Behind many of New Zealand's property management companies is Palace.
The software that handles their accounting, admin, inspections, ordering maintenance, collecting rent, and paying out owners. Everything you need to manage a property portfolio.
Starting out, Palace developed software for a range of real estate tools with the original property management system created by the father of current CTO, Duncan Abbott.
After Duncan came on board, the company ended up solely focusing on property management.
Palace was initially running on a legacy based system, installed locally at different sites. As the cloud became more popular, it was shifted to a ‘faux’ cloud-based product before ending up on Microsoft Azure.
Moving to the Cloud
Many factors led Palace to the cloud.
Led by Xero, it was where many software companies were going. It was the only way to scale, and with their clients asking them (because they didn't want to fork out another hundred thousand dollars for new servers), Palace knew they had to do it.
On their journey from legacy on-premise software to the cloud, Palace took an interim step.
Using a different platform, they were able to get on to the cloud without rewriting their property management software.
"However, there's a whole platform that you have to manage in between that doesn't make it a good long-term solution. Obviously, we had to rewrite the product. At some point, we had to bite the bullet and spend a lot of resources rewriting the product as a proper web-based service," says Duncan.
The team had previous experience with Microsoft tools, so Azure was a natural fit.
"Azure was really up and coming at the time, had a lot of exciting services that they were offering, and they just seem to have gone from strength to strength."
Rewriting their platform was a journey in itself, but they got there in the end.
Managing a New Platform
Azure was anew framework to develop on, and there was a learning curve for Duncan and his development team, which slowed down the project.
Managing costs was another issue.
"We just started throwing services together and not realising the implications of cost, the costs sort of spiralled out of control."
"Then when we had to go back and review what we didn't need and what we did need, it was quite a hard task trying to figure out what was costing us the most because the complexities of the cloud."
Engaging .EXE three years ago really helped.
"They approached me and said, Duncan, we know you're on Azure. This is what we can offer. And a lot of what they offered were the pain points that we had in our system."
By helping them identify what services they didn't need on the cloud, .EXE saved Palace between $20,000 and $60,000 per month in Azure costs.
In addition to managing costs, security was another challenge for Palace.
.EXE provided an option to audit their system from the start and, instead of just coming back with the problems, they also had solutions.
Duncan doesn't have to worry about Palace's security now as he knows, thanks to .EXE, that it is being monitored and managed.
The whole process is collaborative to make sure any security solutions don't inhibit the product's functionality.
Another key area where .EXE has helped immensely, is by finetuning Palace’s application so that it provides the best experience for their users.
And, while Palace has their own in-house development team, .EXE is on hand to help when they need extra or specialist resource, or to assist with big projects.
This includes supporting Palace’s DevOps. This is where development meets the operations side of the business – rapidly accelerating how software is developed and deployed.
.EXE Can Help
In short,.EXE came in and eased
As Duncan says, "they make sure that our software is delivered to wherever it needs to go via the cloud and address our concerns when things don't go properly."
"So, the value to the businesses is immeasurable in that respect because without them; we don't have a product."
If you're running software on Microsoft Azure, .EXE can help you deliver it efficiently and effectively, so it runs well and can significantly reduce your costs.
Get in touch.