Get to know Tim Gage, co-CTO of Alfa, as he discusses why NuoDB was the right database for Alfa and their customers.
An Interview with Tim Gage
Hi, I’m Tim Gage. I am one of two CTOs we have at Alfa. We have a shared responsibility for that role. I am also the head of Research and Development in the company, and I lead a team of six people, who are responsible for pushing the product forward, and taking on new technology.
Who is Alfa?
So, Alfa provides software to the asset finance industry. The most common example of this is vehicle finance. So, if you want to finance a vehicle, then you might find that our software is managing that contract for you. It manages the contract for the finance companies. It does all the things from pricing the contract up front to sending out requests for payment, receiving those payments in, making sure people actually do hit to pay, and chasing up when they don’t. And then handling the end of life of the contract as well, the return of the vehicle back to lessor. It’s not just vehicles, it’s also larger assets. Things like oil rigs, printing presses, various kinds of large equipment, maybe tractors, farm equipment, that kind of thing. So it’s quite a wide range of assets. Managing the contracts between finance companies and customers who want to finance an asset of some kind.
So, typically today, Alfa systems is deployed in an on-premises way. We typically hand the software over to our clients to run. And what’s changing is that we are moving more towards a cloud-based deployment. We see that increasing over time quite significantly.
The database is foundational to the system. There’s no question. We have to have a solid database underneath the platform, in order for us to provide the product that we do. So, as we move to the cloud, we need a database that will actually move cleanly into the cloud with us. Something that will support the cloud as best as it can.
So firstly, NuoDB’s absolutely able to support our product. It has the full SQL database platform support. And that was obviously crucial for us. Secondly, it has the native cloud support. So it has the ability to dynamically scale, and to take advantage of all the things that AWS provides around controlling the size of your environment, and controlling your costs. Thirdly, there’s various other technical advantages. Things like the active/active deployment model, continuous availability, and reduced downtime.
So, our customers don’t typically see the underlying database. So the kind of benefits they’re going to get are the active/active deployment model, the increased uptime, and the ability -- the resilience of the system that we can now deliver. For Alfa, ultimately what we can do is deliver a better product. Deliver a better product to our clients and to our prospects.