Interview with Marco António Fernandes Ferreira Soares, founder and CEO of InovRetail.

Web site: www.inovretail.com

Tell us who you are and your role in the company:

I am Inovretail founder and Joint CEO and I have over 14 years experience in the IT Retail space (food and non-food). I was formerly a Delivery Manager within Wipro Retail (a Wipro Company). I am an experienced Delivery Manager and have played pivotal roles in Sonae Distribuição Portugal, Sonae Distribuição Brasil, Debenhams, Nisa Todays, Esprit, Tesco Central Europe and Despar.

What is your company’s mission?

Improve the customer retail experience, making store environments more appealing, dynamic and efficient, with measurable return to our clients.

In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:

We are a Retail Innovation company, fully invested to Research & Development of new and advanced technological solutions designed to improve the customer store experience. Our solutions help Retailers create Store Environments that are more appealing, dynamic and customer oriented, thus improving customer satisfaction and revenue potential.

We do it by delivering solutions that provide a never seen before in-depth insight and measuring capabilities on how customers interact with the Retail Space and its sensorial ecosystem, providing Retailers with unique tools to make fact-based business decisions regarding the store ecosystem.

Our team of experts and our solutions offer a highly differentiated approach to Customer Experience Management, delivering innovative and fully integrated solutions on an everyday changing world.

Tell us about your Azure based solution.

All our product suite is Azure based, we offer to our clients a CLOUD full compliant customer experience management tool that communicates with retailers in house systems.

How is Azure implemented in your solution?

Azure is present along all product flow, integrations from retailers systems into our system is based on  BLOB’s, our data tier is SQL Azure based and our services and front end are hosted services in azure. More, all our development infrastructure is Azure based being all our software development lifecycle subtended in Azure.

How did you get excited about Azure?

Being able to focus only on software development and not worry about managing infrastructure is the dream of any software company, don’t need to be worry about sizing, implement and maintain an internal infrastructure.

What were the Azure features that prompted you to decide to build on Azure?

The web based configuration portal making easy to manage complex and multiple environments was with no doubt one of the key points in the process decision.

What advice do you have for companies that are thinking about building in the cloud?

Your development mind set should be application driven instead of infrastructure driven; you have a huge pool of hardware resources to use whatever you need so no technical or functional decisions should be taken based on hardware restrictions.

What is the one thing that you would like readers to take away about your Azure app?

More than deliver value to our client business, our product is based on the best of breed technology in the market leading to fast implementations and reduced operational costs.