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Interview with Milind Tavshikar (CEO) from Quantum ID

[This article was contributed by the SQL Azure team.]MSDN just recently performed an interview with Milind Tavshikar of QuantumID. Take a look at the interview below and learn more how our partners…

[This article was contributed by the SQL Azure team.]

MSDN just recently performed an interview with Milind Tavshikar of QuantumID. Take a look at the interview below and learn more how our partners use SQL Azure to land strategic wins.


Real World SQL Azure: Interview with Milind Tavshikar, CEO, QuantumID Technologies

As part of the Real World SQL Azure series, we talked to Milind Tavshikar, Chief Executive Officer of QuantumID Technologies (QID) about moving to SQL Azure to take on a lucrative new business contract.


MSDN: Can you tell us about QuantumID Technologies and the services you offer?

Tavshikar: We provide turnkey asset tracking solutions for the transportation, warehousing, and distribution industries that includes our own proprietary hardware and software. In the air cargo sector, our solution, Automated Cargo Tracking (ACT) enables easy cargo routing verification that covers drop-off, warehouse, airport operations, and delivery management. ACT uses a combination of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on the freight itself and a fixed device installed at up to 12 scan points along the route.


MSDN: Can you talk about the business incentive that caused you to think about a Microsoft cloud-based solution?

Tavshikar: A customer, Kingfisher Cargo, had been using ACT in seven airports in India. They wanted to expand their deployment to cover an additional 58 airports as soon as possible. We wanted to take on the additional business, but we hosted the ACT solution in house, and we stored customers’ data on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 data management software at GoDaddy. Both of these scenarios are dependent on physical infrastructure and would force us to pay significant extra infrastructure costs to grow the business.

MSDN: Why did you choose SQL Azure and Windows Azure to overcome this challenge?

Tavshikar: We looked at Google, Amazon, and an AT&T hosted infrastructure, but Microsoft offered a complete platform that combines computing services and data storage. Talking to customers, we found that many trusted the Microsoft name when it came to cloud-based services. We liked the compatibility angle, because our own software is based on the Windows operating system and Windows Azure offers a pay-per-use pricing model that makes it easier for us to predict the cost of our expanding operations.  And with SQL Azure, our data is safe and manageable. We can keep adding more customers without having to provision back-end servers, configure hard disks, or work with any kind of hardware layer.


MSDN: How long did it take to make the transition?

Tavshikar: It took less than a month for us to migrate our databases from GoDaddy to Microsoft SQL Azure, re-architect ACT to run in Windows Azure, and take advantage of a significant business opportunity. This is the first time that a tracking solution of this scale is available anywhere in the world on a cloud platform. Windows Azure has set the stage for mega growth for QID. Kingfisher Cargo has already deployed the solution to 15 more airports, moving an additional 2,500 cargo items across a network of 22 destinations at an average of 20,000 kilos a day. This is an increase in business for Kingfisher Cargo of 6 percent in less than two months. Kingfisher Cargo will be fully deployed at all 65 locations by April 2011. As our revenue is based on the volume of cargo that goes through our system, this is good news for QID!


MSDN: What benefits did you gain by switching to SQL Azure?

Tavshikar: SQL Azure will take us a long way toward delivering better business intelligence capabilities to our customers. The data that we generate and store in SQL Azure is a valuable business asset, and the more we can take advantage of SQL Server Reporting Services to drive an understanding of how we are performing and how we can help our customers improve their service level agreements, the better.


MSDN: Any other benefits?

Tavshikar: We’re saving approximately 15 percent in operational costs. Since migrating our application from an on-premises solution to the cloud, we have experienced a 20 percent improvement in uptime and an increase in throughput for ACT of 10 percent.


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