Here’s a piece of video featuring one of our customers, Zapproved, featuring Andy Neville, vice president of Engineering. Zapproved is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) start-up. They offer a very cool online productivity and communication tool for businesses that eliminates communication confusion by putting the conversation all in one transparent location.
Zapproved’s web front-end and database cluster resides on our Cloud Sites, while a mail server sends out their application email on our Cloud Servers. Very soon, Zapproved plans to rely on our Cloud Files to offload static content. They also use a host of other cloud services offered by Zendesk, Amazon and Google.
In the video, Andy talks about many of the good reasons his company is taking advantage of cloud computing, why his customers like it, why Zapproved likes it, and why his investors like it, including:
- lower expenses & staffing costs, no CAPEX
- no installation required, easy management
- users up & running right away
- ability to integrate with 3rd-party software
- portability to choose best partners
- auto-scaling, grows organically
- 24/7 management & support — (Critical!)
- Email, offsite back-ups
- 24/7 monitoring of web and mail server
- store & access source code remotely
- project management (QA, new releases, defect tracking)
- Document collaboration
- Customer support, automated escalation
- Toll free #’s, calls forwarded to employees, sales people
Andy makes these excellent and major points in his talk and then drops the hammer. Cost.
Cloud computing gives Zapproved the appearance, capabilities, and competitive-edge of possessing an enterprise-like datacenter. For all of the above, they pay $232 a month. That’s like a weekly wage for a mail room clerk making the federal minimum. We’re talking a shopping basket loaded with fully-baked and supported cloud services that eliminate the need for an enterprise-level budget for do-it-yourself web hosting and management in a start-up environment.
What else does $232 a month buy for Zapproved? The chance to sit back, relax, and watch the traffic come in, as Andy states. The rest of the month Zapproved focuses their precious time and investment dollars on what they do best – bringing innovation and value to their customers.
Traditionally, the prohibitive costs required to manage your own datacenter and predicting what your needs are going to be worked against start-ups. The cloud simply makes this particular time consuming and expensive fuss go away.
This is not the first place it’s been said that SaaS in the Cloud seems like a hot trend. It is refreshing to hear from a true believer living in the cloud what you get for your money, and how much it actually costs.