As part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Madhuri Tambe, Senior Product Manager at Persistent Systems, about using the Windows Azure platform to deliver the company's e-governance solution for developing regions. Here's what she had to say: 

MSDN: What services does Persistent Systems provide?

Madhuri: We are a software development company. Our main offering is our e-governance suite, which offers governments and agencies the ability to deliver services and interact with citizens electronically through a set of four Web-based applications.

MSDN: What was the biggest challenge your company faced prior to adopting the Windows Azure platform?

Madhuri: In India, many local and regional governments lack the IT infrastructure necessary to fully deploy e-governance applications as on-premises software solutions. Even when they do have the funding to create a high-performance server environment, they often lack the expertise to adequately manage infrastructure issues that can add additional costs. To that extent, we needed a way to deliver the suite without requiring local governments to invest in new IT infrastructure and personnel.

MSDN: Tell us more about the solution you built on the Windows Azure platform to help lower the high-cost barrier for customers looking to use the e-governance suite.

Madhuri: We migrated our existing e-governance suite to Windows Azure, and it is now completely hosted in the cloud. We're taking advantage of Microsoft SQL Azure to store and manage application data, and application users will be able to store files and images using Blob storage. We're also using AppFabric Service Bus, which is part of the Windows Azure platform AppFabric, to connect applications within the e-governance suite and share data between applications.

MSDN: What makes your solution unique?

Madhuri: One of the unique things about the solution is our Tenant Provisioning System (TPS) that we built specifically for the e-governance suite. With the TPS, we can provision specific components to individual customers (or tenant applications), and governments (tenants) only have to pay for the components they use in the form of a monthly subscription. It helps us to further address the needs of cost-conscious customers.

MSDN: What are some of the key benefits Persistent Systems has seen since adopting the Windows Azure platform?

Madhuri: In addition to being able to quickly develop the solution by using our existing code, which is based on the Microsoft .NET Framework, we've significantly reduced capital expenditures for our customers-and that's key to getting more governments and agencies to adopt our solutions. For a given set of features in the e-governance suite, a customer might have to spend U.S.$84,000 in capital costs and annual maintenance overhead. With Windows Azure, a customer can forego those expenditures, paying only service fees that might be less than U.S.$10,000 a year.

Read the full story at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?casestudyid=4000005770

Read more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence