How FindBrok is using Bluemix to make their social network for professionals stand out

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FindBrok has big plans for its social network. They want to offer advanced technology, like using IBM Watson’s Question and Answer capability in forums, so that users can quickly and easily get answers to specific questions. They also want to reach users around the globe, and therefore are using Watson’s Translation and Dialog API to allow users to interact with each other seamlessly—a critical component for a worldwide platform.

Social networks are everywhere. From the major networks we all know and love, to the niche, specialty sites that allow you to connect with like-minded people or professionals. As a startup, breaking into this crowded arena of social connectivity is no easy feat.

That’s why FindBrok, a France-based social network for insurance, finance, law, and accounting professionals, knew it had to get its platform right in order to be competitive. The startup needed a powerful development platform and a secure, reliable cloud-based hosting environment.

FindBrok stays agile, efficient, and innovative

Seeking support for its strategic approach and long-term business growth, Findbrok joined IBM Global Entrepreneur, IBM’s program for providing startups with technology, mentorship, and-go-to market support. Through the cloud technology credit offered by IBM Global Entrepreneur, the company created its networking site with IBM Bluemix as well as provisioned an object storage environment on IBM’s cloud infrastructure, SoftLayer.

In addition to the benefits of the IBM Global Entrepreneur program, there were several factors that FindBrok considered before making the critical decision to put all their social networking eggs in the IBM Bluemix basket. One key factor was the ability to integrate Watson capabilities. “We’ve wanted to integrate Watson in our solution for a very long time,” says Percy Mamedy, Senior Developer at FindBrok, “So it was great when we found at that the Watson API was open to the public and accessible through Bluemix.”

In addition to the previously mentioned Watson Question and Answer and Translation APIs, FindBrok has deployed the Watson Retrieve and Rank API in order to provide their users with the most relevant and reliable search information, positioning the social platform to be a key source of expert information on financial, insurance, and related industry topics.

Aside from enhancing FindBrok’s platform with the array of Watson capabilities, using the other services available on Bluemix has also improved the day-to-day nitty gritty: helping the team fix bugs 66% faster and accelerating the overall development process by 40%.

We just push it and DevOps will automatically update only the files that we have changed. So it will take less than five minutes.Percy Mamedy, Senior Developer at FindBrok

“We are currently really a big fan of DevOps services on Bluemix,” says Mamedy, explaining how the tools available on Bluemix help his team work much more quickly and efficiently. “For example, before if we had to correct a bug on multiple files, we had to keep track of every change before sending to the server. For even a minor bug this could take up to 15 minutes. But with DevOps it’s really easy. We don’t need to keep track of any files, the system does it automatically. We just push it and it will automatically update only the files that we have changed. So it will take less than five minutes.”

With the powerful tools available through Bluemix, FindBrok is able to stay agile, efficient, and innovative, while the infrastructure provided by SoftLayer helps the startup compete with high-performance delivery. With the right technology in its corner, even a startup in a crowded space can stand out.

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