microsoft access on the iphone, ipad and in the cloud on azure

Transition from single- to multi-user with anywhere, anytime access for its employees requires optimization tuning of the application for the Cloud.

Target Media Solutions provides focused, niche marketing services to clients in the expectant and new mother marketplace, as well as various life stage markets. The firm already had an internally-built system that effectively managed its transactions, logistics, and client projects. According to Target Media Solutions EVP Joe Fitzgerald, “The database application evolved and improved, and working well, with one drawback—it was strictly single-user.”

“Never did I expect to get a complete, professional migration to the cloud for just a few thousand dollars plus negligible monthly hosting fees.”

Meanwhile, several users in the company now needed access to the system, from wherever they happened to be—working from mobile locations is a regular practice at Target Media Solutions.

Recognizing that cloud migration is not a trivial step

When Fitzgerald saw the need to add multi-user and offsite access, he realized this was a significant upgrade and professional help was warranted. “As I looked at all the components of migrating and hosting our system on our own, the complexities—the potential issues—became more evident,” says Fitzgerald.

Eliminating risk of cost overrun with a fixed price

Since the database application was written in Access, Fitzgerald investigated a number of Microsoft certified developers and cloud support firms. “The total project cost cited by Help4Access was in line with the estimates we received from other sources,” says Fitzgerald. “There was one critical difference. Help4Access gave us a fixed price. They committed to deliver the complete solution at that price.”

The cloud deployment strategy: port the application and data, tune for the cloud, and host

Target Media Solutions turned to Help4Access to help design the right deployment strategy and launch the new application. “Together, we agreed to utilize Microsoft Azure. Help4Access split our Access application; the preexisting front end goes on any device, and our data is stored in Azure.”

Help4Access’s team used a variety of technologies including Microsoft Azure, SQL Server, Microsoft Access, and Cloud Computing to design the deployment process around Target Media Solutions’ needs. The team ported the Access application into the cloud, tuned it to function optimally in that environment, and handled all hosting so that Target Media Solutions could focus on running its business rather than supporting its technology.

Says Fitzgerald, “Help4Access kept our risk low by maintaining us on the original application while we fully tested the new cloud system. We did not cut over until we saw it was running perfectly.”

Now all authorized Target Media Solutions employees can access and update orders, shipping information, and customer transaction data simultaneously and from anywhere.

Fitzgerald’s assessment now that the cloud migration is complete: “They delivered on every promise. We had an excellent ROI from this project.”

“A traditional approach to this project would likely have required us to purchase additional hardware and ongoing infrastructure support, two costs that we eliminated by deploying the application in the cloud,” says Fitzgerald.

Takeaway: Many small- and medium-sized businesses, and workgroups within enterprises need to graduate an Access application from single-user to multi-user—while meeting growing demand for anywhere, anytime access. Porting to the cloud is a good time to resolve both issues, and requires that the issues of accessibility, security, optimal performance availability are addressed.