Why We Chose and Recommend Microsoft Azure

By Jeremy Harp, Director of Information Technology at Contract Logix

Choosing a cloud provider is one of the most important and strategic business decisions an IT leader can make. It’s what keeps us up at night. Couple that with the fact that you’re an IT leader at a SaaS company and the weight of that decision goes up exponentially. Then, layer on the fact that your SaaS offering is a contract management platform and things get really serious.

After all, contracts contain some of an organization’s most important and sensitive data. Make the right hosting decision and you have a happy company and happy customers. Make the wrong hosting decision and it increases your probability for legal, brand, and financial liability.

As the IT leader at Contract Logix, I get asked by virtually every one of our contract management software customers who we use to host our application. I am always proud to respond with Microsoft Azure. Inevitably, the next question I get is why did we choose Azure and why am I happy with our decision after using them for 2+ years?

Well, there are many reasons, but for the most part here are the 5 reasons why we chose and recommend Microsoft Azure: security, scalability, support, ease of administration, and integration. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

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Security

Microsoft Azure truly has a security-first mindset and that aligns well with our security-first development process at Contract Logix.  We not only pride ourselves on how we uniquely help our customers leverage their contract data but also how we ensure the protection of it. I also really appreciate the security reporting and monitoring tools available from Azure. Oh, and the compliance, penetration alerts, transaction alerts, and vulnerability alerts are all state of the art.

Scalability

As a relatively small but fast-growing contract management software provider, it’s important that we have flexibility and agility in how we work with our partners. Microsoft Azure provides us with a cost-effective approach to scaling up with different pricing tiers as well as scaling out via the ability to replicate. As our business grows, Azure makes it easy to increase performance across applications, pay only for what we use, and set different thresholds, tolerance levels, etc.

Support (and Community)

The Azure community is big, thriving, knowledgeable, and accurate which isn’t something you can say about all communities. It lets me quickly find fresh, helpful, and correct insights, tips, and best practices. And when something needs more attention or escalation, Azure’s development support is cost-effective, knowledgeable, and they get the right person on the phone for the appropriate situation. Plus, I have the option of using different digital channels based on my needs and urgency like chat, email, and phone.

Easy to Administrate

Like many fast-growing SaaS companies, we run a lean IT operation. That means I don’t have an army of data analysts, technical business analysts, and application engineers.  Luckily, Azure understands the needs of customers like me and has developed easy-to-use tools for monitoring, maintenance, and automation of the platform. They also provide good roles-based permissions on administration and have a phenomenal alert system. This helps my team of experts work efficiently, securely, and effectively.

Application Integration

At the end of the day, every company regardless of size has a host of business apps and systems. The key is how well – and how hard it is to get — these different apps and systems talk to each other. That’s another big benefit of Azure. The ability to integrate Microsoft Azure with our other applications such as third-party monitoring and vulnerability systems, our support ticket systems, as well as cross-application integration with our CRM, CMP, and ERP systems has been relatively painless.

Takeaway

As the person running point on IT, it’s priority number 1 that our customers have confidence in the security, availability, and performance of their SaaS application. At Contract Logix, they can rest assured on all those fronts. That’s why we chose and recommend Microsoft Azure. This is especially important for us given the fact that we’re a contract management software platform. And for all you IT leaders out there, whether you are new to the cloud or thinking about a change in provider, my advice is to seriously consider Azure.