MSDN: Where did the idea for nioovo come from?
Skowron-Moszkowicz: In July 2010, polish Internet company GPC Sp. z o.o. did a study that found that the average paper-based address book contains 137 entries, while electronic versions average 161 entries and only 4.7 percent of those entries contain complete contact information. The study concluded that the primary reason for incomplete contact data is the time-consuming, manual nature of entering and updating information.
To address these challenges, GPC enlisted us to create and maintain a global web portal, called nioovo, which customers could use to update their contact information and then automatically share those updates with family, friends, and colleagues. GPC wanted us to create a truly global service should work just as well in Poland, Germany, and the United States, as in India, China, and New Zealand.
MSDN: Why did you choose to build on Windows Azure?
Skowron-Moszkowicz: At first we thought that none of the available solutions could fulfill our availability, capacity, cost, and security requirements. But after taking a closer look at Microsoft cloud services, we discovered that Windows Azure perfectly fits our needs. We chose Windows Azure because it is the only solution that we trust to provide fast, reliable, and highly secure operation of our global web portal, at costs that even small companies can afford.
MSDN: What are the key benefits of using Windows Azure for nioovo?
Skowron-Moszkowicz: First of all, this kind of agility and scalability would simply not be possible with a traditional IT solution. For GPC—a young Internet company with ambitious plans for the nioovo web portal—unlimited scalability is crucial to its success. And the global network of Microsoft data centers ensures high availability and virtually guarantees that there are no delays or problems with efficiency.
The fact that there are no upfront infrastructure costs is also a great benefit. We carefully monitor usage to determine the best pricing model and at first, we decided to use the pay-as-you-go model—low load meant lower costs. As we increase our load, fixed monthly payments may turn out to be more cost-effective. As our needs change, so do our pricing options.
Finally, because we’ve built nioovo using Windows Azure, we can offer customers a proper level of security, which is very important for the company’s success. It’s good that we don't have to worry about security, since we already have a lot of responsibilities.
MSDN: What are the key benefits of developing on the Windows Azure platform?
Skowron-Moszkowicz: Windows Azure is a perfect tool for creating IT solutions; developers can use the offline development environment to simulate the Windows Azure cloud on their PCs and test applications before they’re deployed. Plus, Windows Azure offers unlimited scalability, great efficiency, and enormous storage space.
MSDN: Is nioovo now available?
Skowron-Moszkowicz: We launched nioovo after six months of development. The interface, which is accessible through the Internet and 120 different mobile devices supported by mobile telecommunications provider Orange Polska, is currently available in eight languages and contact data is compatible with 138 languages. Now customers click through four simple steps on the web portal—which takes less than one minute—and their complete and updated information automatically reaches the people they want to be in touch with.
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To read more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence