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06/15/2022

Groupon migrates tech platform toward cloud, automation

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Groupon is cloud-enabling its architecture.

A leading online deals provider is overhauling its technology architecture.

Groupon is taking steps to simplify its technology platform and become a more automated enterprise. Ultimately, Groupon seeks to accelerate its pace of product development and support better customer and retailer experiences.

Some of the company’s 2022 technology initiatives include:

  • Enhancing agility –– Groupon is re-orienting its product engineering organization to be more customer-centric and attempting to better align product roadmaps with faster development of specific customer solutions. To that end, the company is enacting Agile software development methods and using OKRs (objectives and key results) to prioritize product features every 90 days.
  • Cloud migration–– To date, Groupon says it has moved nearly 75% of its data center capabilities to the cloud, citing operational benefits, including better monitoring, observability, elasticity, and ease of deploying infrastructure. Once the migration is complete, Groupon intends for the cloud to enable it to scale infrastructure up and down as the needs of the business change, providing more flexibility and cost savings. The company is also using cloud-native services that may enable additional automation opportunities.
  • Re-architecting services –– The company is re-architecting its services to determine which services are required and which ones can be combined or eliminated. At the start of 2022, there were about 700 services operating behind the company’s global marketplace platform, which it says is too complicated and large for its needs. As the move to the cloud continues, Groupon intends to move to a domain-driven design model which will allow for a nimbler architecture with significantly fewer services.
  • Automation –– Groupon is automating processes throughout the entire business in an effort to create efficiencies and improve productivity. For example, the company is scaling its self-service automation features to enable more retailers to join its marketplace without human interaction. At the end of the first quarter, 65% of new campaigns in North America were created using Groupon’s self-service tool that enables businesses to create and edit campaigns. From a customer perspective, Groupon says is doing more to automate insights from search data to create a feedback loop with the company’s sales teams to ensure that the right inventory is in the right places.

[Read more: Groupon upgrades user experience for personalization, purchases]

“We have amazing talent within our product and engineering organization, and I believe that we can do a better job leveraging our significant tech assets to create value for all of our stakeholders,” said Sachin Devand, CTO, Groupon. “Currently, our platform is too big and too complex, and this is prohibiting us from moving as quickly as I think we can to launch new products and features. So, I’ve empowered the entire tech organization to challenge our long-held thought process of creating a new service for every nuance and fundamentally rethink how we structure our platform––only building and supporting what’s mission critical to drive Groupon’s business forward.”

When this work is completed, these actions should significantly reduce the size of Groupon’s tech platform and allow it to accelerate its pace of product development focused on building a larger and more differentiated inventory base and launching products to support better customer and merchant experiences.