KENT RO Systems Limited (KENT) produces a range of healthcare products for the India market. When the company launched in 1999, it created the country’s first commercially available reverse-osmosis water purifier. The reverse-osmosis process purifies water using a semipermeable membrane that removes ions, molecules, and large particles. Today, KENT has evolved to provide technologically advanced healthcare products ranging from purifiers to water softeners, with a 40 percent market share in India. The company is supported by a network of 1,500 KENT distributors, 10,000 water-purification-system dealers, and more than 800 KENT franchisees.
We have lowered our IT infrastructure and cloud services costs by 10% by switching to the AWS Cloud.”Saurabh Gupta
CIO, KENT RO Systems Limited
As part of its support infrastructure, KENT has a call center with more than 100 agents responding to people’s enquiries. When a call comes in, agents will check the customer’s details against a customer relationship management (CRM) database running in its CRM application, and enters a note into the system regarding the enquiry. The entries are then picked up by one of KENT’s teams of support engineers, who call on the customer. “You can’t overestimate the importance of our support systems, especially in a world where customers expect brands to be highly responsive and increasingly always available,” says Saurabh Gupta, chief information officer at KENT.
Kent’s CRM environment ran on the cloud. Gupta, however, wanted to give the environment a more “flexible footing”, and decided to review alternative cloud-service providers. Gupta wanted an infrastructure that would allow the business to drive growth without concerns around IT cost. He also sought to lower CAPEX and simplify administration using managed services. Above all, Gupta was convinced an alternative cloud-service provider would help KENT increase IT innovation and help the company’s DevOps team work more efficiently. “Our DevOps team can take advantage of the flexibility of the cloud to enhance its own productivity in app development,” he says.
Why Amazon Web Services
KENT chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) after a review of cloud-service providers. Besides the breadth of AWS services available, Gupta says he was impressed by the transparency of AWS. He explains, “KENT has always been a customer-centric company, driven by innovation. Of all the cloud-service vendors we assessed, we found that AWS was the best fit for us in terms of its approach to customers and innovation. Indeed, AWS had a lead over its competitors in both areas, and so we engaged with AWS to run our business-critical applications.”
The IT team at KENT worked with Amazon Partner Network (APN) Advanced Consulting Partner, Umbrella Infocare to design the cloud infrastructure for KENT’s CRM environment. Together, KENT and Umbrella Infocare would manage the migration. KENT ran a proof of concept (POC) of the AWS infrastructure with replicated data from its production CRM environment. After the success of the POC, the full migration began with data from multiple virtual machines (VMs) running on premises being migrated to multiple Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances running on the AWS Cloud. Multiple VMs were migrated to the AWS Cloud over a period of two weeks.
Today, the CRM environment is accessed online by agents with Elastic Load Balancing distributing incoming traffic evenly across the Amazon EC2 instances. Data about customers, distributors, dealers, and franchise operations are stored in database hosted by Amazon EC2 instances and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) used for backups.
Recently the KENT DevOps team has been using AWS Device Farm to enhance the productivity of its app development. Using AWS Device Farm, the team can perform app testing on multiple devices, using different operating systems, at the same time.
KENT now has more agility with its CRM solution because of AWS. The company can scale up the CRM environment on demand and, likewise, scale down if necessary. The company also avoids IT-procurement cycles and time-consuming deployment projects. Says Gupta, “We have lowered our IT Infrastructure and cloud services costs by 10 percent by switching to the AWS Cloud.”
Furthermore, KENT has simplified administration for the environment using AWS managed services. “We have cut IT management by up to 7 percent by working with AWS, and yet we are maintaining infrastructure uptimes of 99.999%,” says Gupta.
He continues, “Our experience with AWS has been exceptionally good—the performance of our applications has improved significantly. We haven’t seen any downtime and our cost of ownership has drastically reduced. Today we see better performance and availability of our applications.”
The company’s development has seen increased efficiency thanks to running on AWS. “By using AWS Device Farm, our DevOps team is developing apps more efficiently,” Gupta says. “We have reduced development time by up to 7 percent with AWS.”
The reduction in management overhead means KENT can dedicate more resources to IT innovation. And this is crucial since businesses increasingly rely on innovation to succeed. As Gupta explains, “We are the market leader in India and through technology we can make sure we retain that position. It’s important that we focus resources on development at a time when mobile connectivity is becoming more popular across India. Our products need to support a tech-dominated marketplace, so IT development is a vital function within our business.”
He concludes, “Both AWS and Umbrella are very responsive and operate like an extension of our IT team. The migration was a streamlined process and we were able to migrate from other service provider to AWS with ease and agility.”