Case Study Spring Global
“They’ve seen things I couldn’t have imagined. We had been stuck for a week, Karl, who worked over the weekend for us, found the solution in a few hours.”
Dan Sadler, VP Operations and Data Services, Spring Global
Project OverviewSpring Global keeps shelves full over Thanksgiving with support from Coeo’s Dedicated Support team.
Spring’s retail execution applications are key to the success of field sales people at some of the world’s most recognised consumer goods brands worldwide. Their mobile application and management dashboards are the choice of leading CPG companies around the world, allowing field sales executives selling to retailers to visit stores and take orders, promote and bundle products in the most effective way, all from their mobile device.
Spring’s application integrates with the retailer’s back-office SAP system and uses real-time insight technology to help make key decisions, such as what discounts to offer and when. It also includes industry-leading artificial intelligence to amplify the effectiveness of these decisions. Spring’s clients have been able to gain insights from their data, such as the optimum time for one of their field sales people to spend in a store to maximise revenue, the most effective delivery pattern and the reduction of out-of-stock issues. It also provides competitor benchmark data, vital to help clients stay on top of their game.
Spring’s clients include Coca-Cola, Unilever, Carlsberg and L’Oréal. The app allows field sales people covering a huge geographical area to re-stock and arrange delivery for next-day stock replenishment.
As the market is competitive, performance is a key concern. Spring competes against solutions from Accenture, Salesforce and around 14 others. The organisation’s competitive advantage lies in the fact that they are small, agile and responsive, have a great product set and their app works well offline. They pride themselves on strong relationships, honesty and always delivering for their customers.
One of Spring’s biggest clients undertook a two-year business change programme migrating their operation to Microsoft Azure. They were using Spring’s app for their North America operation and, at the time set for ‘go live’, Spring wanted to be sure that the environment was optimized appropriately. Microsoft recommended Coeo’s Data Platform Healthcheck, which gave Spring some expert feedback and made recommendations to improve.
At this time, the SQL Server infrastructure platform was run by a Brazilian Microsoft partner who took charge of an initiative to upgrade Spring’s SQL Server. The local partner prepared the environment and ran the upgrade. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, performance dipped dramatically.
With Spring facing their busiest time of year, it was vital that they could resolve the performance issue quickly in order to provide the level of service their most important customers have come to expect. After trying to solve the problem internally, they escalated it to the Microsoft Premier Support team. However, numerous conference calls and head-scratching led nowhere.
On the strength of Coeo’s high level of expertise and reputation for problem-solving, Spring came back to discuss options.
Late on Friday, Coeo’s team of specialists began to work systematically and painstakingly, examining platform performance forensically in chunks. Over the course of Friday and Saturday they identified the root cause and were able to implement several performance optimisations that resulted in the client’s field sales team being able to take orders as normal on the Monday morning.
Having experienced these challenges, Spring decided they needed a different specialist partner to look after the SQL estate behind the critical client platform. Coeo’s success in solving the issue meant Spring were keen to subscribe to their Dedicated Support service to secure proactive, constant maintenance and avoid further critical events.
Spring runs a tight ship and budget was an important concern. After completing successful negotiations, it was agreed that a small Dedicated Support Service would be provided as a trial. The trial didn’t stay small for long.
By February, Spring had migrated all their servers on to Coeo’s Dedicated Support. Having improved performance initially, Coeo worked together with the Spring team to proactively recommend and implement changes, constantly optimising their platform. These constant improvements ensure stability and availability are maintained, and it is hoped will lead to long-term savings in the future due to lower Azure consumption.
Additionally, Coeo undertook a consulting project helping Spring enhance its high availability and disaster recovery capability by implementing SQL Server Always-on Availability Groups and Azure Site Recovery across the estate. Managing the database whilst improving the platform is like trying to change the railway tracks whilst the trains are still running and therefore requires deep expertise and clear and concise communication between all parties involved. The outcome of this project protects the environment whilst upgrades are being implemented. New features are deployed to live faster, whilst keeping performance at peak.
When running critical environments many companies face difficult decisions; focus on project delivery or spend time responding to critical production issues? They must decide whether to recruit the level of expertise necessary to carry out critical monitoring, maintenance and remediation or suffer issues caused by things being overlooked.
Dan Sadler, VP Operations and Data Services at Spring, took the decision to outsource to the experts who had already become familiar with his team and his environment.
They now have the peace of mind that comes with round–the–clock cover and proactive monitoring, including access to dedicated Data Platform Engineers who work closely with Spring’s own in-house teams and provide ongoing strategic input into the evolving requirements of their business. Coeo are now talking to Spring about the evolution of their Azure Data Services as well as optimising on-premise deployments.