33Bondi: Delivering innovative, large-scale client projects

About 33Bondi

33Bondi is a technology, product, and design consultancy based near the iconic Bondi Beach in Sydney.

Industries: Other
Location: Australia

Using Google Cloud Platform, 33Bondi delivers powerful advertising, marketing, technology, and transactional solutions to clients within tight timeframes.

Google Cloud Results

  • Gave clients confidence in the company’s ability to use specialist resources to deliver innovative solutions within tight timeframes
  • Enabled creation of multinational web presence incorporating full transactional capabilities for a client in just 12 weeks
  • Supported the company’s goal of identifying and seizing opportunities to provide similar solutions to clients in the future

Scaled to deliver 200K emails at a time to 20M users

Bondi in Sydney is home to a vibrant, shifting community including tourists, locals, and motivated, expert creatives. The partners at technology, product, and design consultancy 33Bondi fall squarely into the latter category. In an office a few metres from the iconic beach, Technology Lead Jim Watts, Marketing Lead Steve Muller, and Creative Lead Jonas Allen help businesses develop technology-dependent ideas and turn them into revenue-generating products and services.

33Bondi’s partners’ backgrounds span well-known brands such as Fairfax Media, Atlassian, Unilever, Heineken International, and the Mambo fashion label.

The 33Bondi team supplements its in-house capabilities with a designer based in Italy, engineers in India, and project managers in Australia.

Speed, agility, and quality are integral to 33Bondi’s value proposition to clients. “We can meet with small, medium, and large businesses; quickly understand the complexities of their operating environments; and identify problems and opportunities,” Watts says. “Then, through the specialisations of our partners, and by bringing together teams with the necessary skills, we develop solutions to address them.”

These solutions may be partial or end-to-end, and run on bespoke technology environments that clients can operate without needing agency support.

“We thought if we could be a member of the community that embraces the innovation captured in Google Cloud Platform products, we could continually improve our ability to seize opportunities and solve problems for our clients.”

Jim Watts, Technology Lead, 33Bondi

Cloud enables emergence of 33Bondi

The maturing of public cloud platforms and products has played a key role in the emergence of 33Bondi and the establishment of its business model.

“The reason we formed is that we perceived early on that the cloud brings the ability to deliver big things with small teams of dedicated and driven people,” Watts says. “I’ve watched the development of Google Cloud closely over the years and taken particular interest in the way Google captures innovation and its culture in Google Cloud Platform. I think Google Cloud Platform represents the third wave of cloud in focusing on applications and data, after the first wave of co-location and the second wave of infrastructure as a service.”

Adds Watts: “We thought if we could be a member of the community that embraces the innovation captured in Google Cloud Platform products, we could continually improve our ability to seize opportunities and solve problems for our clients.”

From cost control to creativity

As the consultancy established itself, Watts focused on the way Google Cloud Platform (GCP) helped control costs and ease budget management through granular billing. However, as 33Bondi became more successful, Watts and his business partners changed tack to exploring the ability of GCP to help propel ideas for clients into new products and services. “The capabilities of Google Cloud Platform in this area were the real differentiator between it and other cloud services,” Watts says.

33Bondi now specialises in delivering GCP solutions for clients. In one case, a bicycle insurance company wanted to launch a web presence in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States within 12 weeks, and needed to partner with a prominent social network for athletes.

This partnership presented challenges that GCP was easily able to overcome. “One thing Google Cloud Platform is very good at is managing spiky demand,” Watts says. “So, for example, if the social network sends out an email in tranches of 200,000 at a time to an approximate user base of 20 million—prompting people to perform transactional activity on the website—we could scale horizontally to meet demand. As we did this, our costs would rise in a predictable, controllable fashion.”

33Bondi was also able to combine its own high-level security with the extensive security capabilities of GCP to help provide powerful protection for client data. “Moving to Google Cloud Platform actually helps improve our security profile,” Watts says.

Tight deadlines met

The consultancy launched websites with transactional capabilities in each targeted market for the bicycle insurance company well within its 12-week deadline. Each website runs in Google App Engine to scale in line with demand. 33Bondi is also using Google BigQuery to analyse data provided by cyclists to the insurance company in return for free products.

“We use that information to deliver products and services that are closer to what the client and its customers want,” Watts says.

Also for the insurance company, 33Bondi uses Google Kubernetes Engine to help ensure horizontal scaling is important in cases where programs themselves can be stateless. The business retains stateful configuration information and preferences in Google Cloud Datastore, while Google App Engine is used to encapsulate the WordPress software.

“We do that because Google App Engine is a managed platform and we can roll backwards and forwards between versions very easily,” Watts says.

The business plans to deploy Google Cloud Pub/Sub message-oriented middleware to further decouple its front- and back-end systems, and Google Cloud Dataflow to process batch and streaming data for analysis through Google BigQuery.

“The cultural elements of Google Cloud Platform complement its functional capabilities. I feel comfortable with Google Cloud Platform and this has helped myself and my team deliver better outcomes for clients.”

Jim Watts, Technology Lead, 33Bondi

Client confidence in delivery

Using GCP to deliver the bicycle insurance project gave 33Bondi’s client confidence in the consultancy’s ability to deliver the solution within the 12-week period.

The Google and GCP brands also reassured the client that the solution would help meet key security and compliance requirements. “The Google name gives clients and their customers confidence, particularly in areas such as processing integrity, security, privacy, and confidentiality,” Watts says.

Furthermore, GCP enabled 33Bondi to meet the needs of the bicycle insurance company and other clients without requiring a significant investment in personnel. The consultancy was able to complete the bicycle insurance project with just two engineers, reinforcing that GCP can support small teams aiming to achieve big things.

“The cultural elements of Google Cloud Platform complement its functional capabilities,” Watts says. “I feel comfortable with Google Cloud Platform and this has helped myself and my team deliver better outcomes for clients. In addition, when I’ve worked with engineers or other members of the Google team I’ve been impressed with how they conduct themselves and that is quite important to me.”

“This innovation cycle allows us to run very hard at opportunities and have confidence that what we deliver with Google Cloud Platform will benefit us and our clients.”

Steve Muller, Marketing Lead, 33Bondi

Excellence as a boutique provider

By delivering solutions on GCP, 33Bondi anticipates continuing to excel as a boutique service provider. “We like to be small and we like to choose our clients,” Watts says. “Our business partners work closely with clients at all levels, which means we can only scale to a certain size.”

Over the next two years, the business aims to deliver more projects based on GCP. “We want to use our experience with Google Cloud Platform to win additional business and forge long-term relationships with clients,” Watts says.

Muller describes the constant cycle of innovation at GCP as giving 33Bondi impetus to price and deliver client projects effectively. “This innovation cycle allows us to run very hard at opportunities and have confidence that what we deliver with Google Cloud Platform will benefit us and our clients,” he says. “We need to deliver quality insights and understanding of brands to our clients, so we need quality from the products we work with to support that.”

About 33Bondi

33Bondi is a technology, product, and design consultancy based near the iconic Bondi Beach in Sydney.

Industries: Other
Location: Australia
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