3 Digital Native Brands Using Google Cloud Platform to Innovate & Grow

By Charlie Lisk | Business Development Manager, Digital Native Practice

The phrase “Digital Native” was coined in 2001 to describe people who were immersed in computers and technology from an early age; in other words, people who were born into a digital world and who use technology in all aspects of their lives.

More recently, the “Digital Native” label has been applied to companies that came into existence in the digital world. These firms exist primarily or entirely online and represent a wide variety of industry sectors, including retail, financial services, gaming, media and entertainment, technology, and even automotive and transportation. 

Digital Natives are far more agile than traditional companies, reacting to market conditions in real time. Old processes simply won’t work for these new-age companies. Whether it’s a  web-based software provider looking to run its businesses at any scale, a traditional software company who sells software as a product and is transitioning to selling SaaS offerings built and deployed in the cloud, or a mobile gaming app development company aiming to deliver insights on vast troves of data, Digital Native companies need technological tools that were built from the ground up to support cloud-native principles; that are sophisticated but easy to use, so the company doesn’t miss a step; and that are portable, so that the company’s solutions aren’t dependent on a particular vendor.

From cloud-native app development to implementing AI on a fast track to using smart analytics to unlock actionable business intelligence, more and more Digital Native companies are partnering with Google Cloud to meet their unique needs. Here are three of SADA’s Digital Native clients that are using Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to innovate and grow: 

1. GCP’s Managed Kubernetes Solution Helps DroneDeploy Take Off

Drone software developer DroneDeploy has a mission to put a drone on every job site, but that mission was getting bogged down by the tedium of managing their Kubernetes installation, which was hosted in a datacenter. The company loved Kubernetes, but the significant amount of time their developers were spending on Kubernetes maintenance was time they couldn’t spend on projects that would drive and grow the business. They needed a managed Kubernetes solution.

After evaluating several options, GCP’s Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) was the clear winner. “It was, by far, years and years ahead of the competition. Nothing else even came close,” said Joseph Mente, Engineering Manager, DevOps. Mente was also drawn towards GCP’s artificial intelligence capabilities and security. “GCP’s AI features were years ahead of what others offered, and the platform is secure by default.”

Since migrating to GCP, Mente reports that his team can manage more clusters on GCP than they did on-prem, in less time. GCP’s auto scalability has dramatically reduced their costs. Before, the company had to have 50% extra capacity on hand at any given time in case of zonal failure. On GCP, they can run at 100% utilization, because if one zone goes down, the others will autoscale up.

2. FlowPlay Utilizes GCP to Create Immersive Gaming Experiences

The online gaming industry has one of the most demanding customer bases in the world. “In this industry, there is no such thing as ‘down for maintenance,’” says Douglas Pearson, Flowplay’s Co-Founder and CTO. “There is no ‘off-season.’ There is no window where we can be offline, not ever.”

When the company decided to move from datacenters to the cloud, choosing GCP, Pearson says, was a “no-brainer.” GCP offered the high disk speeds (IOPS) that FlowPlay needed to keep its performance high and its database costs low. GCP also doesn’t tie customers to a specific server configuration. “Instead of renting a specific server, we buy computing power,” Pearson notes. “This allows us to experiment with servers, drives, configurations, and RAM to optimize performance.”

FlowPlay has seen both quantitative and qualitative benefits to migrating to GCP. In a year’s time, their games saw a 50% increase in traffic, but their system response speed had literally doubled, improving performance. “GCP has worked for us the way it is meant to work, and we’re very happy with it,” Pearson says. “We’re looking forward to using more of GCP’s features to extend our abilities and offerings.”

3. GCP Helps Visby Capture the Real World and Play it Back

Most companies working with holograms are using the technology to build video games. Visby focuses on digital light field images and videos — recreating light itself — for multiple applications, including VR headsets and holographic TVs. The company uses 100 cameras at a time to capture all the subtleties of lighting that distinguish individuals, such as hair textures and the glint in people’s eyes. “We’re the only company that produces images that are photographic and realistic instead of a 3D model,” says Ryan Damm, CEO and Co-Founder.

Visby needed a cloud provider that allowed for rapid scaling when running the very large ML deployments required for processing videos. They had been using AWS, but the caps that Amazon imposed placed an upper limit on Visby’s growth. Visby decided to switch to GCP because of its ML capabilities and ease of use.

They saw immediate results. Visby found GCP to be considerably faster than AWS for the same amount of compute power – saving time and money. With no scaling limitations in the way, video processing sped up 100x. Damm sees GCP as essential to Visby’s short and long-term goals. 

How SADA & GCP Enable Digital Native Brands

Being a Digital Native company is about more than setting up a website and marketing to digital native consumers. Digital Native companies don’t just leverage digital technologies; they deeply understand how technology influences and impacts their customers’ lives and they use this knowledge to design solutions keenly tailored to their customers’ needs and pain points. By automating app deployment; sparking innovation with easy-to-use AI, ML, and smart analytics; enhancing agility with fully managed, serverless offerings; and making open source accessible, GCP is a natural partner for Digital Native firms. 

To help optimize GCP and accelerate business opportunities, SADA’s Digital Native Practice is enabling ISVs and Digital Natives alike with a cross-functional initiative that focuses on amplifying your sales and marketing efforts as well as cloud enablement for your cloud operations and engineering teams. To learn more, check out our on-demand webinar, Digital Natives and ISVs – Priorities in the Era of COVID-19. The webinar delves into ways Digital Natives and ISVs can lower costs without taking an eye off of growth, ensuring that after COVID-related urgencies subside, organizations who retain and gain the most customers will succeed and lead.

To learn more about migrating and modernizing workloads on Google’s global, secure, and reliable infrastructure, be sure to check out SADA’s Next OnAir post-session recaps on Thursdays. Here’s what’s coming up on July 30th:

MilesWard

#SADASays With Miles Ward and Scott VanDenPlas – Post-Keynote Commentary 

Join Miles Ward, CTO, and Scott VanDenPlas, Cloud Infrastructure Engineer at SADA, for their take on Accelerate Your Digital Transformation through a Modern Infrastructure from Week 3 of Next OnAir.

Mark Pevec

#SADASays With Michael Masaaud and Mark Pevec – Post-Session Commentary

Listen in as SADA’s Michael Masaaud, Manager of Infrastructure Modernization, and Mark Pevec, Sr. Cloud Infrastructure Engineer, discuss the Next OnAir session, Build an Enterprise-Grade Service Mesh With Traffic Director.

AndrewCook

#SADASays With Andrew Cook, Technical Account Manager – Post-Session Commentary

Join Andrew Cook, Technical Account Manager at SADA, for his take on Cloud Is Complex. Managing it Shouldn’t Be from Week 3 of Next OnAir.

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