Posted by Prisda Gomutputra
Platform Strategy Lead, Microsoft Thailand

Bangkok-based Semantic Touch creates online marketing solutions for small- and medium- sized businesses. The company has developed BentoWeb, a ready-to-deploy e-commerce solution that enables businesses to quickly launch web storefronts online and on Facebook.

BentoWebWithin five months of their Facebook launch, the beta version of BentoWeb, built using PHP and MySQL, had attracted 8,000 online businesses and enabled over 60,000 transactions. However, to take the solution further, Semantic Touch was faced with some critical infrastructure choices.

“My biggest challenge was coping with growth,” said Natthaseth Sirinanthanon, General Manager of Semantic Touch. “As a startup, attempting to build the server capacity to meet unpredictable spikes in demand would be foolhardy: not just expensive, but also a risky investment. Managing that infrastructure would also be a huge drag on my small and already stretched team.”

Semantic Touch decided to deploy their PHP application on Windows Azure due to the reliability, low upfront cost, and openness of Microsoft’s public cloud platform, as well as its ability to support rapid expansion.

“In just a few days, we were up and running in Windows Azure. Because the platform supports PHP, our developers didn’t have to learn any new development languages.” said Natthaseth. “I believe that Microsoft is doing their best to make PHP a first-class citizen on their cloud platform.”

Windows Azure is also simplifying Semantic Touch’s delivery of mobile apps across muliptle platforms.

“We can now power ahead with our plans to develop mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows, without any worry because Windows Azure supports them all,” said Nattheseth. “We can now rely on a common back-end in Windows Azure to create consistent, mobile experiences.”

For more on how Windows Azure is delivering a secure, reliable, and open platform for Semantic Touch and their customers, please see the compete case study.