Trusted partnership helps tech start-up become industry leader

Founded in 2010, One iota has become a leading partner of choice for retailers and brands that need to keep pace with their customers across new and emerging technologies and channels. The company has gone from strength to strength, growing its team and creating a wide variety of cutting-edge, multi-channel retail technology solutions.

Today, One iota, part of the Sanderson Group that has over 250 employees and 500 customers across retail, wholesale, and manufacturing industries. The company offers all retailers the opportunity to create a seamless omnichannel experience across every device by bringing the choice and flexibility of online shopping to the store through bespoke applications, interactive displays, digital signage, and more.

In brief: progress so far

2014

Introduction and early scoping

2015

Migrated the platform application into an auto scalable,
containerised deployment solution using canary.

2016

Moved from Memcached to Redis, and implemented Cloudfront and Varnish response caching for greater efficiency and improved performance. Redefined the entire platform with terraform, and developed the latest version of Kubernetes in AWS.

2017

Delivered multiple platforms to support significant global expansion. Preparing for peak trading around Black Friday, the existing Redis solution was moved to clustered Redis. The platform performed without issue through the busiest peak trading period in One iota’s history, which saw up to a million API requests per minute over a sustained period.

2018

All AWS Accounts consolidated under the Claranet billing umbrella to provide One iota with Enterprise level AWS support, Cloudhealth reporting, and significant cost savings. Their expansion into building containerised microservices in Kubernetes increased by 400%. The company is now in discussion with Google to explore GCPs Machine Learning capabilities, with Claranet selected as the preferred partner.

The challenge

The modern high street is an incredibly competitive environment, with consumers spending an increasing amount of time shopping online rather than visiting physical stores. A significant challenge for One iota is to ensure their customers are able to offer an outstanding in-store shopping experience that encourages consumers to make repeat visits.

To help retail businesses retain their competitive edge, One iota needed to offer a combination of digital and physical engagement points, creating a highly effective, interactive omnichannel ecosystem. At the same time, One iota’s clients need to have technologies in place that can cope during periods of peak sales activity, such as Christmas and Black Friday.

With such ambitious plans to help retailers do more, One iota needed a partner to work with them on a range of projects and deliver the technology to achieve the best results.

Claranet truly feel like they’re part of our team

Owen Morgan, Head of Platforms & Technology
One iota

The solution

In order to enable such a vast range of IT requirements to be met, One iota enlisted the services of Claranet for our strong credentials in retail.

Infrastructure overhaul
As Owen Morgan, Head of Platforms & Technology at One iota, commented: “One of our key requirements was for a service provider that could build upon our existing technology platform (MESH) and support our wide range of clients in the best possible way. Key to this was a remodelling of our infrastructure, which would give us greater agility when planning for and meeting the needs of our customers. This required a broad knowledge of areas such as cloud, hosting, and application management, so the expertise of a trusted partner was crucial.”

Scalability and flexibility
Alongside overhauling its infrastructure, another key challenge was ensuring that One iota had the technical capabilities to cope with sudden increases in customer demand. This is where Claranet’s strength in AWS came to the fore, to build a bespoke back-end system that incorporated services such as Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Queue Service (SQS) and Amazon Cloudfront.

Morgan added: “As our company experienced substantial growth, we needed to have an IT solution in place that would be able to scale up when our clients needed it most. Claranet played an invaluable role in advising, supporting, and building a highly effective and responsive solution that meant our customers could cope with spikes in demand at times such as Christmas and Black Friday. Our requirements were complex, so it was important to have a partner on board that knew AWS services inside out.”

Efficiency benefits through Kubernetes
Another core part of the work has been a number of Kubernetes projects, designed to streamline processes and increase efficiency. As an expert consultant with a positive track record in Kubernetes implementations, Claranet has assisted One iota in a series of containerisation tasks, enabling the optimum running of applications with minimum disruption to customers.

We’re eagerly anticipating working on further innovative projects with Claranet.

Owen Morgan, Head of Platforms & Technology
One iota

The result

Working with Claranet on such a wide range of projects has enabled One iota to realise several notable benefits in terms of cost savings and improvements to the level of service it offers to its customers.

As Morgan explains: “The work we’ve done with Claranet has been hugely significant in making our operations smoother and maximising the potential of the technology that we have at our disposal. We have successfully reduced costs and been able to reinvest this extra resource in securing new business. The relationship we have formed with Claranet has led to a situation where they truly feel like they’re part of our team.”

“Claranet has demonstrated a level of technical expertise and proficiency that we would not have been able to match ourselves, summed up by it having the highest accreditations with all three of the Amazon, Google, and Microsoft cloud providers. Thanks to this partnership, we’re now confident that when we are approached by a global brand that needs to complete a project in double-quick time, we are fully equipped to do so.”

Reviewing the work that One iota has completed with Claranet to date, Morgan is looking forward to further collaboration in the near future:

“Over the course of this partnership, we have formed a long-lasting relationship with a company that not only takes charge of complex IT projects on our behalf, but also acts as a trusted advisor on an ongoing basis to make sure we’re always doing the best for our customers. We’re eagerly anticipating working on further innovative projects with Claranet in the future.”

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