NEW DELHI, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Independent software vendor Gradatim, a specialist in creating technology solutions for businesses that offer microfinance products and services, migrated to the Windows Azure cloud platform to simplify its service configuration and gain global scalability, achieving an 84 percent decrease in project deployment time and saving an estimated $2 million (U.S.). (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO) In 2011, Gradatim evaluated a number of shared services platforms, including IBM SmartCloud, and selected Windows Azure, the Microsoft cloud services development, hosting and management environment. "We wanted a platform-as-a-service solution, not just cloud infrastructure," said CV Prakash, founder and CEO of Gradatim. "We concluded that Windows Azure offered the best long-term value and the most reliable cloud platform for transforming our business." "Microfinance" describes the market for financial instruments such as loans and insurance policies, which involve small principal and transaction amounts. Service providers must be agile enough to quickly develop low-cost, custom products that can be accessed anywhere, including on mobile devices. To capitalize on the growing demand for its insurance policy and loan management applications, Gradatim chose to migrate its solutions to Windows Azure to achieve simplicity and global scalability. By eliminating the need to set up datacenters and invest in server hardware to deliver its solutions, Gradatim substantially reduced its operating expenses. The company estimates that the cost savings from adopting Windows Azure will total about $2 million (U.S.) over the next 18 months. The company previously needed about three months to fully deploy its solutions to customers. The same work can now be done in two weeks, which represents an 84 percent increase in efficiency. "Faster deployments mean that we start generating revenue from each project faster, so we have more flexibility in the investment decisions that we make to grow our business," Prakash said. The on-demand resource availability and scalability offered by Azure also helps the company spend less time planning customer deployments.