If you’re creating an app — lets say, one that will be the secret sauce, competitive edges of your business over the next few years — you’ve got a choice to make.
What do you do? Build everything from the ground up, taking months and untold hours of development to deliver? Or, take it to the cloud, and trim that timeline down to months – or even weeks?
Obviously, not everything is so clear cut in the world of IT. But for the businesses in the following Microsoft Azure case studies, they’ve earned themselves the label of innovator, relying on the flexible, open and robust platform tools offered by Azure to build apps – and deliver something beautiful for their clients.
1. easyJet case study
When you are a low cost airline, margins are razor thin. easyJet managed to improve customer check in experience (without busting the piggy bank) with Azure’s platform-as-a-service tools.
easyJet improves customer check-in with Azure
easyJet is the largest airline in the UK, selling 61 million low-fare tickets a year. Building on its great service at low-cost reputation, the airline wanted to improve the boarding experience without adding extra IT staff or infrastructure. New features like letting customers choose their own seats or speeding up check in, without having to wait in line, were a priority. But the company couldn’t do it the traditional, on-premise way due to budgetary concerns and lack of time.
Solution: Test & Dev, Production
easyJet created a new check-in app using Visual Studio, and tested it out on simulated production environments in Azure. After getting the green light they rolled out the final product to market in just six months. The company still uses its own servers to run legacy software, but Azure is being used for the new applications and functionalities. Not only is it simpler and far less expensive to run this hybrid model, but easyJet has the peace of mind the solution will scale without issue.
Next up the airline plans to bring its Active Directory and System Center to the Azure cloud, based on the success, low-cost and time savings produced by this project.
“It’s all about making travel easier and more affordable for our customers, while being able to deliver features quickly.” Heath Roylance, Senior Project Manager at easyJet.
2. Diebold case study
When its banking partners needed to find a better way to manage and induce usage of ATM’s Diebold saw an opportunity. It moved quickly to bring a hosted app solution to its customers, giving the banks what they needed to succeed, in record time.
Diebold gives bank tellers Azure-run apps to improve customer experience
Diebold is one of the largest manufacturers of ATMs in the world. Its main customers are banks. Even though ATMs have been around for decades, many people still prefer to chat in person with a bank teller – and this was a serious problem for Diebold’s banks, all of whom were hoping to modernize their customer experience. Diebold needed an easy solution to improve the way banks monitor their ATMs, in the hopes of optimizing their use-rate. With the fast changing economic climate, branch transformation was a huge priority for all banks, so Diebold had no time to spare.
Solution: Windows 8 Apps hosted in Azure
Diebold’s strategy was to create a new app called Conductor, which could easily be managed, updated and download onto endpoint devices, such as iPads and laptops in the bank. The best way to do this was to run Conductor on the Azure cloud.
Creating Conductor took two Diebold developers just eight weeks. Because of Azure’s excellent regulatory compliancy, Conductor was able to be adopted by larger banks across regions, in either hybrid or completely off premise models. The result was a frictionless roll out to its global clientele, the ability to give its customers an edge on the competition, and easily improve the way they delivered banking services.
“By developing Conductor in Microsoft Azure, we were able to get it from concept to pilot very quickly—in about three months—and position it for equally quick adoption.” Devon Watson Diebold Vice President, New Business & Solution Incubation
3. Lufthansa Case Study
This industry consultancy created a novel solution for its clients, allowing them to manage their own on demand infrastructure resources via a web portal, build and hosted using Azure’s online platform.
Lufthansa Systems Uses Hybrid Cloud to Trim IT Delivery to Hours and Reduce Costs
Lufthansa Systems provides consulting and IT services in the global aviation industry, catering to more than 300 airlines and 150 customers. Several years ago, the company took great lengths to reduce its data footprint and more efficiently consume compting resources, using Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012. But hosting, one of its key offerings, is an incredibly competitive space and they needed to do more to stay on top of the game.
One edge they thought they could offer was giving clients the ability to self-provision their own storage, eliminating the middle man and lowering costs. With that they felt they’d maintain their market share and expand. But how?
Solution: Self-provisioning storage and Hybrid Cloud, SQL data base recovery
Lufthansa Systems opted to use the Azure Pack for Windows Server to set up a self-service portal for customers. Windows Azure Pack is a collection of Windows Azure technologies that organizations deploy to gain a Windows Azure–compatible experience within their own data centers. By using it, Lufthansa’s customers provision and manage their own compute and storage resources. On top of this, the company also leverages Azure to implement a hybrid cloud, in particular relying on Azure as a disaster recovery option for one of its critical SQL databases.
All in all, Lufthansa Systems can now deliver global IT services even more consistently, deliver resources faster, and reduce both capital and operating costs in its global data centers.
“Microsoft has a really good story in terms of delivering a complete solution for application service providers” Bardo Werum, Senior Vice President of Infrastructure, Lufthansa Systems
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