Success Story

Groupon: Eliminates Workload Automation Downtime by Switching to Universal Automation Center

A leading global e-commerce marketplace replaces SOS Berlin with Stonebranch Universal Automation Center to increase reliability and efficiency.

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Background

Groupon is a leading global e-commerce marketplace that helps people find and discover new experiences every day. Groupon enables local businesses to offer specially targeted deals to consumers in various categories.

The company has sold more than 1.5 billion coupons and worked with more than one million merchants since it was founded in 2008. Groupon has 30 million global active customers.

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Groupon is one of the most successful e-commerce businesses. To support German operations, Groupon runs at least 10,000 jobs a day on servers in multiple locations, with 2,000 defined tasks launched by 1,900 triggers.

Challenges

Ever since Groupon began operations in Germany, it had used open-source software from SOS Berlin for job scheduling. However, the solution had become unstable and was beginning to miss key deadlines. It failed at least once every two weeks, sometimes as often as three times a week.

Each time the solution failed, an administrator had to spend 20 minutes finding and fixing the problem before operations could restart. In addition, the IT team could not schedule or run a task on a server unless SOS Berlin was already installed on it.

Therefore, Groupon wanted a solution that could schedule and run tasks on a remote system without having to install workload automation software first.

“Stonebranch makes workflows highly visual and easy to understand. With Universal Automation Center we are able to create workflows 10 times faster, and we can include everyone in the process. Coding or scipt experience is no longer needed, which is a huge advantage for us.”

MARCO CAESAR
Data Warehouse Manager, Groupon

Solution

Groupon evaluated workload automation solutions from major vendors such as BMC and Automic, but the company chose Stonebranch Universal Automation Center (UAC) for its ease of use and reliability.

“Stonebranch implementation was fast and smooth,” says Marco Caesar, a data warehouse manager at Groupon.

“It took the experienced Stonebranch team only three days to deploy the solution, compared to a month for SOS Berlin. The solution is highly intuitive, and we didn’t need training. With deployment that’s 10 times faster and less training than our prior solution, we avoided significant costs.“

“In our prior environment, workload automation system failures occurred about 90 times a year and took about 20 minutes to fix each time. Stonebranch has eliminated failures to date. That saves us 30 hours a year in unplanned downtime and staff remediation work.”

MIKHAIL TIBELIUS
Data Warehouse Manager, Groupon

Results

Groupon now uses Stonebranch UAC to automate, integrate and manage workflows from any web-enabled device.

“The Stonebranch interface makes workflows highly visual and easy to understand, so that they are much easier to create without having to use XML, as in our prior solution,” says Mr. Caesar.

“We are able to create workflows 10 times faster now, and we can include everyone in the process,” Mr. Caesar continues. “Coding or scipt experience is no longer needed, which is a huge advantage for us.”

In addition, says Mikhail Tibelius, a data warehouse manager at Groupon, the company saved approximately $11,000 on hardware costs by switching to Stonebranch, and now uses five fewer servers, due to the intelligent architecture of the solution.

Stonebranch is a 64-bit solution, with greater processing bandwidth, whereas SOS Berlin was 32-bit. Reliability and performance have therefore been transformed.

“In our prior environment, workload automation system failures occurred about 90 times a year and took about 20 minutes to fix each time,” says Mr. Tibelius. “Stonebranch has eliminated failures to date. That saves us more than 30 hours a year in unplanned downtime and staff remediation work.”

Key processes now execute as needed. “Our performance is optimal,” Mr. Caesar explains. “We have fraud detection processes that are time-sensitive, and as a public company, we have to gather and exchange sensitive data in our month-end closing. We count on the resilience of UAC and its ability to execute modified reruns to protect us against bottlenecks.”

Groupon was also very impressed with the fast, professional support provided by the Stonebranch team, Mr. Caesar adds. Both the support and the solution have transformed Groupon for the better: “At our company, Stonebranch Universal Automation Center has become essential and irreplaceable,” he says.

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