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SIRCLO: Delivering a reliable platform that helps businesses succeed in the online marketplace

About SIRCLO

SIRCLO is on a mission to help businesses succeed in online sales platforms. It does this by taking care of the details around starting an online store, a tedious task for time-poor business people. Today SIRCLO offers four main products: SIRCLO Store, which provides template-based services for building online stores, SIRCLO Connexi, an integrated dashboard for multichannel management of various ecommerce channels in Indonesia, as well as SIRCLO Commerce, an end-to-end solution covering warehouse and order management, delivery of goods, and more. In 2020, the company launched SIRCLO Chat, designed to facilitate ecommerce within messaging apps. SIRCLO’s team of six grew to 500 in just seven years, merging with ecommerce solutions agency ICUBE in 2020.

Industries: Technology
Location: Indonesia

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SIRCLO moved its platform of ecommerce solutions to Google Cloud to harness the load balancing and auto scaling features of Google Kubernetes Engine and better serve its fast-growing user base.

Google Cloud results

  • Efficient queuing mechanism on Pub/Sub enables SIRCLO to answer customer queries faster, leading to more sales
  • BigQuery is simple enough for even non-engineers to use, enabling engineers to focus on their own projects instead
  • Eliminates error-related product downtime during deployments, which helps to minimize any disruptions in the customer experience

Google Kubernetes Engine for 50% lower instance costs

Indonesians are some of the biggest online shoppers in the world, with 90% of internet users in the country between 16 and 64 years having made a purchase online. Retailers looking to maximize their sales opportunities should focus on building and expanding their online presence. But setting up an entirely new channel for doing business can be a challenging and time-consuming task for busy shop owners. That’s where SIRCLO comes in.

"We want to help businesses of all sizes by giving them an online presence, whether it's building a website or providing an end-to-end service that includes everything from giving their brand an online presence, keeping stock in our warehouse, and managing requests, to shipping out their products to customers,” says Leontius Pradhana, Chief Product Officer at SIRCLO.

SIRCLO realized that brands which had a website were able to quickly build a presence online, and a reputation too. That’s why the company chose to create its first offering around helping brands improve this aspect of their ecommerce even more. It launched SIRCLO Store, a service that helps businesses build a website using ready-made templates or customized designs that include easy-to-use content management systems. As online marketplaces started to take off in the years to follow, alongside quickly evolving shopping habits, it made sense to leverage those platforms with a much lower barrier to entry and little to no marketing cost. To meet this new need, the company built an end-to-end service, SIRCLO Commerce, developed to help businesses sell on third-party ecommerce platforms, and software-as-a-service product SIRCLO Connexi, a marketplace API-integrated dashboard backing SIRCLO Commerce’s synchronization technology.

"Kubernetes is one of the best tools for cluster management, and because Google designed and developed Kubernetes, it made sense to move our entire platform to Google Cloud. We also needed load balancing and auto scaling features which were readily available with Google Kubernetes Engine."

Leontius Pradhana, Chief Product Officer, SIRCLO

The company continued to look at marketing trends and ways to meet them, and in 2020 it found that more and more consumers prefer buying through chat platforms. It started developing another new service offering: SIRCLO Chat enables Indonesian sellers to grow their business and boost sales through messaging platforms.

"Our business model is an evolving one, and it’s important that we take the lead in the Indonesian ecommerce industry by thinking beyond the needs of today and developing innovative products that consumers will want tomorrow," says Leontius.

As SIRCLO continued to grow its services under a microservices infrastructure, it quickly realized the need for a more reliable and stable platform. It started to face some issues common to microservices, such as deployments not being synchronized, which would result in downtime and deployment delays, so it turned to Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) to solve this problem.

"Kubernetes is one of the best tools for cluster management, and because Google designed and developed Kubernetes, it made sense to move our entire platform to Google Cloud," says Leontius. "We also needed load balancing and auto scaling features, which were readily available with Google Kubernetes Engine."

“Having a centralized logging solution like Cloud Logging is amazing because we can very quickly diagnose the problem. Better still, we can pinpoint exactly which microservice is having problems, and our engineers can attend to it immediately."

