Interview with Sanjay Bhatia, CEO of Izenda.

Web site: www.izenda.com.

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

CEO and Chief Software Architect.

What is your company’s mission?

Nearly half of one billion people use software applications that are powered by a Microsoft SQL server. We strive to give them all direct, self-service access to their data—without the headaches.

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

Izenda delivers ad hoc reporting, data virtualization and real-time dashboards to end-users via HTML5.

Tell us about your Azure based solution.  

Customers have the option of deploying Izenda on a windows server or accessing SelfServiceReports.com where they can upload data and securely deliver a complete BI experience to their end users.   

How is Azure implemented in your solution?  

Izenda Reports runs as a multi-tenant Azure instance as well and stores all data on SQL Azure.  Additionally, many customers opt to deploy it on their own Azure instances along with the core LOB application that generates the data.  

How did you get excited about Azure?  

We were one of the original companies to launch on Azure during Azure Incubation Week.

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

Primarily the ability to store and execute SQL data and access it via TDS.  The way it securely stores data in a compliant manner and keeps redundant backups is great.  We also love being able to get read-only access to the redundant copies and shard the data.

What specific value are you getting from BizSpark beyond the technology?

We’ve grown dramatically in the last couple of years and BizSpark has definitely been a critical part of that success.   The access to software and Microsoft has given us direction and saved us a lot of time. Having the software access certainly didn’t hurt either.

What has been your biggest “aha” moment since founding your company?  

People really do love data!  While IT has made data access a complex burden, people love sports stats and play games that involve lots of data analysis.  If you make it fun and easy, most people naturally gravitate toward discovering insights in their data.

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

Don’t Walk, Run!  People are really buying experiences, not products and the cloud takes the application trial experience to a whole new level.  In a decade, nobody will even consider buying an application that someone has to manage.  Once your application is successful, you’ll need good ad hoc reporting and I hope you consider Izenda for that.  Also remember that groups that want cloud apps have zero IT capacity so everything has to be simple and user-oriented.  If you have to write a line of code and your competitor doesn’t, they win. 

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

I think one day this world will look and feel like paradise.  To get there we have to start making better decisions.  We now have the data.  Combining the power of cloud data with a friendly and inviting interface moves us toward a more perfect world.