We did a lot of work in the cloud during the winter and spring 2014. Seven years ago we started to develop our sales-friendly Virta CRM, and now we wanted to make it compatible with the Microsoft Azure cloud services. This way we would be able to offer Virta CRM to our customers from the public cloud.
Why the Public Cloud?
The most important KPI for us is customer satisfaction. We continuously strive to improve our services to make our customers even happier. During the past few years it’s become obvious that the demand for B2B cloud services has also increased, and the services that used to run in closed environments are being moved in to the cloud. The primary reason for the transition is money: it’s expensive to maintain your own IT infrastructure and resources, and cloud can really save a buck.
At the same time it’s clear, that maintaining bigger systems in the private cloud requires expert resources that are automatically included in the public cloud. In addition, confidence towards public cloud services is in general on the increase among companies. The Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and information security policies public cloud services offer are already on a level that can be difficult to achieve in private cloud or in company’s own infrastructure. This is why we wanted to make it possible for our customers to access Virta CRM also from the public cloud.
Why Microsoft Azure?
After doing some benchmarking between different public cloud services, we decided to use Microsoft Azure. There were many factors that affected the decision, but the most important criteria were the following:
- Azure makes it possible to scale server resources according to our needs. We can, for instance, increase capacity during the weekly rush hours, which provides better performance for the applications.
- Azure automatically saves all the data to multiple stand-alone servers, so even if one rack brakes down, customer’s data is still safe. The system also makes an asynchronous copy of the customer data to another data center situated in the same geopolitical area. This further decreases the risk of losing business-critical data.
- Azure always has the most up-to-date versions of all the operating systems and platforms (SQL Server etc.).
- The information security of Windows Azure is top-notch.
Based on our research, Microsoft has already made big investments on Windows Azure cloud platform and will continue to do so in the future. The investments will ensure wider possibilities and better user experience compared to other Windows-based cloud service providers.
We finalized the planning of the Virta CRM Azure update during early spring and the environment was deployed by the end of May. As a result, we’re now able to run our Virta CRM service in Microsoft Azure, and we can offer our customers high SLAs and a secure and risk-free service environment.
Our cloud team encountered many positive surprises during the project. For example, Azure makes it really easy to back-up data and optimize settings related to information security and performance. All the monitoring features can be configured straight from the web interface and setting up service alerts is just as simple as our team hoped for.
We strongly believe that Cloudriven’s customer satisfaction will increase with this update.