Leontius Pradhana, Chief Product Officer, SIRCLO

Being available for customers around the clock with a robust ecosystem

In the fast-moving ecommerce industry, SIRCLO must continuously run updates to ensure its platform delivers the smoothest possible service to its customers. Because they’re able to rely on the self-healing functionalities of GKE, engineers at SIRCLO can give more time and energy to new product deployments and updates, instead of having to be on call for any maintenance issues. By putting a lot of its workload in Preemptible VMs, SIRCLO has managed to reduce cost significantly because without Google Kubernetes Engine, its cost per instance is estimated to be 50% more of what it is now.

SIRCLO also uses Google’s operations tools to monitor the performance of its applications and troubleshoot where necessary. "In the past, if something was wrong with one out of 20 instances, for example, we would need to pull out each instance individually in order to check which one was problematic,” says Leontius, adding that this could be very tedious and error prone. "Having a centralized logging solution like Cloud Logging is amazing because we can very quickly diagnose the problem. Better still, we can pinpoint exactly which microservice is having problems, and our engineers can attend to it immediately."

Since moving to GKE, the engineers at SIRCLO are more confident and productive in their new product rollouts because it automatically takes care of the recovery when something unexpected happens. "That’s a huge win for us, because it means that when something goes wrong during deployment, we can easily just roll back and try again," says Leontius.

"Historically, we’d have junior engineers write up dashboards and SQL queries to satisfy reporting needs, and it would take around two weeks before a report was available. Today, we’ve cut that time down to just minutes."

Leontius Pradhana, Chief Product Officer, SIRCLO

BigQuery: A platform that’s simple and intuitive enough for non-engineers

With multiple service offerings, SIRCLO needs a reliable data warehousing platform that delivers, yet remains easy to use. When the team did an initial proof of concept (POC) to see if BigQuery could deliver, they were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use. "Even out of the box, BigQuery is so intuitive that our non-engineers can perform queries and run analysis on it. That’s great, because it enables our engineers to focus on development projects, without getting called in to run queries for other teams, which can be disruptive to their own work.”

Now that it’s all set up, Leontius says that BigQuery is pretty much left to run on its own, even generating reports automatically. All of its internal monthly and weekly reports are now generated by BigQuery, which has saved a lot of time and resources. "Historically, we’d have junior engineers write up dashboards and SQL queries to satisfy reporting needs, and it would take around two weeks before a report was available. Today, we’ve cut that time down to just minutes." Because the reports are generated in real time, they’re more accurate as well.

As for cost, moving to Google Cloud has certainly been a win for SIRCLO, as Leontius shares, "We’re running the system with our existing team, and our engineers are really focusing on adding value to the business by finding new solutions to improve our products. All of this will ultimately keep us growing, becoming more profitable, and winning new customers who love our platform.”

SIRCLO founder & co-founders

Connecting with more customers via chat to boost sales

With the growing number of consumers reaching out to brands through messaging apps, SIRCLO wanted to boost its business performance to meet the changing expectations of consumers. It uses Dialogflow, part of Contact Center AI, to ensure that customers’ questions on products are answered quickly and accurately. With Dialogflow, SIRCLO gains the advantage of natural language programming (NLP) to understand all the different ways a customer can ask one type of question and serve it the correct response.

SIRCLO also uses Pub/Sub to manage the flow of messages that come through. It is now able to receive more messages and reply to customers promptly, which has ultimately led to more sales. Leontius says, "This is a big difference, compared to the old ways of doing things, where everything was serialized and customers had to wait in a queue before their questions could be addressed."

SIRCLO office

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

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About SIRCLO

SIRCLO is on a mission to help businesses succeed in online sales platforms. It does this by taking care of the details around starting an online store, a tedious task for time-poor business people. Today SIRCLO offers four main products: SIRCLO Store, which provides template-based services for building online stores, SIRCLO Connexi, an integrated dashboard for multichannel management of various ecommerce channels in Indonesia, as well as SIRCLO Commerce, an end-to-end solution covering warehouse and order management, delivery of goods, and more. In 2020, the company launched SIRCLO Chat, designed to facilitate ecommerce within messaging apps. SIRCLO’s team of six grew to 500 in just seven years, merging with ecommerce solutions agency ICUBE in 2020.

Industries: Technology
Location: Indonesia