Exclaimer utilises Microsoft Azure to take its software into the cloud

Exclaimer utilises Microsoft Azure to take its software into the cloud
Vendor’s new service provides the same benefits as on-premise software

Elly Yates-Roberts |

E-mail signature management solutions provider Exclaimer has over 50 million users worldwide in over 150 countries.

Exclaimer has been successful in selling its e-mail signature software since its inception in 2001. It was clear though that more organisations were migrating from on-premise server architecture to the cloud. Exclaimer had to ensure that it could adapt to this fundamental change to IT processes.

The company decided to build a dedicated cloud version of its software as a value-added solution to Microsoft Office 365. It wanted this new service to provide the same benefits as its on-premise software, but have it work exclusively within the Microsoft Cloud environment.

Designing a product to work in the cloud meant a complete rethink about how Exclaimer builds its software.

“What we couldn’t do when we started this project was simply rewrite our on-premises software,” said Daniel Richardson, chief technology officer at Exclaimer. “We knew that to provide customers with the best experience, we needed to create a solution specifically for the cloud, essentially building it ‘from the ground up’. With this in mind, we wanted to take full advantage of the natural scalability and reliability available in Microsoft Azure. This meant we could take advantage of the full set of webscale technologies available within Azure, such as automatic failovers, placing all of our roles behind load balancers to provide a single network service across multiple Azure servers around the world. This would allow our service to scale automatically at all times, so the reliability and scalability of Azure went hand-in-hand with what we wanted to achieve.”

Richardson says that as security is of paramount importance to the company, storing anyone’s e-mail in the servers wasn’t an option.

“This would open us up to a whole host of data protection issues,” he said. “By utilising the Azure platform, no e-mail sent requiring a signature ever leaves the Microsoft Cloud environment, which is why we built our service as a relay. In essence, it accepts the message sent from Office 365, performs the operation of adding a signature and then passes it back to Office 365 for sending as normal. It is still Microsoft sending the e-mail; we just add the signature.”

“Our service now processes around 17 million e-mails a day, a figure that continues to increase, and it can intelligently scale during peak sending periods without any mailflow delays. We simply would not be able to do this without utilising Azure due to the sheer quantity of e-mails we are adding signatures to.”

With the need for companies to ensure that their data never leaves their country of origin, Microsoft has committed to building more regional Azure data centres worldwide. Exclaimer decided to move with the times.

“We decided to expand our service to more regional Azure data centres in order to adhere to data residency and handling laws,” said Andrew Millington, chief executive officer at Exclaimer. “This means we now utilise 14 Azure data centres worldwide, the largest of any e-mail signature management provider on the market. As we grow as a business, the number of Azure data centres we utilise grows with us!”

The results for Exclaimer were immediate. Upon the release of its service, Exclaimer Cloud - Signatures for Office 365, uptake among new and current customers was rapid.

“Creating an Azure application such as ours has been a huge success for Exclaimer,” said Millington. “It has changed the very nature of our business and transformed us from an on-premises software vendor into a cloud-first Azure service provider. As a result, we are now going through the fastest period of expansion in the company’s history and it would not have been possible without the use of Azure.”

The service is now being used by more than one million users from more than 14 Azure data centre locations worldwide.

Millington added: “With the use of Microsoft’s cutting-edge technology, we are able to offer an excellent service to customers and empower thousands of channel partners worldwide with a cloud-based service that ensures professional branding on all corporate e-mail. The future looks really bright for Exclaimer and we are very excited about the journey we are currently on.”

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