Superior Integrated Systems


Case Studies

Superior Integrated Systems Develops Data-as-a-Service Platform with AWS and AllCloud

Superior Integrated Systems (SIS) specializes in using National Instruments® hardware and software to create high-speed data acquisition and control systems for clients across a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, and consumer electronics.

Challenge

SIS is an integrator of custom-built automated test stands which help their customers satisfy specific product test requirements; for example, helping automotive manufacturers conduct high-cycle, stress-induced testing on vehicle components, or helping aerospace manufacturers run tests based on extreme environmental conditions.

Traditionally, test results were available on the user interface of the custom-built test software and as static report files. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic required their customers to have easier access to test data when working remotely. SIS launched a new effort to deliver faster and more interactive results using IoT (Internet of Things), with the goal of improving the customer experience and increasing revenue. This new initiative and data-as-a-service product line is referred to as the Polaris Data Network (PDN). As part of this effort, SIS wanted to build a proof of concept for a new data platform. This portal would allow their customers to view test results in near real-time, interact with those results, and even change test configurations. SIS had a clear vision for what they wanted to deliver in this proof of concept, but knew they would need help building that solution.

Solution

SIS decided to utilize Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build the testing portal, but wanted the help of an experienced partner. AWS referred several partners, and SIS ultimately decided to move forward with AllCloud, a Premier AWS Consulting Partner. SIS chose AllCloud because of the team’s Big Data and IoT expertise as well as strong recommendations from AWS. Specifically, SIS appreciated that AllCloud has a clear process in place for how to lead projects, but also demonstrated their ability to move at the company’s pace during early discussions, which positioned them as a true partner during the evaluation process.

AllCloud immediately began working to understand their strategy and goals and then quickly transitioned to developing the architecture accordingly for the desired data-as-a service platform. With that foundational work complete, AllCloud stood up the data platform on AWS using Control Tower and AWS CDK. AllCloud also built the data flow, set up device interactions, and structured an analytics solution to deliver a complete proof of concept. Specifically, the entirety of this work involved:

  • Building visualizations displaying dashboards of the testing taking place using containers on ECS Fargate and Grafana
  • Setting up integrations to connect different IoT devices to that data platform using AWS IOT Core
  • Creating a structure for data ingestion from IoT devices, including standard processes for how the devices send information to the platform and how that data gets collected in a data lake using Amazon Kinesis, S3, and Amazon Timestream
  • Standing up an initial web interface for customers to log in, view dashboards of the data, and manipulate IoT devices by turning them on or off

Results

With the data flow, device interaction, and analytics solution complete, SIS was ready to onboard their first customer to the Polaris Data Network portal. Early results from the portal were strong, allowing the company to start marketing this new capability to even more customers and laying the groundwork for a big lift in revenue as a result.

Based on this initial success, SIS is already talking to AllCloud about expanding the partnership and doing more work to build out the complete product offering based on the initial model. Ultimately, this will help them better serve their customers with a more valuable and highly differentiated solution that provides hands-on access to testing results in real-time. In doing so, the new portal will help SIS continue to win customers and grow revenue in a highly competitive market.

The SIS team reports they are confident in their partnership with AllCloud, not only to help them achieve this type of success going forward, but also to continue expanding upon what they can offer their customers to keep up the strong pace of innovation.

“The professional team of AWS developers at AllCloud were critical to the success of the program. While the race track was certainly an entertaining demonstration, the functions developed jointly with AllCloud have become the core toolkit that forms the basis of PDN. Their knowledge and expertise allowed us to bring PDN to market. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
– John Hibma, Founder and CEO, SIS

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