1-888-317-7920 info@2ndwatch.com

"Taste the Feeling" of Innovation

Coca-Cola North America Information Technology Leads the Pack

On May 4th 2016, Coca-Cola North America Information Technology and Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK), provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, announced that Coca-Cola North America Information Technology was named to this year’s InformationWeek Elite 100, a list of the top business technology innovators in the United States. Coca-Cola North America Information Technology, a Splunk customer, is being honored for the company’s marketing transformation initiative.

Coca-Cola North America Information Technology division is a leader in migrating to the cloud and leveraging cloud native technologies.  The division re-architected its digital marketing platform to leverage cloud technology to create business insights and flexibility and to take advantage of scale and innovations of the public cloud offered by Amazon Web Services.

“The success you see from our digital marketing transformation is due to our intentional focus on innovation and agility as well as results, our team’s ingenuity and our partnership with top technology companies like Splunk,” said Michelle Routh, chief information officer, Coca-Cola North America. “We recognized a chance for IT to collaborate much more closely with the marketing arm of Coca-Cola North America to bring an unparalleled digital marketing experience to our business and our customers. We have moved technologies to the cloud to scale our campaigns, used big data analytics, beacon and Internet of Things technologies to provide our customers with unique, tailored experiences.”

Coca-Cola North America Information Technology is one of the most innovative customers we have seen today. They are able to analyze data that was previously not available to them through the use of Splunk® Enterprise software. Business insights include trending flavor mixes, usage data and geographical behavior on its popular Freestyle machines to help improve fulfillment and marketing offers.

We congratulate both Coca-Cola North America Information Technology division and Splunk for being named in InformationWeek Elite 100! Read more

-Jeff Aden, EVP Strategic Business Development & Marketing, Co-Founder

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailrss

AWS Device Farm Simplifies Mobile App Testing

Customized mobile device digital marketing gets a lot easier

When marketers think digital, they think mobile, but the best way to reach people on their smartphones is an app, not a website. Still, mobile apps are a double-edged sword for companies. They deliver more users with higher engagement but are also harder and more costly to develop and . Given that mobile devices are inherently connected, the first cloud services emerged to simplify app development. Mobile backends and SDKs like Facebook Parse, Kumulos or AWS Mobile Services tackled the backend services data management, synchronization, notification and analytics. Real world ing is the la service, courtesy of the AWS Device Farm, which provides virtual access to myriad mobile devices and operating environments. Device Farm, released in July, allows developers to easily apps on hundreds of combinations of hardware and OS (with a constantly growing list) using either custom scripts or a standard AWS compatibility suite. Although the service launched targeting the most acute problem, on fragmented Android, it now supports iOS as well. But the cloud service isn’t just able to provide instant access to a multitude of devices for hardware-specific s – it also allows ing on multiple devices in parallel, which greatly cuts time.

Bootstrapping mobile development with cloud services can yield huge dividends for organizations wanting to better connect with customers, employees and partners. Not only are there more mobile than desktop users, but their usage is heavier. The average adult in the US spends almost three hours per day consuming digital content on a mobile device, 11% more than just last year. This means that businesses without a mobile strategy, don’t have any digital strategy.

mobile-engagement_Meeker

The problem is that providing a richer, customized, differentiated experience requires building a custom mobile app – a task that’s made more daunting by the cornucopia of devices in use. It means supporting multiple versions of two operating systems and countless hardware variations. Although Apple users generally upgrade to the la iOS release within months, the la Android development stats show four versions with at least 13% usage. Worse yet, a 2015 OpenSignal survey of hundreds of thousands of Android devices found more than 24,000 distinct device types. Such diversity makes developing and thoroughly ing mobile apps vastly more complex than a website or PC application. One mobile app developer does QA ing on 400 different Android devices for every app – a ing nightmare that’s even worse when you consider that the mobile app release cycle is measured in weeks, not months. If ever a problem was in need of a virtualized cloud service, this is it; and AWS has delivered.

