Business challenge

To easily scale its Internet of Things (IoT) offering for waste management organizations and minimize time spent on IT administration, GreenQ Ltd. needed powerful cloud-based architecture.

Transformation

Migrating to an IBM Bluemix environment, GreenQ adopted event-driven IBM Cloud Functions architecture and will incorporate IBM Watson® technology to process visual information on customer pickup routes.

Results

Enhances scalability

with computing power and storage available on demand, with no management burden

Accommodates peaks

in waste management service, including holiday workloads, without slowing performance

Drives real-world results

for municipalities and other customers, including lower emissions, less traffic congestion and better service delivery

Business challenge story

Bringing IoT technology to waste management workflows

Municipalities allot significant budgeting and resources for garbage pickup and disposal but typically lack real-time insight to optimize processes and perform more efficiently. For GreenQ, the need for more streamlined waste management workflows and the increasing sophistication of IoT technologies sparked an innovative concept.

“We have reserves of computing power, and we can offer our customers greater value and better performance without even thinking about how to do it.”

—Edy Candel, Chief Technology Officer and Cofounder, GreenQ Ltd.

Creating an IoT platform designed to collect key data—including pickup time, location and bin weight—using hardware installed on garbage trucks, GreenQ provides monitoring and analytics capabilities to help waste management organizations improve service delivery. However, after launching a prototype of the offering, the company began rethinking its solution architecture and supporting infrastructure.

“As we took on customers, we found that were spending a lot of time managing our virtual machines and adding computing power,” says Edy Candel, Chief Technology Officer and Cofounder of GreenQ. “We saw that our infrastructure demands would always depend on the number of customers and trucks we were working with and it would be hard for us to scale as needed.”

Transformation story

Migrating to an event-driven OpenWhisk environment

GreenQ joined the IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator program for startup businesses and migrated to an IBM Bluemix cloud hosting environment, adopting serverless IBM Cloud Functions architecture for its offering. “Cloud Functions on Bluemix infrastructure gives us an open source platform with easy access to Watson cognitive services,” says Candel.

In the event-driven Cloud Functions environment, each piece of data the GreenQ application receives triggers an action or set of actions, eliminating the need for manual activation in the workflow. For example, when garbage truck sensors gather data from a waste bin during pickup, the event triggers the GreenQ solution to automatically check, analyze and store the information.

Ultimately, the cloud-based platform provides municipalities and other waste management organizations with a real-time dashboard for viewing truck locations and routes, sending and receiving notifications, and analyzing data to enhance services. To continue evolving its offering, GreenQ anticipates incorporating IBM Watson® Visual Recognition technology to capture and translate visual information on customer pickup routes.

Results story

Streamlining and optimizing for real-world results

By teaming with IBM to migrate its waste management platform to a Cloud Functions environment, GreenQ greatly enhanced the scalability of its solution architecture. “There’s nothing like a system overload with Cloud Functions because it’s not about the load on a specific virtual machine or server,” says Candel. “We have reserves of computing power, and we can offer our customers greater value and better performance without even thinking about how to do it.”

Powered by the flexible, high-performance IBM Cloud infrastructure, GreenQ is well-positioned to accommodate the service peaks its customers experience. “During the holidays, there is more trash and there are more trucks operating, which means more data to analyze,” says Candel. “We don’t have to worry about this affecting the performance of the system.”

As GreenQ continues to onboard new customers, the company is seeing exciting real-world applications of its technology: clearing up traffic congestion, streamlining routes to lower emissions, and enabling municipalities to optimize service. “By gathering and providing the data, we help customers have a discussion based on real numbers and figures,” says GreenQ Chief Executive Officer Shlomy Ashkenazi. “And then we can show them ways to provide a better quality of service with the same, or lower, budgets.”

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About GreenQ Ltd.

GreenQ formed in 2015 to bring efficient technology solutions to the waste management industry. Based in Jerusalem, Israel, the IBM Business Partner offers a real-time monitoring and analytics platform for the residential waste disposal process. The GreenQ solution gathers and transmits data from garbage truck sensors, providing municipalities, collection vendors and system integrators with insight to help reduce emissions, drive down costs and provide better service.