Case Studies

Streamkap and SpotOn: A Partnership for Real-Time Data for Payments in Restaurants & Retail

June 18, 2024

Imagine you're a restaurant manager at the end of a long shift. You're eager to close out for the night, but you and your staff are stuck waiting for critical end-of-day reports. This delay means you can't finalize tips, reconcile transactions, or send your tired team home. It's a frustrating and inefficient end to an already challenging day.

This was the reality many restaurants faced. SpotOn, an innovative restaurant point-of-sale company, aimed to help them solve that problem, but that in itself proved to be a challenge. As one of the fastest-growing software and payment companies, SpotOn needed a better way to scale their data batch-processing.

As Marcin Migda, Data Engineer at SpotOn, explains, "We already had an existing pipeline that was synchronizing the data from the production database to Snowflake, but a delay in reporting could be significant, especially at peak traffic times for our customers. The second challenge was the cost of maintenance and infrastructure. These were the two main drivers of why we were looking for a different solution.” In their quest for a real-time data streaming solution, SpotOn discovered Streamkap. "Streamkap was 4x faster and had 3x lower total cost of ownership than our previous solution,” Migda shares.

Here’s how the partnership came to be.

Real-time data meets low costs and simple setup

Migda first heard about Streamkap at a conference. After talking with Streamkap's team and hearing positive recommendations from his network, he was interested in how Streamkap could solve SpotOn's data challenges of decreasing both latency and cost. “Someone had referred me, they just said, 'Hey, take a look at Streamkap. They know what they're doing and they are really fast,’” Migda recalls.

Here were some of the features of Streamkap that stood out:

Real-time data streaming: Streamkap's CDC connectors enabled real-time data streaming from SpotOn's production databases (PostgreSQL and MySQL) to Snowflake, reducing latency to mere seconds. This was a game-changer for SpotOn's customers, who could now receive the reports they needed in under five minutes.

Simplified setup and maintenance: Streamkap's user-friendly interface and responsive support team made the setup process straightforward. Once the pipeline was established, it required minimal maintenance, allowing SpotOn's data team to focus on other priorities. "Basically, it was very easy to configure it,” says Migda. “And the response time from the Streamkap team was very fast.”

High availability and fault tolerance: As this use case is a customer-facing component of SpotOn’s product, it was critical to find a partner that could deliver on high availability, resilience, and uptime. Streamkap’s 99.99% uptime guarantee and overall approach to availability, reliability, and latency of the service and data pipelines gave the SpotOn team confidence to build on Streamkap’s pipelines.

Multiple data sources: SpotOn's data setup included source databases of MySQL and PostgreSQL. Streamkap's connectors were able to provide the flexibility to accommodate this, ensuring a smooth migration process. "We have lots of different services, and some of them used different sources because of the needs they had," Migda says.

Results impress customers, internal stakeholders

The switch to Streamkap brought significant benefits for SpotOn across multiple fronts. The impact was felt by both external customers and internal stakeholders, with improvements in data delivery speed, cost efficiency, and data capabilities.

Happy customers for SpotOn: "If you can imagine you're a restaurant merchant, you can't be expected to wait to find out your total end-of-day processing volumes and how you're going to cash out your employees and tips and things like that. You need that to be very, very quick," Migda emphasizes. With Streamkap, restaurant managers and employees now access end-of-day reports 4 times faster than their previous SLA. This enables faster decision-making, quicker tip payouts, and improved operational efficiency. SpotOn's customers are thrilled with the improvement.

Cost improvements: By switching from batch processing to Streamkap's efficient streaming method, SpotOn reduced their total data infrastructure costs for this workload by 3x. This approach lowered the costs associated with data ingestion and minimized the use of Snowflake's compute resources.

Faster insights for internal stakeholders: Streamkap's fast data transfer enabled SpotOn to deliver quicker internal analytics to stakeholders, including product managers and business owners. "Business stakeholders often ask for data in real time. We are able to delight those customers and offer what I call 'sugar on top insights' for our internal customers as well," Midga shares.

Improved data capabilities: Streamkap's Change Data Capture (CDC) approach provided SpotOn with access to historical data changes. "With Streamkap, we are syncing all CDC data, so we can see the state of a record at a specific point in time. We can view the entire history of changes, something we couldn't do with a batch solution," Migda points out.

A successful partnership

SpotOn's partnership with Streamkap has been a resounding success. By implementing Streamkap's real-time data streaming solution, SpotOn significantly improved customer experience, reduced costs, delighted internal stakeholders, and enhanced their data capabilities.

As businesses increasingly recognize the importance of real-time data for making critical decisions and delivering timely insights, solutions like Streamkap will become even more valuable. If you're facing similar challenges with batch processing and high data transfer costs, consider exploring how Streamkap can streamline your data pipeline and provide the real-time insights you need.

Ricky has 20+ years experience in data, devops, databases and startups.