Android-OS-usage_0815

Device Farm takes an app archive (.apk file for Android or .ipa for iOS) and s it against either custom scripts or an AWS compatibility suite using a fuzz of random events. Test projects are comprised of the actual suite (Device Farm supports five scripting languages), a device pool (specific hardware and OS versions) and any predefined device state such as other installed apps, required local data and device location. Aggregate results are presented on a summary screen with details, including any screenshots, performance data and log file output, available for each device.

DevFarm-config-1

DevFarm-config-2

DevFarm-config-3

DevFarm-config-app;

Device Farm doesn’t replace the need for in-field beta ing and mobile app instrumentation to measure real world usage, performance and failures, however with thorough, well-crafted suites and a diverse mix of device types, it promises to dramatically improve the end-user experience by eliminating problems that only manifest when running on actual hardware instead of an IDE simulator.

Developers can automate and schedule s using the Device Farm API or via Jenkins using the AWS plugin. Like every AWS service, pricing is usage based, where the metric is the total time for each device at $0.17 per device minute, however by judiciously selecting the device pool, it’s much cheaper than buying and configuring the actual hardware. Developers can automate and schedule s using the Device Farm API or via Jenkins using the AWS plugin. Like every AWS service, pricing is usage based, where the metric is the total time for each device at $0.17 per device minute.

Along with Mobile Services for backend infrastructure, Device Farm makes a compelling mobile app development platform, particularly for organizations already using AWS for website and app development.

To learn more about AWS Device Farm or to get started on your Digital Marketing initiatives, contact us.

-2nd Watch blog by Kurt Marko

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailrss

Running enterprise ecommerce platforms on Amazon Web Services

As a digital business, one of the essential platforms you are leveraging today is your ecommerce platform as a way to interact, engage and sell to your customers.  2nd Watch offers Amazon Web Services hosting for ecommerce platforms for large businesses that want a flexible, secure, highly scalable, global and low-cost solution for online sales and retailing.

The architecture and management of the configuration is vital because every second counts to your customers, especially during peak hours, days and seasonal traffic.  In today’s highly-connected world, forecasting demand can be difficult and often reaches new peaks through social awareness of deals or offers. Consumers are impatient, and their expectations for how fast they get information is increasing.  Any performance issues can affect your brand, conversions, sales and ultimately your top line performance.  In order for ecommerce platforms to be highly responsive and meet your customer demand, you must design-for-change so that you can meet your customers where they want and quickly.

Whether your enterprise is running BlueCherry with MS Dynamic AX or Magento, AWS offers the most powerful infrastructure that can scale globally to meet your customers’ demands. The essential part of running in the cloud is the architecture and engineering that will allow your business to scale efficiently to avoid unnecessary costs. With the proper configuration and management, your business can handle millions of catalog views and hundreds of thousands of orders easily to meet your top line objectives.

Enterprise essentials for running on AWS

  1. Security – At a high level, 2nd Watch has taken the following approach to secure the AWS infrastructure
    1. User access. Management of user access and data management is one of the most important aspects for a digital business.  Enterprises need to control secure access for users. AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) allows enterprises to control access to AWS services and resources.  When an account is properly set-up and managed, users and groups have controls and permissions that allow or deny them access to any particular AWS resource.  The proper account structure and management are required to ensure security and governance.

Manage IAM users and their access – You can create users in IAM, assign them individual security credentials (in other words, access keys, passwords, and multi-factor authentication devices), or request temporary security credentials to provide users access to AWS services and resources. You can manage permissions in order to control which operations a user can perform.

Manage IAM roles and their permissions – You can create roles in IAM and manage permissions to control which operations can be performed by the entity, or AWS service, that assumes the role. You can also define which entity is allowed to assume the role.

Manage federated users and their permissions – You can enable identity federation to allow existing identities (e.g. users) in your enterprise to access the AWS Management Console, to call AWS APIs, and to access resources, without the need to create an IAM user for each identity.

