Salmon is a global systems integrator that employs over 200 people in the UK and specialises in developing and supporting integrated eCommerce and e-Insurance solutions, for a wide variety of national and international clients. Successful brands include well known high street names such as Argos, Barratts, Boots, Halfords and Selfridges as well as high traffic online insurance and retail finance portals like Endsleigh and Dual.
Unique ‘accelerator’ reduces development time
Much of Salmon’s success can be attributed to their innovative deployment of IBM’s WebSphere Commerce product which is enhanced with their own unique accelerator SAFE™ (Salmon Application Framework for eCommerce). SAFE™ facilitates the rapid delivery of very sophisticated eCommerce solutions and significantly lowers the risks inherent in launching a new eCommerce capability, or replacing an existing eCommerce platform. Salmon’s business methodology has enabled the company to expand throughout the world, offering competitive, operational and financial advantages to clients in a number of key markets including the UK, US, Australia, and China.
Delivering solutions to plan
Richard Bailey is Director of Application Management & Support at Salmon, “Our clients trust Salmon to quickly understand their business needs, create realistic development schedules, and efficiently deliver solutions to plan – all of which is based around an ethos and performance guarantee that virtually removes all the financial risk from successful project roll-outs.”
Richard went on to say, “Another key factor in the success of our offering is the hosting partnership we have with Rackspace® Hosting. This has played a significant part in our success because of the reliability and unsurpassed technical support offered by the company.”
Richard said, “Our customers’ demands are very high, with sophisticated multi-channel commerce environments combining web, catalogue, store and mobile channels. To meet their demands we integrate a number of solutions that complement and enhance SAFE™ and the performance of our customers’ commerce environments. It’s essential that these partners reflect the same approach to quality and support that we do, and is why in the context of hosting, that we entered into a formal agreement with Rackspace as our preferred hosting partner.”
Flexibility and support
Richard revealed, “The reasons for choosing Rackspace are many. Apart from the obvious hosting expertise and remarkable Fanatical Support®, Rackspace offers us a highly professional sales and support team that matches our own ethos of “customer’s first”. They have immense flexibility and an unmatched technical support response that focuses on finding a solution to a problem, rather than raising an objection or trying to apportion blame to a third party.”
Significant commercial advantage
Richard added, “Working alongside our Rackspace client support team affords us significant commercial advantage. We are able to bring all the elements required for a quote and present a tender document to a potential client that is very near a finished solution, even at an early negotiation stage. This makes our job far easier as it adds huge credibility and improves the likelihood of success as we remove a great deal of the cost uncertainty from the outset.”
An instance of Rackspace’s willingness to react to a situation arose when Salmon had to prepare an urgent eCommerce proposal for a very large new customer. Incredibly, Rackspace was able to prepare a fully priced and branded proposal to match Salmon’s tender in less than 4 hours! And the result? A new business win for Salmon and Rackspace.
Beyond the norm
The Rackspace Hosting business is based on a willingness to go above and beyond the norm. Richard Bailey outlined two areas where this manifests. “With Rackspace we are jointly investing in R&D to develop a state of the art pre-production environment for potential eCommerce clients. However, I am particularly pleased that Rackspace have developed specific processes with Salmon that streamline the time to market of the solutions we design, build and support.
Richard summarised, “These are just a few instances of how Rackspace has made a tangible difference to our business, but it is the everyday ability to bring new servers on line in a few hours and to offer practical support and technical intervention before problems occur, that makes them stand out as the world’s most successful business hosting company, and the perfect commercial hosting partner.
IT resource focused on new business
The partnership with Rackspace has enabled us to focus our IT resources on new business developments rather than having to worry about supporting servers – something Rackspace does every day for 365 days a year. It makes business sense to concentrate on areas where we can add value and allows us to be more competitive in an ever changing market. I certainly would not hesitate to recommend Rackspace to anyone who has a website that is a key factor in their business, or builds and operates websites on behalf of their own customers.”
Salmon’s clients tell a similar story. A spokesperson at Barratts, the well known shoe retailer, said “From an application management and technical support aspect, Salmon has been phenomenal from day one. In the three years we’ve been live, we’ve not had one minute of unplanned downtime, which is truly amazing. We have had fantastic success in our working relationship with Salmon and I think this will continue well into the future.”
A hosting partner for developers
Brian Thomson is Managing Director of Rackspace EMEA, “We are delighted to partner Salmon in the provision of hosting services for their complex eCommerce developments. It is hugely important to us that we are recognised as the hosting partner of choice by the application developers and web experts that create incredibly complex and reliable eCommerce sites for clients throughout the world. Working alongside Salmon has enabled us to gain huge experience in the provision of economic and reliable hosting infrastructures and paved the way for cloud development with large eCommerce applications.
For more information on developing and implementing successful eCommerce sites, visit Salmon’s website at www.salmon.com. Visit www.rackspace.co.uk to find the latest hosting trends and information for eCommerce solutions. Alternatively, please call us for FREE hosting advice on 0800 988 0100.