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CCH Sees Promise In Microsoft's Windows Azure(TM) Platform
Jan 27, 2010 (03:01 PM EST)


RIVERWOODS, Ill., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CCH sees promise in the use of the Microsoft® Windows Azure platform to migrate its tax and accounting solutions to the cloud. CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, is a leading provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services (CCHGroup.com).

"We felt especially interested in offering customers the ability to switch between on-premise and hosted versions of our software, so we could give our customers the flexibility to adopt the option that best met their needs," said CCH Vice President of Advance Technology Scott Gruchot.

Windows Azure Platform: A "Compelling Option"

After considering hosting solutions from several vendors, CCH selected the Windows Azure platform from Microsoft for evaluation. The Windows Azure platform is an Internet-scale cloud services platform that is hosted in Microsoft data centers and provides an operating system and a set of developer services that can be used individually or together.

"For us, the Windows Azure platform provided a compelling option," said CCH Lead Architect Jones Pavan. "It includes more services than other offerings, not to mention hands-off, low-cost maintenance."

Migrating Was Easy

CCH encountered little difficulty in migrating a test application to Windows Azure and effectively securing its services with certificate-based authentication in the cloud.

"We were surprised that so few code changes were necessary for successfully testing the system in the Windows Azure platform," Pavan said.

Having previously used Microsoft's development environment, the project developers have appreciated working with a common tool set from Microsoft.

"It's been a very positive experience," said Pavan. "The concepts behind cloud computing are different than with traditional software solutions, but the Windows Azure platform environment is similar to what our developers are used to."

Customers Can Benefit

For CCH customers, adding a Windows Azure-based solution to its existing repertoire offers minimal start-up costs and hardware investments, with flexible scalability.

"With Windows Azure, we see the possibility of offering applications connected to customers' ERP systems with lower costs and less responsibility for managing the software, database or server environments," said Gruchot. "It's the best of all worlds."

With two platforms available, customers will also be able to ease into using the application. They may use the Windows Azure version first and invest in infrastructure later, if they want to bring the solution in-house.

"Since they can move either direction, customers will be able to choose when they want full control and when they'd prefer not to worry about solution maintenance," Gruchot said.

The company is also excited about the opportunities that the Windows Azure platform offers with regard to starting new projects.

"The Windows Azure platform environment is immediately available, with no up-front hardware investment necessary. Our experience to date makes the Windows Azure platform a relevant option for CCH in the future," Gruchot said.

For More Information

For more information on CCH's evaluation of the Windows Azure platform, visit Ben Riga's Deep Shift blog and video interview with CCH developers, "Windows Azure Lessons Learned: CCH" and visit a Microsoft case study here.

About CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business

CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business (CCHGroup.com) is a leading provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services. It has served tax, accounting and business professionals since 1913. CCH is based in Riverwoods, Ill. Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing company. Visit www.wolterskluwer.com for information about our market positions, customers, brands, and organization.

SOURCE CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business