 

  1. Data Privacy. Encrypting data in transit and at rest is extremely important in the public cloud.  AWS provides the essential platform enhancements to easily implement an end-to-end encryption solution. Many AWS services use SSL connections by default, and AWS enables users to securely and easily manage custom SSL certificates for their applications.  Data encryption for personal or business data at rest within AWS can be easily and transparently implemented using AWS- or user-supplied encryption keys.  AWS maintains platform certification compliance for many of the most important data protection and privacy certifications your business requires, and publishes backup and redundancy procedures for services so that customers can gain greater understanding of how their data flows throughout AWS.  For more information on the data privacy and backup procedures for each service in the AWS cloud, consult the Amazon Web Services: Overview of Security Processes

 

    1. Reports, Certifications, and Independent Atations. AWS has, in the past, successfully completed multiple SAS70 Type II audits, and now publishes a Service Organization Controls 1 (SOC 1) report, published under both the SSAE 16 and the ISAE 3402 professional standards. In addition, AWS has achieved ISO 27001 certification, and has been successfully validated as a Level 1 service provider under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). In the realm of public sector certifications, AWS has received authorization from the U.S. General Services Administration to operate at the FISMA Moderate level, and is also the platform for applications with Authorities to Operate (ATOs) under the Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Program (DIACAP). We will continue to obtain the appropriate security certifications and conduct audits to demonstrate the security of our infrastructure and services. For more information on risk and compliance activities in the AWS cloud, consult the Amazon Web Services: Risk and Compliance whitepaper.
    2. Physical Security. Amazon has many years of experience in designing, constructing, and operating large-scale data centers. AWS infrastructure is housed in Amazon-controlled data centers throughout the world. Only those within Amazon who have a legitimate business need to have such information know the actual location of these data centers, and the data centers themselves are secured with a variety of physical controls to prevent unauthorized access.
    3. Secure Services. Each of the services within the AWS cloud is architected to be secure and contains a number of capabilities that restrict unauthorized access or usage without sacrificing the flexibility that customers demand. For more information about the security capabilities of each service in the AWS cloud, consult the Amazon Web Services: Overview of Security Processes whitepaper referenced above.
  1. Products (for product benefits, please visit our Digital Marketing Solutions page)
    1. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
    2. Auto Scaling
    3. Elastic Load Balancing
    4. Amazon CloudFront (CDN)
    5. Amazon Relational Database (RDS)
    6. Amazon Route 53
    7. Amazon ElastiCache
    8. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

Only proper configuration of enterprise ecommerce platforms and the management of user access, data management and infrastructure (IaaS) management will lead to a successful implementation in the public cloud. With the 2nd Watch solution you get the best practices for architecture, configuration, security, and performance.  This allows your platform to accommodate for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly cyclical performance requirements that are easily expanded globally.

We are an AWS Premier Partner with over 400 projects on AWS and highly recommend hosting your ecommerce platform on AWS, regardless of if it is BlueCherry with MS Dynamic AX, Magento or another solution.  Learn more about 2nd Watch Digital Marketing Solutions on Amazon Web Service Benefits.

Are you interested in a High Performance Solution for an ecommerce platform?

A digital business starts with automation. Learn the la at our blog, or download our Digital Business Whitepaper.

-Jeff Aden – EVP Marketing & Strategic Business Development

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailrss

Digital Marketing: Test/Dev in the Cloud

Cloud technology has proven to create many benefits for companies large and small. The agility that is created by using public-cloud resources has allowed companies to act sooner and respond faster to market conditions and changes. The cost savings of running workloads in the cloud has also confirmed that the on-demand, pay-for-what-you-use model is allowing development shops and enterprise IT departments to save money for their organization like we have never seen before. We’ve talked about websites and webhosting in the cloud, but the most widely used and now probably over-looked use case for the public cloud is the ability to implement  cloud resources for /dev, and this couldn’t be more relevant for companies that are looking to change their business with digital marketing.

Digital marketing continues to evolve as companies are looking to leverage technology to enhance their brand, reach new target audiences and nurture the existing customer base. Those customers are using multiple devices, on a host of different platforms; all with the goal of reaching customers in a meaningful way. From email to web apps, to social media and retargeted marketing, there are hundreds of ways to extend your digital marketing efforts, but you want to make sure that it’s done right, timely and cost effectively. The public-cloud gives developers the chance to cultivate new ways of reaching customers on these devices, as well as an inexpensive option for ing the viability of digital marketing campaigns.

