Ninja Van extends use of Google Cloud’s infrastructure

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The logistics provider Ninja Van has extended its use of Google Cloud’s scalable and open-source infrastructure to continue running its platform and applications – including its chatbot and autoscaling capabilities.

The partnership is expected to reduce downtime and enable 24/7 operations. According to a study by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, Southeast Asia’s e-commerce gross merchandise value was projected to have doubled in 2021 to exceed US$120bn and is expected to reach US$234bn by 2025. Ninja Van’s use of Google Cloud’s infrastructure, therefore, is predicted to accommodate this expansion and prioritize reliability and data protection. Whether it is preparing for major online sales events like Singles’ Day, responding to sudden surges in demand because of merchants running ad-hoc campaigns, or making annual software upgrades, Google Cloud’s dynamic autoscaling capabilities enable Ninja Van’s website and mobile applications to handle 10 times the normal traffic with an improved user experience, before scaling down to reduce costs when additional computing resources are no longer needed.

With Google’s open-cloud approach, Ninja Van also expects its data scientists to have more time to build products that add value to the business, instead of spending time managing IT infrastructure. For instance, by using Google Cloud’s data-processing platform – which integrates with its data scientists’ preferred external data visualization tools – Ninja Van’s teams can more easily process terabytes of data daily and support the company’s business needs.

To create its NinjaChat chatbot and simulate the immediacy of in-person interactions, Ninja Van’s developers turned to Google Cloud’s open-source and pre-built virtual agents to bring the feature to life in a month, rather than spend three months building a machine-learning framework from scratch.

Shaun Chong, co-founder and chief technology officer at Ninja Van, said, “Retailers have shifted toward e-commerce strategies as opposed to selling through physical stores, especially with the pandemic forcing consumers to shop online more than ever before. With disruptions to the traditional flow of raw materials and finished goods, there’s also an urgent need for adaptive micro supply chains that allow businesses to ‘make where they sell’ and fulfill orders quicker. We chose Google Cloud because of its proven ability to help us scale reliably and innovate at high velocity, as we address the region’s end-to-end logistics management needs.

“Having benefited from security solutions that are designed by default into Google Cloud’s infrastructure, such as end-to-end encryption and automated patching against vulnerabilities like Apache Log4j 2, we will now work with Google Cloud’s security specialists on additional ways to reinforce our zero-trust security model.”

Ruma Balasubramanian, managing director of Google Cloud in Southeast Asia, said, “We’re proud to have played a part in Ninja Van becoming a leading end-to-end logistics management provider and one of the most admired technology unicorns. By investing in world-class talent and relentless innovation, the company is well-positioned to deliver the just-in-time production and distribution capabilities that businesses need to satisfy contemporary consumers’ desire for product variety and immediacy. Google Cloud will continue to uphold our high standards in reliability, collaboration, openness and security, as we support Ninja Van’s vision of connecting Southeast Asia to a world of commerce possibilities.”

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As the latest addition to the UKi Media & Events team, Elizabeth brings research skills from her English degree to her keen interest in the meteorological and transportation industries. Having taken the lead in student and startup publications, she has gained experience in editing online and print titles on a wide variety of topics. In her current role as Editorial Assistant, Elizabeth will create new and topical content on the pioneering technologies in transportation, logistics and meteorology.

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