November 8, 2021
3 min read

2021 Cloud Connectivity Innovator Award Winners: Big Success, Great Advice

Josh Molina

Many organizations have been able to accomplish impressive things using Kong products, including Kong Konnect, Kong Enterprise, Kong Gateway, Kuma and Insomnia. We recently honored four of these enterprises in the inaugural Cloud Connectivity Innovator Awards program during Kong Summit 2021.

Top Overall Enterprise Innovator: Australia Post

Australia Post uses Kong Konnect to power the agency's self-service API-first platform that offers developers autonomy and future-proof scalability. The organization, which has more than 4,300 locations and provides postal service to more than 25 million customers, needed an API gateway that could scale, provide automation capabilities for developers and support a multi-cloud environment.

Kong Konnect enables Australia Post to onboard developers in just a few minutes - a process that previously took as long as 10 days. The organization also has been able to decentralize its applications across multiple clouds and has enabled teams to proactively resolve business challenges within their environment of choice.

Top Financial Innovator: Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered Bank uses Kong Gateway deployed as-a-service to accelerate its efforts to transform applications across 50 markets. The bank needed an API gateway that could achieve that and that could also provide one-touch production deployments.

Using Kong Gateway as-a-service gives the bank a uniform way to publish, govern, secure and consume APIs across the bank's applications, which number more than 400. Kong's microservices-based approach has increased API adoption in the bank five-fold and reduced the time to publish and consume APIs from a few days to a few hours.

Top Open Source Innovator: Koyeb

Koyeb uses open source Kuma to power a "zero-config" serverless platform that helps developers deploy applications globally and gets users up and running instantaneously. The organization uses Kuma and its universal service mesh to support multi-zone deployments out of the box and serverless workloads across clouds and continents.

Kuma offers a "zero-config" set-up for Koyeb's end users, saving them weeks of work, as well as engineering resources. Without Kuma, Koyeb would have postponed the zero-config capability for a year.

Cloud Connectivity Innovator of the Year: Angelo Ovidi, Kore Labs

Angelo Ovidi, chief architect and head of technology for Kore Labs, led his team to establish an API-first, cloud-first, cloud-agnostic architecture. Kore Labs provides digital tools for creating, managing and monitoring financial products in a controlled environment. The Kore team built a "USB hub" around Kong Gateway, enabling new functions to be added as microservices without impacting the rest of the platform.

The deployment used a modular Kubernetes approach that is designed to be portable and reusable. Kong's API platform supports multi-cloud and hybrid environments, providing modularity and the ability for customers to control where their data resides.

Cloud Connectivity Innovator Award submissions were evaluated based on the strength of their use case, including the challenges faced, the uniqueness of the solution and other differentiators highlighting a commitment to create excellent end-to-end connectivity while navigating modern microservices architecture.

Advice From the Winners

Ovidi and representatives of two of the other Cloud Connectivity Innovator Award winners participated in a question-and-answer session at Kong Summit 2021 and offered some insight on the journey to adopting microservices.

“Standardize, think horizontally and make sure you have a holistic view from a monitoring perspective,” advised Srinivasan Shanmuganathan, head of the API ecosystem and marketplace for Standard Chartered Bank.

"A cross-functional approach is of key importance," said Neha Jaiswal, product manager for API platform and central services for Australia Post. "Automation throughout the lifecycle is important, too. You should also include monitoring capabilities to get better insight. And instead of a Big Bang approach, you should start small and then grow accordingly."

"We had to change the mind of our developers, but the reward is big," said Ovidi. "There are a lot of things you need to learn, and people look at that and they say, ‘Is it really worth the effort?' Yes, it is. Because in the end, you have something that you can easily deploy and easily maintain. It's easy to monitor and you can scale. You have results that you could not achieve in a different way."

Congratulations to all the 2021 Cloud Connectivity Innovator Award winners!