A Cloud Curb Service -- Turning a Limousine Service into a Software and Cloud Services Vendor

When a man running information technology for a limousine company started testing out Windows System Center 2012 cloud feature, he turned his car service company into a company that could help other businesses

The Wall Street Journal has a great article today about Alan Bourassa, CIO of Empire CLS, a private car service based in New Jersey. He decided to do his service one better than the elegant car picking you up for the airport and decided to use some Microsoft cloud services to radically improve his business model. 

Empire had been using UNIX since 1981, and began moving to an internally managed Microsoft Windows system in 2008. A 30-year veteran of the IT industry, Bourassa agreed to test Microsoft’s newest Windows System Center 2012, which allowed Bourassa to automate most of the labor-intensive server and data management functions and move the entire operation to a private cloud environment. The system also allows human resource managers to instantly onboard new drivers and assign them mobile devices loaded with dispatching and trip management software, all without a single manual intervention by IT staff

Bourassa decided to do this because the company's key asset is a software program that allows consumers to reserve cars. They figured out that even though this is Empire's core asset, competitors are going to figure out this technology and leave the company behind. So, they decided to sell it to their competitors, making them the distributor of the system. This is a great use of the cloud and it shows that cloud technology not only creates interesting vendor and consumer dynamics, but that cloud technology can also transform a company and develop new revenue streams.