Enroute and Microsoft Cloud Computing Initiative Combine to Deliver More Efficient Shipping Solution

Windows Azure supports better development, deployment, scalability and reliability

Oct 28, 2010, 13:30 ET from Enroute Systems Corporation

BELLEVUE, Wash., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft PDC10 – Today at Microsoft's Professional Developer's Conference, Enroute® Systems Corporation (www.enroutecorp.com) announced deployment of shipping solutions, ShipIt! Analytics and ShipIt! Portal, on Microsoft's Windows Azure Platform.

ShipIt! Analytics enables import of carrier invoice data into a web-accessible dashboard, providing businesses immediate insight into the efficiency of their shipping processes. ShipIt! Portal leverages the data realized in ShipIt! Analytics to deliver an end-to-end shipment execution solution for selecting the right carrier and right service at the point of shipment – whether shipping across the state or around the world.

By moving from Amazon's EC2 infrastructure to Microsoft Windows Azure, Enroute will benefit in a number of areas including better support for development, deployment, scalability and redundancy. Windows Azure provides Enroute the on-demand storage and web applications that the ShipIt! Solutions require.

Enroute Helps Businesses Ship Packages More Efficiently

Finding ways to save money can be challenging. With Enroute's web-based ShipIt! Solutions, businesses are saving up to 30% of their parcel shipping costs while improving shipment quality and carrier reliability.

Enroute begins an engagement with a business by first offering an analytics solution (ShipIt! Analytics) that helps a company determine how much they are spending on shipping with UPS, FedEx and other global carriers. This initial analysis is offered at no charge and covers 90 days of shipping data. Upon initial analysis, Enroute then determines and suggests optimal future ways to ship packages to other warehouses, store locations, or customers, and then delivers businesses a comprehensive shipment execution solution (ShipIt! Portal).  ShipIt! Portal enables the shipment of packages using multiple global carriers, as well as regional carriers and postal solutions.  

Within 3 months, Enroute customers typically save up to 30% of their parcel shipping costs by using ShipIt! technologies.  Zumiez, an Enroute customer, fulfills goods from a single warehouse in Corona, CA to over 390 store locations across the United States, and expects to reduce their parcel shipment costs from $12 million/year in 2009 to $9.5 million/year in 2010.  

Supporting multiple carriers in a single, web-based solution has permitted Enroute customers to eliminate use of their current carrier's heavy monolithic software programs and individual carrier work stations - improving the speed of the shipment process and internal productivity. Additionally, pre-determined business rules enable Enroute customers to effortlessly choose the best carrier and service based on time-in-transit, reliability, or price. ShipIt! Portal also offers manifest reporting and complete multi-carrier tracking, while supporting integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP, Mail Order Manager, and all other ODBC compliant databases.

Zumiez and other customers, such as Theo Chocolate and Renton Western Wear, are already benefiting by reducing their total shipping and improving their shipping processes. Enroute puts power back in the hands of the business that ships.

"Enroute has cleverly leveraged the benefits of cloud computing to create a simple to use shipping solution that is both easier to use and quicker to evolve than the legacy solutions," said Peter Christy, Principal at Silicon Valley-based Internet Research Group (IRG),"Cutting costs without compromising customer service is top of mind in most businesses today, and, every dollar saved by Enroute goes directly to the bottom line."

Implementation of Windows Azure

Prior to implementing on Windows Azure, Enroute solely hosted their solutions on Amazon's EC2 infrastructure. Windows Azure attracted Enroute for a number of reasons, including better support for development, deployment, maintenance, scalability and redundancy.

"Enroute requires a cloud computing environment that can scale to support the shipping industry's needs to contain costs on each of the 25 million packages shipped in the United States every single day." said Keith McCall, CEO of Enroute Systems. "We chose Windows Azure because it not only provides the value-added services we demand, but it also delivers a highly scalable and reliable cloud services operating system."

Azure integrates directly with Enroute's Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server development environment, which eliminates the prior requirement of copying files manually to a virtual server environment. Providing SQL Server functionality in cloud-based Microsoft SQLAzure services has enabled easy testing client-side before pushing to a live staging server environment. Because Enroute customers ship 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, downtime is not an option. Enroute benefits greatly from Windows Azure's offering of multiple instances - if one instance goes down, another can pick up services immediately, improving Enroute's customer satisfaction.  

About Enroute

Based in Bellevue, Washington, Enroute Systems Corporation is redefining how businesses ship. With Enroute's web-based solutions, businesses are saving up to 30% of their parcel shipping costs while improving shipment quality and carrier reliability. Enroute delivers ShipIt! Analytics and ShipIt! Portal with no upfront costs or obligation required. Learn more at www.enroutecorp.com.

About Windows Azure

Windows Azure™ is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Windows Azure platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage web applications on the internet through Microsoft® datacenters.

Windows Azure is a flexible platform that supports multiple languages and integrates with your existing on-premises environment. To build applications and services on Windows Azure, developers can use their existing Microsoft Visual Studio® expertise. In addition, Windows Azure supports popular standards, protocols and languages including SOAP, REST, XML, Java, PHP and Ruby. Windows Azure is now commercially available in 40 countries.

SOURCE Enroute Systems Corporation