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2 SMBs Save Time and Money With Azure

10 Nov 2015 by Jessica Hall

Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) need sophisticated capabilities to keep up with changing customer demands while managing costs — just as enterprises do. SMBs have customers with high expectations, too. Microsoft Azure can help you meet and exceed those expectations with a flexible and familiar platform you can trust.

Here are two examples of how Azure is helping SMBs create innovative solutions, get them out to their customers quickly — and without breaking the bank. 

Simplifying the voting process

Democracy Live is a startup in Seattle with a noble mission: to make it easier for people to vote while also reducing the cost of holding elections. The company launched its LiveBallot application in 2010, which provides the ability to vote online for those who wouldn’t otherwise make it to the polls — including people with disabilities, those in the military and Americans living abroad.

LiveBallot uses the cloud-computing platform to host and process data. The decision to use this solution was rooted in efficiency. Bryan Finney, president of Democracy Live, says the previous process of transforming voter ballots into a format suitable for tabulation was a manual task that could take days or even weeks. He says the Azure-based application significantly reduces the time and work involved in the overall election process.

Of course, as with any government process, moving things online presents security concerns. But Nan Jackson, director of marketing for Democracy Live, says Microsoft’s reputation and the security of Azure have allayed trepidation and gained the trust of election officials.

“Microsoft Azure is synonymous with security, which is extremely important to our clients,” she explains. “Democracy Live's LiveBallot solutions, using Microsoft Azure, help elections officials meet ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] and HAVA [Help America Vote Act] requirements by providing increased accessibility and ensuring privacy for 35 million voters with disabilities in the U.S.”

Accelerating time to market

Archive Systems offers a unified document management solution that helps companies use less paper. The product, FileBRIDGE, was built on the Microsoft Azure platform, greatly improving the SMBs’ ability to save money and serve the European market.

“The Microsoft Azure platform enables us to accelerate time to market while minimizing our investment,” says Jim Farrell, senior vice president of product development at Archive Systems. He says their teams can now move quickly on new projects because of the expertise they have with other Microsoft products. “The Microsoft Azure platform also provides the largest compliance portfolio in the industry — more than 30 international and industry-specific standards.”

The company has also saved time and money, as there was no need to invest significant capital in infrastructure in other regions of the world. “No trips to Europe were required,” Farrell jokes. In using Azure, Archive Systems is able to support the environment and make configuration changes remotely. “By leveraging Azure, we’re able to quickly scale infrastructure to meet demand while still only paying for the infrastructure resources we use,” Farrell says.

If your SMB has needs similar to these companies, and you’re ready to learn more, talk to a specialist today.