Amazon Serverless Roadshow showcased HEMA's ever-evolving digital landscape by foryouandyourcustomers
The Amazon Serverless Roadshow was hosted in The Cloud, Amsterdam. The event saw several speakers invited to demonstrate the benefits, cost-effectiveness and functionality of Amazon Web Services. Mauro Rallo, CTO of foryouandyourcustomers Amsterdam, shared his experience of the company’s implementation of AWS applications. Specifically, in its new digital strategy revamp for leading retail brand, HEMA.
Monolith to Microservices, Microservices to Functions
Alfredo Velasco, Amazon Web Services BDM, opened the event and gave an overview of the scale and power of AWS serverless systems. The key point from Velasco’s presentation was that serverless networks can build on, or more efficiently replace monolith systems. AWS offers more synchronised and simplified interfaces that is low cost, scalable, customisable and evolving. Serverless technology removes a range of costs, from engineering hours to infrastructure maintenance and security.
The crucial switch here is the transition from monolith systems to microservices, and the speed and functionality this offers. The main challenge here is the switch itself. Designing these new interfaces can be challenging. Therefore, the biggest investment for companies is time spent in educating themselves with the new system. Once understood, however, it is much easier to operate. By developing with services, not servers, AWS applications are accessed on an ‘as required’ basis, as opposed to the ‘always on’ operation of monolith systems. This transition allows flexible scalability through the application’s vast availability, and a removal of cost when idle.
Velasco gave several current examples of these benefits in action, including Reuters ability to process 4000 requests per second, and Capital One’s auto scaling architecture, which “runs itself” and “scales itself”. Commenting on AWS optimisation, he explained that “it runs in tandem alongside existing systems… but runs optimally when all functions become serverless”.
We Created A Landscape
Mauro Rallo, CTO of foryouandyourcustomers Amsterdam, shared his experience in implementing AWS for HEMA’s ever-evolding multichannel landscape. He described this development as more of a “complex ecosystem of more than 20 different applications”. By using the “Exploded View” model – an architecturally inspired blueprint connecting analogue and digital output – a deep and integrated analysis was made between the various layers of business operations (customer, experience, organisation, performance, asset and data). The analysis identified the requirement for a more flexible and automated infrastructure – enter AWS. The infrastructure Amazon’s serverless system provides, created an elasticised and self-reliant system to support and develop HEMA’s on- and offline functions. The system’s power and efficiency was demonstrated in the Christmas sales spike.
Rallo echoed Velasco’s pinpointing of time and learning as the main challenge when switching to AWS. That said, he noted that once mastered, the serverless system is a joy to use. Mauro’s discussion outlined the ground-breaking synchronisation of processes that AWS provides – a toolbox of applications allowing comprehensive integration of on- and offline processes. “One of our values at foryouandyourcustomers is ‘surprisingly simple’” and this is exactly how he described his experience in using AWS applications to create integrated digital infrastructures for businesses. “We wanted to find surprisingly simple solutions for our customers, and [AWS] is one of them”.
HEMA’s new vision called for a digital strategy that focused on what really matters, not on the accessories around it. For HEMA, what really matters is the customer experience. To focus on consumer experience requires a functional and reliable digital landscape. This is where AWS comes in, providing automated and flexible scaling. The focus of foryouandyourcustomers lies on functionality. AWS provides the architecture to allow HEMA to focus on customers and experience, with a centralised and synchronised system that would take care of logistics and organisation within itself.
Connecting Infrastructure, Insight and Innovation
The event also included Sr. Solutions Architect from Amazon Web Services, Marek Kuczynski, who’s talk went into detail about the ins and outs of the sophisticated infrastructure behind AWS. Specifically, he discussed AWS’ harmonisation of previously disparate microservices into step functions. These customised workflows stitch together numerous AWS services into feature rich applications.
This provides an ability to connect, control and monitor services while collecting their data, offering insight driven expansion.
Closing the event, Simon Kok of Amazon’s Professional Services showcased AWS’ niche edge in providing a tool kit through which to develop a coordinated, reactive and monitored system. The coordinated tools deliver an analytical feedback loop that allows a continuous integration, continuous delivery model which is tested as it is implemented. Time is money and the live, tangible data AWS provides allows faster adaptation to issues, and more refined strategies moving forward.
At foryouandyourcustomers Amsterdam, we are eager to develop Multichannel solutions for you and for your customers. We apply an integral perspective to our consultancy and development services, implementing product and customer information systems, e-commerce platforms, websites and mobile solutions in close collaboration with our customers.
We are Multichannel Consultants in the digitisation of retail, wholesale and manufacturing landscape. We build surprisingly simple solutions by keeping the focus on your customers and adapting your organisation and processes accordingly. We help you in maneuvering the challenges of a new digital age by setting up a state-of-the-art IT landscape. As a service provider, we implement long-term, adaptable solutions and are dedicated to lasting partnerships with you and your customers.
CEO of foryouandyourcustomers Amsterdam Walter Hottinga, and his team, are looking forward to welcoming you at Keizersgracht 205.