E-Commerce Hope for Your Skeptical Parents?

If you are like my parents -- in their early sixties and living in a suburban area of a large Nortwestern US state -- you refuse to shop online because you don't have enough confidence in e-commerce. It's a sad fact that a significant percentage of the population of people who could benefit from shopping online don't do it, not because they don't have the devices to do so, but because they have bought into the horror stories about fraud that fly rampant on news networks. 

Trustev is a Microsoft BizSpark startup, and they have been working hard on an app, called Trustev Reliance, that reduces this anxiety by eliminating fraud.

The team behind it, based in Dublin, have created an easy to implement online identity verification tool to dramatically reduce e-commerce fraud. The entire solution is based off the flexibility and scalability that Azure provides. "From the client facing website, to our reporting back-end for merchants, right through to our API and JS plugin, we rely on Azure to provide the scalability and crunching power for all our critical real-time system," says Christoper Kennedy, CTO.

"Our entire solution is based off the flexibility and scalability that Azure provides. From the client facing website, to our reporting back-end for merchants, right through to our API and JS plugin, we rely on Azure to provide the scalability and crunching power for all our critical real-time systems."

We asked Kennedy a few questions about his Azure based solution, and this is what he told us:

BizSpark: What are some of the challenges you face as a founder or developer at a startup, when it comes to dealing with family life, or socially? Does working on a startup change the way you associate and interact in these areas?

Being in a startup is probably as close as you can get to legally having a second family. It goes beyond the normal idea of home life/work life, you spend a lot of time in high activity and high stress situations with your startup family. I think the trick is to make very deliberate attempts to make sure that both families are looked after and get the attention they need.

BizSpark: What characteristics do you possess that make you an entrepreneur? What makes your startup a startup?

I guess what makes us a startup was very much the notion that we started the company with the particular problem of eCommerce fraud identified, but at that time we had ideas about how we were going to solve it, but not a plan that was set in stone. As we spoke to more and more people and potential customers about the problem, solutions became more and more clear until we settled on the path we’ve now chosen. I think this ability to iterate and develop according the what you customers are actually looking for is at the heart of any good startup.


BizSpark: Can you describe the relationship that you have had with Microsoft in building your startup?

Microsoft have been a tremendous support to us in getting started; not just through the formal programs like Bizspark, but also as a sounding block for questions and somewhere we could go for expert advice at short notice. There’s a real sense there that they want us to succeed.

BizSpark: Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?

No matter what other providers are out there, no one can come close to the practical experience that Microsoft have in terms of software, both from a technical and business perspective. Some people may have a very outdated impression of Microsoft as an “mature” but we’ve been surprised and excited by the forward thinking nature of many of the people that we’ve been fortunate to interact with.

BizSpark: How did you get excited about Azure?

Having worked all my career with Microsoft technologies, before I ever saw it, I knew that their approach to cloud based technology would be the one that would best suit the way I build and plan projects. Once I started to use it and saw the tremendous flexibility in the offering I knew my gut feeling had been right.

BizSpark: What were the Azure features that prompted you to decide to build on Azure?

Scalability, ease of setting up geo-redundant instances, built on MS tech stack

BizSpark: What advice do you have for companies that are thinking about building in the cloud?

Don’t make the mistake of thinking the cloud is the solution, it’s only part of it!

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