United Kingdom (U.K.)–based service has released its customer complaints and feedback application through the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. The Web supported software is hosted by Microsoft Software-plus-Services Incubation Center Partner Rackspace Hosting. This means customers get a secure, round-the-clock hosted environment.

Business Needs
Internet-based service offers customer feedback and complaint management to small to edium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The organization, based in Surrey in the U.K., evolved in 2008 from a group of companies that have specialized in this field of software solutions for 18 years. The system, launched in September 2009, was developed on the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 and is supported by Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise data management software. It helps companies in several markets— including financial services and hospitality—improve customer service and drive business performance by capturing feedback and turning it into business intelligence. is the first company to deliver this type of echnology as a multi-tenanted SaaS application. Paul Clark, Chief Executive Officer,, explains: “It’s far more cost effective for us to manage just one application, as opposed to one application per customer.” With this approach, also cuts the cost of deploying applications. Matthew Hendy, Head of Product Development,, says: “The cost of installing our software was ften
beyond the reach of smaller businesses. We needed to build an application that could be delivered faster, and which customers could access over the Web.” But Hendy explains that the SaaS model is still relatively new to the SME market, and has to provide customers with the right assurances that their data is afe. Not only that, but to deliver this model, the organization needed to choose a hosting partner to provide 24-hour-a-day, sevenday-a-week access. It also had to be sure that the application was robust and could scale to support millions of users without the risk of downtime.

Solution turned to Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Rackspace Hosting to host the application. Clark says: “Rackspace Hosting offered us a dedicated environment, which is supported and stable, as well as professionalism, strong knowledge of the SaaS industry, and fast time to market.” Rackspace Hosting is one f the world’s largest managed hosting companies, with more than 3,000 employees and 53,000 customers. In 2009, annual turnover grew by more than 18 percent worldwide. John Tridgell, Enterprise Marketing Manager, Rackspace osting, says that a significant proportion of its revenue comes from hosting for SaaS companies. “These figures reflect the growth of SaaS as a business model, as many businesses start to see its benefits,” he says. “The global economic crisis means that organizations are increasingly looking to outsource IT and avoid capital expenditure where possible.” Rackspace Hosting forms part of the Microsoft Software-plus-Services Incubation Center Program and was chosen for its understanding of the business needs of independent software vendors. This knowledge helped it propose an infrastructure to suit “We were able to develop our application quickly because we didn’t have to build the infrastructure,” says Hendy. “By working with  specialist, we cut costs significantly.” customers access the solution, which is hosted by Rackspace Hosting, using a browser on any device with an Internet connection. There’s no need for customers to nvest in additional infrastructure, nor is there a need to install software at the customer site. Rackspace Hosting provides backup, disaster recovery, and support. “ can focus on developing software and aking improvements, without having to worry about infrastructure, maintenance, software updates, and onitoring,” says Tridgell. Andrew Aldred, Head of Marketing,, says: “As the world’s first online omplaint and feedback service, we potentially have global market reach. It is critical that we work with reliable technology partners to ensure we deliver an exceptional service, as problems could have a negative effect on our brand.”

Working with Rackspace Hosting to deliver its scalable and secure customer complaints application through the SaaS model, can now reach new markets. In particular, smaller businesses—which might not otherwise be able to afford this type of solution—can benefit. “By accessing our solution over the Internet, customers pay a fixed price and have no additional overheads. They don’t need specialist IT skills to use the solution, and we don’t have to make onsite visits to install or administer it,” says Hendy.

  • SaaS model speeds time to market. can get its application up and running with a customer in 24 hours, whereas previously it might have taken six months. “The SaaS application is probably around 10 percent of the cost of an on-premise solution,” says Hendy.

  • Smaller customers keep costs down.

The organization can help its customers focus on complaints and feedback, and take a more informed approach to mproving the business without the high cost traditionally associated with managing similar applications. Customers pay a fixed subscription fee rather than huge upfront costs for licenses and installation.

  • Self-service application ensures easy delivery.

There’s no need for to go to every customer site to install the application, or wait for ustomers to buy the necessary hardware. It can handle updates centrally so customers don’t have to worry about updating the software.

  • Company can focus on strategic activities. can concentrate on its business and put its IT team to better use developing applications rather than maintaining IT infrastructure.

  • Hosted environment offers maximum security.

Rackspace Hosting helps provide the highest level of security to protect customer data. Customers are assured that the hosted solution provides optimum protection against viruses or other security reaches.

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