Creating photo books has never been easier

Customer’s success story: HappyFoto

We all want to sweeten Christmas with creative gift ideas, don’t we? Therefore we like to create individual photo gifts for our loved ones. With smart moments, which is the most innovative app of Austria 2020 according to the Apps Magazin from CDA Verlag, HappyFoto Austria has launched a revolutionary app for the design of photo books and we at Cloudflight are proud to be responsible for the design, implementation and operation. Creating photo books has never been easier.

AI has been changing photography

“There is so much being photographed as never before. However, only a fraction of the photos on paper make it” explained Ms. Marlene Kittel, the Managing Director of HappyFoto, about the recent change of the history of photography. 

“In the past, the analog photographer used to sneak around the subject several times for cost reasons before snapping it. Now a lot of photos are taken of the same motif and rarely sorted out afterward. The result is a hardly manageable flood of pictures and a full smartphone memory” she continued. 

With the help of AI, HappyFoto, in collaboration with Cloudflight, wants to help customers create a really great photo book with just a few clicks and thus capture their most beautiful moments for generations to come.  

How does HappyFoto smart moments work?

The HappyFoto smart moments app independently recognizes special moments (i.e., photo groups) that are suitable for a photo book and suggests them to the users. Afterward, similar photos, documents or screenshots are automatically sorted out, the pictures are arranged in chapters and they are attractively placed on the photo book pages. And best of all: the photos are not cropped in the process. Both during and after the image analysis, with just a few clicks, the user can individualize the photo book by assigning a book title, selecting the cover photo or adjusting settings regarding colors, fonts or frames. Creating a photo book has never been as fast, easy and smart as with HappyFoto smart moments.

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HappyFoto has partnered up with Cloudflight

Cloudflight has been working with HappyFoto since fall 2018. The cooperation started with a complete IT transformation at HappyFotos’ House where every single IT system was reprogrammed. In the course of this, Cloudflight has worked on ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management), MES (manufacturing execution systems) and a variety of other interface topics. Via a distributed data center, all processes at HappyFoto, from processing customer orders to controlling the printing lines, are controlled via software from Cloudflight. Since autumn 2019 we have been working on the HappyFoto smart moments app for iOS and Android. An essential part of the app are the AI components including an automatic suggestion of photo groups suitable for the photo book, the aforementioned moments, smart photo selection and smart layout, etc.

IT transformation

“The schedule for our big bang IT transformation was very, very tight and while other companies here were trying to negotiate more time, which was not possible, Cloudflight proposed a very pragmatic approach” – recalled Ms. Kittel. “In order to better understand the problem, the project scope and the processes, we decided to complete a joint baselining project of one month, the completion of which was a binding commitment from the Cloudflight team to implement the project on the scale and within the agreed budget. And we were not disappointed!”

Advantages of AI

Higher efficiency, fewer repetitive tasks and better customer service are among the benefits of AI. “Furthermore, the time savings are definitely one of the biggest advantages of AI in our industry and within our project” – added Marlene Kittel. “We all spend a lot of hours in front of machines, computers or smartphones in our daily lives, so in our free time, we don’t want to spend hours looking at a screen to create a photo book, but rather use the time to enjoy more beautiful moments with family or friends.”

Challenges of AI

“As a challenge, I see the fact that many people do not understand the term AI or have respect or concerns for it. The important thing is to show them that AI is not literally an evil computer or robot that wants something bad to happen to you, but that these algorithms help you to cope with today’s data-driven world and save time”- concluded the Managing Director of HappyFoto.

Statistics application makes you happy and successful

When we asked Marlene Kittel about which Cloudflight implementations made them happy and successful, she emphasized that commitment and a pragmatic approach was the decisive reason why we embarked on this big project together.

“An important point is certainly the statistics application programmed by Cloudflight” she added. “Within HappyFoto we have a lot of (anonymous) data about the ordering behavior of our customers. Unfortunately, in the past, we had a problem with our IT partners in that they often could not provide us with the desired statistics from this data, which are essential for strategic questions and further developments. With OpenDistro, Cloudflight has provided us with a tool that allows us to perform all required queries at the level of detail we need within a very short time. This makes data-based work a lot of fun and gives us the insights we need.”

Further AI functionalities in making

Currently, the smart moments app can only be used to design the most popular photo book format the hardcover A4 portrait photo book in digital print. However, very soon the whole photo book assortment of HappyFoto and other products will be available for order with the app developed by Cloudflight and the range of functions will be continuously expanded and the AI functionalities improved.

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