Celebrating 3 years in the cloud
Just over 3 years ago, Entegral was the 1st real estate technology service provider in Africa to move all of its products over to the cloud.
It all began 4 years ago, when we researched and tested various cloud platforms available. We made a decision on Amazon’s AWS (Amazon Web Services) and switched over all our products in the course of 6-12 months to take full benefit of the unique cloud features offered. Our property portal, MyProperty, was our first product to switch over in January 2011. Stressful it was, at that stage cloud platforms were still in its infancy and we took a calculated risk with our business.
Either that, or being boxed in by local service providers who couldn’t offer the amazing cloud features we wanted. Our monthly bandwidth costs also increased at alarming rates due to huge traffic. In the end, partnering with Amazon paid off, as can be seen in this 2013 magic quadrant from Gartner comparing the top cloud IaaS providers:
It didn’t go all smoothly, we had some real technical challenges and realized, that being in the cloud, you still needed proper failover systems and procedures. This resulted in Entegral developing its own AWS Cloud Disaster Recovery tool. Today it ensures that even if there is a catastrophic failure, we can recover our systems & data in record time to any of Amazon’s global regions. We backup millions of real estate photos every day and ensure that our client’s data can be restored to any historic point in time.
Incredible savings for real estate agencies and groups
One of the benefits of the cloud is the massive savings we realize for our clients. Through the years we’ve also perfected our systems and ensured that we continue to run more agile & cost effective than any of our competitors. A recent comparison (based on our new 2014 prices) revealed that we can save an average real estate agency with 10 agents a massive 164% (or R19,000) a year on operating costs compared to a similar offering. This includes: website hosting, email hosting, domain fees, management system licenses and syndication interface support to external portals.
For national real estate groups the savings are even more since we provide unlimited bandwidth to websites and can bring down hosting, email and other costs due to economies of scale. Savings for national groups can easily run anywhere between R100,000 to R1,000,000 per year.
Money saved that can wisely be invested in online marketing campaigns to build your own brand.
The cloud allows our team to innovate more than ever before
We are a team hungry for innovation & perfection: we engage in continuous research & development, playing around with existing and new technologies from Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others. The cloud has allowed our team to innovate more than ever before and scale our systems to incredible new levels. Today we for instance, import around 1,000,000 property listings/day through our USA company, Entegral LLC, we offer unlimited photo uploads for agents, 25gb mailboxes and dropbox like facilities in our management system.
We’ve recently introduced a great new feature in our OMS (Office Management System), that allows estate agents to import and consolidate leads from all South Africa’s leading property portals, as can be seen in the screenshot below:
We are looking forward to 2014 and bringing more innovation to the real estate industry!