Proximis: Getting closer to global retail customers with the Google global network

About Proximis

Proximis offers a unified, omnichannel solution for retailers to use in-store and online, enabling them to increase productivity and improve margins.

Industries: Technology
Location: France

Proximis implements Google Cloud Platform using managed services and Kubernetes to autoscale and achieve high availability for its global retail clients, enabling it to grow internationally.

Google Cloud Results

  • Powers a flexible infrastructure that autoscales easily to meet peaks in retailer demand, helping improve overall system uptime
  • Enables clients to deploy closer to customers using the Google data center network, providing a faster, more-efficient service
  • Opens up new business opportunities thanks to a more robust, performative infrastructure that can support more simultaneous users

Offers its customers 99.99% availability

In the fast-paced global retail sector, brands need to be able to streamline their operations processes in order to deliver goods quickly and efficiently. By bringing together four essential retail tools in one Digital Unified Commerce platform, French company Proximis has built a solution to help retailers improve their productivity and their margins. "We offer an ecommerce solution, an order management system, a POS solution, and a data management hub, which can all be used separately or together," explains Eric Chemouny, COO at Proximis. "We are the only provider out there to offer this unified, transversal approach."

"We knew from the beginning that in order to build the global, scalable infrastructure we needed, we would have to move to the cloud. It was a case of finding the right fit for Proximis in terms of the range of tools on offer, and price-to-performance ratio."

Eric Voltzenlogel, VP Sales Engineering and Product Marketing, Proximis

Its clients include famous French brands such as Ladurée and Agatha, which have a global reach. "We have more and more customers who are looking to expand internationally," says Eric Voltzenlogel, VP Sales Engineering and Product Marketing at Proximis. "Our platform needs to be able to support them to deploy our tools as close to their customers as possible, and as quickly as possible. We also need to be able to cope with the peaks in traffic they experience, where traffic can increase by 300 percent."

Proximis' previous hosted servers did not provide the flexibility necessary to answer large peaks in traffic, limiting its ability to cope with increases in simultaneous users. Moving its infrastructure to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) was the answer.

"We knew from the beginning that in order to build the global, scalable infrastructure we needed, we would have to move to the cloud," says Eric. "It was a case of finding the right fit for Proximis in terms of the range of tools on offer, and price-to-performance ratio."

Autoscaling to meet demand

In the retail sector, peaks in traffic can range from the entirely predictable to the completely unexpected, with factors including the Christmas period, one-off sales and promotions, or even cyberattacks. "With our on-premises hosted servers, it could take up to a day to mount more servers. There were certain clients with whom we could just not work, because our servers could not cope with their traffic," says Eric. "So in 2015, we started looking for a cloud provider with an extensive network that would enable us to scale our infrastructure to accommodate peaks in traffic, and improve our response time and availability."

"Google Compute Engine and Google Kubernetes Engine enable us to take a very industrialized approach. We are able to routinely delete and replace servers, which has a positive impact on the reliability and uptime of our system."

Eric Voltzenlogel, VP Sales Engineering and Product Marketing, Proximis

Proximis chose GCP, and now powers its services with Compute Engine and Google Kubernetes Engine, using Cloud Storage and Persistent Disk to store data, as well as managed services such as Cloud Functions and Cloud SQL. "Now, our system is able to autoscale and accommodate any potential peaks in traffic," explains Eric. "For example, one of our clients recently experienced a denial-of-service cyberattack, which saw its website flooded with requests, but our infrastructure automatically spun up 300 new instances to deal with the requests. The website was able to deal with the load and didn't crash."

"Response time is also something that's really important to our clients, especially in terms of Search Engine Optimization," Eric continues. "We use Cloud Load Balancing, Cloud CDN, and Cloud DNS to deliver low response times for our clients worldwide."

"In terms of security, Google's extensive data storage network helps us to comply with customer requirements around data storage within geographical boundaries, and Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy adds an extra layer of security to application access," says Eric. "We also use the monitoring and logging tools available through Stackdriver to keep a close eye on our system."

"Google Compute Engine and Google Kubernetes Engine enable us to take a very industrialized approach," Eric explains. "We are able to routinely delete and replace servers, which has a positive impact on the reliability and uptime of our system."

"We're very happy with our partnership with Google. We are able to work with larger companies than previously, and optimize the unified service that we offer to help retailers meet the market challenges of today."

Eric Chemouny, COO, Proximis

Developing business insights

Proximis currently uses BigQuery for its data analysis, and Google Data Studio to generate reports. "We generate a lot of data through our tools and using BigQuery, we generate reports on our clients' commercial performance. However, we really want to start doing more to harness the potential of our data," says Eric. "For example, we want to start using the data on order management to identify which depots are the optimal ones to use, and to understand bigger trends. Machine learning has the potential to be a big help in that respect."

Planning for global growth

Since migrating to Google Cloud Platform, Proximis is now able to autoscale its infrastructure to meet traffic peaks, which has resulted in a more reliable service for its clients. "We are now able to offer our customers an uptime of 99.99 percent, which would not be possible without our capacity to autoscale in case of an emergency," says Eric. "There is no limit on the number of simultaneous users we can accommodate, we fit the infrastructure around the client."

Now, as well as developing its BI analytics, Proximis is working with Google to develop new client relationships and connect with bigger retail clients.

"We're very happy with our partnership with Google," says Eric Chemouny. "We are able to work with larger companies than previously, and optimize the unified service that we offer to help retailers meet the market challenges of today, in terms of security and speed."

About Proximis

Proximis offers a unified, omnichannel solution for retailers to use in-store and online, enabling them to increase productivity and improve margins.

Industries: Technology
Location: France
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12 Months FREE TRIAL

Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

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