SME uses cloud computing to innovate for real impact in Portugal

Our January European Cloud SME of the Month is Link, a Portuguese company that provides businesses with innovative consulting, management solutions, and specialized services. Link helps their customers to streamline business operations and achieve their goals without having to maintain cumbersome processes. Cloud computing platforms are now enabling Link to provide these services more effectively.

Since spinning off from a technology innovation and development not-for-profit in 1999, Link has done business in 13 different countries. One of their premier strategies, Interactive Emotions, serves to develop technology that functions in real time and encourages a natural interaction between people and information. This approach provides an opportunity for their customers to maximize operational value in an innovative way.

Link uses this method to support the Portuguese NGO Banco Alimentar Contra A Forme (“Food Bank Against Hunger”), adding efficient processes to food donation and distribution operations.

Using the Windows Azure platform, Link has created a flexible online portal to support Food Bank’s donations collection. Their online initiative, known as ‘Alimente esta ideia … agora também online’ (“Feed this idea … now also online”) allows donors all over the world to choose foods they want to donate and do so electronically. By using Windows Azure, Food Bank not only enabled the online community to donate extremely large quantities of food, but also to follow the real-time impact of distribution of their donations.

The flexibility of Windows Azure allows the portal to support this system permanently, both during campaign periods of high traffic and off-peak periods. Its adjustability allows the portal to continue providing real-time updates without having to be directly monitored. Moreover, the ability of the transaction platform vastly enlarges the number of people that can contribute to the social project.

The positive impact and efforts of Link’s ‘Alimente esta ideia …’ project has been widely recognized. Eurocloud Portugal awarded Link with the prize Best Case Study Example of Cloud Services for Private Sector in 2011. Click here to watch the project in action.

Each month, to highlight the continuing growth of cloud services provided by European SMEs, we will feature in the Microsoft Cloud & Interoperability Centre in Brussels, the technology of another innovative, growing small business

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