INDEGO: Cloud Native Paradigms Drive a Cost-Effective Business Platform for SMEs
INDEGO is an IT startup delivering a business application and collaboration platform – as a service - to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) directly from the Azure Cloud. In contrast to large enterprise, SMEs often do not have the time, will, skill, or resources to develop custom applications. These customers need a flexible, low price, low risk and low maintenance product that can be provisioned, configured and delivered within hours.
Everyone is talking about digitalization, but the reality of the situation is that it is costly, time-consuming, and involves risks that many SMEs are simply not willing to take. As such, mailing the Excel sheet, or, faxing the form remain as primary forms of communication in critical business processes. Besides being highly error-prone and costly in terms of human effort, such antiquated practices inhibit the scalability of the customers’ business and encourage entry into a negative loop of high cost and low competitiveness.
The INDEGO platform focuses on helping bespoke companies to communicate effectively in the digital age by giving them access to an information and collaboration platform with incredibly low entry barriers. These barriers needing to be broken are typically:
- Skepticism: Particularly in founder, or family lead organizations. “We’ve always done it this way, why do we need to change / invest”.
- Familiarity: “I’m not giving up my Excel sheets”.
- Cost: Many SMEs are high turn-over, low-profit organizations.
- Time: Many SMEs cannot dedicate time to an IT project.
- Knowledge: Many SME’s don’t have an internal IT, or undertake IT projects.
- Risk: Is the consequence of trying to run an IT project with too little knowledge, time, and money.
Not coincidentally, a solution to each of these barriers were amongst the primary requirements for the INDEGO platform.
The creation of a multi-tenant capable, cloud-based software offering with a subscription payment model easily fulfilled not only the requirements for a low initial customer investment and low monthly operating costs, but also elegantly solved the issues of software delivery and customer infrastructure. The full integration of O365 into the lightweight and intuitive suite of web content management and business management tools such as;
- Event management
- Visitor management
- Human resources management
- GDPR compliance
- Document management
not only brings in all of the functional plethora of the O365 products, such as the collaborative features of Microsoft Teams and Exchange, but allows the users at the same time to continue using familiar tools such as Word and Excel. The use of familiar document formats keeps the learning curve and training needs for new users low, and increases the employee acceptance of new processes and methodology. A further implicit advantage obtained through the integration of O365, was a reduction in the amount of custom code required to build, and consequent effort required to maintain the product – in full compliance with the paradigm “only code your USPs”.
The INDEGO platform itself is a fully cloud native application written in the Angular and Java languages and containerized using Docker. The application containers are hosted in Azure using the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) to achieve high availability (cluster failover), to get the platform to dynamically scale to the actual activity profile of the clients, and to allow the platform to automatically scale with a predicted increase in the total number of customers and users over time.
As such, the INDEGO Platform is a great example of the advantages of cloud native computing in the Azure and O365 clouds being used to create a highly cost effective solution for price sensitive customers who otherwise would have little choice other than to remain in the digital dark ages.
To find out more, please do not hesitate to contact me.