Leveraging a public cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS) creates the perfect environments for running development cycles and ing new offerings. Companies like Skytap are creating software that allows development/ teams even more flexibility and efficiencies by allowing companies to create Environments-as-a-Service for enterprises in a compliant and secure manner. Analytic companies like New Relic are allowing us to compile application performance data, as well as perform synthetic transactions within our campaigns so we can grab real-time data on where our customers are going, what are they looking for and answer the question “Is my application effective in reaching our target audience?” Never before have we seen so many tools to empower our development teams to make amazing marketing campaigns with flawless code deployments because of the ability to leverage public-cloud providers’ infrastructure resources that are easy to set up, always available, and flexible enough to any software we like.

Digital marketing has come a long way over the years, but we are about to embark on a new era of technology offerings that allows us to reach our customers and track their behavior in a meaningful way. The concept of a digital business using digital marketing efforts is not something that should be considered only for high-tech firms or flashy start-ups. It should be leveraged by all businesses, from the small regional bank to the large multi-national conglomerate. The ability to accept and implement this strategy will define the new Fortune 500 of tomorrow, and it all starts by creating a culture of innovation and change today.  Download our white paper, The Digital Enterprise: Transforming Business in the Cloud to learn more about Dev/Test in the public cloud.

-Blake Diers, Alliance Manager

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailrss

Digital Marketing: Websites & Web Hosting in the Cloud

As we talked about in our overview of Digital Marketing, in today’s digital economy, your website is one of the most visible and valuable ways of communicating with your current and potential customers. That is to say, a lot of your business is dependent on your websites. The public cloud offers website hosting solutions that give enterprises a flexible, highly scalable, and low-cost way to deliver their websites and web applications.

With this wealth of options, you can build and host powerful websites that will better serve your customers and, therefore, benefit your business. By moving your websites to the cloud, you can decrease hosting costs and analyze application behavior to turn your data into actionable results. These solutions are also often times fully-managed, making IT’s job that much easier.

So what can hosting your sites in the cloud give you that your traditional hosting solution can’t?

  • Flexibility: With the public cloud, you gain complete control over your business workloads. With the many sizes of servers available, you can build websites and web apps with the technology that you’re most comfortable with. You also have the flexibility to choose the operating system, language and tools that are right for you. Some providers, like Amazon Web Services, even let you pick your platform and go as far as providing SDKs for many of the more popular platforms like Java, Ruby, PHP, Node.js, and .Net. No matter the system you use, it very likely can run on AWS. Watch AWS’ tutorial on How to Launch a WordPress website in 10 mintues.
  • Scalability: The public cloud gives you the scalability to handle variable demand from consumers on your websites. Public cloud- hosted websites, and web apps for that matter, are highly scalable and automatically adjust to grow or shrink to meet the demands that your consumers place on your digital sites.
  • Lower Cost: As with most aspects of the cloud, you pay only for the resources that you use without upfront costs or long term contracts. The pay-as-you-go pricing model for variable workloads like digital marketing allows you to pay only for what you use. Now you can take the money you save and spend it on things that differentiate your business from your competition.
  • Accessibility (geographically, that is): Customers visiting your websites can be located anywhere in the world. Public cloud platforms, like AWS, have datacenters in every geography, which means you’re able to have a datacenter hosting your site anywhere in the world.
  • Better Performance: One sure-fire way to lose a site visitor is with slow site performance. Public cloud services like Amazon CloudFront can deliver your dynamic, static and streaming content with the best possible performance, using a global network of edge locations.

 

Not only do you increase the performance and lower the hosting cost of your site, but you can also take advantage of other services that help you analyze usage patterns, configurations, infrastructure info, etc. to find ways to increase your site security and turn your site data into viable business results. Learn more about how to get your website up and running in the public cloud.

-Nicole Maus, Marketing Manager

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailrss