Amazon Web Services Case Study: ZS
ZS is a management consulting and technology firm focused on transforming global healthcare and beyond. They leverage leading-edge analytics, plus the power of data, science, and products, to help clients make more intelligent decisions, deliver innovative solutions, and improve outcomes for all. Founded in 1983, ZS has more than 12,000 employees in 35 offices worldwide. More than 130 companies have already used ZS’s products to drive business decisions, and over 100,000 pharmaceutical field reps worldwide have used ZS’s insights to engage their customers. To further enhance their capabilities in the healthcare industry, ZS is continuing to enhance its portfolio of products. In 2021, ZS launched ZAIDYNTM, an intelligent, cloud-native platform that helps life sciences organizations shape the future. Its analytics, algorithms and workflows empower people, transform processes, and unlock real value. Designed to learn and grow with our clients, the platform is modular, future-ready and fueled by global connectivity. And as more people engage, share and build, our platform gets smarter—helping organizations fuel discovery, connect with customers, deliver treatments, and improve lives. Today, ZAIDYN, built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), has been launched and operated in the Chinese market.
During the “14th Five-Year Plan” period, informatization will usher in a new era characterized by accelerated digitalization and the building of a digital China. A wave of digital transformation will sweep through all vertical market segments, including healthcare. Pharmaceutical companies have to be ready for the change by accelerating digital transformation, practicing lean cost control, and improving the efficiency and quality of drug discovery in order to find new business opportunities.
In a new information era, many pharmaceutical companies are challenged with how to store, process, analyze, and use medical data of varied sources and types. Pharmaceutical companies are in dire need of efficient digital tools and means to manage and sort out digital assets, accelerate the drug discovery process, and achieve better performance with less cost. To this end, ZS launched ZAIDYN, which integrates business intelligence (BI) applications, a powerful self-learning network, and a ready-to-use library of algorithms. The platform allows pharmaceutical companies to adopt products, applications, algorithms, and data assets in a modular way, thus creating business value.
ZS requires a stable, secure, and fully-managed infrastructure to support ZAIDYN’s effective operation, helping customers better activate the value of data assets and make precise forecasts and intelligent decisions. Buying and configuring local servers can cost a company considerable labor and financial resources. In addition, companies have to adjust resources in the case of business peaks, resulting in a waste of resources and unavoidable network latency and downtime. For this reason, ZS prefers to work with fully-managed cloud services.
As part of their global expansion process, ZS needed to find a strong company to partner with to enter the Chinese market. According to China’s stringent cybersecurity management rules, companies are required to pass the Multi-Level Protection Scheme and meet applicable regulatory requirements. ZS needed to guarantee compliance with these laws and regulations while continuing to deploy and expand businesses and ensure smooth operations in China.
Collaboration between Amazon Web Services and ZS is analogous to the two chains of a DNA double helix. Building on the two chains, their respective teams, evolving their distinctive characteristics over times, have worked together to develop products and services that meet diverse needs of customers.”
Head of Cloud Business, ZS China
Why Amazon Web Services?
As a healthcare consulting company, ZS needed to generate revenue while ensuring reliable, agile, and secure services. Amazon Web Services’ diverse cloud services and products enabled ZS to simplify its architecture building and save enormous labor and financial costs. ZS was also able to reduce turnaround time for infrastructure expansion and meet China’s requirements for security compliance. Additionally, Amazon Web Services cloud-native ecosystem was a great addition for ZS’s global rollout. By selecting Amazon Web Services as their partner to build their global ZAIDYN platform, ZS was able to achieve seamless deployment in the Chinese market leveraging Amazon Web Services global technical architecture.
“Amazon Web Services helps us reduce management costs and unnecessary workloads. It also enables elastic scaling for us.” said Jack, Head of Cloud Business, ZS China, “With Amazon Web Services, we can easily scale up or down to meet our business needs. In addition, the Amazon Web Services China team provided great support for our entry into the Chinese market, and Amazon Web Services has become a strategic partner that works side by side with us in driving results.”
ZS uses the following Amazon Web Services: Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Redshift, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR), Amazon Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon Aurora, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Organizations, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), and more.
Scalable, Durable, and Stable Architecture
Relying on Amazon Web Services fully-managed services, ZS is able store, decode, analyze, and apply massive data in a secure, flexible, and efficient manner. In particular, ZS is able to leverage Amazon S3 for data storage, Amazon Redshift for efficient data processing, Amazon EC2 for machine learning algorithms running, AWS Lambda for serverless computing, and Amazon EMR for large-scale concurrent data processing. Compared with on-premises IDC architecture, Amazon S3 allows rapid access and storage of various data at a low cost.
