Softline Kazakhstan Provides ISAS with a Solution Based on Microsoft Azure and PowerPlatform Services
Softline Kazakhstan has created and integrated a solution for ISAS (Institute of Sales Activity Statistics)— ISAS Pro 2.0. The solution is based on Microsoft Azure, PowerPlatform, and Microsoft 365, which allows the customer to monitor and analyze the work of merchandisers in retail outlets throughout Kazakhstan.
The company is a member of ESOMAR (The European Society for Opinion and Market Research).
ISAS has an HQ in Almaty and 17 offices in the regions of Kazakhstan. Key milestones for the enterprise include digitizing the data collection process in 2017, as well as the implementation of AI technologies and the adoption of the Microsoft Azure services in 2020.
The customer needed to urgently minimize the human errors related to data processing and collection from sales outlets from all over Kazakhstan, accelerate the data workflows, and improve the quality of reports, and, as a result, speed up the research covering many offices in Kazakhstan.
It is not by luck that the customer selected Softline Kazakhstan. They searched for AI solutions and then studied the Azure service capabilities. The customer contacted Microsoft, which recommended Softline Kazakhstan as a partner with high competencies.
Softline used the tools from PowerApps to develop a mobile app that will be used by field workers to collect information. Softline engineers used the Microsoft Power Automate service to streamline the business processes, connecting it to Azure services (e.g., Custom Vision for image recognition and classification, Azure Blob Storage for image storage, Azure Functions for image processing) and M365 (SharePoint Online) services.
The company's management considered ISAS Pro 2.0—a system based on Microsoft Azure and PowerPlaform—the most optimal and sophisticated solution up to date. They came to this conclusion after benchmarking many products before implementation.
As a result, ISAS implemented the solution in all offices and applied it in projects that amount to 80% of all workload. During the implementation, they engage consultants from Softline Kazakhstan, in-house auditors, and the customer's managers.
The customer has global plans regarding the solution adoption: covering 100% of in-house projects, reducing the cost of associated goals, improving the report and data quality, and increasing the turnover in 2021 by 2 times compared to 2020 (up to 200 million tenges, i.e. 480 thousand dollars).
Alexander Romanov, CEO at ISAS, outlined the following advantages of the service from Softline Kazakhstan:
"Softline Kazakhstan employees and specialists have implemented the ISAS Pro 2.0 solution based on Microsoft Azure and PowerPlatform, which enables us to collect information about the condition of on-shelf goods in retail outlets from all over Kazakhstan. When our field workers visit the points of sale, they take photos of products on the shelves, and then Custom Vision leverages AI to recognize and classify them. The data is then collected in SharePoint Online lists and processed by our specialists.
"To implement this solution, we did a lot of work to train the model in Custom Vision. Softline used the PowerApps tools to develop a mobile app that will be used by field workers to collect information. Softline engineers used the Microsoft Power Automate service to streamline the business processes, connecting it to Azure services (e.g., Custom Vision for image recognition and classification, Azure Blob Storage for image storage, and Azure Functions for image processing) and M365 services (SharePoint Online).
The best thing about this project for us is that we can customize existing apps, create new ones, and integrate them with our services on our own, without involving expensive programmers. It accelerates our processes, makes the business flexible and future-ready."