To gain traction in the US and other worldwide marketplaces, BlurryMe needed a cloud-based infrastructure to speed deployment and provide the Italy-based startup with global reach and scalability.
BlurryMe adopted an IBM Cloud infrastructure to support its mobile app. With the solution, provisioned from a data center in Dallas, Texas, the client establishes a critical presence in the US
Achieves rapidtime to market with a new photo sharing app running on a flexible SoftLayer cloud platform
Handles usage spikesgenerated by promotional initiatives and expanding volumes of image files
Facilitates affordabledeployment of additional resources as the startup’s global user base grows
Business challenge story
Stretching the imaginationIn a world where people can log on to any number of social media sites to get immediate updates from friends, brands, celebrities and others, BlurryMe’s cofounders, Federico Renier and Maurizio Panese, take a different approach to social networking. They use the element of suspense to drive engagement.
They created an app that, for instance, a fashion retailer can use to upload blurred photographs of a seasonal clothing line a month before it is formally introduced to the public, creating a sense of anticipation among consumers. Then, on the day the collection is unveiled, the retailer can present the actual images to people who submitted ShowMe requests. By engaging consumers through the BlurryMe app, retailers can create excitement around new offerings and gain insight into target audiences by tracking who presses the ShowMe button.
Shortly after the company was established, BlurryMe tested an initial version of its app in Italy, where it operates private services dedicated to developing and testing. Based on user feedback, the company fine-tuned the interface and incorporated new features, including buttons that users can press to express the moods that photographs inspire in them.
However, the long-term success of BlurryMe’s business strategy depends on the app gaining traction in the US and other worldwide marketplaces where young people in particular are eager to try new social networking experiences. To realize its vision, the startup needed a global cloud-based infrastructure that would rapidly scale server and storage resources to accommodate usage spikes generated by promotional initiatives and expanding volumes of image files.
Adopting a US-based SoftLayer platformBlurryMe worked with IBM Advanced Business Partner Beck et al. Services to develop the app using the Digital Stack mobile back end as a service (BaaS) platform from Beck et al. Services. The Digital Stack offering provides a flexible framework with extended service-oriented architecture (SOA) and representational state transfer (REST) support for accelerating development of cloud-based mobile apps and enterprise solutions.
BlurryMe selected a SoftLayer infrastructure to deploy the app because it provided the global reach, scalability and built-in management and security features the startup required. BlurryMe adopted the platform in July 2014 without considering other cloud service providers.
“Early on, we decided to go with IBM,” says Renier. “IBM’s industry-leading reputation, when combined with the SoftLayer infrastructure, meant a lot to us.”
BlurryMe provisioned a virtual server infrastructure in the SoftLayer data center in Dallas, Texas, to run production workloads. “It’s difficult for a startup in Italy to create a presence in the United States, but with SoftLayer we were able to create a bridge between Italy and the United States,” says Renier.
Launching a startup with confidenceBlurryMe formally introduced app versions for the Apple iOS and Android operating systems in November 2015, achieving rapid time to market by taking advantage of a SoftLayer cloud infrastructure and the Digital Stack solution. The company focused its initial marketing efforts in the US, where its Texas-based virtual infrastructure cost-effectively scales to handle escalating user activities and data volumes. The company also plans to promote the apps in other countries, confident that with SoftLayer technology it can affordably deploy additional infrastructure resources as the user base grows.
Founded in Venice, Italy, in 2014, BlurryMe offers an innovative photo sharing app designed to trigger people’s curiosity by letting users post blurred images to their feeds. They can then reveal the actual images to whomever they select within their social circles who express interest by pushing a ShowMe button. The app appeals to not only friends wanting to connect online in a novel way, but also retailers and other companies seeking to stimulate brand interactions.
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