Jennifer20McCrum20author20block_3eb1cca4-5e78-4564-bde9-00a254a8749b

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To support the massive technology needs of his Brazil-based online-video distribution business, Samba Tech CEO Gustavo Caetano used Amazon Web Services. And after running business on AWS for three years, he was content with it.

So, when Microsoft invited him to look into Microsoft Azure in 2015, Caetano initially declined. He thought Microsoft was “old school” and he was happy with what he had. But Caetano was also one to explore new opportunities to grow his business—so he went to Redmond to learn more.

Fast-forward to June 2016, and Samba Tech has found success beyond its geographic borders, with new offices in the United States, and beyond its technology “borders” with a new Azure-based app.

What happened?

When technology is more than just technology

Switching to Azure was more than a technology benefit to Caetano—it was an overall business benefit. And Caetano says his company is benefiting even while it continues to move all its workloads to Azure, a process that’s targeted for completion next year.

In Redmond, Caetano was introduced to a “new” Microsoft: “more humble, more flexible, and laser focused on cloud computing,” he says. And what he saw in Azure made his jaw drop. “Oh man, Microsoft is years ahead of Amazon in video and media technology,” Caetano recalls thinking. For example, Azure offered Samba Tech state-of-the-art technologies for video transcoding, digital rights management, media services, livestreaming, video on demand, speech-to-text, translations, and more, meeting his needs better than other providers.

To Caetano, those differences were more than a technology benefit—they were a business benefit. He quickly realized about 15 of the cloud services he was using could be replaced immediately by Azure Media Services. The result does more than just save cost; this one-stop shop for media services was more comprehensive than Samba Tech’s fragmented solution, which used AWS and third-party vendors.

“Suddenly we could do everything in one place—encoding, transcoding and streaming,” Caetano says. “That’s amazing.”

Because the vastly simplified video workflow no longer passes through multiple vendors, Samba Tech gains faster performance and greater reliability—and so do its customers, which is reflected in more competitive service-level agreements.

Continued growth through partnership

There was another factor in Samba Tech’s decision to move to the Azure platform: the fact that Microsoft was invested in being both a technology provider and a strategic partner.

“I saw that with Microsoft, there was tremendous business upside, compared to Amazon,” Caetano says. “Microsoft could help us generate leads, grow our business, and become a global player. We’re developing key relationships with other Microsoft partners.”

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Last month, Samba Tech opened an office in Seattle and launched a US mobile video app called Kast, which goes beyond traditional corporate communications tools by adding audio and mobile video posts. Kast is powered by Samba Tech’s infrastructure and built on Microsoft Azure. “We see a huge opportunity to enable productivity in the corporate space, helping companies communicate in a more reliable, easy and natural way than traditional choices,” Caetano says.

Already, the move to Microsoft has netted it a big prize. “We’ve raised $3 million for our US expansion,” says Caetano. “Our adoption of Microsoft technology and relationship with Microsoft were absolutely big factors in that. The market is validating the choice we made to move to Microsoft.”

It’s a choice that Caetano validates, too.

“Our move to Microsoft is life-changing for Samba Tech,” he says. “Microsoft has much more than a cloud platform. It has the right vision, the right path to achieve that vision, and a real focus on helping its customers—its partners—to succeed. With Microsoft’s help, we’re expanding our business beyond our borders. We believe that we have tremendous growth ahead of us. I’ve dreamed of this success and with Microsoft we are making it a reality.”

For more on how Microsoft stands ready to help Amazon partners, check out the Microsoft Advantage, and if you haven’t already, join the Microsoft Partner Network today. For more on Samba Tech’s story, be sure to read the full case study.

Are you experiencing growing momentum with Azure? Share your stories and best practices with me at jmccrum@microsoft.com. If you have additional feedback or comments, share with us on our Facebook page!

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