Norwegian partnered with Sungard AS to operate, monitor, and protect its systems in order to ensure high performance and responsiveness.
Such support can spell a shift in thinking: “With all the technological advances of the last ten years, the ‘R’ in ‘DR’ really stands for disaster resiliency, not recovery,” says Cirel.
Simply imagine: If someone seeking to book a cruise through NCL.com can’t access the website, that person may choose another cruise line — and that loss would represent lost revenue for Norwegian. Multiply this by thousands of inquiries a day, and a storm of an entirely different type is created.
The same holds true for Norwegian’s partners – travel agents and services from Travelocity to Expedia. If they can’t reach Norwegian, they may begin looking to other cruise lines. Norwegian Cruise Line rests easier with Sungard AS:
“Sungard AS has shown to be a flexible, responsive and agile partner that understands on a very detailed level exactly what we need — they understand our business,” says Norwegian Cruise Line Vice President of IT Infrastructure and Operations Jeff McVay. “Sungard AS stood up and said, ‘We can handle that.’”
The key differentiator with Sungard AS is flexibility, as well as its rapid response to ever-changing Norwegian requirements.
For example, in the fall of 2012, Norwegian confronted the “wave” season – the high booking period of November through March. Sungard AS helped Norwegian build in extra resilience to handle the busy reservation time, even providing “boost-able” internet services to address Norwegian’s seasonal needs.
“Sungard AS is responsive in a very flexible way, and it’s a big benefit to us. It makes them a better business partner, and frees us up to innovate in other ways,” Cirel says.
Cirel cites Sungard AS’ quick response recently when Norwegian decided to make a change immediately and over the weekend in its infrastructure resource requirements. Sungard AS had little time to coordinate and schedule its resources to meet the assignment’s demands, but rose to the challenge and helped Norwegian make the change efficiently and effectively with no impact to critical customer-facing systems.
The Sungard AS service approach is built around Norwegian’s requirements, so service levels align with Norwegian business objectives. With more than a year of managing Norwegian systems, the Sungard AS team has developed a deep understanding of their systems and enterprise application architecture. As a result, Sungard AS is a partner, not simply a supplier.
“They understand when we’re running promotions and how busy and important that time of year is for us,” says Cirel. “They know the critical things to do, like making changes with our website and ensuring the necessary infrastructure is available. It’s been a great transformation and a nice progression.”
McVay says Sungard AS’ contribution can be easily measured because its practices represent real value. The time needed to resolve issues and the number of issues “are showing a very positive trend,” he explains.
Case in point
For instance, Norwegian may experience 20-25 smaller IT issues a month that don’t involve customers and, with Sungard AS as its IT partner, pre-warning systems mitigate 95-98 percent of the issues with no customer impact.
He adds that Sungard AS possesses skilled personnel and a robust infrastructure, as well as the generators, UPS systems, and separate connected power grids to ensure infrastructure availability
“I’m proud of the high availability and robust architecture we’ve built with Sungard AS’ help,” McVay adds. “I would put us up against anyone else in the business world.”