August 12, 2014 | Written by: Barbara Beltrame
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Your company does not need to be very large in order to use cloud, not even IBM Cloud.
This series of blog posts provides real-life examples of how small and medium businesses (SMB) are using the cloud.
My first example starts with a small software company called WorldTicket that was founded in Denmark in 2002. Its business is to develop sales and reservation systems for airlines through a solution called Sell-More-Seats. Although it started small, WorldTicket now has offices in four countries, supporting customers spread over four continents.
So where does WorldTicket come from and why is it moving to cloud?
Geographical presence (small does not equal local)
The first challenge WorldTicket met when expanding internationally was that its need for local IT operations grew just as fast. Its hosting partner, on the other hand, could not scale, as it did not have operations close enough to WorldTicket’s prospective customers.
Network costs to connect its Nordic IT operations to customers were unacceptable. The lead time and effort associated with starting up a new hosting environment for every new region were throttling WorldTicket’s growth potential.
How did cloud help WorldTicket? By providing data centers spread all over the planet and allowing a provisioning time that goes from a few minutes to a few hours (depending on the setup), the company was able to keep serving customers.
WorldTicket was also seeing a constant increase in traffic coming from new customers and changing search needs.
Just think of the last time you looked for a flight yourself. Perhaps you started at the office on your PC, and then searched again on your phone on your way home (hopefully not while driving). You continued on a tablet at home, and maybe your partner or your friend did the same.
Most people search from multiple devices and do that several times before buying a flight. If an airline runs a promotional campaign (especially at launch, when it receives a lot of regional press coverage) it needs to be able to scale IT operations for peak load.
How did cloud help WorldTicket? You already guessed. More resources were just a click away with no need to sign new hosting contracts. And now WorldTicket can even be proactive and actively sell its elasticity of operations versus the competition.
Controllable performance (it’s the network!)
In cloud, performance can be tricky; it’s the result of a complicated equation. If you have traffic being routed through the public Internet when crossing delivery zones, it can be close to impossible to accurately predict traffic latency. You can try the SoftLayer Speed Test yourself.
One of the reasons why WorldTicket chose IBM SoftLayer cloud is that traffic can travel across data centers using a private, high-performance network (private traffic is at no charge, too). SoftLayer publishes IP backbone latency here.
How did cloud help WorldTicket? It provided predictable and affordable network performance.
There are a few more important reasons why WorldTicket chose SoftLayer cloud. Read about them in the next installment in this series. How has cloud helped your business? Comment below or follow me on Twitter @barbelty to continue this discussion.