Thursday, September 16, 2021

How Cloud Databases are Used by Walgreens, Siemens Mobility, MineSense, Gamepub, and Allbirds

These cloud database case studies demonstrate clearly why so many enterprises and other large-scale organizations are shifting some, or all, of their data to cloud databases.

Some benefits may seem clear — the cloud provides remote access to data, for example. Other benefits are often overlooked. 

Here are five examples of cloud database case studies from several industries to show the versatility cloud database solutions can provide:

Walgreens 

Industry: Pharmacy

Challenge: 

Microsoft Consulting Services, along with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), partnered with Walgreens to create the Information, Data, and Insights (IDI) platform powered by Azure. Microsoft describes the platform as having an “event-based microservices architecture that processes the company’s two key prescription processes: prescription and pharmacy inventory processing and pharmacy operations processing.”

When patients or medical providers initiate the prescription fulfillment process, Azure Databricks and Azure Synapse Analytics move hundreds of related data points through the IDI. Pharmacists can access information through a centralized dashboard interface and request data visualizations.

Outcome:

Pharmacists gain real-time insights, and the system can scale as needed to meet current needs. During peak times, the platform can handle more than 40,000 transactions per second. Compared with Walgreens’ previous solution, the private cloud-based architecture saves an enormous amount of time on every transaction — prescription data that once took about 48 hours to reach its data warehouse can be handled by Walgreens within minutes. 

In a Microsoft case study, Lakshmi Nagaraj, managing partner at Tata Consultancy Services, says, “It is a great journey for TCS partnering with Walgreens and Microsoft to build a modern pharmacy platform with Azure, enabling intelligent data tools at the fingertips of the pharmacists to enable future growth.” 

Allbirds 

Industry: Retail (shoes)

Challenge:

SAP worked with Allbirds to develop a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) infrastructure to consolidate and centralize global operations. The infrastructure includes legacy e-commerce and POS platforms powered by SAP. At this point, Allbirds holds 90% of its business technology in the cloud, within private and public cloud networks. 

Outcome:

Allbirds has been able to create immersive cross-channel experiences on their mobile and web platforms as well as in store due to better visibility into inventory. The private cloud-based system delivers real-time financial data, including up-to-the-minute sales and customer insights, which are used to create consistency across multiple sales channels and to streamline supply chains. The company has experienced better on-time delivery rates and fewer out-of-stock issues where inventory data was outdated. 

Siemens Mobility 

Industry: Transportation

Challenge:

Siemens Mobility is working with several European rail operators to modernize thousands of kilometers of rail traffic. Siemens’ train signal control system is intended to improve efficiency and utilization, but digitizing the routes was complex, given the extensive scope and scale of the project, which spans several European countries. 

Outcome:

By moving key data assets to Oracle Cloud Autonomous Transaction Processing, project managers can access relevant project information from several shared resources with a few clicks, versus the several days of manual spreadsheet entry this process required prior to the move. The company reports reduced costs of 90% and improved time to market in an  Oracle case study

MineSense 

Industry: Mining

Challenge:

MineSense is a data-based tool used by several of the world’s largest mining operations in Canada, Chile and Peru to more accurately dig for resources like iron, copper, zinc and nickel. The company uses thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and terabytes of data to power its operations. Data received through these devices is used to optimize the use of power and water for extraction and to minimize waste, but the company needed a large-scale solution for managing all that data. 

Outcome:

MineSense opted for a cloud-based solution that has helped to lower DBA workloads by 65%, while still delivering accurate data insights to mining engineers, geophysicists, and data scientists. Oracle Cloud Autonomous Data Warehouse also allows MinSense to analyze the IoT data to drive future operational decisions. The MinSense team can build and deliver apps in a week versus the six weeks it took previously, according to Oracle.

Gamepub

Industry: Gaming

Challenge:

Online game publisher Gamepub was unhappy with the amount of downtime it had to tolerate in order to handle maintenance tasks. Every moment games in their catalog were inaccessible was directly related to a financial hit, and ultimately, the company felt it impacted customer loyalty and retention. “Gamers are disappointed even when there’s a short delay in access,” says Seokchan Sohn, Lead of System Team at Gamepub in the Microsoft case study

Outcome:

Gamepub’s move to Microsoft’s Azure Database for MySQL – Flexible Server has given the company much more control over how it handles game maintenance.

The company can control the timing for patches and upgrades and schedule maintenance to coincide with game update releases. Sohn says the company is able to reduce downtime by running certain disk management tasks online — for example, disk volume size changes and IOPS (input/output operations per second) optimization. Ultimately, Sohn says, the company was able to eliminate about two unnecessary maintenance periods per quarter. 

Conclusions

Cloud-based databases can significantly improve the way enterprises access and utilize data resources. Not only do these solutions reduce the amount of physical hardware space required to store and manage data, but they also offer benefits like reduced latency and the centralization of disparate data stores. 

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