This article has been sponsored by Microsoft.
Many Microsoft partners are capitalising on the growing cloud services market by building successful practices on Azure, and the latest IDC research shows that cloud-oriented partners are outperforming their peers by growing more quickly and profitably. Take a look at how many startups and ISVs are achieving all that and more by embracing Microsoft Cloud.
Today, only about 1 per cent of apps retain customers and are successful. Yet apps are important for businesses because they generate a lot of data and thereby actionable insights. Two other big challenges that developers and organisations encounter is making their apps visible and encouraging further buy-in to the products. It is here that startups like ShepHertz are becoming critical to businesses and developers alike. With their solutions like App42 built on the cloud, they are providing comprehensive back-end solutions to over 40,000 apps worldwide.
Talking about how ShepHertz is able to provide the ‘complete backend solutions’ for anyone ranging from a small-time developer to large enterprises, Founder and CEO, Siddhartha Chandurkar says, “ShepHertz’s pre-built services help developers go to market faster – in as quickly as three months. Also, it has been observed that a lot of apps are developed for the omni-channel environment. Hence, to fulfil this need for a platform that can support all channels we launched our products to provide that edge and help businesses grow.” Explaining the role of Microsoft Cloud in their success story, Siddhartha says, “Our App42 Product line requires usage of multiple native services from the IaaS provider. Microsoft Azure meets the need by providing flexibility to customise it as per our requirements. Thus, our products become a one-stop shop for mobile, web, social, SaaS, TV, and gaming app developers’ cloud needs.”
It’s not just about technology or choosing the right Cloud solution that has helped ShepHertz. In fact they were able to bag some big customers because of Microsoft’s strong focus on partnering and promoting ISVs which are in the B2B space. Siddhartha Chandurkar, says - “Microsoft partnership not only provided us a robust platform with Azure but also provided us global reach through their datacenters all over the world, especially in India. The partnership through our joint GTM activities at multiple levels has given us access to Enterprise customers and played a pivotal role in achieving our business goals. The Microsoft ISV, GTM, sales & marketing teams have also helped us get foothold in some of the largest enterprises.”
Resulticks, a fully-integrated omni-channel marketing automation platform, proudly services leading brands, like Samsung, Estee Lauder, and YTL communications, that now rely on Resulticks to power their most important marketing communications. Redickaa Subramanian, CEO of Resulticks, says, “T industry recognises that Resulticks is more than just software and technology. It provides data-driven, omni-channel solutions that connect customers to the brand at every possible touch point, identifies the target based on their needs and wants with regard to information on products and services—and ultimately delivers measurable results from reach to engagement to conversion.”
Resulticks is a platform built entirely on Microsoft technology. As a result, Azure’s integration with other Microsoft technologies enables Resulticks to enrich its offerings into a complete ecosystem for both inbound as well as outbound data and transactions. The integrated environment has reduced time and effort in developing and pushing to market. This in turn has cut down the onboarding and implementation cycles, especially for customers who have already invested significantly on Microsoft Technology (as is the case with most big enterprises).
Resulticks is also part of the Enterprise Cloud Alliance. The Alliance is a forum to support partners providing integrations and extensions to existing Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise technologies. Redickaa says, “The benefits from the ECA are multi-fold. We get an insider’s view of new product extensions and potential collaboration initiatives that could result in collective success. We also get access through partners to a wide range of verticals, both B2B and B2C.” Additionally, being part of the Microsoft PartnerNetwork, Resulticks has been able to showcase its platform outside of India, in regions such as the APAC and US through the Microsoft conferences and Azure showcase events. Redickaa says, “These events have also resulted in the generation of quality leads amongst both partners and end customers.”
iBot Inc. is a technology startup help manufacturers convert their physical products into subscription based services and also help businesses and people generate intelligence through more interconnectedness. iBot is going after the holy grail of the Internet of Things (IoT) by providing a technology stack, which includes smart devices, smart wireless sensors, wireless connectivity, a smart cloud, and smart integration possibilities.
As a niche company focused on IoT, scale is something very inherent to iBot’s business. Talking about how they finalised on Azure, Ravi Subramanyam, Founder and CEO, says, “Our target market counts devices in hundreds of thousands if not more. We compared leading cloud platforms including Azure. Upon deliberation, we decided to go ahead with Azure because of the platform’s ability to scale and more importantly for being the most developer friendly. Azure has helped us architect and develop an IoT platform to take care of our entire product lifecycle including connected devices, connected applications and the connected cloud!” Choosing Azure brought in a key advantage for this startup. Ravi says, “The inherent pay-as-you-go model is an attraction too as it prevents capital lock-in and works back to back with our scaling of revenue.”
While iBot graduated out of Microsoft Ventures, Ravi says, they had zeroed down on Azure even before they even entered the programme. He says, “In fact, it was the other way around. Our choice of Azure made us to think that the Microsoft Ventures programme would create the right launchpad for iBot.”
Talking about how cloud is a growth disrupter, Ravi summarises, “Today, an individual or an enterprise can design/build for global scale and reach out to a global audience. This changed the face of the software industry. This is now changing the face of the Internet of Things.”
Enabling the 30 stores of Central – a popular retail chain operated by Future group – to seamlessly connect, track, and talk to customers real-time is the efficient Customer Experience Management (CEM) platform by CloudCherry. In the words of Deepansh Bhargava, AVP – Customer Experience & Marketing at Central "Cloudcherry helps to identify and address the agenda and needs of customers and thereby ensure a superior customer experience. A query by the customer is always resolved within 24 hours. When we connect with our customers, they are thrilled by the fact that a huge brand like Central is taking them very seriously. The Cloudcherry CEM platform has given us the ability to service every customer with the desired connect that many brands are still not doing today”
Just like for Central, CloudCherry is a preferred partner for several mid and large brands such as HDFC Bank, Titan, Caratlane, Askmebazaar.com, – a total of over a 100 brands across the world. CloudCherry provides a complete solution for large enterprises and SMEs looking to improve customer engagement by mapping their customer journey across multiple touchpoints, collecting omni-channel feedback, measuring their Net Promoter Score and discovering actionable customer insights in real-time.
CloudCherry has built a CEM platform based on best-of class-technologies, including mixing and matching open-source along with the best of .NET. This resulted in being able to create the best platform to deploy and run a secular selection of technologies – something Azure enabled CloudCherry to achieve.
According to Vinod Muthukrishnan, Co-Founder & CEO, “Running a SaaS solution over Azure using PaaS (Platform as a Service) has resulted in being able to run a lean and efficient development team, whose bandwidth is focussed on their function, rather than setting up infrastructure, installing an Operating System, running configurations or monitoring its performance” Talking about the cost savings which he terms as ‘phenomenal’, Vinod explains, “To give it a little perspective. By using Azure Cloud Services, CloudCherry’s Customer Experience Management & Analytics platform is able to effortlessly spin up to 350 cores (think of them as servers) on demand in minutes, automatically. Now, breaking down the numbers: 350 cores X 1 hour = 350 compute hours. In this time, gigabits of data get crunched at a ridiculously low cost. In comparison, just the cost of buying and running 350 servers would run you close to at least 1000x of that cost – and that’s without accounting for power and network costs.”