Capillary Easily Expands to 30 Countries Using AWS
Innovating to Serve over 400 Brands
Retailers are increasingly seeking ways to connect with customers on a personal level, both at online and offline stores. Capillary Technologies, which was launched in India 10 years ago as an omnichannel customer engagement platform, provides its software as a service (SaaS) to its global customers. Capillary offers integrated products for customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce platforms.
The company has rapidly expanded and now also operates in China and 30 other countries across Southeast Asia and the Middle East, serving more than 400 enterprise clients and over 30 million customers. Capillary has driven growth through two primary strategies: continuous innovation and geographical expansion. Born in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, the company regularly rolls out new innovations. “AWS is always coming up with newer solutions on the platform, and we’ve been able to use those services,” says Pravanjan Choudhury, chief technology officer of Capillary Technologies.
“AWS is constantly introducing innovative features to help keep costs down for our customers.”
Pravanjan Choudhury, CTO, Capillary Technologies
AWS Services Used
Capillary Technologies specializes in customer relationship management, offering an ML- and AI-powered experience platform tailored to retail companies to increase omnichannel engagement. Launched in India, and now with 11 global offices, Capillary also provides e-commerce solutions. Its customers include over 400 brands across more than 30 countries.
- Simplifies expansion to 30 global markets
- Ensures 99.97% availability
- Reduces costs by 40% using containers and automation
- Scales 500% during peak campaign periods
- Creates new go-to-market strategies with AWS DCX competency
AWS Services Used
Processing Unstructured Data
One of the company’s latest innovations is the integration of behavioral events on its CRM platform, such as when a customer scans a QR bar code in store. A few years ago, Capillary’s CRM solution was purely transaction-focused, based on point-of-sale (POS) information captured at the register. Capillary is now using AWS Lambda and Amazon DynamoDB to record and process such behavioral events, which often yield unstructured data at scale.
After behavioral and POS events are captured, they are processed using Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) with Apache Spark to provide standard and specialized analytics to customers. “We collect all the logs and generate reports running off the Amazon EMR data pipeline to process information and provide insights,” Choudhury explains. “We then transform real-time data to fact and dimension models.”
Saving 40% with Automation Scripts
When launching in new markets that have data haven laws, Capillary uses a combination of Terraform software tools and Kubernetes containers along with AWS CloudFormation templates to scale in serverless environments. More than half of Capillary’s applications are containerized, which offers the immutability required in those markets.
After acquiring multichannel commerce platform MartJack Enterprise in 2015, Capillary re-architected the platform on AWS and rebranded it as Anywhere Commerce. “It was easy to use the same automation scripts we deployed on our CRM platform with AWS,” Choudhury says. “That saved a lot of cost and gave us scalability on demand, which is key for e-commerce.” Migrating MartJack onto AWS resulted in a 40 percent cost reduction primarily due to autoscaling and increased the platform’s capacity by 500 percent.
The presence of AWS data centers in multiple regions has likewise facilitated growth. In addition to data centers in the US, the UK, and Singapore, Capillary launched in China in 2016 with the AWS China (Beijing) Region. Though they faced country-specific roadblocks, the team was largely able to implement the same AWS infrastructure components used in other regions, which streamlined the process to just three months.
Boosting Innovation While Controlling Costs
Over the past 10 years, Capillary has maintained an availability rate of 99.97 percent despite a soaring customer base. “Capillary is known for being scale-ready even for the largest retailers, and that confidence has come from running on AWS,” Choudhury shares. During peak shopping seasons or campaign periods, its architecture is resilient and able to “flash scale” to accommodate traffic that is up to 50 times higher than usual if needed.
Although its operation—and underlying cloud infrastructure—has significantly expanded, Capillary has been able to control costs and invest heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) innovation. “While our spend on AWS has grown over the years, we’ve been able to provide newer services at a lower cost, such as AI and data-science workloads,” Choudhury says. “We’ve done this by leveraging various cost-optimization strategies such as moving to serverless models with AWS Lambda, seamlessly deploying Kubernetes on top of AWS Auto Scaling, and using Amazon Simple Storage Service [Amazon S3] Intelligent-Tiering. AWS is constantly introducing innovative features to help keep costs down for our customers.”
Driving a Smart Customer Solution
Staying true to its innovation mission, Capillary has formed an AI/ML innovation lab dedicated to adding more AI capabilities to its products. The team is exploring the use of Amazon Rekognition to drive an effective customer engagement solution powered by smart IoT sensors deployed in the stores. The technology will capture information about visitors such as how much time they spend in a store or if they are a returning customer. Capillary is also experimenting with Amazon SageMaker to simplify the development and deployment of ML algorithms across its product portfolio.
Earning a DCX Competency
Earlier this year, Capillary became one of the first AWS Partner Network (APN) members with an AWS Digital Customer Experience (DCX) competency, which indicates that a company supports all phases of the digital customer acquisition and retention lifecycle. Capillary hopes that this status will help persuade new customers that its cloud-based products are superior for scaling and reliability. Choudhury and the team also believe it will facilitate the onboarding of new customers already operating on the AWS Cloud and give them key exposure in new markets.
“Our new competency cements the relationship with AWS and our marketing and sales teams plan to work closely to enable new go-to-market strategies,” Choudhury says. “We have grown significantly during our 10-year journey with AWS, and with all the innovations and support, we are confident in our roadmap for the future.”