How Sans Paper is innovating the construction industry with DigitalOcean

“Sans Paper has a vision for a complete ecosystem of construction related cloud and mobile products that will expand based on network effects. Our long-term vision is to expand our service and DigitalOcean will help to scale all of them.”
Gim Wee, CTO

Sans Paper, an Australia-based software provider, is revolutionizing the construction industry by enabling companies to transition from cumbersome paper-based operations to efficient digital forms and mobile solutions. Leveraging DigitalOcean’s suite of cloud infrastructure solutions, including DigitalOcean’s new data center in Sydney, Sans Paper has managed to optimize their platform’s performance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, delivering a reliable application for users across the globe that can be accessed anywhere, anytime.

Challenging the construction status quo

Sans Paper serves the rapidly growing construction and field management sectors, with end users who construct buildings, bridges, roads, pipelines and railways, basically the infrastructure required to keep humans connected. Marcus van Enk, the Founder and CEO of the company, previously spent a decade working on construction sites and realized the inefficiencies of paperwork and checklists that were required on construction sites, mine sites, and hazardous work areas. A dearth of data—forms, videos, photographs—need to be collected on site, then sent to the head office to be inputted in the backend system.

Sans Paper offers a suite of smart software products that streamlines this process, standing out from competition by having offline capabilities and competitive pricing. Their Sans Paper Hub provides an all-in-one solution for managing data and users in one convenient place. Sans Paper Connect provides teams with access to a robust body of knowledge that includes resources, procedures, manuals and contacts. The company’s Sans Paper Form product provides teams with a digital solution to information management, boosting performance in the process.

By facilitating real-time communication and collaboration between office and job site personnel, Sans Paper’s system allows businesses to conserve time, money, and resources while improving operational efficiency.

The challenge: A high-cost and complex cloud

Prior to their transition to DigitalOcean for their cloud infrastructure needs, Sans Paper encountered numerous challenges with their previous provider, Microsoft Azure. There were hidden configurations, the product felt overly complex, and getting proper support was challenging.

Gim Wee, the CTO of Sans Paper, sought out a solution that would be cost-effective, simple, and ease the technical burden on his engineering team of five software and testing developers.

“The documentation for Azure is not great. You probably need specialized DevOps that knows Azure, how to set it up, and how to maintain that. That’s going to cost the business. — Gim Wee, CTO of Sans Paper

Optimized deployment and testing

To overcome these obstacles, Sans Paper migrated to DigitalOcean to support their growing technology business. Today, the company uses a range of DigitalOcean’s products including Droplets, Load Balancers, Spaces Object Storage, Snapshots, and more. This shift allowed them to benefit from reduced costs and a more intuitive and user-friendly configuration that eliminated the need for a DevOps team.

Sans Paper has found the process of deploying new Droplets, or cloning existing ones, to be remarkably straightforward. Plus, they regularly use Snapshots to back up their infrastructure. This process has enabled them to ship new features and releases quickly, innovating quickly on their products for customers.

“We are able to create new machines with Snapshot. We have frequent releases that we like to test in production. We can quickly spin up a production server by cloning it, putting it on a temporary domain, and testing it.” — Gim Wee, CTO of Sans Paper

Because of the ease of use, the Sans Paper team often spins up multiple production environments. They can update their code, push it to a secondary production site, test it, and switch over to primary production using Load Balancers. This allows for flexibility, ensuring that their product environment is healthy and can be rolled back in the event of a sup-optimal release.

“This feature gives us the confidence to make frequent releases without worrying that production might go down. We are confident that we can recover it.” — Gim Wee, CTO of Sans Paper

Simplified cloud management and cost savings

Adopting DigitalOcean’s suite of products has helped Sans Paper minimize outages. Ease of use of the platform means their team does not require DevOps developers for configuration. Instead, their entire technical team can execute on their cloud-based needs.

“DigitalOcean has enabled our non-DevOps tech staff to easily setup Droplets and configure the network easily.” — Gim Wee, CTO of Sans Paper

Part of what has made DigitalOcean easy to use is robust documentation. Wee cites the plentiful examples within documentation as supporting their team in building and maintaining appropriate solutions for their platform. Comprehensive documentation has also meant less reliance on customer support, compared to their experience with Azure.

“We haven’t really had to use support, because everything works so well. There was one occasion where we had a bit of an issue and the support team turned around the response quickly and helped direct us to what we needed to solve the problem. Aside from that, DigitalOcean has got such good online documentation. The system just works, the product just does the job.” — Marcus van Enk, Founder and CEO of Sans Paper

Another benefit Sans Paper has seen with DigitalOcean is predictable billing and reduced cost, compared to competitors. Overall, these factors have allowed them to stay lean and competitive in the world of construction solutions.

“There was a definite cost savings and that was a motivator as well. We have seen thirty percent cost savings.” — Marcus van Enk, Founder and CEO of Sans Paper

A strong partnership for future growth

With a bold vision to expand their services to the EU and American markets, Sans Paper recognizes the importance of a reliable and scalable cloud infrastructure provider.

“Sans Paper has a vision for a complete ecosystem of construction related cloud and mobile products that will expand based on network effects. Our long-term vision is to expand our service and DigitalOcean will help to scale all of them.” — Gim Wee, CTO of Sans Paper

By choosing DigitalOcean, Sans Paper is well-equipped to scale its services, meet the evolving needs of its clients, and drive the transformation of the construction industry through paperless solutions.

Sans Paper

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