Rize Technology wanted to pursue the Windows 8 Pro app market but needed help. It partnered with Prime Access, a Microsoft Partner Network member, to codevelop two apps that Rize uses internally and Prime Access markets in the Windows Store.
Now Rize is able to get Windows 8 Pro apps to market 50 percent faster than those developed on competing platforms and sees a huge growth opportunity in selling Windows 8 Pro apps to corporate customers.
Rize Technology Corporation develops web, mobile, content management, and cloud solutions and provides technology support services to customers around the world. While Rize had developed many web and mobile apps to run on the Android and iOS operating
systems, it was eager to enter the Windows 8 app market because it felt that the Windows 8 operating system better addressed its target market: corporate users.
“Most of our customers use Microsoft software,” says Raj Potluri, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Rize Technology Corporation. “Android and iPhone apps are mostly consumer-focused and also do not connect easily with the Microsoft desktop and server
software used by most corporate users. From a business perspective, we have a goal to grow at a rate of 100 percent a year, so we are always looking for development environments that will help us achieve high growth.”
While it was eager to get going on its first Windows 8 apps, Rize did not have Windows development expertise in house. Its developers had always used open source tools extensively.
Rize reached out to Prime Access, a local member of the Microsoft Partner Network, for help in gaining Windows 8 app development expertise. The two companies developed two Windows Store apps together, to train the Rize staff in Microsoft development
tools and the Windows 8 Pro operating system. SMSAzure is a bulk SMS app, and Customized Mail is a bulk email app; Rize business development teams use both for marketing and business development purposes. Prime Access offers both apps in the Windows Store;
the bulk email app has been downloaded 20,000 times in two months.
||We estimate that development is 50 percent faster on the Windows 8 Pro platform than on competing platforms. Getting apps to market 50 percent faster is a huge market advantage.
| Raj Potluri
Chief Executive Officer and Director, Rize Technology Corporation
Prime Access developed the two apps in just two weeks, with the Rize developers learning alongside the Prime Access team. Each team acquired three Acer Iconia tablet PCs loaded with Windows 8 Pro, the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 development system (including
the Microsoft .NET Framework), and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013. Rize also upgraded several developer workstations from the Windows XP and Windows 7 operating systems to Windows 8 Pro—a process that the IT team found easy.
A key advantage of Windows 8 Pro is the touch interface, which Rize developers were not familiar with but which turned out to be their favorite feature. “Touch is wonderful for rapid navigation, while the keyboard interface is better for intensive data entry,”
Potluri says. “It’s great having both in the same operating system—and using a stylus for handwriting. It’s like a pen that never runs out of ink.” Another favorite Windows 8 Pro feature is the easy integration with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Lync. “We
have multiple modes of communication—chat, Skype, Lync, and email,” Potluri says. “All these apps are in one place and easily accessible through Windows 8 Pro, so communication is easier and development is faster.”
The teams also liked Windows To Go, a feature in Windows 8 Enterprise that lets users install a copy of Windows 8 on a USB drive and use it wherever they go. Prime Access has showcased this feature as part of its Windows 8 Enterprise service offering. Because
hacking is a challenge for any development team, Rize and Prime Access also appreciated the BitLocker feature in Windows 8 Pro, which encrypts the contents of the hard drive.
Rize tested Office Professional Plus 2013 running on Windows 8 Pro. Its developers especially like the ability to move documents from USB drives to SkyDrive Pro cloud storage. Rize plans to upgrade another 8 to 10 computers to Windows 8 Pro in the next few
It took just two weeks for Prime Access to develop the bulk SMS and bulk email apps; going forward, Potluri says his development teams will become even faster as they become more fluent in Windows 8 Pro and Microsoft development tools. “We estimate that
development is 50 percent faster on the Windows 8 Pro platform than on competing platforms. Getting apps to market 50 percent faster is a huge market advantage. With Windows 8 Pro, it’s easy to quickly develop an app for just about any business need.”
Rize attributes the development speedup to the high level of development abstraction that Visual Studio and the .NET Framework provide and the simplicity of using Windows 8 Pro with other Microsoft software. “Working with open source tools requires that
you write code for every tiny detail,” Potluri says. “But the Microsoft development environment provides a much higher level of abstraction that is much easier to work in.” A high level of abstraction hides the implementation details, allowing the developer
to focus on important concepts such as business logic.
By partnering with Prime Access, Rize did not have to pick up Windows 8 expertise on its own; Prime Access helped Rize quickly understand the product. “Thanks to Prime Access, we now have the confidence and skills to pursue Windows 8 app development independently,”
Rize has already developed two new Windows 8 apps that launched in July 2013. It also has several customers interested in extending their Rize-created Android and iPhone apps to Windows 8. “Windows 8 apps will provide a huge market opportunity for us to
grow and differentiate ourselves from existing app companies,” Potluri says. “It will help us meet our 100 percent growth goals. We are building strength in upcoming areas like big data, business intelligence, and mobile device management, and these are all
areas where Microsoft has a strong presence.”
Rize also sees a great opportunity in creating apps that integrate with Microsoft desktop products. “By using Windows 8, we can reach desktop users as well as the mobile device market,” Potluri says. “We are shifting a lot of our development resources to
pursue the Windows 8 market and betting big on this operating system.”
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