In today’s world, when we start any business, it is hectic task to know our exact requirements. Since our business’s growth is not exactly predictable, as it may win or lose. So investing huge money in business at very beginning in requirements is not advisable. This requirements may include storage, memory and CPU. Usually, it is a developing team, which has a great idea and a plan for its implementation — on the one hand, and the lack of money, resources and, sometimes, experience — on the other.
All circumstance of the project, like logistics, marketing, infrastructure, and others must be built from scratch. Such processes require investments, which the young company simply does not have. So, most parts of the startups need to cut all expenses, until they have the main investor. Another big problem of startups is the team members’ location. You can build a startup with people from a few cities or countries, so you need some system to coordinate each member’s work.
Yeah, here comes the power of “ CLOUD COMPUTING ”
The interesting part is “ We can pay as we go ”. This is really boon for the young company to get start off. They need not to concentrate more on investing and maintaining the resources. They can scale up the resources as their business scaled up.
It looks weird, lets see it clearly. Let us assume, there is ABC company, where they purchase and maintain huge resources with their premises. They also follow many algorithms to utilize their resource in optimal way. ABC company render their resources to other companies like XYZ on demand basis. Thus ABC company provides a platform which offer services for other companies. XYZ which will pay for that service it get from ABC, till XYZ uses ABC’s resources/services. If XYZ uses storage as service i.e. 1 TB for 2 days, then XYZ can pay for two days. Suddenly if XYZ’s need reduced to 1 day, then he can pay for 1 day alone and he can stop using the ABC’s services. Similarly when XYZ’s need increased for more days then also they can pay extra for what XYZ have used.
The mechanism in which a Company offers resource within their premises to other companies on demand basis is known as CLOUD COMPUTING.
Cloud Computing is the delivery of computing services — including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence — over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change.
Some of prominent cloud providers are:
- Amazon Web Services (best in public cloud)
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud Platform
- IBM Cloud (best in private cloud)
Let us understand better by Studying one Startup’s story. One of the innovative startup originated in India is CHAI POINT, India’s largest organized Chai retailer, brings a perfectly brewed cup of Chai made with fresh, natural ingredients to offices and working professionals around the country. With over 100 service hubs, Chai-on-Call and boxC.in are designed for corporate. Chai Point is revolutionizing the way Chai is consumed in India. Beginning with the first pilot store set up in Bangalore in April 2010, Chai Point has rapidly grown to become the go-to brand for a perfectly brewed cup of Chai with over 300,000 cups sold every day.
Chai Point is present in eight cities — Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai. Our offerings include varieties of hot Chai, Iced Chai, Shakes; and bite-sized Made-For-Chai Snacks perfectly accompanying the morning and evening Chai ritual.
Since Chai Point was first of its kind in food tech, it has to update to new technologies and also it is needed to retain its standards in its product. If they focus on how they build their technology and maintain it, then they will not be more successful in their primary business. So they uses cloud. They rendered the cloud services from Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Chai Point, the key system used was Enterprise Resource Planning(ERP), Customer Relationship Management(CRM) and Inventory Management System. Soon they started to use SHARK systems and they started to launch boxC.in in 2016. Since using new technology, they started to scale up the ventures and reaches more customer. They also started to get investors starting from Angel Round to Series C. Because of their boxC.in, they started to sell their products to corporates, which was new and started to get attention from people.
Due to their growth, to accommodate data and further analytics with this data is needed which demanded them large resources. There they started to use AWS.
The business began its migration to AWS and now runs its key systems in the AWS Cloud, including its custom ERP, CRM, and inventory-management systems; its point-of-sale system known as SHARK; a centralized data aggregation and custom analytics system; and a client feedback system. Chai Point uses an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) that enables the business to isolate sensitive internal systems from the Internet and provide access to public-facing systems on the web.
By late 2016, the business was exploring how to extend its use of core AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS)-and potentially take advantage of the AWS IoT platform to run boxC.in.
Chai Point’s confidence in using AWS to run SHARK, boxC.in, and its other key systems is supported by regular training and architecture reviews to help the business maximize the value of the AWS services it uses. “Our AWS solutions architect is in regular discussions with our internal technical team to provide pointers on how we can optimize areas such as security and scalability,” says Singh Bijral, Founder and CEO. “These pointers have been invaluable in helping our business achieve the best possible outcomes from our infrastructure investments.”
