Rackspace Technology Collaborates with Blackline Safety to Expand Core Infrastructure to Support Rapid Growth and Industrial Contact Tracing Solution
Rackspace TechnologyTM, a leading end-to-end, multicloud technology solutions company, announced today its collaboration with Blackline Safety Corp. (TSX.V: BLN), a global leader of gas detection and connected safety solutions, to help drive critical software innovation and platform improvements that will support its expanding customer base and employee contact tracing solution.
Blackline Safety provides wearable safety technology, personal and area gas monitoring, cloud-connected software, data science services and data analytics to leading enterprises around the world. In early 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic started to take hold, Blackline saw an urgent need to support its customers’ ongoing safety needs with new industrial close contact tracing capabilities. The company engaged with Onica, a Rackspace Technology company and an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Premier Consulting Partner, to help support the rapid development and deployment of their close contact tracing and reporting solution.
Blackline Safety has experienced rapid growth since the launch of its first G7 cloud-connected safety wearables in 2017. End customers’ desire to leverage the data collected by their Blackline Safety solutions drove the creation of the Blackline Vision data science team as well as a suite of data-driven tools and services.
As part of a larger effort to upgrade its data streaming and processing infrastructure, Blackline needed a partner with Big Data expertise that could help re-architect aspects of its current platform to enable faster scaling and real-time data processing from a growing number of products in the field. They also required additional resources to build out a data lake that could support new industrial contact tracing reports and visualizations.
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“In this period of accelerated growth, it was becoming difficult to balance critical software innovation with the need to grow our team while simultaneously managing critical improvements to our platform,” said John Moura, director, Software Development and Operations, Blackline Safety. “We knew that investing in our cloud infrastructure would support our next phase of growth, but it was critical to select the right partner with deep experience and a proven track record. We found that partner with Rackspace Technology.”
Rackspace Technology worked with Blackline Safety to migrate from its conventional data ingestion and database storage system to a modern infrastructure on AWS, which was better equipped to support Blackline’s future growth and innovation. Rackspace Technology also implemented a solution using Amazon Kinesis and Amazon EMR to collect high-volume data streamed from Blackline’s portfolio of G7 devices in the field via integrated cellular and satellite connectivity.
With this new infrastructure in place, data is ingested and routed using a number of tools to preserve its integrity. The data is then enriched, transmitted and assembled in Amazon Redshift with the support of Delta Lake. The immediate impact of this collaboration enabled the deployment of higher data rate reporting from connected wearables, helping Blackline Safety clients make informed, data-driven decisions about their businesses.
An additional achievement of the collaboration was support for the launch of the Blackline Vision team’s highly visual and interactive industrial contact tracing infrastructure. The solution provides automated visualizations that highlight close interactions between employees over designated periods of time using secure data from their Blackline Safety wearable devices. The teams successfully ensured information is strictly maintained for each client organization, only providing access to designated users through strict user access controls, supporting the safe and informed return to work initiatives.
“We’re proud of our work with Blackline Safety to improve its operations and contribute to a solution that protects workers, combating COVID-19’s spread,” said Jeff Deverter, CTO, Solutions at Rackspace Technology. “Rackspace Technology was the ideal collaborator to help Blackline Safety migrate from its conventional data ingestion and database storage to a contemporary infrastructure on AWS. This new architecture has increased the quality of insights Blackline is able to deliver to clients and immediately supports Blackline’s explosive growth and unlocks future innovation for the company.”