game company, is setting the standard through its success in online payment services. The Nexon Online Game Card which started in 2007. This prepaid card met unprecedented success. October of 2011, Nexon launched the independent brand, ‘Karma Koin’. With Karma Koin, Nexon became the number one North American prepaid card service. Behind Nexon’s continued success and increase in sales, however, the company had other worries. The IT operating costs were higher than expected and the company found it was not easy to ensure the same service quality to customers around the world as it tried to expand its service to all countries. Nexon decided to try Azure, determining that an on-premises solution was not rational in terms of making ‘Karma Koin’ truly global.

ODC

Microsoft Partner Network member ODC, in Istanbul, Turkey, creates messaging products that companies use to successfully market to customers and connect with employees. To better meet increases in demand that strain hosting servers, ODC created its new product SmartMessage Lite by using Azure, which helped improve scalability, increase availability, and provide a smart solution for small and midsize customers.

PAR Springer-Miller

For nearly three decades, PAR Springer-Miller has provided solutions to help businesses in the hospitality industry run their operations. When the global recession hit, the ISV decided to reposition itself with a new business division and an innovative cloud-based solution that runs on Azure. The ATRIO Guest Experience Management solution, a modular software suite that provides core business functionality to hotels and resorts, allows businesses to avoid the costs of on-premises IT systems and provides an intuitive interface that reduces staff training time and helps to enhance the guest experience. For PAR Springer-Miller, Azure provides an enormously versatile development platform on which the company can build and deploy hotel management solutions quickly for its global customer base.

Perception Group

Working with Microsoft Partner Services has been a good exercise and experience. It helped us achieve a better response time and deliver high-quality and impactful solutions for our customers.” - Gaston Zelerteins, Vice President, Perception Group Perception Group started as a member of the Microsoft® BizSpark® program, which provides IT startups with resources to help get their business off the ground; they are now a Microsoft Gold and Silver Competency partner delivering IT services to many clients across Argentina. The company was quick to spot opportunities in cloud services and has expanded its portfolio to include these. They viewed Microsoft as a strategic partner in growing their services and adding clients beyond Argentina. As a Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) member, the company was able to leverage Microsoft Partner Services for pre-sales and advisory support. Backed by the guidance received from Partner Services, they were able to generate impactful pre-sales bids which led to new business, reduced time in investigating new technologies, and delivered high quality and faster advisory support to solve customer issues.

PrivacyCentral.com

To launch its online privacy service quickly, PrivacyCentral wanted technology that would interoperate easily with Ruby open source programming. The company used Azure and Ruby to build PrivacyCentral.com, a website with online privacy tools for consumer and enterprise customers. By using Azure, PrivacyCentral built a powerful online privacy service and accelerated its time to market by three months.

Shaping Cloud

The Centre for Low Carbon Futures (CLCF) in the United Kingdom wanted a new software system to help enterprises cut carbon emissions. Shaping Cloud used the platform-as-a-service capabilities in Azure to give businesses access to best practice case studies created by the research project. It underlines how Azure can support fast, cost-effective delivery of complex academic research ideas and programmes, with calculations taking just seconds.

Stat Health Services

Stat Health Services helps cut healthcare costs by connecting doctors with patients for the treatment of minor medical conditions through the Stat Doctors online service. Stat Health chose to rebuild Stat Doctors in the cloud using Azure from Microsoft. As a result, it has reduced its costs, helped employers and insurers lower the cost of healthcare, and improved the quality of patient service through better scalability and reliability.

Tanjug

Tanjug is the national news agency of the Republic of Serbia and the main source of news from the country and abroad for a large number of media and the general public. Tanjug looked for a solution that would allow them to respond to large pressures on the system within a short period of time and with minimum investment. The answer was the temporary migration of part of the website into the Azure cloud environment, whose scalability ensured stable and reliable functioning of Tanjug’s website even in such conditions of high loads. Use of additional technologies also allowed for live streaming of media conferences, so the visitors from all over the world could get high quality and accurate information in real time.

Techila

Because its flagship solution required installing and supporting servers at customer sites, it was difficult for Techila to increase business overseas. The company initially migrated its solution to Amazon EC2, but later chose to host it on Azure. Now, with sales support from Microsoft, Techila has shortened its sales cycle by 70 percent, and expects to add 20 new customers in the next two months—while gaining US$328,000 in revenue.

University of the Aegean

Every second counts when combatting a wildfire. Time lost can result in devastating loss of life or property. The University of the Aegean in Greece developed the VENUS-C Fire app—featuring Bing Maps, Microsoft Silverlight, and Azure—to determine the daily wildfire risk and fire propagation on the vulnerable island of Lesvos during its dry season. The university team generates a visualization of environmental factors each morning for the island’s fire management team, who then use the app to determine optimal resource allocation across the island for the day.

Waappy

Online gaming company Waappy enjoyed increasing success with its popular social game “Lucky Star.” But as the number of players increased, Waappy realized that it needed to add more servers to accommodate demand, which became a burden on time and resources. Instead, it decided to migrate its application to Azure. Now it benefits from easy scalability, reduced costs, and a higher quality of service.

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a health insurance company, wanted to provide custom mobile apps that its members could use to find credentialed healthcare providers and facilities and better manage their healthcare experience. After finding that the required resources to support these new apps were already engaged in other high-priority projects, Wellmark chose to build the back-end services for its new mobile apps on Azure. The company’s use of the cloud has yielded several benefits, including a 50 percent decrease in developer effort and time-to-market, low up-front and ongoing costs, instant scalability, and superior reliability, while still maintaining desired security and privacy controls. In addition, Wellmark developers can now use existing tools and skills to deliver new business capabilities in new ways, faster than ever before.

Xpertdoc Technologies

Xpertdoc Technologies sought to augment its on-premises document output solution with a hosted offering but wanted to avoid building and managing a scalable and resilient hosting infrastructure on its own. The company chose to build on Azure, which it used to deliver its new subscription-based service with only 160 hours of development effort. Prologis, an early adopter of Xpertdoc’s hosted service, used the service to automate the assembly of thousands of industrial real estate leases per year in just a few weeks, with minimal up-front costs and no IT involvement. By using Azure, Xpertdoc is able to offer customers increased value and choice, along with superior reliability and immediate, cost-effective, global scalability.