Ampersand Creates Robust Customer Loyalty Program with Red Hat Solutions

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September 21, 2012

An architecture based on Red Hat solutions provided the company the architectural flexibility and prompt response customers needed—with lower costs than their previous IT infrastructure.

Customer: Ampersand

“Working with Red Hat has brought us multiple benefits, such as [the] flexibility to replicate our solution in different environments to accommodate the needs of each customer.” Victor Vargas, CIO, Ampersand

Industry: Other
Geography: LATAM
Country: Mexico


Business Challenge:

Ampersand needed to integrate a technology solution to help meet customer demand that was flexible, scalabile, and provided timely response times.

Software:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform, Alfresco Enterprise Content Management, Pentaho Business Intelligence Suite, Red Hat Training

Benefits:

An architecture based on Red Hat solutions provided the company the architectural flexibility and prompt response customers needed—with lower costs than their previous IT infrastructure.

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Background:

Ampersand emerged more than 20 years ago from knowledge and experience gained implementing loyalty solutions and strategies for customers through the Fiesta Rewards program. This rewards program was established to reward the choice and loyalty of frequent guests at hotels in Posadas, including: Live Aqua, Fiesta Americana Grand, Fiesta Americana, Fiesta Inn, Hoteles One and EL Explorean Kohunlich in Mexico, as well as the Caesar Park and Caesar Business in South America.

Business Challenge:

Generating business results and high return-on-investment levels for customers

Ampersand emerged more than 20 years ago from knowledge and experience gained implementing loyalty solutions and strategies for customers through the Fiesta Rewards program. This rewards program was established to reward the choice and loyalty of frequent guests at hotels in Posadas, including: Live Aqua, Fiesta Americana Grand, Fiesta Americana, Fiesta Inn, Hoteles One and EL Explorean Kohunlich in Mexico, as well as the Caesar Park and Caesar Business in South America.

The company always focused on supporting its customers by providing supreme loyalty in consulting and design services. The design, implementation, and innovation of these loyalty solutions are possible through methodology, best practices, and state-of-the-art technology.

In early 2010 when the company was rapidly expanding, Ampersand realized the need to integrate a technology solution that would help meet its customers’ demands. The main criteria included flexibility, scalability, and timely response times. However, Ampersand needed a solution that would become a true investment rather than a cost. Open source technology was the first choice when evaluating solutions in the marketplace due to its cutting-edge, robust, flexible, and secure software.

“The main challenge was to find a solution to accommodate the needs of our customers in terms of security and performance, while providing an unparalleled return on investment (ROI). Couple these requirements with our need for world-class, enterprise support, and Red Hat led the pack,” said Vargas, CIO, Ampersand.
 

The company’s motto: The customer comes first

Under the premise ’the customer comes first, Ampersand started looking for the perfect combination of components that would allow for running the business successfully while managing
its customer loyalty programs. The company quickly learned that maximizing technology would help achieve this goal is a profitable way.

Ampersand analyzed the advantages of Red Hat solutions and found huge benefits in deploying the company’s customer portal on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating platform. Administered through Oracle’s Siebel Loyalty Management, these two applications interface through JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform from Red Hat and are managed by JBoss Operations Network. Together, these solutions allow Ampersand to create a stable architecture with superior performance but, most importantly, one capable of being replicated and suitable for the specific solutions of Ampersand’s customers.

Additionally, Ampersand and its team made use of Red Hat Training, the professional training services from Red Hat, which allow daily operation support and help with requests made by large customers on-the-fly.

“Red Hat has become a strategic technological partner for Ampersand. Thanks to its large product portfolio, we have managed to integrate a comprehensive solution, from the enterprise operating system to the application server, from integration solutions to enterprise portals,” said Vargas.

Solution:

Red Hat solutions helps Ampersand ensure high levels of customer service

“Working with Red Hat has brought us multiple benefits, such as the flexibility to replicate our solution in different environments accommodating the needs of each customer. In addition, we have managed to reduce our operating and capital expenses and implementation times while maintaining an operation that allows us to ensure the highest service levels to our customers,” said Vargas.

“Enterprise open source solutions from Red Hat help us respond to our customers in a swift manner at a low operating cost. We managed to establish effective communication between the portal and our core application—through the use of the JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform.”

Every solution offered by Ampersand to its customers runs on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, offering stability, scalability and security. With all the advantages of a high-availability solution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux minimizes any impact in the case of technical failure.

“In addition to the benefits of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Enterprise Application Platform offered an easy, standard way to streamline our application infrastructure. This allows excellent performance, simplifying our management and monitoring tasks in full compliance with our IT cost optimization strategy,” said Vargas.

Benefits:

Decreased operating costs, improved infrastructure

By successfully using the Red Hat technology stack, Ampersand has created an architecture capable of being replicated in zero time, and above all, is able to provide leading loyalty solutions for prompt response to customer service requests.

“Having Red Hat technological components and teams of Red Hat experts supporting us—both locally and globally—has been crucial in the unrelenting expansion of our business and loyalty solutions,” said Vargas.

Currently, Ampersand’s operating system availability has reached 99.9%. IT operating costs have been reduced by 33%, which makes room to redirect efforts to business-value tasks rather than to day-to-day support operations. In addition, the use of Ampersand’s infrastructure has improved by 30%.

“Because of our outstanding experience with Red Hat, we will continue working together to strengthen our technology strategy even more and take better advantage of the capabilities offered by Red Hat solutions,” said Vargas.

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