Please describe your company and your role.
My name is Quinton Alsbury, I am one of the co-founders and Presidents of Mellmo Inc. We’ve created a product called Roambi that allows business users to transform their existing business data and reports into interactive visualizations designed for the iPhone and other small screen devices. Roambi allows anyone to take a spreadsheet, from say Excel, or a report from salesforce.com, and with a couple of clicks, transform it into a highly intuitive, insightful visual form that was designed to be consumed on a mobile device.
Why did you choose Amazon Web Services to power Roambi?
The ability to create infrastructure with no up-front costs, combined with near instant scalability, were major factors. During our launch phase, we were able to quadruple our capacity and then scale back when traffic dropped to normal level. Also, we’re a small company, focused on building and improving our product, so not having to worry about hardware maintenance allows our IT department to spend more time creating rather than maintaining.
How have you incorporated Amazon Web Services as part of your architecture? What services are you using and how?
In addition to our native iPhone application, we have an online publishing tool where users transform their data into an interactive visualization. Both our web site and web application are running on EC2 instances, with data stored on S3. We are also starting to use SimpleDB as well. Our graphics and videos from our web site are served by CloudFront, which has reduced the bandwidth requirements for our web servers significantly.
How has AWS helped you succeed?
In one word, I would say scalability. It allows us to scale quickly and cost-effectively, as our user-base grows. AWS has freed us from the limitations of a traditional server farm, allowing us to be much more agile in terms of infrastructure and product availability. By dispersing our servers across multiple availabliity zones and designing our systems with redundancy in mind, we have fewer single points of failure. Finally, in my experience, we have fewer maintenance issues and personnel than other companies of this size.
Do you have any metrics about the success of your iPhone app?
I can’t give details, but I can say that we are doing very well and the savings of using AWS vs. traditional hardware have been enormous.
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your iPhone app. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Running a hybrid software company that deals in both the mobile and SaaS worlds brings an enormous amount of challenge to any development project. The sheer volume of data being transferred between the mobile application and the users, to devices, and our servers would have created a huge amount of overhead as we grew. Because of its scalability and easy management, AWS provided the perfect backbone for our product for both the short-and long term.
To learn more about Roambi, visit www.roambi.com/ .
(Published September 2009)