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Electrolux Connects to
over 6 Million Appliances with MongoDB Atlas

Photo of a man near a washing machine.

INDUSTRY

Manufacturing & Retail

PRODUCT

MongoDB Atlas

USE CASE

Internet of Things

CUSTOMER SINCE

2019
INTRODUCTION

Shaping living for the better with cost-effective new services

Electrolux Group is a leading global appliance manufacturer with more than a 100-year heritage. It produces 60 million products every year across two lines: ‘taste’—ovens, stoves, microwaves, fridges, and freezers, and ‘care’—dishwashing, laundry, vacuum cleaners, and air conditioning appliances.

Headquartered in Sweden, the Group operates in 120 markets across EMEA, North America, and Latin America, and employs around 51,000 people.

Electrolux products have shaped home life for the better for millions of customers. Over the past five years, Electrolux has been growing its direct-to-consumer business. It strives to be recognized as a leader in creating meaningful, connected experiences that help customers live healthier, more sustainable, and more convenient lives. It believes that connected devices are the key to differentiating the customer experience and moving into the ‘as-a-service’ space.

Customers can connect appliances to their smartphones for greater control over their devices and remote monitoring. This paves the way for ‘as-a-service’ offerings, such as leasing a vacuum cleaner rather than owning it. Customers pay per square meter vacuumed, and the appliance is maintained and upgraded by Electrolux. This reduces the number of appliances that are discarded, and components can be reused rather than scrapped.

“Previously, customers bought an appliance, plugged it in at home, and that was the end of their interaction with us. We want to strengthen their relationship with our brand so they can become loyal brand ambassadors,” explains Daniele Autizi, Head of Engineering of the D2C Personal Sales Team – the division responsible for technical innovation at Electrolux, making use of the data from Electrolux IoT team as well as its own data, for selling products by following different business models. “Customers should feel supported, connected, and cared for. That was the driving force behind our new services. But we needed to transform our technology to deliver that connected, caring experience.”

“We were impressed by the flexible data model, high performance, and how quickly we could implement MongoDB Atlas.”

Daniele Autizi, Head of Engineering, D2C Personal Sales Team, Electrolux

THE CHALLENGE

Monolithic architecture slowed time to market and lacked connectivity

As Electrolux evolved from a hardware company to a service provider, it needed to rethink its backend infrastructure. Its monolithic CRM platforms lacked the scalability and performance required to develop and launch new services quickly, and to handle the high volumes of data coming in from connected customer devices.

“Our Nexure team was established to accelerate innovation and get new solutions to market for our direct-to-consumer channels. We use agile and iterative processes to develop at speed, and everything we do is always in the customers’ best interests,” says Autizi.

One project the team was tasked with was to create an internet of things (IoT) platform that Electrolux could use to build its new as-a-service offerings. With more than 60 million appliances produced every year, the platform needed to be able to connect to more than 10 million devices and scale in line with company growth.

Previously, the Group had multiple IoT platforms for each business line, which created a complex architecture. It also lacked the flexibility required to process data from tens of thousands of product components such as doors, programs, and status updates separately. This was vital because each customer uses a unique combination of Electrolux products and services and has different needs and expectations.

Electrolux defined its technical requirements. It began looking for a highly available cloud-agnostic solution to support its multi-cloud AWS and Microsoft Azure environment. It needed to comply with location-specific regulations around data localization, and to have high levels of security built in. The team also wanted a low-latency solution that would support extensions and new features.

“MongoDB Atlas reduces development overheads up to three times compared to our previous approach. Code reviews are five times faster, and it’s easy and fun for new starters.”

Daniele Autizi, Head of Engineering, D2C Personal Sales Team, Electrolux

THE SOLUTION

Processing 12 million events per hour from millions of connected devices

Electrolux consolidated its IoT platforms onto MongoDB Atlas, which the Personal Sales Team had implemented to support the first direct-to-consumer offerings.

“We started using MongoDB Atlas for a simple insurance and appliance leasing service in Poland. It worked well, and when Italy asked us for a more complicated setup to manage repairs, we were impressed by the flexible data model, high performance, and how quickly we could implement with MongoDB Atlas,” recalls Autizi.

The flexibility of the data model was particularly important for the IoT platform, which needs to connect to a large variety of appliances producing different types of data. Scalability was also key, with multiple regions across the world to connect and with growing volumes of data.

The platform is implemented across both AWS and Microsoft Azure, and data is geo-sharded to ensure it stays in the region where it was generated. Data is replicated and distributed across three nodes to provide data protection and to ensure business continuity if there’s a failure in one area.

MongoDB Atlas handles 12 million events per hour from 14 million appliance components, and there have been no incidents to date. Deduplication of events allows Electrolux to support all types of appliances and their various components. Global clusters enable Electrolux to have a single view of all connected devices across the world, which opens up opportunities around analytics and machine learning.

“We’re collecting data from millions of appliances, but we need to make sure it’s the right data for each customer,” Autizi says. “We started by creating subsets and massaging the data for different needs. For example, vacuum cleaners are billed per square meter, but that’s not applicable to air purifiers. In that case, we track the lifecycle of the filter so we can notify customers when they need to change it.”

“We now have a solution to accelerate time to market and support future ventures as we expand into the direct-to-consumer market.”

Daniele Autizi, Head of Engineering, D2C Personal Sales Team, Electrolux

THE RESULTS

An intelligent platform offering greater value to customers

With MongoDB Atlas, Electrolux has a single, scalable platform capable of supporting more than six million connected appliances. This is much more cost-effective than running three separate platforms for different regions, and MongoDB Global Clusters create a single view of devices while enabling the Group to comply with data localization rules.

Autoscaling is also better value than the previous approach — Electrolux only pays for the resources it uses. It’s queryable from a central API.

By moving the IoT platform to MongoDB Atlas, Electrolux has the right architecture in place to reinvent its business model and offer innovative new subscription services. This opens up new revenue streams while improving the Group’s competitive edge.

“Our new services offer customers greater value and choice from Electrolux products. We can help them keep their appliances in good order and offer the most cost-effective solution for each individual,” explains Autizi.

The future-proof platform is scalable, reliable, and flexible. It will support new products being developed with different connectivity needs. Electrolux is planning on exploring more MongoDB Atlas features, such as Time Series, to collect historical data like changes in fridge temperature, and Datalake, to store and optimize it for queries.

“MongoDB Atlas reduces development overheads up to three times compared to our previous approach. Code reviews are five times faster, and it’s easy and fun for new starters,” says Autizi. “We now have a solution to accelerate time to market and support future ventures as we expand into the direct-to-consumer market.”

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