Windows Azure SQL Database Marketplace
As part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to
Markus Mikola, Partner at Sopima, about using the Windows Azure platform to run
the company's contract management solution. Here's what he had to say:
MSDN: Tell us more
about Sopima and the services you provide.
Mikola: In 2009,
we started to develop Sopima Online Contract Bank-a software application that
simplifies the steps of creating, managing, and approving business contracts,
including negotiations processes among stakeholders. It helps companies
collaborate and negotiate easily and helps avoid sending documents back and
forth through e-mail.
MSDN: What was the
biggest challenge Sopima faced prior to adopting the Windows Azure platform?
Mikola: We knew
that a cloud-computing solution was the best way to launch our contract
life-cycle management solution. We are a small company, so we needed a low-maintenance,
low-cost solution. At the same time, we also needed to provide customers with a
highly scalable, high-performance solution that they could trust.
MSDN: Can you describe
the solution you built with the Windows Azure platform to help you address your
need for cost-effective scalability?
evaluated other vendors but went with Windows Azure because it offers a full-scale
platform. We developed Sopima with tools and technologies that we're already
familiar with, like Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server
development system and the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. We use Microsoft SQL Azure to manage contracts and
contract information that helps customers track the commitments within the
contracts based on any chosen criteria. We also use SQL Azure to store all
deadline and project milestone reminders for users involved in the contract
creation process. We used the Microsoft Silverlight 3.0 browser plug-in as the
basis for the user interface.
MSDN: What makes Sopima
Online Contract Bank revolutionizes the way organizations create, negotiate,
and control their contracts by taking the contract management process online. It
helps shorten the time it takes to negotiate deals, saves time in daily
administration tasks, and takes risk management to a
higher level. As a small company, we have built this global solution with a
minimal investment thanks to the Windows Azure platform.
MSDN: Have you been
able to reach new customers as a result of using Windows Azure?
launched Sopima Online Contract Bank in May 2010 together with
our pilot customers. Simultaneously, we are taking in new organizations-we
estimate to have 3,000 users by the end of 2010. This is partly due to
our membership in the Microsoft BizSpark program, which I would recommend for
any startup company. Through membership in the BizSpark program, we've gained
visibility with potential investors, clients, and partners-we now have a
network of potential customers that would have cost a significant amount of
money to build on our own.
MSDN: What are some
of the key benefits Sopima has seen since implementing Windows Azure?
addition to the cost-avoidance that we see in terms of infrastructure and
personnel needs-approximately U.S.$500,000 in salaries alone-we're also able to
pass those savings on to our customers and provide a reliable, affordable
solution. Customers can scale the service according to their own usage. Our
market intelligence tells us that our customers can save as much as $2,000 per
user in setup fees for hosting and approximately $15,000 a year per company in
maintenance and hosting fees, using our application and Windows Azure.
Read the full story at:
To read more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence