The scalability of AWS enables us to potentially acquire clients such as stadiums, other music venues, and museums. We can support demand peaks during events such as concerts, and scale back down as demand eases when they conclude.
Samuel Au Director

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Hong Kong, Kopi Incorporation enables clients such as retail, security, and property management companies to track employees, contractors, and customers within their premises. The business provides an API that enables customers to integrate this tracking data into their own mobile applications.

“We enable clients such as retailers with brick-and-mortar outlets track customer movements and behaviors,” says Michael So, director of business development at Kopi Incorporation. “For example, we can help them answer questions such as ‘Do more customers visit on Mondays or on Wednesdays?’ ‘What displays or locations are they most likely to visit?’ We also provide heat maps and analytics tools that enable businesses to meet a range of key performance indicators.”

Mobile user proximity and location data—like that provided by Kopi Incorporation—is valuable to businesses in a range of industries. For example, capturing this data enables retailers to position in-store campaigns and displays more effectively, or commercial property management businesses to ensure cleaners are attending to all offices and other locations within a property. Kopi Incorporation needed a scalable, dynamic infrastructure with a global footprint to deliver its services in a range of markets. This infrastructure would be used to run frameworks that capture data from beacons on client premises and transmit it back to a centralized infrastructure. That data is then integrated into client mobile applications via an API.

The business wanted to quickly bring new customers on board in its core retail segment, and to expand seamlessly and at low cost into new markets and geographies. “We wanted to allow clients to integrate our frameworks and undertake onsite data-collection trials to fine-tune the performance of our servers, without having to commit to physical-hardware procurement and long setup times,” says So. As a lean operation with about 10 employees, Kopi Incorporation needed to dedicate its internal resources to supporting customers and business development rather than managing an IT infrastructure.

Kopi Incorporation selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) following a review of public cloud. “We needed a service that could scale as our business grew and provide resources that enabled us to test a variety of use cases,” says Samuel Au, director at Kopi Incorporation. “Selecting AWS was an easy decision as no other cloud provider had a similar track record of delivery or wide range of infrastructure services.” Kopi Incorporation undertook the deployment using internal resources, and Au says the intuitive nature of AWS and its ease of use made the project simple to complete. Kopi Incorporation went live on AWS in six months.

Kopi Incorporation’s AWS architecture is located in the Asia Pacific (Singapore) region. The company’s architecture incorporates Amazon ElastiCache for Redis in-memory data structure store that enables SQL and business-intelligence tools to analyze information received from Kopi Incorporation’s user-proximity and location services. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances run both Redis and the company’s management and basic analytics applications. Auto Scaling enables Kopi Incorporation to automate the scaling of Amazon EC2 instances to meet fluctuations in demand, while Elastic Load Balancing optimizes the performance of Kopi Incorporation’s applications by directing traffic to healthy Amazon EC2 instances.

Kopi Incorporation has achieved a range of benefits from operating on AWS, including the critical ability to scale efficiently and cost effectively to support new customers as they come on board. “Through our framework running on AWS, a mobile application can be proximity enabled in a few hours,” says So. “A mobile developer needs to only drag and drop our framework to their mobile project, and we can start collecting data from beacons on the client site and send them an AWS instance.”

“The scalability of AWS enables us to potentially acquire clients such as stadiums, other music venues, and museums. We can support demand peaks during events such as concerts, and scale back down as demand eases when they conclude,” says Au.

While the business has not calculated the cost of using AWS versus a data center running physical servers and associated systems, adopting AWS was an obvious decision for Kopi Incorporation. “We didn’t even consider acquiring our own hardware, as we knew it would not make financial sense and the administrative load would divert our small team’s valuable time and expertise away from the core job of building the business,” says So.

Kopi Incorporation has achieved infrastructure availability of 99.999 percent¾ensuring vital proximity data is captured, aggregated, and analyzed to provide clients with the insights and information needed to deliver high-quality applications.

The global footprint of AWS has also helped Kopi Incorporation plan its expansion into new markets, including Malaysia, North America, Singapore, and Taiwan. From a product perspective, Kopi Incorporation intends to integrate its proximity services with media-playback solutions. For example, an LCD screen in a retail outlet would play advertising and other content targeted to the profile of the consumers in the area. That content would most likely be stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets.

“AWS has enabled us to provide a seamless service to our clients while providing us with a platform to expand into new markets and develop new services,” says Au. “We’re very excited to be working with AWS.”

Learn more about AWS mobile services.