Providing Flexible Hosting with Deep Ecommerce Experience
Amplifi Commerce needed a flexible hosting provider with deep Magento expertise.
Amplifi Commerce is able to provide their Amplifi 360 customers with a powerful Magento hosting solution backed by Fanatical Support®.
Amplifi Commerce relies on Rackspace to architect Magento environments and provide emerging brands with custom solutions.
Headquartered in Dallas, Amplifi Commerce is an ecommerce and ebusiness consultancy whose high-profile roster of clients has included Condé Nast, Foxhead, Laura Mercier, Lululemon, Sur La Table and Claire’s Stores. Over the past six years, Amplifi has emerged as a leading provider of omni-channel commerce and interactive marketing solutions.
The company’s latest offering is Amplifi 360, a managed solution for clients looking to fully outsource the hosting and management of their ecommerce environments. The flexibility, high level of customer engagement and years of experience hosting ecommerce platforms that Rackspace provides allows Amplifi to offer customized solutions for emerging, mid-market and enterprise brands.
Flexibility and Customer Engagement
Amplifi’s CEO, Corey Mellick, describes Amplifi 360 as “a set of services to help ensure that a client’s site is supported post go-live. It’s everything from application maintenance and site support services to monitoring the health of the site on an ongoing basis. It’s also a robust hosting solution.”
It was essential that Amplifi’s hosting provider have a portfolio broad enough to support custom configurations and applications for their clients. “Due to the nature of our business and our clients, Amplifi requires a hosting provider that is nimble and flexible, a partner who has the ability to meet our needs today and to scale with our growth,” says Mellick. “In addition, we require a partner who does more than support power, ping and pipe. We need infrastructure and application experts who can support the products they provide and host.”
Amplifi Commerce considered a number of hosting providers, but ultimately decided that Rackspace should power Amplifi 360. “We went through a long vetting process and looked at a variety of hosting providers,” Mellick says. “Regardless of what criteria we ranked our different prospects on, Rackspace came out on top. Rackspace doesn’t have a vanilla offering they expect their customers to fit within. They met us where we were and crafted a solution that was ideal and unique just for Amplifi 360.”
Combined Magento Expertise
To meet the demands of emerging to mid-market brands, Mellick says, “Amplifi Commerce is putting significant focus on the Magento platform by adding more dedicated resources to the Magento team and focusing on performance optimization for the core platform. We’re working closely with Rackspace to finalize a more performant application stack to maximize performance, increase redundancy and minimize infrastructure spend.”
A Magento Platinum Partner, Rackspace has architected more than 1000 Magento environments, and this deep knowledge of infrastructure augments Amplifi’s own years of expertise customizing the platform to suit its clients’ needs. Brandon Elliott, Amplifi’s Magento Leader, says, “Amplifi’s Magento solution consists of a fairly complex stack of software—it’s not just a typical Apache configuration. You have to tailor the solution to the application, which is where Rackspace comes in. Rackspace is very familiar with the specifics of Magento, how it works and what type of performance needs it has.”
In the world of ecommerce, performance is at a premium. A slower-than-average site not only weakens brand perception, but also drives customers to speedier competitors. Rackspace provides Amplifi the redundancy essential for maximum uptime and performance. For Amplifi, a basic redundant Magento environment might consist of two application servers and a master-slave InnoDB instance. To scale, additional application servers and read slaves are added.
When scaling, Amplifi also often adds a caching layer as a cost-effective alternative to additional application servers. “About 95%, perhaps more, of your traffic is not converting,” says Elliott. “It’s going to be people looking at the products, the categories, your content pages, maybe a store locator. This traffic is cacheable. You actually don’t need the application layer. However, you can’t put a generic caching solution in place. It’s got to be tailored to the application, which is where the value of Amplifi and Rackspace comes in. We’ll work together to make sure that Magento understands the caching infrastructure. Rackspace will understand that you have caching servers, and we’ll make sure that all the architecture is using internal networks so the performance is there.”
Beyond Rackspace infrastructural expertise, Amplifi depends on Fanatical Support to be able to provide exceptional customer service to its customers. “It’s integral to the relationship between Amplifi and Rackspace that we take care of the customer together. That it’s both of our problems and it’s not pointing fingers,” says Elliott. “Calling at 3am and getting true help, not just a solution putting a temporary fix in place, but a quick fix as well as a recommendation for a permanent fix. Those types of calls mean the difference between a longtime customer and a lost customer. I would definitely recommend Rackspace to others”
Mellick agrees. “The support we want to offer into the marketplace is something that Fanatical Support demonstrates time and time again,” he says. “It’s an ability to deliver for a client regardless of what the circumstances are, what the request is, what the need is, what the time of day is—they’re there, and not only do they deliver, but they’re a pleasure to deal with. Rackspace exemplifies how we want to be seen by our clients.”
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