smartphoto: designing products with cloud creation software
Business Challenge: making the right technological choices to enable the growth of the company, as well as geographic expansion
Technical challenge: bring the existing IT infrastructure and Microsoft based applications to a secure cloud that offers the highest performance and the best price.
smartphoto is a leading European B2C and B2B provider of digital printing services for a large variety of products such as cards, albums, textile and many more. smartphoto enables its millions of customers to design their own products with photo prints via state-of-the-art, homegrown cloud creation software.
smartphoto’s fast-growing user base throughout Europe was served by a traditional co-located hosting platform based on Windows, MS SQL and .net. This infrastructure was sized for peak loads during certain periods of the year such as holiday season, leading to severe under-utilization during the rest of the year.
Next to this, smartphoto’s strong growth and international expansion required a highly scalable IT Infrastructure.
It became increasingly clear that the current way of working would lead to technical issues and constraints in the near future. Also, significant and mounting investments were required. The CEO and his technical team were concerned about choosing the right technology.
Cloud computing leek meteen de meest passende oplossing te zijn voor het overgrote deel van de zakelijke en technische uitdagingen. Verscheidene cloud providers werden geëvalueerd, waarbij uiteindelijk voor Google Cloud Platform gekozen werd omwille van de technische performance, de innovatieve prijsstructuur en uitstekende visie op big data en machine learning. g-company werd ter ondersteuning bij deze overgang als partner geselecteerd, op basis van hun expertise en ervaring.
Right after the decision, g-company held a series of intensive hands-on workshops, consisting of planning sessions, architectural design, technical training and solution validation. The objective was to move fast forward and to enable the smartphoto team to become proficient in Google Cloud Platform.
To reduce risk a progressive country by country roll-out was decided, with a lift & shift scenario of the current infrastructure. Besides the realization of a number of obvious improvements through cloud, such as Autoscaling, more fundamental improvements and becoming more cloud savvy is planned for the second stage.
smartphoto’s team conducted the majority of the migration independently, with regular help from g-company for advise, architectural guidance, hands-on help and support with technical issues.
The GCP Solution
Google Cloud Platform provides the technical infrastructure smartphoto needed to run its Microsoft and .net cloud software reliably, fast and at scale. Google’s flexible and innovative pricing with sustained and committed use discounts, and per-second billing allows optimizing cost in a variety of ways. Google’s market leadership in big data analytics for marketing and other purposes, and in machine learning is an important factor in the future vision we laid out with smartphoto.
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