In this case study, you can read about how TradeFacilitate, an Irish company successfully scales-up its operation to serve a larger market without proportionally adding more personnel and technology resources.
Irish e-trade company meeting global demand through cloud
TradeFacilitate delivers an innovative web solution for trading companies. It provides new cost-effective electronic customs systems which enhances the security, transparency and efficiency surrounding the global movement of goods. Based on UN standards and successfully validated through an EU funded pilot programme, the TradeFacilitate solution is one of the leading global e-trade applications.
TradeFacilitate has developed a solution for importers and exporters worldwide to exchange trade data using a paper-free online system. It is hosted within the state-of-the-art Microsoft data-centre in Dublin, Ireland and the use of the Microsoft Azure platform has enabled TradeFacilitate to scale the solution rapidly.
TradeFacilitate was originally developed for small and mid-sized businesses involved in cross-border alcohol trade in the EU. However, this was just the beginning: the EU wanted TradeFacilitate to scale the solution quickly to serve thousands of importers and exporters. Furthermore, the solution also needed to support new U.S. regulations and since TradeFacilitate also works closely with government agencies, whatever solution it developed had to be completely reliable and secure.
While representing an exciting opportunity for TradeFacilitate, the new demands were a big challenge. They wanted to scale its existing solution to be suitable for a much larger market, but without proportionally adding more personnel and technology resources.
“With Azure, we can scale and grow our technology infrastructure and our customer base quickly and easily”, Conor O’Riordan, CEO.
TradeFacilitate decided to host its solution ‘in the cloud’, by migrating it to the Windows Azure platform, hosted in Microsoft data centres. It provides an operating system and a set of developer services that can be used together or individually. “Moving to the cloud means we could focus on helping businesses around the world to access a low-cost, pay-as-you-go paper-free service platform,” adds Conor O’Riordan.
The EU market is unique due to the policies for funding private sector solutions in the overall e-trade and e-customs arena. Tradefacilitate underwent an 18 month EU validation process in order to prove their security and scalability. According to CEO, Conor O’Riordan, “One key feature of Azure is that it ensures Tradefacilitate is totally in line with EU policy and requirements on data protection to our client base. In simple terms we capture and transfer key trade data around and do not to open the message. We’re just like the post office; we collect sealed content and deliver to the address.”
Further to this, the data never leaves the EU Azure data centres based in Amsterdam and Dublin, another important aspect as data protection privacy is paramount to the EU and those EU traders engaged in cross border international trade.
Just one of the companies that benefit from TradeFacilitate and the Azure cloud platform is BWG Spar, the global retailing business, using the system commercially within the EU and beyond.
“We have been using the TradeFacilitate system since June 2010 for processing our alcohol orders with our suppliers from around the world. We have seen clear and obvious time and cost savings from being able to communicate with our suppliers and receive their order acceptance and invoices in standard format.”
Lorna Kennedy, BWG Wines & Spirits
Small & Medium Enterprises are the backbone of Europe’s economy. We work hard with governments and industry to ensure that SMEs get the most out of technology. Thanks to cloud computing that has pervasive benefits throughout the economy, SMEs can now exploit economies of scale, to rapidly expand their business and offer innovative solutions with less risk. This space on our website is dedicated to innovative European SMEs and the added-value of cloud computing to their businesses.
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