Please tell us about your company and your role in it.
My name is Nori Naono, and I’m the CEO of Ripplex Inc, a start-up company located in Tokyo. In Japan, 30 Billion greeting cards are exchanged at the end of every year. Ripplex Inc. has built a unique web service named Webpo (meaning web post), a greeting card printing web service that users can select a design template, input names and addresses of friends, add personalized comments to each friend, and make payment on the website. Then, paper greeting cards are printed at the factory (operated by Fuji Film Inc.) and mailed to friends directly. Also, users can send paper greeting cards to the people on friends list on Gmail and Twitter without knowing home addresses.
Webpo launched in October. The service is operated by Ripplex Inc. and officially backed by Japan Post, the national postal service company. Today, Webpo is only available in Japan but we plan to expand coverage to the world.
Why did you choose Amazon Web Services?
Flexibility, cost and reliability. The transaction volume curve of a seasonal greeting card web service is very narrow with a high peak. It is very difficult to justify purchasing and maintaining a lot of servers, especially for a startup like Ripplex. We estimate we will need about 30 EC2 instances this Christmas season.
Also, since Webpo is officially backed by Japan Post, high reliability is the highest priority.
How have you incorporated Amazon Web Services as part of your architecture? What services are you using and how?
All of Webpo and SecuTect, the infrastructure system which supports Webpo, are hosted on EC2, S3 and CloudFront. Also we’re using SimpleDB and ELB.
How has AWS helped your business succeed?
As I mentioned, the flexibility, cost and reliability of AWS help us a lot. Ripplex is a small and growing company. Without AWS, there’s NO way for us to launch such a big service with a major company such as the Japan Post.
Can you tell us how much money you have saved on AWS?
We would have made a $200K server investment if we did not have AWS. As Webpo is seasonal greeting card service, most server capacity will not be used most time of the year. Also, we would have hired additional admin/ maintenance employees without AWS. Overall, we have saved considerable time and costs.
Thank you for telling us about Webpo, is there anything else you would like to share?
Webpo is unique in that all pages have very rich Flash-based user interfaces. We hope that the fact that we are running an exceptionally rich user interface on Amazon EC2 in Japan will help to generate the idea that EC2 is something great among people in Japan. Here is a screenshot of the application at https://webpo.jp .:
To learn more about Ripplex, visit www.ripplex.com
(Published January 2010)