Case Study

Sungard AS cloud connects brands to consumers worldwide

Brandtone is a mobile marketing specialist that successfully uses the ubiquity and intimacy of mobile phones to engage with consumers worldwide, adding a new element to the marketing mix. It creates tailored, highly effective mobile campaigns to promote its customers’ brands and produce a measurable return on marketing investment. It needed a secure, segregated and scalable cloud service to host the large databases of shoppers’ details it builds through its mobile marketing campaigns.

Brandtone’s strategy of targeting consumers in hard-to-penetrate emerging markets across Africa, China, India and South East Asia has resulted in rapid growth. From its Dublinbased headquarters, the firm engages with 100s of millions of consumers worldwide on behalf of household brand names such as Sunlight, Carling, Dove, Knorr, Omo and PepsiCo.

When relocating its hosting services from London to Dublin, Brandtone put its managed hosting contract out to tender to five major cloud vendors. Neil Flanagan, Chief Technology Officer for Brandtone, explains, “We wanted a technology partner who was able to understand our business very well. Having safe hands running our IT systems is fundamental. The whole business depends on it.”

Sungard Availability Services was ultimately awarded the contract to provide resilient and secure cloud services. Neil Flanagan remarks, “Sungard AS came top of the list for a number of reasons – reputation and track record among them. Their responses to our questions convinced us they were more than capable of meeting our complex web hosting requirements. For example, our sophisticated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform requires global connectivity. This year, it will be pushing out over one billion calls so we needed an enterprise-grade platform we could rely on.”

He adds, “Another reason we chose Sungard AS was that we recognised from the very beginning we would need geographically dispersed failover sites and Sungard AS was able to offer us that combination of a local and global presence.”

All-time availability is critical to the viability of Brandtone’s business. Neil Flanagan explains, “The nature of our mobile marketing campaigns means timing is everything so it is essential we have 24/7/365 availability. Marketing campaigns are many months in the planning and when a major brand marketing campaign coordinated on TV and online launches it can trigger really high peak traffic – so we have to be ready and able to cope with sudden demand spikes for data. Our IT infrastructure must be ready and able to handle seamlessly those peaks in load at all times.”

Brandtone opted for Sungard AS’s enterprise-class Managed Private Cloud platform to provide a robust environment for its systems and hugely valuable data. Resilience is assured through global load balancing, multiple internet carriers, managed firewall, two-factor authentication and DDoS mitigation.
Sungard AS’s cloud gives Brandtone dedicated virtualisation and storage that allows enhanced levels of customisation, security and performance. With Personally Identifiable Information (PII) a perennial hot issue, Neil Flanagan finds the high level of control and security the platform affords particularly reassuring. He notes, “We curate a wealth of data on behalf of our customers so data segregation is paramount. Sungard AS’s cloud configurations enable us to maintain its integrity. Our customers rely on us to provide a secure service and we, in turn, rely on Sungard AS.”

The flexibility of Sungard AS’s cloud environment has been crucial in accommodating Brandtone’s phenomenal growth rate. Each component of the resource pool is individually flexible – the available processors, memory, storage, number of instances and bandwidth. Neil Flanagan knows he can flex Brandtone’s baseline resources by up to 100% of his agreed capacity at any time to meet changing business demands.

While Brandtone is able to monitor usage, modify infrastructure, provision resources, change firewall policy and support new business applications on demand via a convenient online portal, each change is professionally reviewed by Sungard AS’s experts to preserve the integrity of the live production environment.

A year into the contract, Brandtone’s initial decision has been well and truly vindicated. “We needed very robust systems with full failover capability and that’s exactly what Sungard AS has given us – 100% uptime,”.

He admits, “There’s no doubt we’re a demanding client. We’ve gone into 12 new countries in the past 18 months. This level of aggressive growth requires constant adaptability and responsiveness from Sungard Availability Services. I’m happy to say they’ve risen to the challenge. I consider them a trusted partner.”

“When a major brand marketing campaign co-ordinated on TV and online launches it can trigger really high peak traffic – so we have to be ready and able to cope with sudden demand spikes for data” Neil Flanagan, Chief Technology Officer, Brandtone

“There’s no doubt we’re a demanding client. Our aggressive growth requires constant adaptability and responsiveness from Sungard Availability Services. They’ve risen to the challenge and I consider them a trusted partner.” Neil Flanagan, Chief Technology Officer, Brandtone

Business challenge

On behalf of its blue-chip customers, mobile marketing specialist Brandtone targets consumers worldwide with highly effective marketing campaigns via their mobile phones. It needed a robust, scalable infrastructure with around-the-clock availability and the ability to handle sudden bursts in data.

  • Sungard AS Managed Private Cloud
  • Highly available and secure platform
  • Ability to scale up within hours to respond to campaign spikes and customer demands
  • Integrated failover solution ensures uninterrupted service
  • Moves IT infrastructure and applications spend from CapEx to OpEx budget
  • Accelerates the customer onboarding process
  • Fully managed service frees Brandtone to focus on core business by removing the burden of infrastructure management