inQdo optimises Otrium’s AWS Cloud

'Intensive collaboration creates synergy and knowledge sharing'

039 Otrium Flatlays 2022 10 06 luca 9 Conscious female China White tonsurton 1

Otrium is an online fashion outlet with a mission to make all globally produced clothes actually worn. With now more than 5 million members, scalability, security, and cost efficiency are the significant challenges for the cloud-born company. inQdo is helping Otrium to establish, develop and optimise its AWS Cloud so Otrium can focus on growth.

Otrium founders Milan Daniels and Max Klijnstra came up with the idea for the platform as a solution for their clothing company’s excess inventory. They realised that there was not one available yet for the fashion industry, to sell these items and ensure branding and profitability. Indeed, they found out that some 15 percent of all clothes produced worldwide are never worn but end up in landfills or burnt. They came up with an online platform where clothing brands can sell their excess stock at a discount: Otrium.

“The more efficient the architecture is, the fewer our emissions.”

Leander Sikma - CTO Otrium

Growth spurt

“The company was born in the cloud,” explains Leander Sikma, CTO at Otrium. It became apparent, during the growth spurt in 2018 that their systems, which ran on a number of different providers, were feeling the strain. “The environment we had at the time was not scalable enough for the growth we were experiencing, so we started looking for another solution.” Since Sikma already had experience with AWS Cloud, and given the current challenges, it quickly became the obvious choice. They were also the largest and best cloud provider at the time, offering the most services.” Initially, the migration was carried out by Otrium’s own IT team, but Sikma soon realised that he could use some additional support for scalability and fine-tuning the cloud environment.

Fine-tuning and optimising

“In the early days, Otrium grew faster than the technological architecture and our relatively small IT team could handle. Working with inQdo meant that we had a large team with extensive knowledge behind us that could help fine-tune, improve, and solve problems,” says Sikma. “Especially in the early days, they helped us tremendously in getting the foundation of our AWS Cloud right, crucial for our subsequent scalability.” In addition, inQdo helped with various security aspects to ensure that the entire infrastructure was set up securely. “As the company grew, the cloud costs also increased, so the focus has been on cost efficiency recently.” Their ability to negotiate attractive discounts from AWS above and beyond the Enterprise Discount Programme enables them to deliver even greater cost efficiency. “In this, inQdo is very proactive,” says Sikma. “They screen our environment to see whether it might be more efficient turning off certain services because we don’t use them, which instances need an upgrade, or they advise on new services that fit better into our architecture.”

Cost and carbon reduction

The goal is to use the architecture more effectively and better so that the company can achieve more with less money. For Otrium, cost reduction is not just about money. “We also link that to our sustainability strategy,” he says. We are currently working on a real-time dashboard to provide insight into our carbon footprint. This includes emissions associated with architecture. It shows that the more efficient the architecture is, the fewer our emissions,” Sikma explains. “Although many cloud vendors are sustainable with wind farms and other forms of renewable energy, every kWh consumed has an impact on CO2 emissions. We have a powerful mission and therefore want to contribute to this ourselves. So apart from cost savings, optimising our cloud is crucial to reducing our CO2 emissions.”

Valuable partner

inQdo also provides Managed Services to Otrium and Sikma praises the close cooperation with the AWS partner. “We want our own DevOps team to do as much as possible themselves, but at crucial moments it is necessary to bring in external help. Through intensive cooperation with inQdo’s experts, a lot of knowledge sharing takes place, creating synergy between the two companies.” The proactive attitude and thinking along on all fronts always stand out in the relationship with inQdo. The AWS Cloud is crucial to Otrium’s operations and success, and at various times inQdo’s expertise played an important role. “In the early days, they have been essential in creating scalability,” he says. On peak days for specific sales or Black Friday, the AWS partner is also always on standby to immediately step in, if needed, and resolve any issues. “A partner who can be reached with one phone call, knows your organisation inside out, and thinks along proactively is very valuable,” says Sikma.

About Otrium

Otrium is an online platform where large and small brands can sell their excess stock. The company was founded in 2017 by two young entrepreneurs who managed to raise more than half a million in growth money from investors after just one year. Otrium now has around 130 employees and is still growing. The company operates in several European countries and the United States.