Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, Payless Car Rental is a global automobile rental company with 167 locations worldwide. The Payless digital transformation journey was born out of two major business challenges:
1. Rising costs in Infrastructure
With multiple on-prem datacenters, Payless Car Rental experienced rising data center costs, limited capacity, long wait times for new servers, upgrading end-of-life hardware, inconsistent security, difficult recovery of hardware and asset management challenges.
2. Inefficient customer support process
Payless contact center agents utilized a legacy on-prem support service (known as “Watson”) to handle customer service calls. Under Watson, web forms were used to gather customer complaint details but had limited functionality. A new, self-service web portal was created to allow customers the ability to manage their account information, create customer service requests and view previously entered requests in real-time. Any customer service request created in the new portal feeds directly into Watson via this service where they are then routed to the appropriate agent. By giving the customer the ability to enter the complaint details directly, the agent can spend more time focusing on the complaint itself and less time gathering the details of the complaint.
REDUCING INFRASTRUCTURE COST
Given the complexity and volume within the legacy Watson dataset along with the need to reduce infrastructure cost, a hybrid cloud architecture was adopted as a Phase 1 approach.
Payless leveraged the cloud and application development experts from D3Clarity to assist their team in defining, deploying and establishing a secure software platform infrastructure utilizing AWS as the cloud service provider.The new self-service portal was built on the cloud and interacted with the existing, on-prem Watson database to store and fetch the requested data. D3Clarity established a multi-region deployment to serve users across NA and EMEA and leveraged auto-scaling functionality for peak demands and high availability. Automated DevOps deployments were created that enabled recreation of the entire cloud infrastructure in minutes versus days/weeks.
Phase 2 consisted of migrating multiple applications to the cloud (including Watson) and the enablement of infrastructure audit logging and monitoring for governance enforcement, compliance and auditability. Applications that took months to create on-prem were migrated within two weeks.
Future phases include replacing the self-service front-end application with AWS Connect to alert managers if NLP detects a customer call is going bad.
AUTOMATED CUSTOMER DEPLOYMENT
This new approach to customer services led to many positive results for Payless including:
Designing a cloud datacenter is very much like designing an on-prem datacenter. Requires a certain level of skill and experience that junior cloud engineers just won’t have. How do you know what goes where? Too easy to do easy and not easy to be robust. Designing at a global scale is not trivial. Manta and D3Clarity have solved the equation of how to provide significant SLAs at an enterprise global level for any customer.