Searce Helps Colive Engage Renters with Fluid Digital Experiences Using AWS
Searce is an APN Advanced Consulting Partner
Colive, a major provider of premium, furnished rental properties in India, recently partnered with Searce to modernize its technology infrastructure for greater scalability, performance, and resilience using Amazon Web Services (AWS).
In India each year, millions of people move from rural to urban environments seeking new opportunities amid increasing demand for housing and services. That’s where Colive comes in.
“We are a company dedicated to solving the problems of people coming to the city,” says Arun Singh, Cofounder of Colive. “Urban areas are having trouble keeping pace with growth and demand for housing. We help people find technology-enabled, fully managed rental homes with premium amenities using a completely digital ecosystem. The tenant who stays with us can access rental information, transactions, maintenance services, and more—all from our digital app.” The robustness of Colive’s solution was demonstrated in the midst of global pandemic lockdowns, during which the company ran 150 properties for three months with no downtime.
A Data-Driven Company
To deliver this kind of seamless service requires a sophisticated technology ecosystem. For Colive, it all starts with data. “Our solution requires the integration of multiple software-as-a-service technologies,” says Singh. “Instead of using APIs to connect these services, we want to use data as the integration layer, ensuring that we maintain control over the value-added aspects of our platform. When we talked to Searce, it was clear they could help us on this journey.”
Searce, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Consulting Partner, has an AWS Microsoft Workloads Competency and specializes in creating business transformation through digital transformation. It saw the value in Colive’s vision. “To meet Colive’s goals for improving their service, we took a comprehensive approach to modernization,” says Richard Eliab, Practice Head at Searce. “The company is very forward-thinking and focused on efficiency and service quality. We modernized their .NET codebase by moving it to .NET Core, implemented containers and microservices, and helped them greatly improve the performance and resilience of their services.”
Colive chose AWS as its cloud destination because of the company’s technology leadership, broad range of services, and ease of use. “In applications, we can use AWS components that can scale up or down based on demand,” says Singh. “Backed by highly scalable infrastructure, we have access to compute and storage resources when needed. Additionally, AWS management tools make our jobs easy and reduce hassles. If you’re looking for an easy-to-understand hosting service, AWS is the clear leader.”
Visual Experiences That Entice and Engage
High-quality images are critical to engaging people looking for the right place to live, but Colive was finding it difficult to deliver a fluid experience to users. “Most of our customers are using mobile devices to search, so rendering speed is an obsession with us. Using low-resolution images was not an option, because people are buying based on the image,” says Singh. “Unfortunately, our page load times were sometimes 8–10 seconds, which was not acceptable.”
The company adopted Amazon CloudFront, a fast content delivery network (CDN) that is globally distributed and integrates with other AWS technologies. It uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store objects that are delivered by the CDN. “Colive started out hosting static web pages on a standalone virtual machine,” says Eliab. “We advised them to adopt Amazon CloudFront, which enables them to reduce latency and save money at the same time.”
The results were significant. “Searce guidance and AWS technology have helped us to dramatically improve the customer experience,” says Singh. “Using Amazon CloudFront and Amazon S3, our page load times for high-definition images are now 1.5 seconds or less—more than five times faster. This has real business impact for us. We are now generating leads that are 30 percent more likely to result in sales and have reduced our marketing spend by more than 70 percent thanks to lower bounce rates and higher engagement. Best of all, it integrates perfectly with our own content management system, so we are in total control of the look and feel of the experience as well as the data it generates.”
Insights Drive Competitive Advantage
The modernization effort has also significantly improved Colive’s ability to drive value with data insights. Searce helped Colive adopt the Amazon Redshift data warehouse, making it easy for the company to gain new insights from all its data. “Colive is a completely data-driven operation,” says Eliab. “Using Amazon Redshift, the company has been able to unify data from its core database with geographic data, search marketing, and other key business priorities. It can effectively optimize operations based on data that’s coming from the core application stack and the data warehouse we built.”
Colive views this capability as business-critical, as these insights are at the heart of its competitive advantage. “We have the ability to make data-driven decisions across our entire business, making us more agile and responsive,” says Singh. “We are also able to analyze historical data to improve our operational decisions, which has resulted in improved decision making, reduced costs, and more accurate scenario predictions.” These capabilities help the company provide more responsive service and free time
and resources for investment in customer-facing capabilities.
Creating the Homes of the Future
Colive plans to continue deepening its use of advanced AWS services with the help of Searce. For example, it will soon roll out Amazon Alexa capabilities at its properties, allowing customers to create and manage service requests, handle invoices and payments, and order products and services from Colive partners—all using voice technology. Using AWS ensures that Colive can continue pursuing its data-centric innovation strategy while taking advantage of the latest digital capabilities. In a market where service is king, Colive uses AWS to create experiences that keep customers coming back.
Colive is a technology-enabled network of fully managed rental homes that are conveniently located in close proximity to IT parks and business hubs. All homes are fully serviced and professionally managed and offer flexible, affordable options for urban living. With an inventory in excess of 26,000 beds, Colive is one of India’s leading coliving operators.
Searce specializes in helping businesses move to the cloud and adopt next-generation analytics, automation, and software-as-a-service capabilities. Based in Houston, Texas, the company has more than 750 employees and has been in business since 2004.
Published August 2020