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Cloud microsite delivered to VELUX in three weeks supports product campaign
VELUX Group, one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector, needed a microsite for an important product campaign that was about to launch simultaneously in 18 different countries and 21 languages. Accenture and its affiliate, Avanade, helped VELUX use the Microsoft Windows Azure platform for the site, with important business benefits.
The VELUX name is derived from two words—Ventilation and Lux, the Latin word for light. The VELUX Group, which has manufacturing companies in 11 countries and sales companies in just under 40 countries, is one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector and its products are sold in most parts of the world. The VELUX Group has approximately 10,000 employees. The VELUX Group head office is in Hørsholm, north of Copenhagen. For more information see www.velux.com.
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The VELUX Group’s CIO, Lars Bech Sørensen, realized that the company’s internal IT infrastructure would be unable to handle the potentially very high traffic during the initial launch of the product campaign. Provisioning and testing the required infrastructure on-premise would be costly and very difficult in the time frame available. In addition, VELUX Group expected the need to support many simultaneous users at the go-live date to diminish quickly in the weeks following the launch. Consequently, the majority of infrastructure would no longer be needed.
Given the aggressive schedule, Mr. Sørensen asked Avanade and Accenture if it would be possible to use the higher agility of a cloud-based approach to deliver the microsite on time.
Given the size and reach of the VELUX Group’s product campaign, it was critical that Avanade and Accenture deliver a robust, user-friendly and high performing solution on the agreed date.
Avanade proposed to use the Microsoft “Platform as a Service” offering, Windows Azure. After an initial assessment of the application and the performance requirements, the price estimate of running the application on Windows Azure was presented to VELUX Group and deemed very reasonable.
“We were very positively surprised with the quality and agility of the Windows Azure cloud infrastructure. In addition, we found that the actual cost of running the solution in Windows Azure was very attractive to us,” said Mr. Sørensen.
The team provisioned and configured the entire Windows Azure-based infrastructure in less than one day and configured the required development environment using Avanade’s private cloud source control servers.
Working in close collaboration with the VELUX Group’s business team, it took only six days to develop a solution that could present information to customers on a Web-based microsite capable of storing any customer requests entered. In addition, synchronization between the cloud solution and VELUX Group’s datacenter was established so VELUX Group could process customer requests via its normal support channels.
Following this phase, VELUX Group tested the solution’s functionality, and the Avanade team conducted intense performance testing.
The entire project took three weeks to complete, from VELUX Group’s initial request to its go-live date.
The full, high-quality solution was delivered fully functional and performance-tested two full days before the requested deadline.
Avanade and Accenture’s Windows Azure cloud-based approach yielded several important business benefits for VELUX Group:
The solution can serve more than 200,000 customer inquiries per hour, supporting VELUX Group’s need for a high-capacity website during the campaign launch.
Due to the speed and agility of provisioning and scaling Windows Azure, the team only spent a short amount of time on infrastructure and was able to configure the environment after performance testing quickly.
The standardization of components provisioned from Windows Azure meant lower project risk and faster delivery, since only minimal testing of the standardized infrastructure components was required.
VELUX Group considers the actual cost of running the solution in Windows Azure very low.
Avanade was able to deliver the project quickly by tapping the skills of consultants in its global Azure Factory, with a pool of 60+ consultants fully dedicated to cloud development.
The project was a big success for VELUX Group. “It was a good and open process,” says Mr. Sørensen. “We were impressed by the colleagues in Avanade and Accenture. They really knew what they were doing and worked very hard to deliver with such short notice, on time and budget.”
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