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It provides an innovative solution that addresses many of the challenges that our clients are facing. We are able to empower our clients with a pre-built solution that unlocks a new way of thinking about distributed applications. The programmatic access to Vendia was also very helpful in building out our CI/CD pipeline, so the application was developed in an iterative and well tested fashion from the start.
-Issam Ouchen, Principal Technology Consultant at Slalom
When a major travel and hospitality customer reached out to Slalom looking to resurrect a blockchain pilot they had begun a couple years prior, they had some requirements that they needed to meet but couldn't seem to get around. The pilot, and every blockchain solution they tried, had common deficiencies: they required a large investment in time and money to set up and maintain a basic multi-party network, were difficult to use for those without blockchain expertise, and they required extensive operational resources to maintain. They were also difficult for new partners and data providers to integrate with.
“They were open to anything that was a blockchain platform or distributed ledger, but we realized that most of them had many of the same deficiencies as the first pilot,” said Steve Resnick, Managing Director at Slalom. “They also wanted the ability to do high throughput transaction processing at scale, and the ability to natively integrate with the cloud services that they were already using so that their existing workforce could use the same set of technologies, a single programming language, and common tooling that they already knew.”
It was around this time that Slalom found Vendia, which was taking a serverless approach to ledger-based application development. It promised to make it easy to share data and code, in real time, with partners. They decided to give it a closer look.
Shared Data Models with a Single Source of Truth
Vendia allows customers to create Universal Applications, or ‘unis’—which take a cloud native and serverless approach to modern distributed applications and ledgers. Out of the gate, Vendia proved to be something that they could get set up quickly and rely on for being always available, as opposed to building a team of people to operate it 24/7. The proof of concept was up and running within a week. “We were able to generate APIs and show the client very quickly what the interfaces would look like, we started to get transactions running immediately, and it gave us event-driven processing right out of the box.”
Slalom chose a shared data model for the applications and was able to bridge simple gaps in understanding or terminology between the parties. Vendia was also able to resolve a major blocker for one of the client’s partners, where they had previously had issues getting onto the network. “Their question was, how soon can they build us an API to gather this set of data that we need for reporting? It had been on the backlog but wasn’t prioritized for that quarter.”
The partner in the POC was impressed. “By giving the partner their own node and ability to contribute or pull data from it easily flipped the discussion from a centralized API model where everybody's waiting for that central data broker to do work, to actually allow all the participants to pull whatever data at whatever frequency. That allowed that partner to move past one of their core objections and closed the deal.”
Vendia gave them the ability to very easily know from the start that there would be a way to take the data from the Vendia Share platform and make available to other systems, using the same AWS services like Amazon EventBridge, AWS Lambda, and Amazon DynamoDB. This allowed the customer to have confidence that they would very easily integrate the Vendia Share based solution into their bigger, broader transformation. “By abstracting these common technologies, a common paradigm, we were able to build a lot of trust from the get go. One of the developers said, ‘Oh! It's just like AWS.’ It was very comforting to them.”
Multi-party data sharing for a host of use cases
Slalom saw an underlying pattern emerge—nearly every industry had a common challenge of being able to share the right data sets in a timely manner, with the right partners. “Solutions to these challenges need to allow multiple parties to all read and write data in real time, as well as, provide traceability to support various use cases. Whether that’s a traveler booking a flight, or a coffee maker tracking the source of their beans, these are events that can be captured and then tracked and shared with others as they happen,” said Issam Ouchen, Principal Technology Consultant and member of Slalom’s blockchain community.
Slalom saw Vendia as a way to help clients who were exploring blockchain-based use cases where data sharing or traceability needs are paramount. Vendia enabled Slalom to address common but important challenges in a very straightforward and consumable way. The complexity of standing up a blockchain network, the complexity and costs of running one, and then the skill sets needed to actually be effective with it were all solved for. In the end, it’s helped them deliver greater value to their customers.