As part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Jeff Yoshimura, Head of Product Marketing at Zuora, about using the Windows Azure platform to create the Zuora Toolkit for Windows Azure. Here's what he had to say.
MSDN: Can you please tell us about Zuora and the services you offer?
Yoshimura: Zuora is the global leader for on-demand subscription billing and commerce solutions. Our platform gives companies the ability to launch, run, and operate their recurring revenue businesses without the need for custom-built infrastructure or costly billing systems. In June 2010, we delivered the Zuora Toolkit for Windows Azure, which provides documentation, APIs, and code samples to enable developers to quickly automate commerce from within their Windows Azure applications.
MSDN: What are the biggest challenges that Zuora's recent offerings solve for Windows Azure customers?
Yoshimura: More and more companies are finding that their trading partners and customers want greater flexibility in the way they purchase products and make payments-a way that's usage-based and pay-as-you-go. As a result, businesses are wanting to quickly operationalize their cloud strategy or more effectively monetize their existing cloud offerings.
MSDN: Can you describe how the Zuora Toolkit for Windows Azure addresses these challenges?
Yoshimura: The Zuora Toolkit for Windows Azure helps ISVs and developers rapidly use all of the subscription capabilities described above, from within their existing Windows Azure services or websites. Any company that builds a solution on Windows Azure can use the Zuora Toolkit to plug in functionality for packaging products, configuring pricing plans, and automating credit card processing with PCI Level 1 security-all within a matter of minutes.
The Zuora Toolkit for Windows Azure enables developers to rapidly add PCI Level 1
security-compliant commerce capabilities into their existing Windows Azure applications.
MSDN: What makes the Zuora platform unique?
Yoshimura: The Zuora platform is designed from the ground up, specifically for subscription businesses and it's the first online billing solution for Windows Azure. So, as more ISVs and developers build their applications using Windows Azure and want to launch them into the market for commercial success, they'll need a billing and payments platform that is tightly integrated into the Windows Azure fabric.
MSDN: What kinds of benefits are you realizing with Windows Azure?
Yoshimura: From a development perspective, Windows Azure offers us several significant advantages. Because our team already had extensive experience working in Microsoft Visual Studio, we were able to take full advantage of the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio. This made configuring and porting our Z-Commerce application to the cloud much simpler, which helped us complete the project two weeks ahead of schedule.
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