How they use cloud for SHARK and boxC.in?
here it is,
A cloud-based platform, SHARK allows for fast and seamless integration of billing and tracking across all Chai Point outlets, through mobile payment and Wi-Fi based setups. The software integrates warehouse and suppliers with the point of sales (POS) so that future demands can be predicted. This also enables real-time monitoring of the performance of a retail outlet in any region or location. SHARK offers a delivery management platform that is integrated seamlessly with its POS and SCM service layers. SHARK also has a device management layer to manage IoT-enabled dispensers. A dynamic reporting platform built into SHARK allows for a truly omni-channel view of the Chai Point business.
SHARK takes care of all aspects of sales, delivery orders, IoT-enabled solutions for boxC.in and products being sold on multiple channels. The platform is also helpful to integrate AI for the cost optimization, efficient operation and smooth backend operation.
The machine is also connected to the phones of office boys through the app called ‘call of duty’. The machine automatically sends notifications regarding the type of tea or the quantity of tea and milk left for refilling. The machine tracks the records of every cup spending and updates the server memory. Hence, there is a complete transparency in terms of consumption.
People says, “The data also helps in the further customization of flavors.”
SHARK automatically collates feedback from different sources which gets stored in an excel sheet which help the team to understand the market. Even if a small component of the machine is not live or functional, SHARK helps the maintenance team know that.
boxC.in is India’s first cloud based beverages service platform. boxC.in is powered by IoT-enabled freshly brewed Chai and coffee dispensers. This platform allows for superior service levels and a high degree of billing and consumption transparency to corporate customers. Combining quality and taste, Chai Point’s boxC.in is intelligent, connected, easy to use and guarantees a perfect cup of Chai designed to fuel a workday. Each cup of Chai is freshly brewed with completely natural ingredients.
WORKING of boxC.in :
Chai Point has designed and developed two tea dispensing machines: V1 and V2. The company has partnered with a third company to manufacture these machines as per the requirements.
- The dispensing machine is capable of making masala tea, lemon, ginger and cardamom tea using tea leaves.
- V1 machines have higher throughput. To keep the form factor intact, instead of having separate water and milk tanks in the machine, the duo is connected through inlet pipes. Sugar is mixed outside, depending on the choice. The machine makes use of fresh milk.
- Unlike V1, V2 was developed last year by Chai Point and has got a large touchscreen powered with Android platform. This allows customization and freedom to make tea as per the consumer’s choice.
- V2 machines also have facilities to brew filter coffee. The machine has been designed keeping the scant spaces of office pantries in mind. The machine has a smaller form factor that meets a number of requirements for tea, coffee and other hot milk and water-based beverages.
Software — works in boxC.in :
- boxC.in machine’s Internet connectivity, which is assured through a sim slot provided inside the machine.
- The touchscreen dashboard provides a number of details such as tea or coffee health, time to refill the inlets so that there is no need to open the container to see how much tea or coffee is left.
- It provides all the necessary information such as how many cups have been consumed since the last reset and it even allows users to alter the tea and milk volume and density per cup (even cup volume can be personalized) with an option to customize brewing temperature as well as time.
- The machine sends an update to the server every five minutes.
- But even if for some reason, it is unable to send the data to the server, it has got enough storage to maintain the entire record and send it later, once the connection is back.
“We have blended IoT and AI in the machine. While IoT helps us and the client to know the exact number of cups consumed over a given period of time, AI provides details about consumer behavior i.e. which tea — ginger, masala, green or black tea — consumers prefer to consume. This, in turn, helps us keep our next set of fresh refills ready for the machines. This is a unique way to forecast the demand.”
The IoT aspect further helps the user to determine if there is any blockage in the machine. The machine has got sensors and in case of any blockage, it sends signals demanding maintenance requirements.
People working there says, “With V1, it was more about the challenge to get the hardware right. With V2, we infused the software with the hardware to make it work seamlessly.” “We don’t sell the machine. The machine is part and parcel of an annual contract that we offer. This is because we also want to ensure the right service such as the timely supply of inputs via Chai Point’s tea blends and maintenance of the dispensers around it,” informed by employees.
They further explained that the beauty of the machine lies in providing the utmost hygiene throughout the tea-making process. “The tea waste is disposed through the pipe and it doesn’t get collected in the machine. The machine has got auto-flush facilities where hot water flows across the machine and self-cleans it,” explained by people working there.
Thus they need huge amount of resources which will adapt for growing customers and they need resources should be active for 24 x 7 without interruption and without any flaw. They also need proper maintenance. As their primary goal is to provide chai with best quality they can’t spend more time on Resource allocation and maintenance.
So, They host their products on AWS.
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