Natura Launches and Optimizes New Sales Platform for Consultants on AWS
Natura is part of the Natura &Co group, the fourth-largest cosmetics company in the world, which operates in more than 70 countries and also comprises the Aesop, Avon, and The Body Shop brands. To support the international expansion of Natura's operations and business growth plans, Natura &Co built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and engaged AWS Professional Services to perform an AWS Well-Architected Framework Review of its new Global Sales Platform (GSP).
We needed to offer a new buying experience and develop a relationship with our consultants and sales force that is amazing, unique, and personalized to promote digitalization and leverage productivity and profitability throughout our network in Latin America. For this transformation, we chose AWS."
Senior Manager & Global Sales Platform (GSP) Leader, Natura
In 2019, Natura launched its new sales platform for its consultants in beauty sales. The Global Sales Platform (GSP) now incorporates Natura's full commercial ecosystem, composed of three other platforms: Registration, Management of the Direct Sales Commercial and Relationship Model, and Digital Services for consultants and sellers.
"With the construction of GSP and its incorporation into our Commercial Platform product portfolio, we planned the first full stack deployment and chose Peru as the first country to receive all integrated platforms. It was a highly-competitive market, but at the same time had high capacity to carry out tests with the new perspectives that the platforms brought,” says Mario Santiago, director of commercial platforms for Natura &Co LATAM.
"GSP was built with a completely revised architecture—oriented to microservices and events—something totally innovative at Natura to support our consultants’ order-capture process,” says Renzo Petri, the head of cloud platform engineering & devOps at Natura. The company’s novel platform uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) components on a large scale to support scalability and deliver agile launch potential.
The first implementation faced challenges from several perspectives: high functional range, including business logic aggregations due to integration between components from different sales platforms; beauty consultant's goals; indicators analysis; implementation of non-functional components and operational aspects (monitoring with APM, 24/7 support for new country expansions); security level improvements during the beauty consultant's journey; and reliability of the most critical components in the distributed system.
"After our first full stack deployment, the Natura family has expanded. The challenges previously projected became much greater with the formation of Natura &Co LATAM, composed of Natura, Avon, The Body Shop and Aesop in the region. It was at that moment that we concluded that it was worth counting on collaboration with our provider for the overall optimization of the platform, focusing on the growth expectations of the group in this new stage of our history," says Santiago. "Aspects such as performance, scalability, resilience, cost reduction, and security were the main pillars of this work. We sought to advance in parallel on all relevant fronts of the platform, already preparing for our future expansion plans.”
AWS was a clear choice for continued iteration on the GSP, as Natura had originally built the platform on AWS. Natura chose AWS Professional Services to perform an AWS Well-Architected Framework Review on the GSP project. "We were clear on where we wanted to go, but we needed direction, a broad analysis, and support in executing the various dimensions of the platform. And for this, we identified AWS as the best provider to support our evolution," Petri recalls.
In late 2019, work began focusing on the evaluation and review of various infrastructure, architecture, and engineering components of the platform. For 8 weeks, a collaborative team of 15 involved members was responsible for analyzing each module of the platform.
At the end of this period, the team produced robust set of recommendations, which were prioritized and reviewed with the goals of improving the consultants’ experience with GSP and to prepare the platform for expansion into new geographies. "The joint work of the Natura &Co and AWS teams was fundamental for the centering the strategic vision of the group in the process of prioritizing the backlog," says Marcio Abdullatif, senior manager and leader of the GSP team.
AWS Professional Services acted as an orchestrator in meetings with the different technical teams involved in the work to identify and plan for next steps, in addition to developing proofs of concept for the proposed solutions. "We achieved very strong engagement from everyone involved. Developers, architects, and infrastructure engineers worked together to generate solutions that deliver positive impact on our consultants' experience," Abdullatif says.
Today, GSP is operational using services such as Amazon Aurora, Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), AWS Lambda, Amazon Route 53, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), Amazon Cognito, and AWS CloudTrail.
Benefits of AWS
After implementing the proposed recommendations, Natura has achieved significant improvement in the platform’s user experience. "At Natura, we use APDEX (Application Performance Index) as one of the main indicators of the experience of our consultants. It increased from 0.78 to 0.96 with the changes we implemented. Performance has improved significantly, with no functional losses, and the platform is responding very well to higher volumes of use. Furthermore, resilience in general has increased, exposure to failure has reduced, and our monitoring has become even more preventive. All this comes in parallel to the functional evolutions we implemented, aiming to leverage new, relevant features for our consultants and sales force,” says Abdullatif.
The project to overhaul Natura's GSP was so successful that the company turned to the AWS Professional Services team to conduct an overhaul of other critical platforms, such as the Global Commercial Platform (GCP) and the Global People Platform (GPP), which are part of Natura’s larger ecosystem and enable business services for Natura's consultants and sales force in Malaysia, Brazil, and Latin American countries.
About Natura &Co
Natura &Co is a global multi-channel, multi-brand cosmetics group that includes Aesop, Avon, The Body Shop and Natura. In 2020, the group recorded net revenues of R$36.9 billion. The four companies that make up the group are committed to generating positive economic, social and environmental impacts.
Benefits of AWS
- Application Performance Index (APDEX) increased from 0.78 to 0.96
- 300% improvement in platform response time
- 40% reduction in operational costs
- 3X improvement in platform availability
- 70% reduction in volume of availability incidents
- Consultant satisfaction research with the use of the platform reached an all-time high in Peru: compared to the indicators before the implementation, favorability grew from 61% to 84%
AWS Services Used
AWS Professional Services
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AWS Well-Architected Framework
AWS Well-Architected helps cloud architects build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for their applications and workloads. Based on five pillars — operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization.
Amazon Aurora is a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud, that combines the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.
Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring and observability service built for DevOps engineers, developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), and IT managers. CloudWatch provides you with data and actionable insights to monitor your applications, respond to system-wide performance changes, optimize resource utilization, and get a unified view of operational health.
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