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Kiwi companies invest in Microsoft Azure

With two new Australia-based data centres, New Zealand businesses will have access to the Microsoft global cloud.

A select group of Kiwi tech companies have already begun using the new Microsoft Azure Geo on a private preview, including Serko, NV Interactive and Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand.

Paul Muckleston Microsoft New Zealand’s managing director, says various factors were driving customer adoption of Microsoft Azure, led by a passion to deliver innovative solutions to fuel growth, drive efficiencies and enable people.

VMob, a mobile marketing platform built specifically for retailers, is also adopting Microsoft Azure. The Kiwi company uses in-store beacon functionality, mobile vouchers and mobile loyalty to increase store traffic, improve in-store experience and build loyalty.

All of VMob’s app content is tailored specifically to each shopper via a big data platform, running on the Microsoft Azure network using a combination of historic information and live data points such as location, weather and nearby events.

Their platform teaches retailers how to become smarter, how to market individual products to individual customers. The data they get from tracking customers in store is essential in learning how customers shop; what they buy, where they go in a store. Retailers have apps that plug into the Vmob platform, and use the data to create a tailored shopping experience.

The company says retailers are interested in how mobile marketing can drive foot traffic, increase the average transaction value, and improve customer loyalty.

Bob Drummond, Chief Operating Officer for VMob, says they have a number of existing local clients who will most likely transfer their instances to the Australian Geo in the future. He says it will also be the primary choice for any new local clients and for testing and R&D instances that they are running.

“One of the reasons we host our platform with Azure in the first place is that it is crucially important for our customers and their users that we have a quick, reliable connection meaning minimum lag time when using mobile apps connected to our platform,” says Drummond.

He says the establishment of Microsoft data centres serving the Australasian market, Kiwi business owners will have the comfort of knowing that their data is located in this region of the world, “which gives a great level of comfort and confidence in the cloud”.

“Having a local data centre will mean load times are further reduced, which is useful for local clients and running test environments. Having enhanced local, in-time zone support also makes life much easier for us.”

Christopher Dawson, VMob business strategy director, says having the support of a company like Microsoft enables them to take on global customers. “The amount of traffic we process is enormous. We need a lot of data to know what customers are interested in. We need to be able to scale up when workloads increase. Partnering with Microsoft gives us those benefits.”

The company says CIOs like having the choice of a hybrid cloud approach with Microsoft. This means they can integrate and continue to leverage their on premise investments while moving to the cloud. With the choice of public or private cloud too, Microsoft’s on-ramp can be as gentle or steep as a customer desires.