Midea Group is a leading technology company that sells electrical appliances, HVACs, robotics and automation systems, and smart supply chains, and provides one of the most diversified and comprehensive product and service portfolio. Midea’s vision is to “bring great innovations to life”. The Group has successfully transformed itself from a single-category and single-country operation into an enterprise group with multi-category and global operation bases. It has been listed in the Fortune Global 500 for three consecutive years, ranking 323 in 2018.
With the rapid development of AI technology (image identification, voice, etc.) and expanding user requirements, Midea Group has released the M-Smart strategy with Midea Smart Cloud (Midea IoT Platform) playing a crucial role. It connects all household appliances, integrates various resources, and provides customers with intelligent home services through the cloud platform. In addition to providing support for equipment networking and intelligence, Midea Smart Cloud is also an open platform that allows other equipment manufacturers access, reducing the cost of their investment for smart products in the cloud, and ultimately achieving the goal of enhancing the overall value of the household appliance industry.
The goal of M-Smart home strategy is to realize networking and automatic control for the various Midea products and to realize the interactive application between the community, store, entertainment, health care, weather forecast and other ecological groups. The entire system is composed of Midea M-Smart APP, intelligent appliances, and intelligent devices, while Midea Smart Cloud serves as the core. Midea Smart Cloud is the backbone of this system. With cloud computing technology, it provides smart home services for Midea intelligent appliances, including equipment interconnection and interoperability, equipment management, user management, intelligent repair reporting, firmware upgrades, and big data analysis. It also provides efficient, stable and intelligent cloud services and applications for large consumer groups, upstream and downstream partners in the ecological chain, and third-party intelligent appliance manufacturers.
With users all over the world, Midea wanted their Smart Cloud divided for domestic and foreign users. They needed timely, stable, and reliable services in North America, Europe, the Middle East and other regions around the world. Their biggest challenge was how to build a safe, stable and reliable Smart Cloud with easy operation and maintenance and global service coverage at a low cost. After a comprehensive assessment on the performance, service level, automatic operation and maintainability, usage cost, service scope and other aspects of several cloud platforms, Midea chose AWS as the IT infrastructure of Midea Smart Cloud overseas.
"Our primary reason for choosing AWS is its global coverage," said the head of Midea IoT. Midea Intelligent appliances already have a large number of users in the United States, Brazil, Europe, the Middle East and other counties and regions. The global coverage of AWS Cloud services has enabled Midea to quickly build overseas smart household platforms and provide comprehensive services to users without a large capital investment in IT equipment and space to house it.
Another reason for choosing AWS was Midea’s concern around security. The Midea Smart Cloud connects the intelligent household appliances of users, and the relevant data is stored on Midea’s Smart Cloud. According to EU regulations, European countries have strict requirements on data compliance. AWS not only provides rich security management functionsbut also guides on best practices for system security, which can help Midea deploy its own household applications overseas to meet the requirements for data protection in the EU. In addition, AWS has met the corresponding data protection requirements in other regions, so if Midea needs to complete the data migration across regions, it can be conveniently accomplished with AWS.
Moreover, the stability, reliability and flexibility of AWS Cloud services were also important factors in for Midea to choose AWS. The Midea Smart Cloud connects the intelligent household appliances of users. As its number of users increases, Midea Smart Cloud will be required to support more connections and more data. AWS provides flexible services with superior performance and supports rapid application scaling to provide users with the best experience during peak demand to maintain stable operation of the system and automatically reduce the capacity during periods of lower demand to minimize costs. "Although we’ve also considered other cloud service providers during the selection process, we ultimately chose AWS after considering the maturity, coverage and cost performance of AWS Cloud services overseas," said the head of Midea IoT.
It took Midea only half a month to choose AWS and complete the deployment of Midea Smart Cloud. The AWS Cloud services used by Midea include Amazon EC2, Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon RDS, Amazon Route53, Amazon VPC and AWS Security Groups.
The greatest advantage of deploying Midea Smart Cloud on AWS was the quick turnaround. AWS provides rich services that can be used directly, and this allows the Midea’s IT team to quickly respond to requirements of the business division. "Compared with self-built computer rooms or IDC hosting, we saved at least 3 months of time in promoting overseas products, and our business expansion also became more flexible," said the head of Midea IoT.
Additionally, the stability, reliability, and data security of the system are guaranteed, improving the experience of overseas users. In terms of cost, Midea saved a significant amount in operation and maintenance expenditures by using the AWS Cloud platform. Additionally, throughout the implementation of the project, the professional and fast response from AWS also helped Midea to improve efficiency and save labor costs. At present, Midea Smart Cloud has used three AWS nodes in Japan, Oregon and Frankfurt. With its business expansion, Midea will also use the AWS nodes in South America and other regions to meet the growing demands for services from overseas users.
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