Jarigsma’s department was recently established within T-Mobile with the directive to combine all e-commerce-, e-business-, and Internet-related activities into one, single entity in order to accelerate the growth of both sales and services. So as she began her search for a new solution, the list of criteria included far more than just functionality requirements.
“Management requirements were just as important to us, if not more so,” explains Jarigsma. “Flexibility, cost, time-to-market, agility—those were the elements that were going to give us the business success and competitive advantage we were looking for. In most cases, you can easily add functionality, but those other elements are far more complex and dependent on the very foundation of a solution.”
According to Jarigsma, the MamboFive Commerce Suite from TIE Kinetix offered both the functionality and management requirements the company was looking for. And in addition, T-Mobile could leverage the expertise and experience of TIE Kinetix’s business partner, The Online Company, for systems integration. “Both companies were local, which was important to us. Our three companies were culturally aligned, very results driven and truly embodied the notion of team spirit. Having this kind of working relationship—both during and after a project, is critical to long-term success.”
T-Mobile has replaced its previous solution, an Oracle-based system running on eight different machines, with TIE Kinetix’s ecommerce Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, the MamboFive Commerce Suite. By outsourcing its entire platform, T-Mobile will achieve an optimal balance between technological possibilities and the ever-changing demands of the business. Based on the Progress® OpenEdge® platform from Progress Software, the flexibility of the MamboFive system enables very fast time-to-market. Some of TIE Kinetix’s customers have reported their ability to plan and implement campaigns within just one to two days. And because the entire system is cloud-based, T-Mobile’s Marketing department now has far more freedom and agility to execute their own programs.
“In modern E-commerce it all comes to generating traffic and the conversion to sales. The bottleneck lies in the conversion. For an optimal conversion, a high degree of flexibility is necessary. This enables you to respond directly to the competition and to launch new products instantaneously,” says Frank Van Doorn, Director of TIE Kinetix. “Our application offers T-Mobile a very short time-to-market, which is essential in today’s competitive climate. And we can also ensure 99.9% uptime of their phoneshop due to our stable Progress-based platform.”
The Online Company, an independent consultancy organization specialized in developing online distribution strategies, conversion optimization and e-shop implementations, was responsible for enabling the integration between MamboFive and the other T-Mobile applications that required an interface with the system. “E-commerce is all about speed,” says Erik van Laar, CoFounder and Managing Partner of The Online Company. “In order to limit the time-to-market, a high degree of flexibility is necessary. An optimal connection between back office systems and the front office is essential. MamboFive is ideal to make that link seamlessly.” With the help of TIE Kinetix and The Online Company, T-Mobile’s new phoneshop was implemented in under five months—from first draft to the actual cut over.
Today, T-Mobile’s catalog manager delivers datasets through an FTP server to MamboFive. From there, the system imports all of the information, updating order status to T-Mobile’s back office systems every five minutes. The MamboFive system also provides part of the backend processing, including filtering and checks, to ensure all orders are clean before they are sent to T-Mobile’s systems.
T-Mobile is currently using its ecommerce system for consumer acquisition, but Jarigsma says they have plans to also leverage the system for business acquisition and consumer renewals/upgrades. “From a cost and productivity standpoint, it is to our benefit to have all of our sale segments running on the same platform. Our plan is to have these additional implementations complete in Q1 and Q2 of this year.”