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If you’re like a lot of companies, you’ll have somewhat mixed feelings about IBM Campaign. On the one hand, it is the backbone of your marketing ecosystem, the figurative rock upon which you build your campaigns. On the other, it is sometimes the hard place where campaigns go to…be stressful. Simply put, you should check out Munvo Companion.

Chris Rayson, Market Campaign & Operations Associate Director at Alliance Data’s LoyaltyOne — the company that brings us the popular Air Miles loyalty program, serving over 11 million collectors in Canada — points out how vital IBM Campaign is to the multitudinous campaigns Air Miles puts out every week. Indeed, in addition to being responsible for running some 30 independent email campaigns per week, the Air Miles team runs 40 triggered campaigns every day. Counting in web, mobile, social and other channels, they are pushing upwards of 450 email campaigns per week. And you thought your days were full.

Boon Companion

Chris and his team are also responsible for the smooth operation of Air Miles’ analytics, scoping and all the little bits of filtering in all their campaigns, which requires a great deal of repeat behavior. To keep the complex processes as transparent as possible, Chris uses a comprehensive master flowchart to create a slew of “starting universes” for all those campaigns – one for their partners in the gas business, one for liquor partners, one for collectors showing interest in the Air Miles website, and so on.

“Our master flowchart runs and defines a huge number of universes,” Chris explains. “By running it in IBM Campaign, we can generate strategic segment returns in seconds instead of minutes. Every minute is valuable in our line of work.”

The master flowchart, created in IBM Campaign, contains hundreds of process boxes. Early each work day, it needs to run before the start of business, so Chris’ team can start working on up-to-date universes as soon as they arrive. Recently, however, they experienced a nerve-wracking slow down:

“Our master flowchart usually runs from 7 to 9 am,” he says. “Then, all of a sudden, it was taking until 11 am to finish. My team couldn’t get to work on the campaign. It was an absolute nightmare situation. When we have 40 highly targeted campaigns with all kinds of segmentation that are delayed like that, we’re letting our collectors and our partners down.”

Wondering what the problem was, Chris bypassed the overwhelming and deeply complex logs produced by IBM Campaign, using Munvo Companion to view historical runtimes, individual process box runtime and further details that enabled him to pinpoint what was causing the slowdown, fix the problem and get his team back to work:

“We would never have been able to find out what was wrong without Companion,” says Chris, matter-of-factly. “Companion enabled us to gain insight in areas we hadn’t thought about before.”

eNormous eNewsletter

Chris and his team also discovered how Companion could help with the monthly distribution of their formidable eNewsletter, which juggles the needs of as many as 70 valued partners, even as it provides in-depth information and valuable cross-promotional offers. All this makes for another massive master flowchart with hundreds of segments.

“We used Companion to analyze the newsletter and optimize the master flowchart,” says Chris. “We were able to take something that was eating up to 18 hours a day, and bring it down to less than 10 hours. One of the best things about Companion is that, in the morning when my alarm goes off, I can check my phone and see if it’s going to be a good day or not; it lets me know if I should be picking up coffees and donuts for my team. I know in advance if I have to soften the blow of extra work.”

Coffee and donuts are, of course, always welcome, but perhaps less so when you see a long, long day unfolding in front of you.

…And Other Stories

And it’s not just LoyaltyOne and Air Miles who have discovered the benefits of Companion. A European online retailer that generates not-too-shabby annual revenues of €3.5 billion recently said of Munvo Companion:

“We have automatic processes kicking off at midnight which averaged over 13 hours to complete. Companion helped us find bottlenecks and pain points and helped us optimize our processes. Now, with more lists and customers, the processes take an average of 3 to 4 hours to complete.”

Not to be outdone, Air France used Companion to overcome a serious slowdown in its response time with reservation-triggered emails that was causing its customers to have reservations of their own about the airline. Using the software’s Log Analysis feature, Air France could uncover and pinpoint problem areas which, in turn, enabled it to optimize flowcharts and ensure that all the particulars of Service-Level Agreements (SLA) were respected.

All this to say one simple thing: no matter what you do, it always pays to have a trustworthy and knowledgeable Companion at your side.

If you’d like to learn more about how Munvo Companion is helping clients across the globe, check out our webinar: Proactive Performance Monitoring and Issue Resolution for IBM Campaign. Be sure to have a look at Companion’s Log Analysis in action.