What do you do when Black Friday is approaching, you’re charged with providing a highly scalable e-commerce site for one of the world’s major mobile phone carriers—just in time for holiday promotions, and you realize you’re short on staff and skills? HALO Branded Solutions found itself in this very situation last fall, just a few weeks before the annual holiday shopping season began. HALO turned to Sungard AS to deliver a cloud solution leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the ability to run a small, steady-state, quick burst website.

As a global leader of promotional solutions combining creativity, innovation and the most sophisticated technology for dynamic results, HALO was asked by its largest client to deliver a website with promotional tie-ins for the coveted Black Friday weekend.

Seeking flexibility and scalability

HALO Branded Solutions logo

HALO Branded Solutions turned to Sungard AS to deliver a cloud solution leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the ability to run a small, steady-state, quick burst website.

Trouble was, HALO didn’t know if one or one million customers would hit its cloud-based website at any given time. This meant HALO needed flexibility built into their environment to allow it to scale up or down, allowing for heavy or light online customer traffic. Additionally, cloud was somewhat new to HALO, and its staff were already stretched to the limit.

 

Fortunately, HALO was already working with Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), a leader in providing resilient, fully recoverable IT infrastructures, so they knew they were in good hands. Although HALO had originally deployed a small Proof-of-Concept in AWS. However, due to limited cloud skills to build a robust platform, as well as limited bandwidth and time, they quickly realized they needed outside help to manage production rollout, scaling, recovery and availability. HALO’s goals were faster velocity, less costly downtime, and greater security to insulate them from ransomware attacks.

Sungard AS delivers a cloud solution leveraging AWS AutoScaling

They turned to Sungard AS to deliver a cloud solution leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the ability to run a small, steady-state, quick burst website. By leveraging AWS AutoScaling with Application LoadBalancer, Sungard AS could achieve maximum elasticity.

Within six weeks, Sungard AS put together a comprehensive solution including:

  • a cloud environment architected to grow infinitely with demand;
  • the skills/expertise to architect to best practices and ensure resiliency; and
  • integration between production co-located at Sungard AS and the AWS Cloud.

Today, Managed Cloud – AWS is HALO’s infrastructure deployment of choice going forward. This new capability allows HALO to go to market faster and offer a standardized cloud platform for existing and new customers for large promotional launches.

“I want to acknowledge this milestone and thank everyone on the team for making this happen,” said Dale Moir, Senior Vice President, IT and Asset Management, HALO Branded Solutions. “This is a huge new capability for us and one that can benefit many of our large clients with high volume sites. The effort and accomplishments of this team are amazing, and will deliver long lasting benefits to for us in the coming months and years,” he added.

The new AWS cloud solution had the ability to scale up on demand for Black Friday high traffic, and scale down afterwards; met tight timelines due to Black Friday; and fulfilled Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for uptime and availability between the carrier and HALO. Sungard AS provisioned HALO within a cloud environment that can scale infinitely with demands and shrink the production footprint to minimum once again, all before the Black Friday deadline.

Sungard AS also provided the skills and expertise to architect to best practices and ensure resiliency. ​HALO now offloads the management of any troubleshooting and disaster recovery to Sungard AS. ​

A new “capability”

Today, HALO Branded Solutions calls this a new “capability” in its portfolio of services, and the Sungard AS solution is their infrastructure deployment of choice. For a company with more than six decades of experience combining award-winning creativity, world-class customer service, and a guarantee of complete satisfaction, HALO can now offer its 40,000 clients nationwide the same resilient cloud infrastructure it uses for its own business.