Data has the potential to transform how we use and move through cities—saving time, improving safety, and helping the environment. We spoke to mobility intelligence experts Vianova to discover why it built its platform on Snowflake’s Data Cloud.
Vianova is a technology company that can truly say it was born in the cloud. Offering big data-driven mobility intelligence insights (think mapping road risk hotspots or transforming last-mile deliveries) to over 150 public authorities and private companies around the world, it helps its customers drive better operational and planning decisions to improve journeys and safety and reduce emissions. And with major city authorities such as Helsinki, Stockholm, and Zurich among its many customers, Vianova has gone from strength to strength, finding new and exciting ways to improve how people move around urban areas.
To make all this possible, the company’s platform processes, analyzes, and extracts three overarching pillars of data:
- Historical—to identify mobility hotspots and popular routes
- Current—to identify operational issues, such as devices left at erroneous locations
- Digital regulation—to help ensure transport operators comply with operational terms
But with so many data sources converging in one place for processing and analysis—from individual devices and Internet of Things sensors, to user locations and open-source mapping information—Vianova quickly identified that its existing infrastructure was showing early signs of scalability and performance issues.
“We originally deployed on a major PostgreSQL platform, but as our operations expanded to new customers, we started having performance issues—it was clear scalability would be a significant challenge for us in the future,” said Frédéric Robinet, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder at Vianova. “We also wanted to reduce the risk of our platform needing major engineering efforts. We carried out several proof of concepts with a range of vendors, but Snowflake’s Data Cloud came out on top.”
Scale, performance, and security—matched by helpful human relationships
From geospatial data capture capabilities (which were a must-have for Vianova’s proof of concept), to a pricing structure that allows for a minimal infrastructure setup, the company now has a scalable data platform with high-performance as standard.
“Connected vehicles are generating massive amounts of complex telemetric data,” explained Iris Fernandez, Senior Growth Marketing Manager at Vianova. “Snowflake’s near-infinite storage capabilities made it ideal for us to compute the millions of data points our users need to make informed policy decisions.”
With all the major micromobility players connected to Snowflake through APIs in the platform, Vianova benefits from seamless data integration and transfers, processing large amounts of complex data through its own algorithms. The company also uses Snowpipe which gives it instant access to its Amazon S3 data lake, ensuring a continuous pipeline of data from the point of storage.
“We always need to deploy quickly—this means minutes, not days or hours,” said Frédéric Robinet. “Snowflake’s Data Cloud is almost instantaneous. It’s made it easy to ramp up, and we’re confident we’ll never experience scalability bottlenecks either horizontally or vertically.”
What’s more, Vianova benefited from the Snowflake for Startups program, an additional set of support mechanisms designed to help startups navigate new infrastructure and even access additional help and resources for their business. Vianova makes the most of a close account management relationship that helps it achieve its goals and receive additional technical and engineering support.
Seamless user experiences and uncompromising security all-in-one
While the data Vianova’s platform collects is complex, the company needs its insights to be highly accessible, particularly for non-technical users that need accurate, digestible information to make critical decisions. For example, by having a complete understanding of how people move through a certain area and their transport habits, city planners can use this information to make better infrastructure investment decisions.
“From blending accident data to gathering dashcam footage, it can be difficult for city authorities to take any meaningful action with these kinds of datasets,” said Frédéric Robinet. “As cities transform quickly in response to carbon emissions and the energy crisis, our platform helps them make more intelligent decisions that make urban areas greener and safer.”
But storing, processing, and sharing large amounts of data should never come at the cost of security. That’s why Vianova now benefits from several security layers for its data in transit and at rest—including regional storage and processing, a vital requirement of European regulations.
Countless integration and machine learning possibilities
Benefiting from large-scale integration capabilities in Snowflake’s Data Cloud, Vianova connects multiple data sources to its platform to enrich its customer’s data, including floating car data from automotive OEMs, crowd insights from network operators, OpenStreetMap data, and insights from other open data providers.
In addition, Vianova uses Snowflake’s Data Cloud to develop advanced machine learning tools that allow the company to broaden its platform’s capabilities. Specifically, machine learning allows city authorities to reduce the number of car journeys and optimize bike or e-scooter locations, helping reduce carbon emissions. In addition, Vianova’s platform pulls in data from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and connected vehicles, identifying risk hotspots and providing invaluable infrastructure safety insights.
“Thanks to Snowflake, our customers are able to ask complex questions about the time, space, and intensity of traffic,” said Iris Fernandez. “And they can get these answers in near real-time, and through a best-in-class user experience.”
A safer, greener future for all—with endless possibilities
As Vianova looks to the future, the company has identified countless opportunities to expand its platform’s reach into new geographies and industries. And through its regular customer feedback loops, it makes constant iterations to its platform based on customer requirements.
Moreover, the company is experimenting with new features in Snowflake’s Data Cloud, including Dynamic Data Masking to enhance how it protects personally identifiable information and Query Acceleration Service to identify and scale parts of a query that need additional resources and parallelization.
Vianova hopes these new features will continue to attract interest from investors and demonstrate how Vianova is set up to scale seamlessly as it grows. And its new platform will also help it combine more data sources so customers can build their own no- and low-code platforms, enabling both non-technical and skilled users to develop mobility insights customized to their exact needs.
“We’re shifting our platform’s scope to cover new regions and more use cases, such as OEMs, fleet management, and last mile logistics—it’s all part of our Vianova 2.0 strategy,” said Frédéric Robinet. “Because we’ve had zero issues with Snowflake, it means we’re free to focus on these new ventures. And it highlights why choosing the right data partner is essential—Snowflake helps everyone do more with less.”