Speed wins (and we just bought a porsche)

Thad Peterson
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Published on August 9, 2015

Horse and buggy or sports car? Mail through the USPS or email? Bus across the country or direct flight? Generally speaking, we prefer things that are fast. We like automobile options that are fast. We like communications delivered fast. We like to get from point A to point B fast.

For years, Buildium has been working on building a rock solid platform to help property managers outperform in their jobs. We’ve created a dependable accounting software solution for you to handle the nuances of rental property accounting, a way to track maintenance requests and tasks, communication portals for residents and owners, sites to market your available properties with online application capabilities, the capability for you to accept rental payments by EFT or credit card.

And that kind of focus on building a robust and useful platform that has allowed us to win over more customers than any other property management software company — almost 11,000 property management companies use us today.

Having so many customers is awesome. But it also creates challenges. For one thing, it creates a bit of a drain on your infrastructure — in this case, our servers. And that kind of drain slowed down the experience of using Buildium, particularly for larger customers with lots of data. For them, at times it felt like they were trying to drive a cement truck on the highway — rock solid but not nearly as peppy and fast as they’d like.

Well, we hate to see customers get frustrated. So bye-bye cement truck, and hello Porsche.

Not to get too technical on you, but there are a few different ways to deliver data (aka content) on the internet. When you’re small, you can just host your site a single server (which can be located in your basement or at a hosting company), and anyone visiting your website from anyplace will retrieve the content from that server. But as a company grows and gets more and more people trying to access more and more data, having a single server — or even multiple servers — just doesn’t cut it anymore. The servers gets basically gets overwhelmed.

It’s at this point that it makes sense to switch to something called a content delivery network (CDN). A content delivery network has servers around the globe, making it possible for the company to get content to users quickly, regardless of where those users are. Massive internet companies like Google will literally spend billions of dollars building out their CDNs. While Buildium isn’t quite ready to do that, we have partnered with what is widely considered the creme-de-la-creme of CDN providers — Akamai.

What does this mean for you? It really all boils down to Buildium just being faster and more responsive when you use our software. Piggy backing off Akamai’s CDN means our data is on servers that are physically closer to you, which means your online experience is better.

Will this solve every performance problem for every customer? No, improving the speed of service our customers experience is an ongoing effort for us. Our IT team has its sights set on all kinds of fancy things like query tuning and database design to make Buildium. But as you might imagine, that’s pretty heady stuff and takes a while to develop. But we’re committed to continually improving.

We want you to have the same rock solid Buildium platform at your fingertips; we just want you to have it a just heck of a lot faster.

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Thad Peterson

Thad Peterson was the Director of Product Marketing at Buildium.

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