dunkin_brands
MOBILITY

Quick-service giant reaches for the cloud — Amazon’s cloud

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

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.

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AppearHere
TECHNOLOGY

Appear Here taps into ongoing trend for pop-up stores, temporary leases

BY Marianne Wilson

Think of it as an Airbnb for temporary spaces.

Appear Here, a British-based online marketplace for short-term retail space, has launched in the United States, with its initial expansion starting in New York City.

Two leading global real estate firms, Blackstone and Simon Property Group, along with Brookfield, one of the largest firms in New York, have signed up exclusively with Appear Here to list hundreds of spaces in the city’s most popular neighborhoods, such as Chelsea, West Village, SoHo, Nolita in Manhattan, and Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

Currently, over 80,000 brands worldwide use Appear Here to find temporary space in London and Paris.

“More than ever, designers, brands and entrepreneurs are realizing that renting space online is the fastest and most flexible approach to retail,” said Appear Here founder Ross Bailey.

The Appear Here marketplace site matches brands with their own personal concierge while landlords can access real-time data on demand and financial performance. An editorial team populates the site with content and “destination guides” to help brands find the perfect space.

According to Appear Here, the company books space in under three to six days. It noted that 50% of March bookings were done in 48 hours.

"We believe that Appear Here's unique product and community of forward thinking international retailers, new brands, makers and independents will benefit from our highly engaged audiences who seek out and avidly consume interesting experiences,” said Zachary Beloff, director of business development at Simon Property Group.

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officeDepot_ext
FINANCE

Office supplies chain sheds more of its international businesses

BY Marianne Wilson

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.”

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