Why Omnilytics Moved its E-commerce Platform to be All-In on AWS
More often than not, great companies are born out of challenging experiences. That’s certainly the case for Omnilytics, a data and analytics platform that helps retail professionals get the insights they need to connect with more customers, optimize their business, and increase sales.
As a student, one of Omnilytics’ co-founders, Kendrick Wong, decided to get into wholesale apparel and jewelry trading to earn extra money but quickly realized just how difficult it was to get ahead without proper insights. Coincidentally, Omnilytics’ other founders ran into the same issues. Together, they built a solution for themselves that eventually grew into a vital tool for all retailers—both for online e-commerce businesses as well as brick and mortar ones. This dashboard is utilized by small-to-medium size businesses and global enterprise companies alike.
“Omnilytics is a data platform that monitors online products. We track every change in product trends, price, availability, and newness. We then process these data points using a combination of keyword analysis and image-based models to transform them into visual dashboards and insights for industry professionals. These insights help brands and retailers by bolstering business agility and empowering decisions in the merchandising or retail processes,” says Mohammad Mahboubian, CTO of Omnilytics.
Intaking and manipulating that amount of data requires a considerable amount of infrastructure, however, so the Omnilytics team started looking for cloud-based solutions to help manage it all.
At first, the team decided to split the work between AWS and GCP, mainly because Google had a product readily available to support Omnilytics’ Kubernetes-based systems. This codependent backend worked for a bit, but the company began to start racking up large bills as they shuttled data back-and-forth between the providers, per Mahoubian.
“We initially had gone with GCP to host our Kubernetes clusters but found that managing two providers was expensive both from a time and money standpoint. We were really excited when AWS launched Amazon ECS with support for Kubernetes and have since migrated to be fully hosted on AWS. We’ve since seen a host of benefits, but the most impactful is definitely the drop in costs.”
Aside from the first and most immediate benefit of cost savings, Omnilytics also experienced efficiencies after the shift. The team started looking at all of the available tools in AWS to help reorganize their infrastructure. In a fast-paced company, time and resources are limited, so Omnilytics sought to leverage all that they could from AWS offerings.
“This migration gave us the opportunity to really think about how we can make Omnilytics better. So after we went all-in with AWS, we also thought about technologies that are available within the ecosystem to help manage and re-architect a good portion of our data pipelines. From that, we saw an increase in performance, and also another drop in costs. We’ve really achieved a lot across the board by migrating to AWS,” says Mohammad.
And the Omnilytics team didn’t do it alone. AWS offered support throughout the entire process to help them uncover blind spots and overcome hurdles. “My recommendation for other CTOs is to really lean on the AWS support system when going through this process. They were able to give us tips on what to do next, how to think about the whole process, and which service best suits our needs,” says Mohammad. “While the whole process took about three months to complete, having AWS along with us the whole way was hugely helpful and sped up what could’ve been a much longer timeline.”