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SimpliField: Moving from startup to scale-up, powered by Google Cloud

About SimpliField

SimpliField is leading the retail digital transformation by helping companies empower their talent with the tools they need to perform at their best. As the first fully integrated mobile platform for retail operations, communications, and advanced performance analytics, SimpliField opens the door for real-time, end-to-end analysis and business process optimization in a way that's never been possible before.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: France

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SimpliField moves from a national to an international operation supported by Google Cloud’s scalable global architecture.

Google Cloud results

  • Two full-time salaries saved by move to Google Cloud
  • 100% uptime achieved
  • Moving from multiple hypervisors and virtual machines to Google Cloud eased going global
  • Significantly reduces calls to in-house IT

Switching on services to new global customers in minutes

Successful retailers increasingly have multiple stores, national and international headquarters, and warehouses which contain the stock for their stores and online services. Flourishing wholesalers often have several stock hubs dotted around a country or even the world. This makes keeping track of stock, resourcing, finances, KPIs, and even marketing campaigns, challenging. SimpliField is designed to simplify and integrate the many layers that retailers and wholesalers rely on to optimize their operations.

The SimpliField data analytics SaaS performance platform helps senior management make educated decisions on business strategy and the entire workforce to collaborate and work together to better achieve the business’s goals. “Before we came along, our customers relied on emails and spreadsheets for company communication. And when you have a national, or even international, network of shops, warehouses, and offices, with most of the staff on the shop floor having limited access to a computer, such an unreliable reporting system resulted in expensive mistakes,” explains Olivier Mayot, CTO at SimpliField.

The SimpliField app provides everyone in the organization with real-time data and information accessible anytime, anywhere via a mobile or web app. Everything from company events, chats, workflows, and forms can be sent and received via the app, and information such as product images, stock takes, and pricing can be uploaded to it.

“When you are growing as fast as SimpliField is, you need a cloud provider that can scale super fast. Google Cloud has an interesting offering and we could see it had a wide range of practical services, such as BigQuery, which we knew would be useful in the future.”

Olivier Mayot, CTO, SimpliField

Helping a growing business scale globally

SimpliField has come a long way since it launched in Paris, France, in 2013. It now has more than 70 employees, based in France and North America, and 130+ customers, including Revlon, Alliance HealthCare and international luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. And in January 2020, on the same day that it announced the opening of its US headquarters in New York City, SimpliField also revealed that it had received $11 million in Series A funding, led by US-based growth equity investor Five Elms Capital.

Financial investment alone, however, isn’t enough to secure a business’s global success. It needs an infrastructure that can grow and develop in tandem with it. A tough technological backbone was required to support SimpliField’s rapid growth and Google Cloud is now very integral to this. Before moving over to the cloud, SimpliField had been running on several hypervisors and virtual machines that were difficult to scale and required a lot of maintenance. So the decision was made to move to the cloud in 2020.

“SimpliField has never run on Microsoft, so the choice for us was between Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services, and many of our retail customers see Amazon as a competitor, so they don’t want to buy solutions that are hosted on Amazon,” explains Olivier. “When you are growing as fast as SimpliField is, you need a cloud provider that can scale super fast. Google Cloud has an interesting offering, and we could see it had a wide range of practical services, such as BigQuery, which we knew would be useful in the future. So we opted for Google Cloud, and I am very happy we did!”

“We don’t have a problem with scaling anymore. With Google Cloud, we can deploy a new large customer with staff based in shops and warehouses dotted all around the world by just pushing a button, and they’re ready to go in a matter of minutes.”

Olivier Mayot, CTO, SimpliField

Integrating multiple operations on a single anytime, anywhere solution

SimpliField opted to migrate the bulk of its tech infrastructure over to Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), and this took about six months because moving everything over from multiple legacy systems was fiddly and each silo had to be moved over manually. “Once everything was settled on GKE, however, adopting Compute Engine was much more straightforward,” adds Olivier.

Using GKE, SimpliField deploys, manages, automates, and scales containerized applications. GKE works with Compute Engine to create and deploy virtual machines at scale and SimpliField’s employees in Europe and America can access this resource 24/7 to set up new businesses on the SimpliField app. SimpliField also makes use of the fully managed serverless platform Cloud Run to host additional scalable microservices, such as image processing.

SimpliField’s customers often take photos of products and share them via the SimpliField app. As their customer base grows, the number of images passing through the system grows too, so it was vital to find a solution that doesn’t limit this. But, Olivier points out, “We don’t have a problem with scaling anymore. With Google Cloud, we can deploy a new large customer with staff based in shops and warehouses dotted all around the world by just pushing a button, and they’re ready to go in a matter of minutes. If they ask for hosting in Asia, Europe, or America, we can deploy a new cluster wherever they want without any limitations.”

“We now have 100% uptime. With Google Cloud, we don’t have to worry about maintenance. Now we can concentrate on the business, the operations, and developing the features of our products.”

Olivier Mayot, CTO, SimpliField

Achieving 100% uptime using Google Cloud

While Google Cloud has helped SimpliField to scale up its operations, it has also helped it to maintain a slimmed-down workforce. Olivier claims that without Google Cloud solutions, SimpliField would have had to employ two additional staff to manage all the processes that GKE and Compute Engine handle. And the dreaded downtime is now a thing of the past too. “We now have 100% uptime,” he says. “With Google Cloud, we don’t have to worry about maintenance. Now we can concentrate on the business, the operations, and developing the features of our products.”

When a business is growing, it must balance investment in new technologies and services against revenues, and because Google Cloud’s payment structure is transparent and you only pay for what you use, it also makes it easy to budget for, adds Olivier.

Harnessing Google AI to help customers manage their workflows

SimpliField’s shop window of wares is now looking to grow further with the support of Google Cloud’s range of economical, scalable solutions. Olivier is now looking at how he can optimize SimpliField’s existing Google Cloud services and make use of new ones to provide additional functionality for SimpliField’s customers. “We are now looking at expanding our data analytics, so that even more of our customers’ data can flow to our app and be crunched into real-time analytics, which will offer advice and help them to better manage their workflows and processes,” he explains. “We will be looking to Google AI to help us provide this added value and present it in a simple, easy-to-digest manner.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About SimpliField

SimpliField is leading the retail digital transformation by helping companies empower their talent with the tools they need to perform at their best. As the first fully integrated mobile platform for retail operations, communications, and advanced performance analytics, SimpliField opens the door for real-time, end-to-end analysis and business process optimization in a way that's never been possible before.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: France