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RETAILER ASKS SOVEREIGN FOR SITE RELIABILITY ENGINEERING ASSISTANCE

Challenge

A cosmetics manufacturer implemented a Digital Transformation initiative to grow their emerging markets business. Luxury cosmetics is an aspirational and a highly personalized industry, but price points needed to be lowered in markets such as China and India. Our client had some excellent ideas to leverage technology such as Big Data and AI to be leveraged in areas like RFM analytics and Personalization. They had a firm grasp on what they needed and how to develop it.
This client was accustomed to working with colo facilities and understood that this would require too much time to provision and support the infrastructure – they needed a fast time-to-market and the ability to leverage computing by public cloud. As a result, they decided to leverage AWS for hosting. They turned to us for assistance deploying and operationalizing their solutions seeking to architect and then deploy PaaS solutions in a repeatable, scripted manner.

Solution

Sovereign Solutions provided architectural leadership with the client’s AWS tenant and further empowered their development staff to make efficient use of PaaS technologies. We evaluated their proposed architecture that required IaaS and container solutions. Our client lacked AWS cloud operations experience. We developed the initial CloudFormation and Terraform scripts to deploy the solution.
We solved that technical debt, we evaluated how to leverage PaaS solutions to further lessen the operational burdens of running modern cloud applications. We understood, through our years of similar client engagements, that technologies like Kafka, data streaming solutions, load balancers, and VPNs are much better candidates for PaaS, than having the client maintaining the infrastructure themselves. As such, we refactored those items to reduce the Ops burden so as to allow for elastic scaling.
Specific deliverables:

  • Worked with the client to review the current architecture and offer medium and long-term desired state solutions leveraging AWS PaaS.
  • Coded DevOps Infrastructure-as-Code for all phases of the solution so it could be deployed in production and non-production environments.
  • Provided long-term, on-going Managed Services to our client for AWS operational support so they could continue to focus on feature-functionality improvements to their solution.
  • Provide technical resource expertise to help them take their existing solution and get it ready for AWS.

We began the engagement with an architectural assessment to document their existing architecture, build pipelines, and technical debt. We then worked with the client to determine what the desired end-state of the application would look like, factoring in our client’s skillsets and appetite for emerging technologies. We started with a small 2-month engagement using two site reliability engineers with a goal of tactically eliminating the technical debt and building a solution that was easily supportable on multiple public clouds.

Results

Our client’s solution allowed them to provide similar aspirational and personalization end user experiences in developing markets. Our client achieved their desired outcome at relatively reduced cost to provide emerging market clients equivalent serve to their US customers. This technical strategy opened new markets and revenue streams without diluting their brand image. They were able to do this quickly using the agility of public cloud and allowed them to focus their talent on non-infrastructure related concerns.
Our SRE resources allowed our client to achieve their goals and stay focused on their business problem. What was originally a tactical engagement to install a solution on AWS became an on-going partnership to ensure the solution continued to meet the needs of our client.


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