keeen was founded in 1999 in Wolfsburg and supports medium-sized companies and corporations to digitize all of their marketing activities.
Agency, advertising services
The digital agency keeen works at the intersection of marketing and technology. In addition to the creative solution itself, it offers both technical development work and ongoing IT operations for websites, apps, stores and IoT projects. The goal: additional and recurring revenue streams and maximizing customer loyalty. The US cloud computing services previously used were disappointing due to cumbersome complexity, poor response rates for support requests and excessively high prices.
As an agency, keeen faces the challenge that price-sensitive marketing projects only have a tight time frame with simultaneous high load peaks for the project team. Added to this are increasing customer requirements with regard to DSGVO and data protection. With an easy-to-use, secure and cost-flexible IaaS and PaaS operating platform, IT operating expenses are to be reduced and project handling with agency customers significantly accelerated and facilitated.
Thanks to the straightforward handling of the gridscale cloud, the quality of IT services at keeen has increased significantly and has become an important sales advantage in the agency business. The gridscale technology is now used extensively as the leading development and production environment for customer applications. In addition, all projects and clients are centrally managed by keeen via the gridscale Partner Panel and the agency’s entire cloud business is professionally managed.
High availability during performance peaks
Convenient project & client management
Maximizing upselling and customer retention
The public cloud from gridscale enables the company to expand its service portfolio and provide customers with an attractive full-service offering. By operating on a modern cloud infrastructure, keeen offers a campaign-proof service that can be configured quickly and easily on the agency side and does not experience any delays in IT operations even with very high access loads and remains failure-free. Many customer projects are already hosted and managed by keeen on the gridscale cloud platform. The “networked kitchen appliance” described in more detail here is just one example of a whole series of complex applications.
The Cologne gridscale solution had already caught my eye very positively before. And this good impression was quickly confirmed after the first projects.
Ralf Schindler, Head of keeen and Managing Partner
Initial situation and objective
Many of the agency’s marketing projects are characterized not only by the complexity of the technologies used, but also by a tight timeframe for implementation, high peak loads for project team and IT, and last but not least by a certain degree of price sensitivity.
With an easy-to-use, reliable and cost-transparent IaaS and PaaS operating platform, project execution is significantly simplified and accelerated.
Over a long period of time, keeen had worked with several of the major U.S. cloud computing services, but had repeatedly encountered difficulties. »The cloud services we initially used turned out to be too complex, too sluggish and too expensive,« says Ralf Schindler, Head of keeen and Managing Partner. »In addition, in the event of outages or acute problems, the rapid accessibility of the assigned contact persons was virtually non-existent. A no-go against the background of the business criticality of many eCommerce solutions and digital projects operated by us!«
With the entry into force of the DSGVO, new customer requirements were added that were much easier to fulfill with a domestic cloud provider. In particular, data management and storage in the German legal area as well as the complete mapping of the security criteria required by customers as part of certification processes are worth mentioning here. »The Cologne gridscale solution had already caught my eye very positively in the past,« recalls Ralf Schindler. »And this good impression was also quickly confirmed in the first projects.«
Unlike in the past, with gridscale we are also no longer dependent on individual internal know-how carriers with special cloud expertise and the anonymous online support of a mass hoster. Today, the entire team can work with the platform and, in case of doubt, rely on close personal support from the gridscale experts.
– Ralf Schindler
The concrete starting point for the collaboration with gridscale was the marketing rollout around a networked kitchen machine, which was characterized by a multi-layered catalog of requirements and showed how the need for IT resources constantly changes over time.
»At the beginning, the complexity of the application and the required infrastructure were still manageable,« says Ralf Schindler. However, spurred on by the great popularity on the market, the project developed quickly and grew into a vital digital ecosystem around the topic of Guided Cooking in a very short time. Thanks to the openness, flexibility and scalability of the cloud platform, the resulting expanded requirements could be easily mapped at any time.
The kitchen machine and the Internet of Things
These networked kitchen machines, which are offered by a major discounter throughout Europe, have a number of additional functions in contrast to conventional appliances, such as an integrated kitchen scale, a cooking function, a WLAN interface for accessing a recipe database, and step-by-step recipe instructions while cooking. There is also a web portal with multilingual product information, product support, a recipe database, user forums, a cooking magazine and a matching online store.
But that’s not all: the cloud infrastructure provided via gridscale also handles the multilingual OTA (“Over The Air”) updates for many device functions, the enrichment and data transfer of machine data, as well as the communication with the integrated recipe database.
As a result, keeen has built a comprehensive digital ecosystem on the Internet of Things for the product, which provides the respective end devices with intelligence and additional information and this way encompasses far more than the sale of kitchen appliances.
Absorbing power peaks, avoiding overcapacities
Since the kitchen machines are sold as temporary promotional goods in stationary retail, the IT infrastructure must be able to handle strong performance peaks in the digital ecosystem during some weeks of the year. Such temporary and volatile access loads are no problem with gridscale’s virtual cloud servers. They are booted manually or automatically within seconds and are then available to process additional workloads.
Using appropriate templates, keeen can also immediately provide specialized cloud servers, for example for transferring recipes to the machines, as soon as the network traffic grows. And these fast reactions to increasing demands are also possible in the opposite direction: as soon as the workload on the cloud servers decreases, they can also be shut down again within seconds. This completely avoids expensive overcapacities in the IT infrastructure.
A real WIN-WIN situation on the cost side: both for the agency and for its customers!
keeen is glad to have made the right decision in terms of cloud partners – today gridscale is used extensively as the leading development and production environment for customer applications.
Thanks to the openness and flexibility of the platform, both agile project management in the agency and the technical implementation of customer orders in the context of modern DevOps scenarios are effectively supported.
The goal: Short development cycles and reliable, repeatable staging processes up to automated deployment pipelines and continuous delivery. In addition, all projects and clients are centrally managed by keeen via the gridscale Partner Panel and the entire cloud business is professionally managed.
»Thanks to the uncomplicated handling, the quality of our IT services has noticeably increased and the work has become much easier for our developers and admins. They have a better overview and greater control and can implement their projects more efficiently and cost-effectively,« summarizes Ralf Schindler.