Today, Microsoft announced that Herbalife Ltd. Inc. has decided to have its global distributors’ websites hosted on Windows Azure.
Through this move, the company is providing its independent distributors with the possibility to come up with custom retail websites aimed at helping them to expand their businesses.
Having its website platform hosted on Windows Azure
is expected to result in significantly reduced time to market for Herbalife, Microsoft notes.
Additionally, the company should no longer need to invest significant capital, while being capable to react to changing capacity demands in real time.
Herbalife explains that it did plan to provide its distributors in over 80 countries with the option to deploy customized retail experiences for shoppers.
However, the company concluded that the costs for supporting the creation of these individual websites for its distributors around the world would have been massive, and that it would have also required significant investment in work hours.
The company was supposed to take care of licensing, hardware purchases, datacenters construction, and the like, which involved massive investments.
Although it aimed at rolling out features slowly to its distributors, it did need an infrastructure and the capability to scale fast across markets as soon as the base offering was finished.
Thus, the company decided to choose cloud computing and went for Windows Azure to take advantage of its flexibility and cost efficiency.
Now, the company is capable of meeting its goals, while Herbalife independent distributors are getting ready to launch around 100,000 retail websites within the first three years of deployment.
“Herbalife was able to use its existing Microsoft ASP.NET expertise and Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate tools to create the cloud-based website platform it wanted,” said Doug Hauger, general manager, Windows Azure, Microsoft Corp.
“This kind of global consistency will help keep Herbalife’s independent distributors on the forefront of retail website strategies.”