By Vyom Rawat, Director – Technology, Blubirch; Sagar Joshi, Digital Specialist, Microsoft

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Blubirch is a digital SaaS provider helping retailers and OEMs optimize their reverse supply chain, including returns management, processing, and remarketing for returns, excess, refurbished, and decommissioned inventory. Their SaaS solution comes with no upfront cost and covers complete returns process for enhanced customer experience, intelligent reverse supply chain management, and multi-channel re-commerce. They cater to a widely distributed network of resellers in tier three and tier four cities and counts among its customers some of the world’s largest offline and online retailers.

The idea for Blubirch was incepted when the founders observed that retailers and OEMs were managing their returns process through spreadsheets and emails. This resulted in lack of transparency, compliance, and erosion of value. Further, the reverse logistics industry was ruled by unorganized players, who lacked the ability to handle unutilized assets including fashion, consumer electronics, and personal computing devices. The company generated USD 2.24 million in revenue with bottom line profit in its first year owing to a business model that includes volume sale, buyback, rental, and warranty addressing both enterprises and individuals. In the last four years, they have deployed more than two million units of products to end clients.

Looking to capitalize on the growing reverse logistics market and increasing awareness about responsible management of resources for ESG goals, Blubirch is consolidating its presence in the growing economies of India, Asia, and South America to establish itself as the leading supplier of software platform to handle all aspects of the reverse supply chain.

Initially, Blubirch leveraged an open-source stack to power their solutions and used IaaS model of deployment for hosting their solutions on cloud platforms. However, with growing scale of customers and users, Blubirch was planning to shift to modern scalable application platforms from infrastructure-based ones to gain efficiencies in management and consistency across their applications portfolio.

They planned to utilize cloud native stack to create scalable solutions and enable modern application lifecycle management. Blubirch began their app containerization journey and testing with Kubernetes as the orchestrator platform.

The company was onboarded to Microsoft for Startups (MfS) program, where the team engaged with Microsoft startup tech experts to discuss their existing architecture and opportunities for modernization.

Microsoft and Blubirch teams worked together to develop packaging approaches, onboarding strategies, and deployment of Kubernetes-based deployment to Azure. Microsoft’s startup team and Managed Service Partner (MSP) tech experts helped Blubirch’s IT team get onboarded to the Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) platform by advising them on the architecture, enabling the creation of Kubernetes artefacts, migration, and deployment support for production workloads.

Microsoft’s AKS offers productive ways to create, manage Kubernetes clusters along with services like Azure Container Registry (ACR) to host container images globally, and integration of other services like Azure Storage Services for mounting disks for data storage, volume mounts and networking services for private connectivity to other Azure services.

In matter of couple of weeks, Blubirch teams hit the ground running by creating Kubernetes artifacts like deployments and services, helping them begin functional and performance testing with AKS as the cloud hosting platform. Blubirch was able to reduce their cloud and platform hosting charges by 32% (as compared to their previous cloud provider) and enhance the user experience with a 99.99% uptime.