Thursday, January 5, 2012

Microsoft Case Study: Humanitarian Aid Provider Uses Cloud Solution to Respond Faster to Global Needs

The Aidmatrix Foundation
Humanitarian Aid Provider Uses Cloud Solution to Respond Faster to Global Needs 

The Aidmatrix Foundation creates web-based supply-chain management solutions that simplify the distribution of humanitarian aid. To meet growing demand for its expertise from partners worldwide, it sought a more cost-effective, scalable method for delivering its solutions. After evaluating several cloud services solutions, the organization selected Windows Azure. It wanted to take advantage of existing skill sets and investments in Microsoft technologies while maximizing the global reach of its services through the use of Microsoft data centers worldwide. Aidmatrix worked closely with Accenture and Avanade, members of the Microsoft Partner Network, to convert three of its standard web applications to cloud services. By adopting Windows Azure, the organization has reduced its data center costs by 20 percent while providing more responsive, scalable service to help those most in need. 

Increasingly, technology plays a vital role in enabling the rapid, targeted distribution of relief supplies to those affected by catastrophic events. Formed in 2001, the Aidmatrix Foundation specializes in developing web-based supply-chain management solutions that make it easier to get the Right Aid to the Right People at the Right Time™.

The organization’s software-as-a-service–based solutions are designed to address the two main challenges of disaster response: the efficient collection of donated materials and the precise matching of those supplies with evolving needs on the ground. To capture and accurately process the maximum number of donor offers, Aidmatrix needs to ensure that its applications can consistently deliver the highest levels of stability and throughput performance. Because Aidmatrix works with so many different kinds of partner organizations, its solutions—most of which are based on Microsoft technologies—need to synchronize with business systems that run on diverse operating system platforms. Also, its applications need to flexibly scale to handle massive bursts in demand. Following several recent natural disasters, Aidmatrix applications have experienced usage spikes on the order of 1,000 times the standard rate.

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