Ampersand is a company specialized in providing loyalty marketing services to the Grupo Posadas (owner of Mexico's top hotel brands: Live Aqua, Fiesta Americana Grand, Fiesta Americana, Fiesta Inn, Hoteles One, The Explorean Kohunlich In Mexico; and is also responsible for Mexico's largest vacation club: the Fiesta Americana Vacation Club). Since 1988, it provides its clients with counseling services relating to the design, development, implementation and operation of loyalty solutions, generating business results and high returns on investments (ROI). It has the mission of supporting its clients with the development of loyalty strategies based on the latest, most efficient methods and technology, resulting in more loyal and profitable consumers.
Ampersand manages many loyalty programs for important clients, both in Mexico and South America. Its client list includes industries such as the Banking and Financial Industry, the Hospitality Industry, and the Consumer Goods and Services Industry - and each program requires its own business portal, in which registered clients may receive reward points for their purchases, and exchange these points for prizes stated in a catalog. The catalog presents the company's business rules, while explaining that points are won by performing purchases, payments and requesting delivery services.
At first, the systems were developed through a model that allowed no variation between its different programs' operational rules. It didn't allow the customization of the look and feel of each portal, nor the possibility to adapt itself to the model and services of each client. For these reasons, the company began a search for the best tools and techonlogy in the areas of Content Management (Content Management Services, and Enterprise Content Management), Business Rules Management Systems, and Enterprise Service Buses. The challenge was to integrate the business' core systems, while finding a way to present each client with a customized product, integrating them in a Service-Oriented Architecture.
Liferay was chosen from among many other products due to its flexibility to provide customized content, for its use of Java patterns, and for the large worldwide community of developers who share their positive experiences about the product, noting it's high cohesion and low coupling to integrate the market's leading technologies. For its ability to integrate with Siebel. It acquired a Gold subscription for Liferay support, being integrated to the RedHat Fuse Enterprise Service Bus, the RedHat JBoss BRMs, and the Apache Camel.
At the same time, many possible Mexican partners were evaluated, from which Global Quark - a Mexican Platinum Partner - was chosen to handle the implementation of the Liferay system, while crafting the integration strategy alongside RedHat, Siebel and Oracle - each on its own product segment, they managed to integrate a solution that would answer all the client's needs. Global Quark has the resources and qualifications from the Liferay Portal Training Program.
The Liferay system was customized through the use of Hooks, portlets capable of integrating RedHat Fuse's services were developed, and Siebel and Oracle were responsible for handling the business' core databases.
The Gold support was acquired as a way of dealing with all the difficulties that could surface during the implementation process, and through LESA, it was possible to receive direct support from Liferay.
Many programs have been implemented to different clients from the drinks industry, achieving the goal of presenting a unique system - based on the customization of business rules and appearance - to each loyalty program and business portal. The largest program is currently accessed by 1 million users who regularly exchange points for products. From a technological point of view, it was possible to achieve independence for the maintenance and support of each individual loyalty program. New services were integrated, enhancing the previously existing ones. Programs were updated, including the implementation of multi-device access with crossbrowsing functionalities and responsive designs, allowing a single system to be customized and adapted to the rules of any given program. The process of creating and launching a loyalty program, which used to take a whole year, could now be completed in two months. Among the benefits brought by the Liferay platform, we can point out how our client portals began taking 30% less time to be executed; how 40% less time needed to be spent on maintenance and support; and how there was a 25% TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) reduction in our Loyalty platform.