Loyalty New Zealand outgrows IT

Loyalty New Zealand, the company behind the Fly Buys customer loyalty programme, is revamping its IT infrastructure because it has outgrown the current one.

Loyalty New Zealand, the company behind the Fly Buys customer loyalty programme, is revamping its IT infrastructure because it has outgrown the current one.

Loyalty NZ project manager Richard Hatfield says the company is building a new data warehouse which will hold details of about 20% of the retail transactions in New Zealand.

Loyalty NZ is also replacing the operational systems that collect transactions from participants. It will replace a customised system used by its parent company, Melbourne-based Loyalty Pacific, with Navision and Cardlink software and hardware.

These will be installed by Gen-i. The Navision customer management and financials systems will feed data to the data warehouse.

The data warehouse, which will sit on an Oracle 9i database and use the business intelligence tools and portal within Oracle 9i application server, will store every transaction and redemption that members make through the Fly Buys scheme. There are more than one million members and 40 companies participating, including BNZ, Liquorland, Shell, Telecom and New World.

The data warehouse will be available only to Loyalty NZ staff, but analysis and status reports produced from it will be placed on a web portal and made available to participating companies. Currently such reports are faxed out.

Wellington-based consultancy The Objective Group has been commissioned to design a prototype for the warehouse using the Rational unified process, after which Wellington software developer Synergy will build the warehouse.

Hatfield says Loyalty NZ won’t know what sort of operating system and hardware platform will be required until after the first prototype is designed, but the company is considering Linux or a flavour of Unix. Hatfield estimates that the data warehouse could hold up to half a terabyte of data. The first prototype should be ready within two months and the aim is to have the system ready to go live in six months.

Hatfield says Loyalty NZ may look at implementing data mining tools for more sophisticated reporting at some point in the future.

The datawarehouse will cost from $500,000 to $800,000, he says.

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