From Online Retail to IBM Cloud Garage
By Johnson Liu
Leverage new business models in the cloud
In the IBM Cloud Garage, we are known for transforming client ideas into a reality and deploying them into our extensible and reliable cloud model.
In this post, we’ll present a use case that looks into how an online retailer can take their existing business processes and leverage new business models into the cloud. We will uncover the problem statements and how IBM Cloud and IBM Cloud Garage create immense value for the online retail customer.
Tackle call center volume by using microservices
Managing call center volume is one of the biggest challenges for online retailers. Customers need to modify their orders because they want to re-ship their product to a new address, change the delivery method or date, or make sure their gift message is just right for their loved ones. Using a microservices architecture model, IBM Cloud makes it easy to deploy Java or Node microservices into the cloud using our platform as a service model. With database services like MongoDB and message queues like RabbitMQ or IBM Message Hub, integration with existing on-premise order systems becomes quickly manageable. In the IBM Cloud Garage, developers like myself work hand-in-hand with the client’s developers, IT team, product owners, and operations team to make sure our cloud code is secure, flexible, and built just for the specific use cases of the business. We use test-driven development and our lean garage methodology to quickly deliver results and iterate on feedback from the business teams.
Subscription business models and the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service
A new occurring business model for online retailers is the subscription model. Customers who love a certain product and want to keep it stocked enjoy the convenience of receiving the product on a regular basis without the hassle of placing an order and re-entering information. Recently, the IBM Cloud Garage collaborated with a major online retailer to do just this using the IBM Kubernetes Service on IBM Cloud. We delivered an idea to production within a few quick months, enabling hundreds of products for subscription and providing a constant, reliable revenue stream for the business. It was also built on a flexible technical architecture on IBM Cloud using microservices, message queues, Kubernetes, and an extensive DevOps pipeline that ensured continuous integration and tests along with securing API integrations to the on-premise mainframe order systems.
“We delivered an idea to production within a few quick months and now there are hundreds of products enabled for subscription for the business.” – Client Tech Lead
Deploy applications quickly
In the IBM Cloud Garage, we were able to deploy a self-order modification application and a subscription application in the cloud in a few quick months while following our Garage methodology. We focus on the client’s needs, ensure we are lean, and iterate on the best secure and flexible model for our code on the cloud. Using test-driven development and our cloud expertise, we ensure scalability and security on our cloud. Because we have Watson services and existing services like MongoDB and RabbitMQ, we are able to integrate with the client’s existing tech stack as well.
“IBM helped us simplify the chaos. They brought us strength and leadership when the deliverables were at risk. Not only did they ensure a smooth and successful release, they helped us modernize our tech stack for the whatever may come in the future.” – Client
Transform the way you do business on the cloud
Before coming to the Garage, the retail business struggled to define and deliver a value proposition to their customer audience and iterate on that value proposition. The business’s technical teams also struggled on how to interface across teams to make integrations work well. Fortunately, the IBM Cloud Garage helped to define and create both. The IBM Cloud Garage is able to help clients like this one transform the way they do business on the cloud through our Garage methodology and cloud innovation. We worked side-by-side with the client developers to train them on how to use our cloud infrastructure-as-a-service and also train the product owners on how to define a minimum viable product with continuous feedback loops.
“IBM was a great partner in our project. The team guided us from concept to the first release in 10 weeks. Along the way, they kept the entire team, internal and external, focused an on the deliverables. With their help, we released a product that will provide long-term value to our customers and enterprise.” – Client Product Owner
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