Quick-service giant reaches for the cloud — Amazon’s cloud
Amazon’s cloud computing platform is helping Dunkin’ Brands secure its customer-facing processes.
Dunkin’ Brands, parent company of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, migrated its mobile applications, e-commerce websites, and key corporate IT infrastructure applications from on-premises infrastructure to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform. The transition is designed to help the brand increase scalability, reliability, availability, security, reduce costs, and improve the digital experience for customers across both brands.
The company has a number of digital customer-facing applications, such as its mobile apps and e-commerce websites, which Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins customers frequently use to review the menu, order ahead, and redeem rewards, pay for orders or send virtual gift cards.
In addition to providing high performance, reliability, and security across these touch points, AWS has enabled Dunkin’ Brands to maintain high availability during peaks in usage. For example, key events such as National Donut Day and popular timeframes such as the holiday season drive significant volume peaks across these key applications.
However, it was increasingly difficult to predict and manage the on-premises capacity needed to provide an optimal digital experience for its guests during these times. AWS solves the issue, since support easily and reliably scales up and down as needed. The company has also migrated internal corporate IT infrastructure applications to AWS to reduce costs and increase availability, according to Dunkin’ Brands.
The company began its migration to AWS with development and test workloads and websites. After benefiting from lower costs, faster innovation rates, and improved reliability, Dunkin’ Brands migrated critical, customer-facing and corporate IT infrastructure applications, according to AWS.
“Our mobile applications and digital properties are an absolutely critical way through which we reach our customers, and they must be secure, available, and high performing at all times,” said Santhosh Kumar, VP, infrastructure, data security and privacy at Dunkin’ Brands. “We selected AWS as our cloud infrastructure provider for these key business applications due to the depth and breadth of the AWS services, and their experience in securely managing enterprise applications.”
AWS also provides Dunkin’ with redundancy that helps the chain meet its goals of high reliability and availability, robust security and optimal performance for our applications, and the ability to quickly add capacity on demand when needed, Kumar added.
Office supplies chain sheds more of its international businesses
Office Depot continues to make good on its promise to focus on its North American business.
The company announced it has reached an agreement to sell its business in Australia and New Zealand to Platinum Equity, a global private equity firm. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in each country and is expected to close within the next several months.
Office Depot had previously disclosed its intention to sell substantially all of its international businesses under a process that began in 2016. Earlier this year, the chain completed the sale of its European operations to The Aurelius Group.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to reach a favorable agreement to sell the Australia and New Zealand businesses to Platinum Equity,” said Gerry Smith, CEO, Office Depot. “The proceeds from this transaction will further enhance our financial flexibility as we focus on our strategic initiatives to grow our North American business.”
Three retailers step up shopper engagement with bots
FreshDirect, Subway and The Cheesecake Factory have added a new item to their menus — conversational commerce.
Through a partnership with MasterCard, the three brands are now using artificial intelligence (AI)-based bots to enable consumers to browse menus, build orders and securely checkout via Masterpass — all without leaving the Messenger chat-based platform.
For example, on online fresh food grocer FreshDirect, the bots enables customers to browse, shop and purchase groceries directly within Messenger. Meanwhile, Subway customers can use the bot to order their sandwich or salad order, and even add sides, toppings, snacks and drinks, and then pay for their meal through the chat app. The bot is currently available in more than 26,500 Subway restaurants in the United States.
The Cheesecake Factory is taking a different approach. By merging CashStar’s real-time gifting capability, which instantly approves and activates gift cards, the chain’s bot assists consumers as they purchase personalized gift cards directly through Messenger.
“Through this commerce-enabled bot we are able to leverage a new engagement channel with our guests,” said David Gordon, president of The Cheesecake Factory. “The bot experience delivers the convenience of customizing a gift card through Messenger integrated with Masterpass payment functionality to enable a simplified checkout experience.”
The bots support all Masterpass-enabled wallets from banks including Citi and Capital One.