Case Study: UGroupMedia Inc.

UGroupMedia started leveraging the AWS Cloud to handle explosive and shifting seasonal load demand

UGroupMedia (UGM) needed a partner ready to respond to their needs and handle shifting demand during peak season. With the algorithm iTMethods developed, UGM is able to take full advantage of the scalability and elasticity of the AWS Cloud.

Barriers to Growth

Instant response to explosive seasonal demand with seamless autoscaling.

AWS Innovation

Delivering maximum end-user satisfaction by fully utilizing AWS’ latest features.

Resource Allocation

“With our previous partners, we sometimes had to chase them down to let them know there was a problem. With iTMethods, it’s the exact opposite. iTMethods monitors our critical infrastructures every day and responds rapidly if something happens. They’re proactive.”

– Yves Desgagne, CTO at UGroupMedia Inc

Company Background

UGroupMedia (UGM) is the founder of the Portable North Pole (PNP), which gives children around the world a personalized Christmas video message from Santa by combining the magic of a tailor-made video with cutting-edge technology. PNP is powered by UPlatform, UGM’s virtual transmedia platform that allows users to customize media content in real time. Since UGM launched in 2008, over 125 million videos have been viewed by loved ones around the world.

The Challenge

UGM has been operating with AWS for more than six years and is a heavy AWS user. AWS is built to scale rapidly, but UGM needed a partner with the expertise and skill to maximize that elasticity.

As an AWS Expert Partner, iTMethods had the certified skills and experience to re-architect UGM’s critical infrastructures for instant scalability and elastic load handling. iTMethods worked with UGM’s in-house team to create an environment that would handle shifting load capacities, especially during peak Christmas season.

The Solution

UGM needed a partner ready to respond to their needs. “From the beginning, iTMethods was ready to work with us,” said Alexandre Bérard, CEO of UGM. “They were flexible, able to accommodate our needs, and knew how to adjust to meet shifting demand. They were – and are – behind us every step of the way.”

AWS enables seamless auto-scaling, key to letting UGM respond to fluctuating demand. iTMethods worked with UGM to develop an algorithm that senses demand, shifting capacity up and down as necessary.

AWS’ innovative services drive lower costs and increased performance. When UGM began working with iTMethods, they were interested in exploring the use of Amazon Aurora for better performance and scalability at a lower cost. iTMethods assisted UGM in setting up an Aurora proof of concept environment, validating application compatibility and performance increases. iTMethods then executed a disciplined transition to production.

iTMethods provides proactive monitoring and rapid response. “We make sure our internal engineers keep an eye on AWS,” said Yves Desgagne, CTO at UGM, “but it’s important to have a second level of support if something goes wrong. With our previous partners, we sometimes had to chase them down to let them know there was a problem. With iTMethods, it’s the exact opposite. iTMethods monitors our critical infrastructures every day and responds rapidly if something happens. They’re proactive.”

UGM could speak to a real expert for support. “We were tired of being patched into the service desks whenever we needed to discuss something,” said Yves. “We wanted a single, dedicated point of contact – something iTMethods gives us.”

The Results

Instant and automated scalability to handle shifting demand. With the algorithm iTMethods developed, UGM is able to take full advantage of the scalability and elasticity of the AWS cloud.

UGM transitioned to Aurora from MySQL with minimal downtime. iTMethods delivered this using fewer resources and at a lower cost while still delivering maximum end-user satisfaction.

UGM’s customers enjoy a smooth experience using the PNP and UGM’s UPlatform. iTMethods’ ongoing management ensures seamless interactions – letting customers spread Christmas cheer whenever, wherever, and to whomever.

AWS Platform Services

iTMethods and UGroupMedia are taking advantage of the following AWS platform services as part of this enterprise solution:

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