The company started off with a mission to transform the way diaries and appointment software were used, and how they are experienced. Their answer is an elegant cloud-based solution—Timely. “Our goal was to banish paper diaries and clunky appointment software from the face of the earth by providing beautiful cloud-based appointment scheduling software that is affordable and fun to use,” shared Co-founder of Timely, Andrew Schofield.
From brainchild to business
Enrolling in Microsoft for Startups, then known as Microsoft BizSpark, proved to be a wise move for the team. With BizSpark, the team secured Azure credits of $200 per month which provided a boost to their early operations, effectively getting their idea off the ground. More importantly, they had the support and backing of Microsoft New Zealand in terms of technical and startup advice.
As the team started with the Microsoft development stack right from day one, they found it made sense to continue leveraging Microsoft expertise and tools going forward. “We built Timely on the Microsoft development stack, so going with Microsoft Azure from the get-go was a total no-brainer,” Andrew Schofield, Co-founder of Timely shared, “This was one of the best business decisions we made early on, and as our business grows, we try to take advantage of everything that Azure has to offer—although it’s hard to keep up at times!”
A timely boost by Azure
The team found Microsoft Azure to be a highly responsive platform that enabled them to scale with ease and rapidly ship their solution to market. “It’s incredibly easy to spin up new infrastructure, and as the scope and complexity of our requirements has grown, Azure has grown with us.”
The company now powers their platform out of multiple Azure data centres. “We now run Timely out of multiple Azure data centres, with a significant SQL Azure backend, and we utilise other services including Web Apps, Azure Functions, Service Bus, Redis, Azure Search to name a few,” shared Andrew Schofield, “Our development and deployment process makes extensive use of Azure DevOps, and this provides end-to-end capability for the planning, development, testing and release of new features.”
Well-timed market fit
With the early support of Microsoft BizSpark and Microsoft Azure platform, the team managed to create an MVP (minimum viable product), which received a ton of positive feedback. This set the stage for further product iteration and roll out, significantly facilitating their speed to market. Through the development process, the team’s expertise in Azure grew, and enabled them to achieve the status of Microsoft Gold Application Development Partner, “Being a Gold Application Development Partner demonstrates to our customers and partners that Timely is a serious contender in the SaaS appointment space.”
Empowering new possibilities
The team is confident that there will be opportunities to leverage the latest features Azure has to offer. “As Azure continues to add new features and benefits every day, we’ll continue to make the most of it where we can.” The company is now exploring how best to integrate AI into their platform. “We want Timely to make smart recommendations to our customers, such as suggesting new products to sell, allowing them to be better business owners,” shared Co-founder of Timely, Andrew Schofield. “We’re also using machine learning to predict churn among our customers, so that we can proactively engage with customers and take steps to retain them. The machine learning capability of Azure is ideally suited for these use cases,” said Andrew Schofield.
“We built Timely on the Microsoft development stack, so going with Microsoft Azure from the get-go was a total no-brainer,” Andrew Schofield, Co-founder of Timely shared. “This was one of the best business decisions we made early on, and as our business grows, we try to take advantage of everything that Azure has to offer—although it’s hard to keep up at times!”