Earth Networks Uses Microsoft Azure to Enhance WeatherBug

API management solution lowers maintenance burden, improves the user experience, saves money, and boosts sales opportunities.

July 5, 2016

 

The Challenge

Best known for its WeatherBug brand, Earth Networks, is a world-leader in weather data provision. In the face of rising maintenance costs and unwieldy management processes, Earth Networks sought to increase profit margins and the user-experience for its API-based weather feed—PulseAPI.

PulseAPI had been hosted on two different API platforms—neither of which could fulfil Earth Networks’ requirements. Persistent challenges included:

  • High maintenance costs—Despite shifting from one vendor to the next, Earth Networks’ profit margins continued to be impacted.
  • Poor UI/UX experience—Earth Networks was increasingly frustrated with UI/UX experience issues on the front- and back-end. In addition, problems differentiating between product lines and policies, led to frequent errors.  
  • Insufficient sales automation—Without an integrated API platform within its own infrastructure, Earth Networks’ existing sales automation process was compromised. As a result, instead of leveraging the company's Salesforce platform, all sales opportunities for the PulseAPI enterprise solution were handled via email. This required staff to attend to each sales inquiry individually and manually enter opportunity data into Salesforce CRM—a time- and resource-intensive process.

To address these challenges, Earth Networks partnered with EastBanc Technologies to migrate to a more cost-effective API platform, significantly decreasing costs and improving front- and back-end user experience.

 

The Solution

As a technology agnostic company, EastBanc Technologies collaborated with Earth Networks to evaluate several API platform options. It was determined that a migration to Microsoft Azure API Management would not only lead to significant overhead reduction, but also allow for an increased level of customization.

Azure API Management is a cloud-based API management tool that ensures that API programs reach their fullest potential by enabling users to manage their APIs from end-to-end and publish web services as APIs reliably, securely, and to scale.

Coupled with Microsoft Azure Active Directory, the solution delivered the following benefits:

  • Enhanced user experience—The solution’s unique identity management capabilities allow for a single sign-on and seamless user experience throughout all applications and WeatherBug products, including PulseAPI —a key building block of the cloud-based API management solution.
  • Improved developer tools—The developer experience is also augmented with an auto-generated documentation process for published PulseAPI and an online HTTP request tool.  
  • New sales opportunities—In addition, a custom subscription page intuitively guides users through WeatherBug’s various products resulting in additional cross-sales and cross-pollination opportunities.
  • Integrated e-commerce and sales automation capabilities—PayPal and Salesforce were also integrated with Azure API Management through a single custom subscription module incorporating entry-points for B2B and B2C sales channels.

 

Results

With EastBanc Technologies’ help, the transition to Azure API Management resulted in nearly $200,000 savings per-year. With an improved administrative interface and back-end automation, Earth Networks’ IT team has seen a substantial decrease in the number of support tickets. In addition, the team no longer focuses on time-consuming maintenance tasks and instead can dedicate more time to development of new product lines.

An increase in sales also proved to be a significant outcome. Because the single online profile management portal exposes PulseAPI users to other WeatherBug offerings, the solution has optimized the cross-sell experience and increased user loyalty.

As Jay Fristedt of Earth Networks explains, “We’ve reduced overall customer support tickets dramatically to a point where it’s extremely stable and we have not had any complaints…our clients are happy and we’re extremely ecstatic that it’s working this well.”

 

To learn how EastBanc Technologies’ experts can help your organization thrive, contact:

Jill DaSilva| Director of Sales Operations | jdasilva@eastbanctech.com

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