The following is a contributed post by Marc Romano, CTO and co-founder at Seismic, a leading enterprise-grade sales enablement solution.
Innovative technology is at the core of what we do at Seismic. In fact, you might say we were born with it. Six years ago, the initial idea for Seismic came out of the rapid convergence of two other groundbreaking technologies at the time: cloud services and the proliferation of mobile devices.
When our founding team first came together, even though we came from different professional backgrounds, we all had personally witnessed an age-old problem in desperate need of an innovative technological solution: the misalignment between sales and marketing teams at large companies. Specifically, there was a near-ubiquitous inability to equip sales teams with the right content that helps close deals. Sales reps were wasting time searching for content in countless repositories, and marketing had little to no insight into what content sales was using or whether it was effective.
Thus we set out create a "sales enablement" solution to fill that gap between sales and marketing by automating the delivery of personalized sales content at the right point in the sales cycle. The only way for such a solution to be possible and effective would be to allow enterprises to host their sales content in one central location, hence the need for cloud services, and for sales reps to have access to it at any time and at any place, hence the need for mobile device proliferation.
So, since Seismic's inception, innovative technologies have gone hand-in-hand with our growth as a company, which naturally led to our decision to host our platform on Azure.
What we were looking for when it came to a cloud platform was a partner who shared our devotion to innovation, and Azure has delivered each step of the way. We currently leverage a wide array of Azure offerings, such as Azure Media Services, Azure Storage, Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Redis Cache, and Microsoft's commitment to introducing a steady stream of valuable new features gives our engineering team the confidence and bandwidth to continue to focus on developing core product features and making our 175+ enterprise customers happy.
Speaking of our customers, more than half of them bring in more than $1 billion in revenue, and many of them are in the Fortune 500. They are, by any definition, "enterprises." And there are few software platforms more omnipresent at large companies than the Microsoft Office Suite. We realized this early on in our company's history, helping lead to the development of our award-winning LiveDoc technology, which allows for the dynamic assembly of content by connecting sources of information such as CRMs with content creation tools such as Word and PowerPoint. Each time the data source is updated, the content is automatically updated as well, meaning sales reps never have to worry about outdated materials, and marketing teams can rest easy knowing their sales teams are using the most up-to-date collateral. Sales reps can then access and distribute these personalized pieces of sales collateral straight from their Microsoft Outlook account through Seismic's Outlook integration.
As you can see, our close connection with Microsoft's products is another reason why Azure is a seamless fit.
The Seismic/Azure combination has been a boon for our clients and our company as a whole. Seismic has grown by more than 120 percent each of the past three years, and in the first quarter of 2016, our year-over-year bookings growth came in at 300 percent. At the same time, our customers are experiencing unprecedented gains: After extensive interviews with four customers, Forrester Research, in a recent study commissioned by Seismic, found a 578 percent return on investment for enterprises deploying Seismic.
Going forward, we are excited to be able to take advantage of even more Azure tools and technologies — such as their machine learning capabilities — and to continue to deliver an unparalleled sales enablement experience for our growing customer base. And as Seismic continues to grow (we're hiring!), our developer and engineering team will know they have a partner in Azure equally devoted to growing and innovating alongside with them.