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Posted: 2/27/2013
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10th Magnitude Developer Builds Applications 30 percent Faster, Helps Customers Expand Business

10th Magnitude designs, builds, and operates custom software solutions in the cloud. When a customer needed to quickly and cost-effectively create a new online payment-processing application, 10th Magnitude relied on Windows Azure to develop a cloud-based solution that uses Windows Azure SQL Database to process transactions. With Windows Azure, 10th Magnitude can develop solutions 30 percent faster, so its customers save on IT costs and can focus on expanding their business.


Business Needs

Chicago-based 10th Magnitude creates custom software applications in the Windows Azure cloud-based development environment. By working in the cloud, the company can quickly build and deploy software solutions for a growing base of small and midsize businesses.

“Because we create software in Windows Azure that we then run and maintain for our customers, they don’t have to invest resources in hardware or hiring additional IT staff,” says Alex Brown, CEO, 10th Magnitude. “That lets them focus on growing their business instead of managing technology.”

One of those customers, a Chicago online payment processing firm called Arrow Payments, needed to implement a secure, PCI-compliant online payment gateway and customer support center. However, Arrow lacked the expertise and technical resources to fully develop the solution. “They had talked to a lot of local developers and even tried some software coding themselves, but it wasn’t working,” Brown says. “They needed a partner to help them realize their vision.”

Creating the solution and getting it up and running quickly were essential, because Arrow envisioned the application as a way to reshape its business and gain customers.

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* Using Windows Azure, we can build and deploy software solutions at least 30 percent faster than we could using a traditional development environment. *

Alex Brown
CEO
10th Magnitude

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Solution

In late 2011, Arrow asked 10th Magnitude to help develop the online gateway. “10th Magnitude had the right combination of experience and deep knowledge that we needed,” says Deborah Jackson, Founder/Partner, Arrow Payments.

10th Magnitude collaborated with Arrow to create the Arrow Merchant Gateway, an online portal on which Arrow customers can process payments and view graphical dashboards and sales reports. Built entirely with Windows Azure, the portal features a REST API that integrates payment-processing websites and mobile applications.

The data behind the application is stored and accessed in Windows Azure SQL Database, the cloud implementation of Microsoft SQL Server software. “SQL Database manages the transaction flow for the application, so every transaction that is processed in the system is tracked in SQL Database,” says Brown. With SQL Database, 10th Magnitude can also use large data sets and perform large-scale processing on that data. The application also achieves data security levels high enough to pass certification with a third-party PCI compliance company.

As it manages the solution, 10th Magnitude can also take advantage of the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) for bandwidth capabilities. The CDN uses global distributed servers that can cache content so customers receive it from a node that is geographically close to them.

The solution went live in early 2012.

Benefits

With Windows Azure, 10th Magnitude can build software solutions 30 percent faster and can offer customers high-performing solutions that help them avoid IT costs and expand their business.

Cuts Development Time by 30 Percent

By creating the Arrow Merchant Gateway in Windows Azure, 10th Magnitude was able to use the Windows Azure automatically generated APIs and client-side libraries to easily expose content within SQL Database. As a result, 10th Magnitude worked with Arrow to build and launch the service in just 13 weeks. “Using Windows Azure, we can build and deploy software solutions at least 30 percent faster than we could using a traditional development environment,” says Brown. “We would have really been slowed down if we had to go through the typical data center model.”

Offers Flexible Framework and High Performance

The Windows Azure APIs also give 10th Magnitude a flexible development framework, which significantly eases the development process. “With the Windows Azure APIs, we can create applications that work well with Java, .NET, and a host of other frameworks and programming languages,” Brown says. “Whatever front end is used will work seamlessly with Azure, and that gives us a lot of flexibility in what we can design.”

The company can also use the Windows CDN to make sure that its customers are receiving the fastest networking speeds. For example, 10th Magnitude recently designed, built, and deployed an interactive web application featuring high-definition video broadcasts. “The content they wanted to deliver was massive, and on the first day the website was overwhelmed with visitors,” Brown says. “But in about 10 minutes, we turned on the Windows CDN and the problem was solved, giving the customer the best bandwidth available.”

Helps Customers Save Money and Win New Business

Using the flexible Windows Azure development model, 10th Magnitude can help its customers cut costs. “We didn’t have to buy any hardware or invest in IT staff to manage our new application,” says Jackson. “10th Magnitude maintains and monitors it, and we avoid the costs.”

And because they don’t need to worry about developing or managing applications, customers like Arrow Payments can focus on business growth. In fact, two days after Merchant Gateway was launched, Arrow had already signed its first customer for the application. Since then, the company has added 40 new customers. “By relying on 10th Magnitude to build and maintain the gateway, we’ve been able to focus solely on sales and attracting new customers,” says Jackson. “And our business just keeps growing.”

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview




Organization Profile

10th Magnitude, with offices in Chicago, Illinois, and San Francisco, California, develops cloud-based custom software solutions for small and midsize businesses.


Software and Services
Microsoft Azure

Vertical Industries
IT Services

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
Cloud & Server Platform

IT Issue
  • Virtualization
  • High Performance Computing

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Arrow Payments

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