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14 BACK OFFICE


NISA RETAIL SLASHES RESPONSE TIMES U


K independent food and drink retail member-owned organisation, Nisa Retail, has nearly halved


user response times for its e-commerce ordering site. Paul Smith, Nisa Retail e-commerce


manager, told Retail Technology that Nisa Retail’s independent retailer members rely on access to the website to process stock orders online and keep their shelves full. “While we’ve been taking orders online


now for some eight years, this is the second incarnation of the order capture system that we run through an online portal in-house,” he explained. “One of the challenges came from accepting orders submitted just before our 12 noon and 4pm cut-off times.” These large spikes in user activity and the increased page hits received by the web application led the company to deploy the Compuware application performance management (APM) software, dynaTrace, to trace and resolve complex technical issues with the order capture system that can affect its speed and the user experience. Smith said: “One of the challenges of web- based solutions is understanding where


any slow down in performance lies – at the application, server and network level.” Nisa Retail can now track and monitor application transactions and performance, using dynaTrace reports to identify issues like login difficulties, order bottlenecks and third- party application faults. Smith also said that being better equipped to prevent such issues negatively impacting the user experience has also helped Nisa Retail’s IT team avoid often- lengthy diagnostic processes. Since deploying dynaTrace, improved visibility of the order capture system


performance has contributed to 46% faster response times in spite of increased loads. “Drilling down into the data is easy,” Smith added. “And it has helped us hone in on where any problems are, while the development team can be more proactive, so our members can have the best ordering experience.” He said the company is also considering extending its APM investment to monitor and manage the order capture experience from the end user’s point of view with Compuware’s Gomez service.


DIAGEO CREATES GLOBAL DIGITAL PLATFORM


Premium drinks company Diageo has collaborated with IT consultancy Infosys to transform its digital marketing platform. Diageo spotted early on that digital media would disrupt the


marketing landscape and gave its brand managers free reign to experiment with digital technologies. However, the company’s decentralised approach – which gave local brand managers across 180 markets the freedom to devise and run their own digital promotions – soon became fractured. Valuable creative assets were being produced all over the


world, but few were shared or reused, so marketing programmes were often developed from scratch; and taking a local campaign international became time-intensive and frustrating. Jerry McClay, vice president and director of information systems marketing at Diageo, told Retail Technology that when the company looked at centralising assets and standardising procedures, “the numbers around re-use of assets and the cost of a central platform were a ‘slam dunk’”. Following an eight-month selection process,Diageo chose


Infosys to build Diageo a centralised digital marketing platform. To minimise costs and upheaval, Infosys amalgamated Diageo’s


RETAIL TECHNOLOGY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012


existing digital marketing infrastructure and applications to deliver a centralised,Microsoft .NET framework-based platform, which it also hosts and manages. Today, the Diageo digital platform supports over 200 websites, 100-plus creative agencies, 45 Facebook pages and 3.4 million consumer records worldwide. The ability to collaborate and reuse marketing assets worldwide delivers efficiency benefits, resulting in a 25-30% reduction in digital marketing development spend and reduced time to market.Centralised and detailed customer data is also delivering profit-generating insights into customer behaviour, while the centrally protected platform is more secure against security attacks. McClay also said that, despite the centralised nature of the


system, it also fosters greater creativity with the freedom to build digital assets on multiple technologies. “Our marketing campaigns need to be very reactive, while maintaining our commitment to quality and safeguarding customer information,” he explained. “It came down to quality and cost savings. When you don’t have to duplicate effort across regions, that kind of efficiency pays for the platform year over year.”


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