“Franchise First allows us to deliver a cloud platform for franchises so they can take their brand, pretty much without limitations anywhere in the world.”
“Franchise First allows us to deliver a cloud platform for franchises so they can take their brand, pretty much without limitations, anywhere in the world. We’ve added our own intellectual property to Microsoft’s cloud services and under the Cloud Solution Provider Program we’ve put all of those elements together in a really simple, easy way.
“In the last few months we’ve had tremendous success in taking that sort of package solution to franchises in Australia, who have responded. Our first customers was Harcourts International, who have agreed to go forward, taking them from 100 users to nearly 2,500 users in really one go.
James Stewart, Cloud First’s Sales Director, said it was difficult to build such services internally. “You had to have a big IT team. You had to have big investment. Today, it gives franchisors the ability to look at spreading their brand across Australia and the world with limited outlay.
“Traditionally, if you wanted to get your product out anywhere in the world, you’d have to go away and build levels of infrastructures necessary to provide that to be a global service. You can now piggyback off Microsoft’s Online Services platform, which offers 24/7 access, 99.9% up time guarantees and it enables you to build your solution on top of the platform and then scale with the customers that want to buy it.”
Mr Stewart said Franchise First was built specifically for Australian franchisees, to Australian standards and around Australian legislation – “and by choosing Microsoft, we’ve chosen a partner that spends $10 billion a year on research and development. That means I’ve got a team of people that sit there thinking about how to make my customers more productive, and for us as an organisation, they’re the best partner to deal with.”
“At CloudFirst we like to think of ourselves as the example of where we’re trying to take our customers. We don’t own a server. We have no physical tin in our business. We consume Microsoft cloud services and we get the benefits of the productivity that Microsoft provides as part of its Office 365 platform.”
Mr Rappell said Microsoft’s launch of the Australian data centres for Azure, Office 365 and CRM Online were exciting for CloudFirst and many of its customers.
The company had been working previously through cloud solutions held outside Australia “and although the solutions are very robust, there’s always been some level of concern from some Australian customers about ‘where does my data reside?’”
“Those questions now are pretty much taken out. The customers can see that their data is not only held, but also backed up in Australia. “
“At CloudFirst we like to think of ourselves as the example of where we’re trying to take our customers today. We don’t own a server. We have no physical tin in our business. We consume Microsoft cloud services and we get the benefits of the productivity that Microsoft provides as part of its Office 365 platform. “
“Our customers look to us to see into the future and I think we do a pretty good job of being that example for them,” Mr Rappell said.