Guest blog post: Transfluent has taken cloud infrastructure to the max
This is the fourth blog post to the blog challenge by our CIO Kim Lindgren. This post is written by Jani Penttinen, CEO of Transfluent.
Transfluent has been designed as a global organization from ground up, and the byproduct of this is that we have made infrastructure choices that are fairly adaptable to begin with. I don’t think of IT infrastructure as a challenge but as an opportunity. We mostly stay away from what is considered the traditional IT infrastructure and embrace modern cloud- and social-based tools and services.
On the server side, we are fully in the cloud, using Amazon Web Services as the platform, which gives a great deal of scalability as needed. We once considered building a server far, but quickly found that it’s almost always more expensive, requires a lot of maintenance, and doesn’t scale well.
We have taken the cloud infrastructure to the max - we have multiple offices around the world, and on top of that, many of Transfluent’s employees work from home. Our network of translators consists of over 100,000 translators from all over the world, all of whom are working from their computers or mobile phones wherever they happen to be when a translation task arrives. Running this infrastructure requires constant communication with a large number of people.
We use Google’s business tools for emails and document sharing, Dropbox for files, Skype and Google Hangouts for calls, Flowdock for collaboration, and so on. All the services we use typically connect with each other and provide an API or a framework for connecting them to our custom backend service as well.
Even our sales and marketing is fully built on a very agile process that is implemented by licensing SaaS solutions such as Marketo for marketing automation and Salesforce for CRM. Services like this are usually modular in that they can be expanded by purchasing additional plugins. In other words, rather than relying on one solution, we rely on platforms that offer thousands of additional solutions that we can use to build the exact pipeline we need and adjust it as often as we need to.
Finally, we’re big on mobile. Most of the team is on the move all the time, and any solutions we use must have good mobile interfaces. I can clearly see a day where I won’t carry a laptop around at all but instead rely on mobile phones and tablets instead. We’re not quite there yet, but using flexible cloud-based infrastructure makes us ready for the future when it arrives.