This blog originally appeared on the Google Cloud Platform blog.
At Switch Communications, we fundamentally believe that technology should empower people to work faster. That was the driving principle behind Switch.co, a cloud-based business phone system we launched yesterday enables you to make and take calls from anywhere, on any device, so you can be as productive on your smart phone at the local coffee shop as you are on your desk phone at the office. With Switch.co, calls ring on all connected devices, so you don’t miss any calls, and it’s easy to switch seamlessly between each of those devices without having to hang up and call back.
Of course, we apply the same principle of speed to our company, too: technology should help our employees be more efficient, flexible and agile. That’s why we built Switch.co on Google Cloud Platform — because we believe startup founders should spend time on products, not on backend architecture.
[blockquote type="left, center, right"]We built Switch.co on App Engine in under a year, which would have been unheard of just a few years ago given Switch.co’s sophisticated infrastructure.[/blockquote]
Selecting the cloud service for your underlying architecture is a key decision for any startup. We evaluated a number of platforms, but quickly determined that Google’s Cloud Platform was by far the best fit. We knew we were dealing with a complex system with our telephony infrastructure, and given the viral nature of our initial conferencing product, UberConference, we also knew we needed solid scalability and flexibility. Google Cloud Platform ticked off all the right boxes.
Google App Engine made rapid development of Switch.co possible. In fact, we built Switch.co on App Engine in under a year, which would have been unheard of just a few years ago given Switch.co’s sophisticated infrastructure. Since all of the core routing and smart business logic takes place in App Engine, we’ve eliminated the need to perform administrative tasks or carry pagers around to deal with maintenance issues.
In addition to App Engine, we’re heavy users of Cloud Datastore, which makes it easy to upload all of our data into a simple, searchable database. For example, we’re able to provide search functionality across a user’s entire history of messages in real-time by just typing in a few letters. This setup required just one engineer and was completed in about a month -- a MySQL database couldn’t have enabled a similar result.
Beyond building on Google Cloud Platform, we utilize the set of rich Google Apps APIs to integrate Switch.co with Google Apps for Work. When you call someone from Switch.co, you get useful context by seeing recent Gmailmessages, shared Google Docs, and upcoming Calendar invites. You can even launch a Hangout directly from a conversation.
With Google Cloud Platform, we can prioritize building dynamic features instead of bailing out water repairing databases and networks. It helps us focus on what we really care about: improving the product to create a great experience for our users and, like Google, making work easier.
-Contributed by Brian Peterson and John Rector, co-founders of Switch Communications