In addition, with Amazon EC2, ZS can readily scale up or down its software operation and maintenance capacity to business needs, achieving optimization in size, performance, and cost. As Amazon Redshift adopts a pay-as-you-go pricing, ZS may, without additional configuration of the server, save server costs by running the service during the day and pausing it at night. The on-demand storage and processing capabilities are the reasons for ZS’s deployment of Amazon Web Services data warehouse.
Agile, Accessible, and Intelligent Data Analysis Capability
Seamlessly integrating extensive, intensive data services, the Amazon Web Services lake house architecture allows clients to move, access, and connect data between a data lake and a data warehouse, thus unifying the lake and the house. Through this architecture, ZAIDYN, connects various data in different business systems, engineers’ different data sets together, and then integrate data services, thereby helping pharmaceutical companies fully create value from massive business data.
As an integrated intelligent cloud-native platform, ZAIDYN helps clients achieve centralized data management. With ZAIDYN, clients can not only use an array of services like data analysis and data visualization, but also easily deploy their innovative product modules and algorithmic models. ZS’s solutions enable clients to track brand releases and sales performance and inform the creation of digital marketing platforms and personalized recommendations. When making business decisions, traditional pharmaceutical companies draw on experience, while smart healthcare companies leverage business intelligence to achieve intelligent management and operation decision-making. For example, when developing a new drug, a pharmaceutical company, if adopting traditional data models, could take a month to develop modeling. By contrast, ZS, relying on the performant Amazon Redshift, took only one week to complete the modeling, making its algorithms more efficient.
Support for ZS Deployment in China
Amazon Web Services secure, reliable products strictly comply with the Level-3 requirements of China’s Multi-Level Protection Scheme 2.0 (MLPS 2.0), meaning higher security assurance and simpler compliance efforts. With Amazon Web Services, ZS was able to directly obtain infrastructure compliance certifications, allowing it to spend less effort in obtaining application layer certification. Tapping into Amazon Web Services best security practices and partner ecosystem, ZS could complete its deployment in China smoothly and implement the MLPS 2.0.
Moreover, Amazon Web Services provides technical support for ZAIDYN’s local deployment. ZAIDYN applies the same technical framework for its global deployment, but due to China’s unique network, its automated deployment in the country did not go as planned as the platform had to be manually configured if any deployment errors occurred. Actively responding to the errors, Amazon Web Services GISV team ensured ZS’s successful deployment by resolving technical problems.
Striving to be the world’s most customer-centric company, Amazon Web Services was fully committed to helping ZS. Together with ZS, the Amazon Web Services GISV team, along with their abundant global customer practices and network of partners, were able to help ZS reach new potential customers and expand into the Chinese market.
With the support the Amazon Web Services technical team, ZS was able to deploy and launch ZAIDYN in China in three months. Relying on ZAIDYN, the leading global pharmaceutical companies were able to improve their corporate data analytic solutions, process confidential clinical, patient, and financial data to generate business insights, and change and support their business operation models. Further, ZAIDYN can closely integrate with clients’ existing systems, deliver better user experiences, and process more businesses.
Supported by Amazon Web Services technical experts, ZS has achieved highly available, scalable automated operation and maintenance. They can readily scale cloud resources up or down to meet their business needs and optimize data processing speed. Moreover, Amazon Web Services has also facilitated ZS’s localization and business compliance in China. Notably, AWS Savings Plans helped ZS save expenses and achieve flexible cost control.
ZS is continuing to expand its presence in China as the country’s healthcare reform advances. In this example, Amazon Web Services was able to offer comprehensive technical support to help ZS reach potential customers. In addition, ZS and Amazon Web Services will continue to collaborate to discover more market opportunities., ZS is committed to expanding its business in the field of data analytics and decision making and will continue to focus on providing pharmaceutical companies with comprehensive data analytics and insights. ZS will also continue to partner with Amazon Web Services to seek wider presence in the Chinese market and empower clients to expedite innovation.
ZS is a management consulting and technology firm focused on transforming global healthcare and beyond. We leverage our leading-edge analytics, plus the power of data, science, and products, to help our clients make more intelligent decisions, deliver innovative solutions and improve outcomes for all. Founded in 1983, ZS has more than 12,000 employees in 35 offices worldwide.
Why Amazon Web Services
- Cloud-native ecosystem that suits ZS’ global rollout
- Data security compliance that meets the needs of pharmaceutical companies
- On-demand pricing that brings lower costs
- Technical and service support that responds fast
AWS Services Used
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) gives you full control over your virtual networking environment, including resource placement, connectivity, and security.
Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) is a collection of managed services that makes it simple to set up, operate, and scale databases in the cloud.
Amazon Aurora provides built-in security, continuous backups, serverless compute, up to 15 read replicas, automated multi-Region replication, and integrations with other AWS services.