About our clientAn Australian and New Zealand Company specializes in developing customized online stores for clients using a white-label approach. Their niche is the sale of pet-related products, and the Company now has ten shops in the respective region. Each client receives an exclusive online store that meets their specific requirements and caters to their target audience. Clients are also involved in distributing these products to their own customers, which is a core aspect of their business model.
The Business and Technical ChallengesIn the e-commerce landscape, our Client managed a network of interconnected online pet stores. Using white labeling, they provided each customer with personalized online stores, each with a unique design and features. Our Client used a boxed solution and created a standalone instance for its customers. At the same time, each of the newly created systems for the end customer initially had the same set of components and functions, which were later customized to meet specific requirements. A key focus was to ensure the rapid integration of new custom functionality to meet the specific needs of each client.
From a technical standpoint, the core issue was the compatibility of the composite plugin structure with the monolithic system. Attempting to create a unified function across all clients proved effective for some but disruptive for others. This discrepancy not only rendered certain functionalities inoperable but also had the potential to disrupt existing operations. As a result, individual customers found themselves locked into rigid, monolithic frameworks. To maintain operational integrity across the board, custom development tailored to each specific client was required to preserve the overall logic without adverse impacts.
These technical constraints created a unique business challenge. The result was a lengthy and costly process of enhancing existing functionality and introducing new features within the monolithic framework. Unfortunately, this approach didn’t align with the business objectives, leading to dissatisfaction with performance metrics. This financial burden was draining resources and hindering the Company’s ability to achieve its desired results.
In addition, the development team faced escalating demands as the customer base grew. The need to accommodate custom development for individual clients while ensuring the stability of the system’s core placed a significant strain on resources. This approach proved to be sub-optimal and costly, as it required maintaining a delicate balance between customized client solutions and the fundamental integrity of the system.
Key customer requirements:
- Custom development capability: Release new functionality for some customers without breaking functionality for other customers. Each system should be isolated and developed according to its own scenario.
- Efficiency and affordability: A solution that would streamline development efforts, accelerate feature implementation, and reduce the cost of a monolithic environment.
- Scalable customization: An approach that efficiently handles a growing customer base and ensures customized solutions without compromising system stability.
The SolutionTo address our Client’s complex challenges, Sibedge strategically transitioned from its monolithic structure to a modern cloud-based framework using Amazon Web Services (AWS). The transformation hinged on adopting a serverless paradigm to optimize the system for efficiency and scalability. The first step was to break the monolithic system into modular components. Each component was designed to operate independently, promoting better maintainability and minimizing disruption during future updates. By migrating to AWS, the system gained access to elastic computing resources, which allowed it to seamlessly scale to meet changing demands and ensure optimal performance even during peak loads.
The serverless approach eliminated the need to provision and manage servers. Instead, functions were executed in response to events, optimizing resource utilization and minimizing costs. The serverless setup facilitated event-driven workflows. Specific actions could trigger functions, such as the creation of new client stores or product updates, ensuring tailored responses without straining resources. The in-box deployment of client instances provided the customer with high availability, fault tolerance, and all the necessary tools to monitor, trace, and analyze incidents that occurred in the system.
To implement a serverless approach, the Sibedge team faced the challenge of complex component interactions where simple direct deployment was not enough. We looked at how these components communicate with each other and examined all possible contingencies in the event of a component failure. This analysis is especially important for systems that involve financial transactions and interface with financial elements. Ensuring functional stability during the transition to distributed computing was paramount. The team met this challenge with interaction graphs supported by comprehensive end-to-end monitoring and tracing mechanisms.
The ResultMoving to AWS’s cloud infrastructure and serverless architecture provided a solution that aligned the system with the customer’s needs. The modular, event-driven design streamlined customizations, minimized costs, and enabled rapid adaptation to evolving needs. This shift provided the foundation for improved functionality, agility, and customer satisfaction.
The Client needed a flexible system with the ability to develop custom functionality for each client’s website. As a result of our work, the Client received functionality for flexible customization based on the needs of their users, which significantly reduced the TTM of new features. Previously, the release of a new feature was no more frequent than once a month. Now, the frequency of releasing new features has been increased to once every two weeks.
After moving to a cloud-based serverless architecture, to cost of keep their system up and running dropped, resulting in a remarkable cost reduction.
Despite the addition of ongoing fees for the use of cloud services, development costs in the updated system were reduced, and proved to be an effective strategic execution of the transformation. Sibedge successfully enabled the Client to overcome their technical challenges, improve their business operations, and strengthen their position in the dynamic e-commerce landscape.
This solution can also be applied to specific use cases in other industries.
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