Timely is a cloud-based appointment management system for any SME requiring scheduling of their staff and services. Here is an interview with Andrew Schofield, the Co-founder of Timely.
BizSpark: Tell us who you are and your role in the company.
Andrew: I’m one of the founders and “wearers of many hats” at Timely.
My co-founders and I have over 20 years combined experience developing online booking systems - our previous business “BookIt” provided booking solutions for the tourism industry and was acquired by New Zealand’s largest internet company, Trade Me, in 2010.
BizSpark: What is your company’s mission?
Andrew: Banish paper books and clunky software from the face of the earth by providing beautiful cloud-based appointment scheduling software that is affordable and fun to use.
BizSpark: In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
Andrew: Timely is a cloud-based appointment management system for any SME requiring scheduling of their staff and services.
BizSpark: Tell us about your Azure-based solution.
Andrew: Timely is built around the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.
We focus specifically on providing an awesome scheduling system that handles everything from multiple branches and multiple staff right through to SMS reminders, reporting and an online booking plug-in.
Timely works beautifully on smartphones and tablets: businesses can check their schedule while on the move and customers can book directly with service providers by accessing our mobile-optimized booking process.
We generate new business for our customers by integrating with social media, daily deal websites and business directories.
And Timely slots right into an existing eco-system of SaaS providers – it integrates with Xero for accounting and Vend for point-of-sale.
BizSpark: How is Azure implemented in your solution?
Andrew: The main application is delivered on multiple instances of an Azure cloud service.
We use worker roles to handle jobs such as SMS and email notifications.
Static content is hosted using the Azure CDN and automatically refreshed when we publish our application.
Service bus allows us to offload long running jobs from the main application.
BizSpark: How did you get excited about Azure?
Andrew: Azure does not require us to make significant up-front investment in servers and hardware.
It provides a rock-solid platform that we can easily scale up as the business grows. Azure is built on top of Microsoft’s global infrastructure so our application performs well for our customers all over the world.
BizSpark: What were the Azure features that prompted you to decide to build on Azure?
Andrew: Azure allows us to focus on building great software without fiddling around setting up infrastructure.
BizSpark: What specific value are you getting from BizSpark beyond the technology?
Andrew: Microsoft is a huge community and it's awesome to be part of it - we are finding other great companies to work with and it’s helping to generate new customers for our own business.
BizSpark: What has been your biggest “aha” moment since founding your company?
Andrew: One of our early adopters said the other day "I've stopped handing out cards with appointment times written on them - there's no need any more with Timely" - that's exactly what we want to do - provide cloud-software so small businesses can work smarter, not harder.
BizSpark: What advice do you have for companies that are thinking about building in the cloud?
Andrew: Get into it! Delivery of software over the cloud is the future of application delivery.
BizSpark: What is the one thing that you would like readers to take away about your Azure app?
Andrew: Timely is the new cool kid on the block.
Beautifully designed and built to take advantage of the latest web technology and trends, Timely is a refreshing change from the clunky and out of date software that small businesses have endured for too long.
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