DM Group: Getting features launched faster for one of Italy’s data-driven pioneers

About DM Group

DM Group is a pioneer in data-driven marketing on the Italian market. It specializes in the collection and management of on- and offline data for its clients, ensuring every customer interaction is relevant and effective.

Industries: Technology
Location: Italy

About Go Reply

With a strong focus on machine learning and big data solutions, Go Reply helps customers of all sizes solve challenges using Google Cloud products.

DM Group reduced its time to market by building a containerized infrastructure on Google Cloud, using Google Kubernetes Engine for automatic scaling and BigQuery for faster data analysis.

Google Cloud results

  • Extends the volume of data ingested and speed of analysis with BigQuery, opening up new data sources
  • Scales automatically with Google Kubernetes Engine to meet peaks in demand during key client campaigns
  • Enables a faster deployment cycle, reducing time to market by up to 30%

Enables 35% savings on infrastructure costs

How can a multichannel business become truly omnichannel, coordinating between touch points to ensure a seamless customer experience? Most companies already interact with customers via websites or apps as well as physical stores, but aligning marketing messages across platforms and on- and offline interactions can be a real challenge. By taking a data-driven approach, DM Group helps its clients to do just that, offering custom-built solutions to answer particular client needs, from integrated campaigns to in-store activities. Established in Italy in 1994, its clients include global companies such as UCI Cinemas and leading automotive and cosmetics brands such as L’Oréal and Estée Lauder.

“One of our key challenges is to reduce time to market, while making sure that the solutions we launch for our clients remain secure and reliable. That’s why we decided to move to the cloud, and as we wanted to use Kubernetes, Google Cloud was the natural choice.”

Alessandro Paolucci, CEO, DM Group

“As digital customer interactions have grown, the strategies that DM Group develops for its clients have become increasingly complex,” explains Matteo Capretto, CTO at DM Group. “They are built on multiple customer touch points, including ecommerce and loyalty programs. They might also incorporate ERP and registration data, or use behavioral data based on AI analytics.” To achieve the results its clients are looking for, whether it be increasing sales or reducing churn, DM Group handles large volumes of data on a daily basis.

With its previous approach, using a hosted VPC, DM Group couldn’t achieve the scalability it needed. The company decided to migrate its infrastructure to the cloud, and working together with implementation partner Go Reply, it chose Google Cloud as the best solution for its needs.

“One of our key challenges is to reduce time to market, while making sure that the solutions we launch for our clients remain secure and reliable,” says Matteo. “That’s why we decided to move to the cloud, and as we wanted to use Kubernetes, Google Cloud was the natural choice.”

Building an infrastructure to scale and deploy automatically

Any successful marketing platform needs to be able to scale to accommodate additional traffic. DM Group’s clients often experience peaks over promotional and holiday periods, but its previous infrastructure was limited by hardware constraints. In order to meet its clients’ demands, DM Group decided to switch to a containerized architecture hosted on Google Cloud and migrate its data pipeline.

Since the company’s clients rely on its solutions being available at all times, the migration needed to take place with zero downtime. “Beyond the negative impact on the company’s reputation, if our solutions had gone offline, our clients would have been losing money,” explains Matteo. “So it was vitally important to keep everything up and running.”

“Because we’ve been able to automate our deployments on Google Kubernetes Engine, the risk connected to the development life cycle and new feature deployment is much lower. That enables us to achieve a faster time to market without compromising on security or availability.”

Matteo Capretto, CTO, DM Group

In order to ensure a smooth migration, DM Group relied on Go Reply to build the new infrastructure according to best practice. “Go Reply has been an invaluable partner for us,” says Matteo. “We began the migration in July, and it was completed by the end of September, ready for the busy winter period.”

Using Terraform, DM Group has implemented a containerized architecture based on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). For running its clients’ websites, DM Group uses Compute Engine with Cloud Storage and Memorystore to cache live data. In terms of its data management, it uses Cloud SQL for its long-term relational database and BigQuery ML and operations tools for analytics and monitoring. Identity and Access Management offers easy access control.

“Because we’ve been able to automate our deployments on Google Kubernetes Engine, the risk connected to the development life cycle and new feature deployment is much lower,” says Matteo. “That enables us to achieve a faster time to market without compromising on security or availability.”

Handling the demands of a blockbuster launch

DM Group’s clients are already feeling the benefit of the migration to Google Cloud. GKE supported DM Group in enabling UCI Cinemas to meet an increase in its traffic during the launch of a blockbuster film, just a fortnight after the switch. “Previously, scaling up was a real hassle, even though it was mission critical for many of our clients’ campaigns. We had to sit down and figure out how much resources we’d need for a busy period, then we had to manually provision it,” says Matteo. “It’s much simpler now because everything is done automatically with the Kubernetes approach.”

UCI Cinemas runs campaigns using Google Ads to direct traffic to its main website. Its traffic spiked by half a terabyte over the weekend launch of its blockbuster campaign, but the infrastructure scaled automatically without any issues. “We’re very happy with the improvement,” says Matteo.

“After migrating to Google Cloud, we immediately began seeing results. Not only are we saving 35% on infrastructure costs, we’re also able to ingest terabytes of data, not gigabytes, as well as provide better data analyses and deliver new services and features for our customers. They’re seeing the difference too.”

Matteo Capretto, CTO, DM Group

Developing better features, faster

Since migrating to Google Cloud, DM Group has been able to increase the volume of data it ingests daily and process data in minutes, instead of overnight. “After migrating to Google Cloud, we immediately began seeing results,” says Alessandro Paolucci, DM Group’s CEO. “Not only are we saving 35% on infrastructure costs, we’re also able to ingest terabytes of data, not gigabytes, as well as provide better data analyses and deliver new services and features for our customers. They’re seeing the difference too.” The new features include analyzing videos as a source of data, which was not previously possible.

Matteo estimates that the faster deployment cycle will reduce time to market for new features by up to 30%. “Migrating to Google Cloud means we can focus on feature development, not infrastructure management,” he explains. Infrastructure costs have also gone down by 35%, even while enabling more advanced services.

DM Group now plans to increase its use of machine learning on Google Cloud to further broaden its data strategies. “We already have a new client app in the pipeline that will leverage AI for product recognition,” says Matteo. “Another potential application is creating a chatbot to deliver customer competitions for our clients.”

“To stay ahead of our competitors, we have to offer the best range of strategies on the Italian market,” he adds. “We need to keep developing features that enable our clients to stand out, and Google Cloud is helping us to do that.”

About DM Group

DM Group is a pioneer in data-driven marketing on the Italian market. It specializes in the collection and management of on- and offline data for its clients, ensuring every customer interaction is relevant and effective.

Industries: Technology
Location: Italy

About Go Reply

With a strong focus on machine learning and big data solutions, Go Reply helps customers of all sizes solve challenges using Google Cloud products.