“We chose Amazon Web Services for several reasons. Primarily, to take advantage of the $2B+ that Amazon has invested in infrastructure over the past decade or so,” says Scott Burkett, Chief Operating Officer. “After looking at the alternatives, it made absolutely no financial or technological sense to try and built the infrastructure to meet the needs of all our customers.”
By offering a cloud deployment model, StarPound’s enterprise customers can benefit from faster deployment and scalability. Their offering, CORE, is a business process modeling application that integrates voice and data in one application, including live web/voice services accessible via phone calls, emails, EDI, and SOAP/REST. Additionally, StarPound offers their open-source PBX and call center suite in the cloud. Customers such as MechanixLoop.com, can access StarPound’s voice technology at a fraction of the cost of other providers.
“Amazon Web Services (in particular EC2) has completely changed our business,” recalls Burkett. “We are seeing an almost unbelievable reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO) for our customers. For a few of our customers, we’ve seen upwards of a 90% reduction in overall technology spend. I would estimate that by leveraging the EC2, we’ve saved somewhere in the order of $3-5M that we would have spent by going it alone.”
“For several years now, we’ve had the view that voice applications and BPM are the next frontier in the cloud computing space. From our team’s perspective, the on-demand basis of the EC2 was incredibly compelling. If we aren’t paying for idle infrastructure, we don’t have to pass that cost through to our customers. Additionally, the reliability has been rock-solid, and as we deal with enterprise customers (Fortune 1000) – this is of paramount importance to us,” Burkett adds.
“Aside from filling a mission-critical need for our technology team, I think one of the biggest benefits that we’ve seen is that the Amazon brand provides our customers with an enormous comfort level. This allows our sales and business development team to focus our discussions around solving customer problems, rather than trying to mitigate the inherent risks of cloud-computing.”
With some words of advice for others building on AWS, Burkett recommends, “Spend the extra time upfront to really think through your deployment strategy on EC2. Think about things like failover, redundancy, and disaster recovery. And finally, be sure to run some tests on server sizing – make sure you know how many transactions or users can be supported seamlessly on various EC2 server instance sizes.”