CASE STUDY

Payless Car Rental and Watson Case Study

Payless Car Rental logo a D3Clarity Cloud Migration and Cloud Production Support consulting client.

CLIENT:

Payless Car Rental

EMPLOYEES:

10,000+

INDUSTRIES:

Automotive
High Tech
Logistics
Travel & Hospitality

SERVICES:

Application Migration Service
Cloud Architecture Strategy
Cloud Cost Management
Cloud Security Services
Cloud Transit Networking

PLATFORMS:

DATA DOMAINS:

Customer

ABOUT:

A global car-rental company, headquartered in USA and also operating in Europe and South America, with demanding IT needs for its fleet, reservation, and customer information.

CHALLENGE:

Technical Problems

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 struggled with rising data center costs, limited capacity, long wait times for new servers, upgrading end-of-life hardware, inconsistent security, difficult recovery of hardware and unknown inventory.Inefficient customer support process.

2. 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. These forms also introduced security concerns regarding the data submitted.

01 Business Challenge

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 struggled with rising data center costs, limited capacity, long wait times for new servers, upgrading end-of-life hardware, inconsistent security, difficult recovery of hardware and unknown inventory.
  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. These forms also introduced security concerns regarding the data submitted. 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.

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SOLUTION:

What we delivered:

02 Approach

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. 

 

How we delivered:

03 Results

This new approach to customer services led to many positive results for Payless including:  

  • D3Clarity continues to provide managed services for the infrastructure, network, DevOps and security.   
  • Having separate pre-production and production zones provided a clear separation of resources. 
  • Strict security rules were architected and created by D3Clarity for inbound/outbound traffic, data encrypted at rest and in transit and least privilege access. 
  • Creation of a new portal established direct communication between the customer and the customer service agent, thereby reducing the time each agent spent per customer.  This increased the overall agent productivity and general customer satisfaction. 
  • By implementing a hybrid cloud approach, overall infrastructure cost was reduced and is now 100% controlled by the customer via AWS utilization. 
  • Having a centralized cloud infrastructure tied to billing allows for tight inventory control.  
  • Application downtime was reduced and, in most cases, eliminated. 
  • D3Clarity greatly reduced security risks with PCI/PII controls in place that create an audit trail. This allowed for a clear separation of duties with access policies. 
  • Finally, cloud utilization offered shorter development timelines with fast infrastructure and consistent DevOps across the enterprise. 

RESULTS:

Deliverables:

Business Value:

every size. every industry.

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