With AWS's fully managed services, however, self-operation became possible without the help of external engineers. By introducing AWS, we can concentrate more on core business without the burden of IT infrastructure operations and we have laid the foundation for overseas service with speed and low cost.
Noh, Hyeong-ju Team Leader, IoT Development Team, Coway

Coway is a Korea-based company that builds consumer electronics for air, water, and sleep. Coway was the first in the industry to provide proactive services through its rental system in 1998; it has since been ranked first for market share and brand awareness. Coway launched IoCare, a life-care solution, by introducing Internet of Things (IoT) technology to water purifiers and air cleaners—the first home-appliance company to do so. Coway has been making new efforts such as launching smart-home appliances that combine artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT. The company is further expanding its overseas markets into Malaysia, the United States, and Japan. In recent years, the company introduced products equipped with Amazon's artificial-intelligence voice-recognition service, Alexa, into the U.S. market.

Since 2015, Coway has provided customized care solutions through professional diagnostics and analysis using IoT technology. The IoCare service was built and operated based on a domestic third-party IoT solution. However, concerns about performance delays were raised as products with IoT technology are sold not only in the domestic market but also in the United States, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan. Moreover, the existing IoT platform was managed and operated by the vendor, so applying it took a considerable amount of time when there were modifications to the product. 

Traffic grew rapidly as Coway's global business grew, and delivering services in Korea had performance problems. Nonetheless, the global data center had to cope with not only a huge initial investment but also ongoing operating costs.

"We needed global infrastructure that could provide stable services and respond to increasingly demanding products and global needs," says Noh Hyeong-ju, head of Coway's IoT development team. “We have relied on external engineers to operate IoT infrastructure and IoT solutions—making it difficult to respond actively to rapidly changing business—and it has been difficult for Coway to internalize or customize services. We needed a way to lower the initial investment and operational costs with a solution that meets all of these requirements."

After reviewing the services of other global cloud providers, Coway chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) and worked with APN Partner POSCO ICT, to implement a new solution. "We believe the transition to AWS's high-quality managed service proposed by POSCO ICT is in keeping with the need to focus on Coway’s core business and make the operation more self-managing," says Noh.

Coway chose to develop in a way that is more cost-effective and manageable in the long run by choosing fully managed services rather than server-based services. Coway’s Deputy Director, Lee Chang-hwa, added that AWS Auto Scaling enabled the company to focus more on development without paying special attention to server capacity or network traffic.

Coway uses AWS IoT, Amazon Kinesis, and Amazon DynamoDB to collect and store data from IoT devices. In order to control IoT-information inquiries and devices, the IoT environment was built serverless using Amazon API Gateway and AWS Lambda, which are fully managed services. Coway's business-certification and mobile services also run on AWS.

coway-customer-case

By reducing costs and shortening the time to procure and deploy IT infrastructure, Coway can overcome the infrastructure constraints of developing and deploying new services and reduce the time and cost of operating the existing third-party IoT solutions. 

"When we introduced AWS, we expected cost savings in building and running our IT infrastructure. Nonetheless, the biggest advantage of AWS is that we can take full advantage of its fully managed services, enabling it to operate on its own without the help of external engineers. By introducing AWS, we can concentrate more on the core business without the burden of IT infrastructure operations such as hardware and system software. Also, we have established a foundation for overseas service with speed and low cost,” says Noh. 

He adds that AWS provides a developer-friendly environment with a variety of development environments, owns a large number of managed services and marketplace SaaS services, launches new products regularly, and keeps improving the performance and functionality of its existing products.

In the future, Coway plans to launch products that incorporate Amazon Alexa as well as Amazon's Dash Replenishment Service (DRS), an Internet-based ordering service.

As a consulting partner for the AWS Partner Network (APN), Pangyo-based POSCO ICT offers professional consulting and building services for IoT and Big Data.

Learn more about IoT services offered by AWS