DataOrbis maintains business agility with Microsoft Azure

For a multinational startup, cloud was the only option. In partnership with Space Age Technologies, Microsoft successfully guided DataOrbis towards business success.

May 14, 2014

For a multinational startup, cloud was the only option. In partnership with Space Age Technologies, Microsoft successfully guided DataOrbis towards business success.

Any startup engaging in market intelligence or data analytics requires access to reliable and scalable IT platforms. Investing in a large on premise architecture can often be rigid and cost prohibitive. Fluidity and agility is critical to early business success.

This was the challenge faced by DataOrbis, an innovative provider of market and business intelligence to the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry in Africa and the Middle East, upon its founding in late 2011.

In October 2011 the company’s executive directorship began a search to determine a cloud architecture that would be best suited to DataOrbis’ needs. After investigating several competitive options the company ultimately selected Microsoft as its long-term partner.

Following several months of critical examination DataOrbis’ technical team made a strategic decision to construct the organisation’s ongoing technical platform within Microsoft’s Azure environment.

Following a rudimentary service test in early 2012 the company engaged long time Microsoft Partner, Space Age Technologies, to begin crafting its implementation roadmap.

Ultimately DataOrbis carried its data warehousing and multinational business intelligence transactional platform into its newly launched Azure cloud environment in April 2013.

This saw Space Age Technologies implement a Microsoft Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution consisting of six server workloads operating SQL, AD, ADFS and Tableau – an advanced Business Intelligence framework.

On the front end these services are complimented by Microsoft’s Office 365 E3 licensing agreement, which provides the organisation with access to Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Lync with no requirement for an on premise server or localised support.

The benefits associated with building a dynamic and fluid organisational foundation within Microsoft’s Azure cloud framework have been considerable, adds James Collett – DataOrbis Managing Director.

“DataOrbis would not exist if it were not for this cloud technology. As a startup operating within international markets it was critical that we invested in a cost effective solution that would enable us to scale up as demand increased. Microsoft Azure has allowed us to start small, develop, test and develop further with relatively little overhead. It has contributed enormously to our early success”

“As a result of this we have been able to begin our international expansion. In 2013 we opened an office in Kenya and have plans to establish a presence in Dubai. If our framework were hosted locally at our head office in Cape Town this rapid growth would be incredibly difficult to achieve. Our cloud infrastructure allows employees to access DataOrbis resources wherever they might be without a degradation in service or the requirement for high capacity connectivity”.

The addition of Microsoft Office 365 to the service offering has also been particularly beneficial, adds Collett.

“Microsoft’s Office 365 package has given us access to dynamic front end resources that keep the business running. The introduction of elements such as Exchange and Lync has been invaluable so far”.

The opportunity to work with a fresh and dynamic business such as DataOrbis clearly indicates Microsoft’s capacity for agility and innovation, adds Tracey Newman, Small Medium Business Lead at Microsoft SA.

“One of the fundamental advantages associated with cloud platforms is their capacity to scale dynamically according to the needs of the client. This is often advertised by vendors as a strategic value add but cannot be truly carried through. Microsoft’s partnership with DataOrbis proves that our hosted can delivery agility and fluidity. We look forward to partnering with this exciting business as it continues to expand internationally”.