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Jahez Cooks up a Winning Cloud Recipe

2020

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AWS enables us to expand when and where we need to. From a technical perspective, we are confident, and from a business perspective, we have that ability to move.”

Ghassab AlMandeel
CEO, Jahez

Jahez is one of the leading food delivery services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), serving more than three million customers, and processing more than 20 million orders annually. While the majority of its 200 employees are based in Riyadh, it has a presence in 21 cities across KSA.

The company’s entire IT infrastructure is built on AWS, enabling it to reliably scale its operations in response to variable demand. This has been particularly beneficial during the coronavirus pandemic in which the app saw a threefold increase in orders. Looking to the future, AWS will also support Jahez’s plans to expand into other parts of Middle East and North Africa.

A Company Built on the Cloud

Since its launch in 2015, Jahez has relied on technology from AWS. “Before we started, we discussed that we needed a cloud that would support us with reliable and sustainable infrastructure—this is one of the reasons why we chose AWS,” explains Jahez CEO, Ghassab AlMandeel.

With the company sourcing meals from more than 12,000 points of sale, supported by a network of 15,000 delivery drivers in 21 cities—all centrally monitored from Riyadh—a reliable, scalable, and flexible cloud infrastructure is crucial.

Using AWS also ensures services can be provided in the right way for different stakeholders. Unlike its competitors, Jahez integrates customers, restaurants, and delivery riders into its operations. “We make sure that we’re connecting the merchant and restaurant with the client, and with the driver. All of these three elements have to be transferred between the systems,” explains Ghassab AlMandeel. “When we thought about the cloud, we were looking for a company that provides the services to give us the ease to implement these things.”

The Key Ingredients for On-Demand Food Delivery

Core to Jahez’s operations is Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for driver management and tracking, as well as caching. The company also uses the Amazon Route 53 domain name system (DNS) to help seamlessly migrate data between RDS and the open source MariaDB, which is connected to the company’s accounting system.

Jahez initially wanted to use on-demand auto-scaling, but was hindered by the application being unable to handle the load thrown at it. The company turned to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for virtual machine (VM) instances, and application load balancers to support on-demand auto-scaling. Jahez is exploring containerized deployment with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) and Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) for Docker containers.

Jahez is using Amazon ElastiCache to support sub-millisecond latency for its mobile app. This includes managing notifications and calculating delivery prices, which vary depending on distance from the restaurant and overall demand. Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), meanwhile, supports rapid database access when there is a high volume of orders. This makes it easy to increase capacity of block storage dynamically to match high order volumes.

Amazon CloudWatch is used in a couple of ways. First, at the VM level, including CPU consumption and basic data and processes. At an app level, CloudWatch provides information such as the quantity of orders, the number that are pending, and volume of customer requests.

Jahez recently started to use Amazon Elasticsearch Service in response to issues faced during the pandemic as customer numbers soared. “During the pandemic, we had a huge number of requests for our services, and we were struggling to find a better solution for the search, which was mostly implemented on the database level. So we wanted to get that service more scalable,” explains Ayub Khan, technical team lead at Jahez. The hope is that the improved customer search experience will contribute to the retention of new customers acquired during the pandemic.

Customer-Centric Innovation

With AWS, Jahez didn’t have to worry about maintenance and individual elements from different vendors or open source solutions. “We’ve been known as a reliable, simple, straightforward application and that would not be possible without an infrastructure built by AWS and our development team.” says Ayub Khan.

The company is able to focus on customer-centric innovation, and boosting customer satisfaction. For example, if a driver is in a restaurant for too long, the Jahez system triggers the operations team to contact the driver, and speed up the process. Says CEO Ghassab AlMandeel: “When they are hungry, they are hungry—they cannot wait. We are taking care of that from a systems perspective and an operational perspective.” Jahez is exploring use cases for machine learning, with last-mile optimization being looked at along with customer recommendations based on spend patterns.

Cutting the Bill

Working with AWS technology has enabled Jahez to optimize costs in many areas. By using Elasticsearch, for example, the company has reduced the number of Amazon EC2 instances. By refining the way it uses the AWS services, Jahez has reduced infrastructure management costs by more than 90 percent. More than 60 percent of cost benefits have come from using the AWS on-demand core infrastructure, and fully managed relational database services.

Jahez has used AWS Business Support to solve issues and for pointers on what to fix. This was invaluable when setting up Elasticsearch with containers, after using an open source solution previously. AWS also provides valuable training to the expanding development team, if new team members lack hands-on experience.

A World of Possibility

The way its systems are integrated means Jahez can develop new customer products and services for its business partners. For example, there is the potential to give restaurants greater visibility to help them enhance their operations.

With its plethora of data, Jahez is already advising restaurants about where to open their next branch. There are also plans to apply artificial intelligence to this data as part of a customer loyalty push in 2021.

The AWS infrastructure also gives Jahez the ability to easily and quickly go into new markets, according to CEO Ghassab AlMandeel. For example, the company recently started to operate in two new cities in the space of a week. “AWS enables us to expand when and where we need to. From a technical perspective, we are confident, and from a business perspective, we have that ability to move,” adds Ghassab AlMandeel.


About Jahez

Jahez is one of a leading food delivery services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), serving more than three million users and processing more than 20 million orders annually. It has a presence in 21 cities across KSA.

Benefits of AWS

  • Agility and performance
  • Reliability
  • Focus on developing customer services, rather than managing infrastructure
  • Cost optimization
  • Ability to scale

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.

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Amazon Elasticsearch Service

Amazon Elasticsearch Service is a fully managed service that makes it easy for you to deploy, secure, and run Elasticsearch cost effectively at scale.

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Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.

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Amazon ElastiCache

Amazon ElastiCache allows you to seamlessly set up, run, and scale popular open-source compatible in-memory data stores in the cloud.

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