LabSlice is a startup company that specializes in helping companies streamline their sales and training operations through cloud computing. The company enables businesses to create demos, evaluations, and training environments in the cloud, which can be easily shared among peers.

With offices in Australia and Toronto, LabSlice targets two primary user groups –sales and training. By creating virtual product evaluations that are emailed to customers, a company can gauge the effectiveness of its sales team from the responses. If the feedback is negative, the sales strategy may need modification with the intent of increasing customer satisfaction. However, when feedback is positive, changes would probably not be implemented.

For training personnel, LabSlice deploys on-demand training and certification environments that are available to the students immediately.

Through Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), LabSlice provides several important benefits to its customers:

  • Self-Serve Environment. Personnel can easily create and distribute applications stored in the cloud.
  • Policy-Controlled Lab. Each virtual machine is issued based on size, type, and user-defined lease specifications.
  • Sharable Cloud. Users can designate access (business partners, customers, and peers) to cloud-based environments merely by sending an email.

As a service management platform for Amazon EC2, LabSlice customers load their existing keys into the Amazon EC2 management tool. Once completed, customers can use the service to create Amazon EC2-based lab environments to facilitate product evaluations or create internal training environments.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been an integral part of LabSlice from the very beginning. When the idea of the startup was conceived, selection of the cloud platform provider was a major decision. Simon Ellis, founder and CTO of LabSlice, explains: “We needed a platform that was mature, reliable, and widely in use. Looking at the momentum and on-going success of AWS made this an easy product decision for our business to make.”

LabSlice and Amazon work perfectly together. For LabSlice, the ability to deliver immediate and cost-effective benefits encourages their customers to stay with the product, which is crucial for a startup company. LabSlice is currently working with a Toronto bank to build a low-cost virtual lab/playground for employees. It is also working with a Big Four consultancy wishing to use AWS as a virtual training environment. Both clients are using LabSlice and AWS as a method to avoid the capital investment and ongoing maintenance costs required to host their own physical environments. By moving to AWS, the companies state that they expect to save more than $10,000 in infrastructure costs, use the physical space taken up by servers more efficiently, and circumvent the ongoing costs involved in maintaining an in-house lab environment.

Ellis states that one of the many advantages of using AWS is that “developers at a startup don’t want to manage boxes. By using AWS, our team can get access to great development tools and free ourselves up to do better software. We really like Amazon’s ability to deliver continuous innovations in the space of cloud computing. There is more to cloud computing than just CPU and disk storage. Every innovation that Amazon brings out gives us one more tool that can improve our business and our customers’ businesses.”

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