Case Studies / ProximityID – Synthesis Prototype and Proof of Technology

ProximityID is a start-up that provides instant identification. They digitally link their users’ respective details, loyalty cards, access cards and parking tickets and consolidate them into their users’ smart phone. There is no need to produce any loyalty card, swipe an access card or even take out a mobile phone.

ProximityID’s founders had a strong idea of the customer experience and business technology delivery. They required Synthesis’ expertise that could architect, build and continuously deliver the technology platform offered by ProximityID.

Challenge

ProximityID’s initial business goals were to rapidly provide a prototype platform capable of demonstrating the technology strategy of the business in order to raise Series A funding from the various Venture Capital markets and sources. One of the key goals was to create a highly effective development team with minimal operational overheads, and therefore, the DevOps approach was a key objective in the project.

Once the DevOps and development prototype were realised, the business goals shifted to building a scalable, data-driven IoT platform capable of providing broader functionality and scale required. As a pre-funded start-up, the obvious platform choice was AWS due to the benefits offered to start-up technology businesses. ProximityID could leverage off of a fully-managed, on-demand infrastructure to keep costs in line with revenue growth, but also to leverage the automation and development pipeline’s tools and other relevant AWS services (such as AWS CodeCommit, CodePipeline, CodeBuild, ECS, Dynamo, Route53, S3, ELB, VPC, and others) in order to reduce the development and infrastructure effort and therefore, radically increases the time-to-market and scalability as the business increased.

Solution

As an early demonstration of capability and to start the technology selection process, Synthesis firstly developed the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) of the ProximityID solution. Secondly, we assisted ProximityID with formulating a more formal architecture, security and AWS cloud-based strategy to align with the medium and longer-term goals of the business.

The entire solution stack was provisioned automatically in AWS using Hashicorp Terraform and Amazon CloudFormation templates. These DevOps tools offered the development and DevSecOps teams an efficient way to create and manage a collection of related AWS resources, provisioning and updating them in a repeatable and deterministic manner.

Synthesis implemented an AWS CI/CD deployment pipeline and set up AWS-related infrastructure, management and operations for Proximity. The use of the different AWS services meant that the time to market was much quicker and reduced the cost of services.

The architecture evolved using the following AWS services for the Beacon tracking and IoT Camera Analytics service:

  • IoT Device and Core
  • Kinesis Stream, Analytics and Firehose
  • RDS Aurora
  • CloudFront
  • API Gateway
  • Cognito

Results

ProximityID launched their platform into the market through Synthesis’ expertise around AWS and experience in deploying and running fully-managed infrastructure; the outcome is a successful bootstrapped start-up business, including multiple rounds of funding and customers upon launch. Synthesis managed the hyper-scale capable architecture, through the use of distributed data platforms, microservice design and geographically aware infrastructure – the outcome is the ability for the ProximityID platform to deliver to multiple types of customers in multiple regions, for multiple use-cases through flexibility.

Synthesis also managed to keep the infrastructure costs low compared to the on-premises cost equivalent. This gives ProximityID the ability to predict its infrastructure costs in tandem with its growth trajectory and comfort that the platform will scale.

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