As part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Sanjay Kumar, ERS SEG Online Practice Head at HCL, about using the Windows Azure platform to deliver the company's carbon-emissions management solution. Here's what he had to say:

MSDN: Tell us about HCL and the services you offer.

Kumar: HCL is a global technology firm. We focus on outsourcing that emphasizes innovation and value creation, and we have an integrated portfolio of services that includes software-led IT solutions, remote infrastructure management, engineering services, and research and development.   

MSDN: What was the biggest challenge you faced prior to implementing the Windows Azure platform?

Kumar: Our manageCarbon solution, which businesses use to aggregate, analyze, and manage carbon-emissions data, was traditionally a Java-based on-premises solution. As more and more businesses adopt carbon-accounting practices, we expect our business to grow rapidly in the next few years. So, we wanted to make manageCarbon as attractive as possible to customers by reducing the capital investment required to run manageCarbon on premises and by reducing the level of customer IT maintenance required to manage the application

MSDN: Can you describe the solution you built with the Windows Azure platform?

Kumar: By using Migration++, a core internal framework that we'd already established to help our customers migrate to the Windows Azure platform, we migrated our on-premises application to Windows Azure. We migrated our MySQL 5.1 databases to Microsoft SQL Azure by using the same database schema and data patterns that we use in our on-premises solution. We use the Windows Azure Software Development Kit for Java Developers with Windows Azure platform AppFabric Service Bus to more securely collect emissions activity data across network boundaries. We also use the Windows Azure platform AppFabric Access Control to federate customers' existing identity management systems.

The manageCarbon application connects to customers' enterprise systems to help them collect, analyze, and manage carbon-emissions data.

MSDN: What makes your solution unique?

Kumar: We are a leader and early player in this unique market, and we will continue to pave the way with carbon accounting by taking manageCarbon to the cloud with Windows Azure. By using our solution, customers can extract emissions data from their enterprise systems and receive reports that detail their carbon emissions and provide data for carbon accounting, as required by government regulations or recommended by watch groups.

MSDN: What benefits have you seen since implementing the Windows Azure platform?

Kumar: One of the key benefits is that we've lowered the cost barrier for customers to adopt manageCarbon. We've relieved customers' obligations to invest in costly hardware upfront, and they can take advantage of a pay-as-you-go model. We've also reduced the deployment time required for customers to set up manageCarbon-from eight weeks with an on-premises solution to just two weeks. In addition, we have a lower total cost of ownership-we expect to save U.S.$53,792, or 30.6 percent of our costs, by using the Windows Azure platform.

Read the full story at: www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000007867

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