Hackett-backed UltraServe cloud e-commerce platform checks social media to see when servers need to scale – StartupSmart

UltraServe, an e-commerce platform backed by entrepreneurial investor and Internode founder Simon Hackett, has added a new feature that tracks social media activity in order to pre-emptively scale its infrastructure before demand starts growing.


The latest deal comes after Hackett purchased a 40% stake in the company in April of last year, with former Internode and iiNet chief technology officer John Lindsay taking a seat on its board of directors.


UltraServe chief executive Samuel Yeats told StartupSmart the investment has helped the company grow internationally.


“We took investment in May last year, and that was to help us take our offer international and further our reach here in Australia… We have customers now in the UK, US, Asia, New Zealand and Australia, so it’s been a really good six months for business,” Yates says.


“It’s been a really good six months for our business. There’s been a lot of changes, but it’s also helped us to focus. We used to be a hosting company that looked at any kind of application, with a broad target market. The past six months, we’ve dropped everything except online retail, and have built some really great partnerships.”


The company offers cloud-based managed services for e-commerce companies, counting big names such as Catch of the Day, Deals Direct, Appliances Online and General Pants among its customers.


The latest feature for the company’s cloud-based SmartStack platform, which it demonstrated at the recent hybris summit in Munich, allows it to automatically respond to social media events indicating a surge in traffic is on the way.


“SmartStack is a platform for hybris e-commerce, which is an SAP business. We’re the only endorsed public cloud provider globally for hybris. The aim with Smart Stack is to cut down provisioning time to minutes.


“What social scaling does is take that one step further. Sometimes, we might not be able to anticipate when a wave of traffic is coming. So we poll social media in real time and look for key words and indicators that could indicate a spike in traffic, and then pre-scale and pre-warn our environment. It means our customers always have a responsive website for their users.


Yeats says he is unaware of any other company using the technique, which he says allows businesses to have “an extra ear to the ground listening out for a successful, vital campaign”.


“For example, we have a customer in the UK, and from time to time, Kate Middleton will buy their shoes. As soon as those shoes hit the tabloids, people talk about them on social media and then hit the website. Now that’s a perfect example of where this comes in handy.


“hybris has recently been named by Gartner as the number one platform for omni-channel, so it’s neat an Australian business can compete on a global scale.”

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