Christmas may not be 1-800-Flowers.com’s top-selling season, but the gifting retailer still needs to be able to handle the onslaught of shoppers who visit the site desperate to find a gift.
The company originally added an MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) network to ensure that the shopper experience would never falter due to volume increases or network disruptions. Now the network is managing its remote call-agent staff—just in time for the pending holiday season.
1-800-Flowers.com, based in Carle Place, N.Y., is a multichannel retailer that operates approximately 100 stores nationwide, as well as direct-to-consumer channels via the Web and its call center. The company, which also features BloomNet, a florist-fulfillment network comprised of more than 9,000 local florists, reported revenues of $919.39 million at the end of its fiscal year in June.
Many holiday shoppers find their way to the retailer’s site—often at the last minute.
Harried holiday shoppers are common to
“During peak times, there can be 1.5 hits per second on our Web site,” explained Steve Bozzo, the company’s CIO.
These volume levels are what originally pushed the company to add an MPLS network. “We wanted as close to 100% reliable service as possible across our Web site, as well as through our call center—especially during peak times,” he said. “We also wanted a network with a ‘self-healing’ capability.”
More specifically, the IP-based platform routes different data streams around link failures, congestion and bottlenecks. This ensures all data continues to flow through the pipeline, eliminating service delays or disruptions.
The chain added a network from AT&T, New York City, to meet its objectives.
The network is hosted at three of the company’s Internet data centers. (Bozzo would not reveal where they reside.)
The company als