Case Study

Happy Go

Taiwan’s first cross-industry consumer rewards platform achieves continuous transaction processing with the Stratus® ftServer® system

Part of the Far Eastern Retail Group, HAPPY GO is Taiwan’s first reward platform with cross-industry membership at its core. HAPPY GO cards empower consumers to earn reward points and receive special discounts when making qualified purchases. The platform’s behavioral analysis and integrated smart marketing capabilities drive channel stickiness by generating targeted promotions that reflect consumer lifestyles and preferences. Since its establishment in 2004, HAPPY GO has achieved widespread market penetration across Taiwan, China and Japan. Today, over 12,000 brands and more than 800,000 online and physical stores use HAPPY GO to connect with consumers.

The challenge

The HAPPY GO rewards platform initially encompassed brands within the Far Eastern Retail Group, including Far Eastern Department Stores, SOGO Department Store, Far EasTone Telecom, A.Mart, Far Eastern Int’l Bank and Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel. The service gained immediate popularity among consumers, recruiting 2.5 million card friends in its first year of operation alone. HAPPY GO expanded quickly within Taiwan—and later across mainland China and Japan—with a steady increase in the number of participating merchants and the introduction of a finance-type model of reward trading.

This rapid expansion dramatically increased the volume of transactions being processed through the HAPPY GO platform, highlighting the need for continuous system security and availability. According to consumer behavior analysis, the highest system traffic generally occurs outside of normal weekday work hours. Because HAPPY GO does not have professional system technicians on standby during nights and weekends due to high labor costs, recovery from a system interruption could take some time, increasing risk of downtime and data loss.

System failure would directly impact front-end business operations across the HAPPY GO channel network. For example, if the platform experiences downtime during an anniversary sale at a participating department store, HAPPY GO card members would be unable to receive their reward discounts, likely resulting in fewer purchases. These types of transaction failures would erode satisfaction among partner businesses and card friends alike—potentially jeopardizing consumer loyalty and continued participation in the HAPPY GO program.

Unwilling to risk unplanned downtime and its negative business consequences, HAPPY GO’s technical leaders went in search of a cost-effective continuous availability solution that offered operational simplicity and minimal management requirements, along with the transaction processing power and scalability that an ever-expanding card service platform demands.

The solution

After a rigorous evaluation process, HAPPY GO chose to deploy the Stratus® ftServer® 4810, a fully integrated hardware, software and service platform, to prevent downtime of its core rewards system applications. Prior to implementation, HAPPY GO technical staff tested the ftServer to verify continuous availability through various forms of interruption—from network failure to power loss—and the system passed with flying colors.

The ftServer supports multiple operating systems and consists of two identical customer replaceable units—each with its own processor, memory and storage. An Automated Uptime Layer with redundant field-programmable gate arrays, data paths, and lockstep firmware provides the processor synchronization, data replication, and logic needed to ensure always-on transaction processing, even in the event of a hardware component failure.

All redundant components are packaged as a single system, reducing licensing costs and simplifying management. The ftServer system leverages shared storage to ensure data integrity and continuity between hard drives. That way, if the main server goes down the redundant components will continue to retrieve the original data from the shared storage—eliminating the risk of data loss or corruption.

Unlike other high availability solutions, ftServer is easy to deploy, manage and service, making it ideal for HAPPY GO’s data center environment where IT resources are limited during non-business hours. Self-monitoring, self-diagnosing and self-alerting systems increase operational efficiency by filtering issues which require action. For optimal serviceability, hot-swappable customer replaceable units can be removed without powering down the system or requiring special.

“HAPPY GO is proud to be Taiwan’s only cross-industry, cross-channel and cross-border consumer rewards platform. Our success depends on the ability to process transactions 24/7/365—without interruption—across our 800,000 channels worldwide. The Stratus ftServer system delivers unmatched business continuity and data integrity, enabling us to provide a seamless experience that benefits consumers and participating brands alike. Even as we expand channels to better connect consumers, we are confident that the ftServer platform will continue to provide the reliability and performance our business demands.”
Rodem Chung
Information Technology Director
HAPPY GO

The results

Since deploying its core rewards platform on the ftServer system in April 2019, HAPPY GO has experienced zero downtime and zero data loss, successfully avoiding the negative business impacts of critical system failure. The ftServer has delivered fast, stable transaction processing and uninterrupted transmission and storage of data, even during peak traffic periods. This high performance and continuous availability have enabled members of the HAPPY GO family to enjoy a seamless and rewarding program experience that enhances consumer life and drives sales revenue for business partners.

The ftServer system was easy to deploy and manage without requiring HAPPY GO’s IT staff to modify existing applications or write failover scripts. The platform’s Active Service Architecture continues to save time and effort with self-monitoring, alerting and remediation capabilities, freeing IT to focus on other strategic initiatives.

With the ftServer system preventing downtime and meeting the performance requirements of its core rewards platform, HAPPY GO is able to consistently deliver the exceptional experience its card friends and business partners expect.

About Stratus

Stratus takes the complexity out of keeping business critical applications running 24/7/365. Stratus’ technologies proactively prevent instances of unplanned downtime both in the data center and at the edge, and our services ensure any issues are addressed before customers need to. Global Fortune 500 companies and small medium sized businesses in a wide range of industries across the globe have been relying on Stratus for operationally simple, continuous availability for more than 35 years.

For more information, please visit www.stratus.com or follow on Twitter @StratusAlwaysOn.

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