VANCOUVER, Canada — May 1, 2012 — Global content services and photography provider VRX Studios turned to Microsoft’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud platform, Windows Azure, to replace its costly, unscalable, server-based digital asset management system and, in the process, developed one of the world’s first 100 percent cloud-based digital asset management systems. Built 100 percent from the ground up on Windows Azure, MediaValet can scale to meet the needs of any size company, in any industry, and is available on datacenters around the world. Today MediaValet is a stand-alone service that is quickly gaining market share in a 20-year-old, billion-dollar, global industry.
“The moment we launched MediaValet, we were competing head-to-head, on a global stage, with the largest digital asset management software providers on the planet,” said David MacLaren, founder and CEO of VRX Studios and now of MediaValet. “Windows Azure enabled us to harness more than a decade of experience in producing, managing, distributing and licensing digital media to build an enterprise-class digital asset management system — in less than 12 months — that can compete with the best and biggest in the digital asset management industry.”
Windows Azure enables MediaValet to scale in real time to accommodate its customers’ daily storage, bandwidth and computing requirements as well as easily and cost-effectively scale over time to meet the company’s long-term needs. Azure deployment eliminated the formidable upfront investment and ongoing maintenance costs faced by MediaValet in providing a digital asset management system that is available on datacenters throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
In considering their options, the MediaValet team contemplated Amazon Web Services and Google Apps but found neither met their needs. “We turned to Windows Azure because it gave us the tools, the infrastructure and the support to solve our short- and long-term business challenges,” MacLaren said. “As a platform-as-a-service cloud offering, Azure lets us focus all our resources on building the solution we required and left building, managing and maintaining the global infrastructure that we required entirely up to Microsoft.”
The VRX Studios team initially pitched their new digital asset management system to travel and hospitality companies, which made up the bulk of their customer list; however, the surprising range of businesses calling for service estimates post-launch compelled the team to expand their sales and marketing efforts to cover all industries on all continents. With the realization that managing digital assets had become a daunting challenge for companies of all sizes all over the world, MacLaren decided to build a new team to focus solely on this new opportunity. That new team became MediaValet.
The scalability of Window Azure enabled MediaValet to meet the needs of small regional companies with hundreds of gigabytes of assets and a few dozen users all the way up to multinational corporations with terabytes of assets and tens of thousands of users. In addition to MediaValet’s inherent scalability, Microsoft Corp.’s global network of datacenters allowed MediaValet to offer its digital asset management services on a global scale on the day it launched, enabling real-time access to a company’s digital assets. Other key features that MediaValet inherited include triple redundancy and geo-replication, which provides backup against regional disasters or conflicts. All in all, Windows Azure helped MediaValet launch a world-class digital asset management system in half the time and for half the investment than was previously possible.
“On day one we came to market with an industry-leading set of features and benefits, delivered on a global scale, that no one could match for the price,” MacLaren said. “Before Azure, building and launching such a system was practically impossible unless you were heavily funded and had a massive IT team.”
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