Gamurai Technologies, a Singapore-based technology startup, has implemented Microsoft Azure to launch VEON@HairExperience (VEON), a web app that incorporates both hairstyling and business management features targeted at local hair salons.
VEON includes a hairstylist tool that allows customers to virtually try on different hairstyles in 3D; a branch manager tool that tracks branch sales, inventory and performance; and a company management visual tool that provides a consolidated view of operations across multiple branches.
Hosted on and delivered via Microsoft Azure, VEON synchronises and streamlines the front-end customer experience with the back-end business operational needs of hair salons in a fully-integrated Software-as-a-Service suite. The suite is run on Windows tablets and includes three components that helps streamline business processes and increase productivity of local hair salons.
According to a media statement, the adoption of Microsoft Azure as its development platform for VEON has also allowed Gamurai to focus on growing its core business without having to worry about maintaining costly physical assets - a key priority for a startup with limited resources.
"As a startup, we hope to one day be able to expand regionally and then globally. Prior to signing up with Microsoft BizSpark, we did not have a partner that allowed us to scale locally and globally," said Woo Sze Ming, founder of Gamurai. "With a total of 19 Azure regions open for business, it will allow us to scale rapidly, in terms of volume and geography. Developing on Microsoft Azure also reduced the technical limitations we faced when developing our application and helped us go-to-market in a shortened timeframe."
Aiding business growth for startups
Microsoft BizSpark is a three-year programme created to support entrepreneurship and help startups grow their business. It provides startups access to a global community of advisors, investors and a growing global network of over 2,400 partners, as well as Microsoft software and services.
Through BizSpark, the company gained access to Microsoft products including Office 365, SQL Server, Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio, as well as business and technical support. Gamurai also benefitted from marketing and networking support - all of which helped accelerate the successful launch of VEON.
"Microsoft's support and mentorship under BizSpark was instrumental in the success of our launch and the growth of our customer base. Leveraging Microsoft Azure ensured we had a reliable platform to develop our applications," said Woo.
In fact, Gamurai also receives free monthly credits towards the use of Microsoft Azure and other Microsoft solutions. In addition, through BizSpark Plus - which is available for startups who are members of select Accelerators and Incubators - the company receives US$5,000 (approximately S$6,700) in monthly credits towards Azure usage. Any excess usage on top of the allocation is charged at a 40 percent discount from the usual rates.
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