Align Technology, Inc. (Align) is a global medical device company engaged in the design, manufacture and marketing of the Invisalign® system, the world's leading virtually invisible orthodontic product, as well as 3D digital intraoral scanning products and services for orthodontic and restorative dentistry.
Align runs a number of consumer-facing applications, from their corporate site to their consumer-facing product sites. Their Invisalign Smile Assessment app as an example, along with other applications, are used by thousands of consumers each month and can require almost daily updates which range from very large iterations to small changes on individual documents. For Align, it became increasingly difficult to perform quick updates, and this limitation was challenging not only for the business teams, but also for their IT developers.
The Align team performed a technology assessment looking at both Infrastructure-as-a Service (IaaS) solutions as well as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions. Ultimately, Heroku, a PaaS solution, was chosen over an IaaS solution for a number of reasons. For starters, IaaS solutions require a dedicated developer operations function, whereas the Heroku platform is completely managed by the Heroku team. With an IaaS model, companies need to consider managing servers, upgrades, adding memory, troubleshooting security issues, etc. By choosing Heroku’s PaaS solution, Align was able to focus their people and energy on their apps.
I don’t need to worry about patching, adding additional storage, or security vulnerabilities. The Heroku platform is managed and supported by the Heroku team. Leela Parvathaneni, Director of Customer-Facing Applications, Align Technology
Heroku also enables the Align team to leverage integrated third-party app components and services through the Heroku Add-ons ecosystem. Developers at Align can choose and quickly utilize more than 150 Add-ons, including databases, bug tracking, email automation, and other monitoring tools. And lastly, fast scalability in response to heavy traffic or other issues can easily be done with Heroku.
By choosing Heroku, Align has realized benefits in terms of maintenance, deployment, and scalability. In addition, the developer experience on the platform allows for quick changes and iterations, which creates a more agile environment and more easily enables the developers to meet the needs of the business teams.
Our migration to the Heroku platform has enabled us to more rapidly meet the changing needs of prospective patients and launch content updates at a quicker pace. Kamal Bhandal, Director of Consumer Marketing for North America, Align Technology
All of Align Technology’s consumer-facing apps are running on Heroku, including Invisalign.com, which is globally distributed in multiple languages and scales based on usage of the customers and consumers. Invisalign.com has a number of tools that prospective Invisalign patients can use, including the Invisalign Smile Assessment app which provides a personalized assessment with samples of similar completed cases and an Invisalign Cost Calculator that provides an estimated monthly payment scenario. They also have a patient gallery where users can peruse before and after photos of those who have used the Invisalign product.
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