Online retail has a well-earned reputation for being a cutthroat industry, and everyone knows that the holidays are the ultimate showdown.

Destination XL Group Inc. (DXL) is a leader in mens big-and-tall specialty retail, with 225 locations and over $450 million in annual revenue. Back in 2017, they were facing their own type of showdown when it became clear that their website couldn’t shoulder the upcoming holiday initiatives without some big improvements beforehand.

DXL’S CHALLENGES
DXL understood that their website’s traditional user experience and low stability wouldn’t be able to shoulder the traffic spikes (not to mention the marketing campaigns) they had in mind for the holidays. The big-picture issue at hand was not the website itself, but truly its hosting environment.

Despite their digital environment growing in size and complexity over the years, they had always remained on the same original hosting service. Their website was (and still is) built on Oracle software, but their hosting solution at the time was causing major issues and cutting off the oxygen to several parts of the company marketing and operations goals. It was clear that it was time for a strategic migration to a new hosting environment.

KEY ISSUES

  • Performance issues: Site outages, unoptimized load times and user experience issues causing lost sales
  • Low visibility: With no issue assessment reporting, there was no way to locate points of failure or optimize areas that could generate revenue
  • Lack of reliability to grow: Adding any type of new feature (such as checkout optimization) consistently caused lengthy site outages
  • No usage optimization: DXL’s website operated at 60% server capacity in order to accommodate for isolated traffic spikes that only happen a few times a year, causing inefficient spending

In essence, it all boiled down to opportunity loss, so they began equipping themselves for change.

DXL began to research hosting providers and pinpointed their ideal solution — Amazon Web Services. It would offer the power and flexibility they desired while also moving everything completely to the cloud, an essential long-term strategy of theirs.

WHY DXL SELECTED TENZING
Tenzing caught the eye of DXL Leadership for one key reason. They were offering a solution that fit DXL’s needs to a tee, and moreover, they were the only ones offering it. After significant investments in research & discovery, Tenzing had successfully developed a proprietary environment that would allow an Oracle Commerce website to thrive on AWS.

After testing their solution, Tenzing showcased the results in a webinar that caught the attention of DXL. It appeared that they had indeed created an environment that allowed the two systems to communicate and coexist in a way that was both robust and customizable. DXL was steadfast in their commitment to move to the cloud, so naturally, this migration solution seemed to be the most logical path forward.

Tenzing’s reputation for successfully hosting Magento on AWS, another platform pairing that is infamously difficult, sealed the deal for DXL. They teamed up and got to work in early August 2017.

TENZING’S SOLUTION
With Black Friday looming 3 months after project kickoff, the Tenzing and DXL teams joined forced and faced the migration project head on.

It was a painstaking process. The company’s website, destinationxl. com, showcases pieces from over 2,000 designers and boasts a complex backend with over 60 integrations. Chris Boyke, Director of Oracle Commerce at of Tenzing, likened it to performing a brain transplant while simultaneously admiring the dedication and teamwork displayed on both sides — “We worked with their networking team very closely to make sure that no stone was left unturned. We had calls almost daily, and I believe that our transparency and honesty is what gave them confidence in us.”

Overall, the migration took approximately 12 weeks, spanning from early August to early November. There were 6 weeks allotted for testing with multiple successful releases throughout that time. Tenzing’s team remained highly responsive and collaborative in order to avoid setbacks, and they were successful in migrating DXL’s Oracle Commerce site to AWS.

THE OUTCOME
Using Tenzing’s custom solution, DXL can rest easy knowing that their website has the stability, security and safety nets putting it in line with 2018 best practices.

Their optimized website has opened up significant marketing and business growth opportunities, allowing them to find their footing and execute digital initiatives that they were not even able to entertain taking advantage of before. And they can let the KPIs speak for themselves:

  • SAVING 30-35% ANNUALLY ON HOSTING FEES thanks to their ability to scale their server capacity based on their needs in real time.
  • ABILITY TO HANDLE 50,000 REQUESTS PER MINUTE. This was tested thoroughly during migration and more than suffices, with the site’s traffic spiking only occasionally at 10,000 requests per minute.
  • TRANSPARENT REPORTING AND ANALYSIS features to help inform data-driven decisions.
  • STABILIZED INTEGRATIONS, allowing for confidence in information transfer and application performance
  • BETTER SECURITY, giving them the crucial ability to isolate authorization and authentication on their own and to take advantage of all the optimized security features the AWS cloud offers.

Moving forward, Tenzing will continue to provide DXL with managed support and monitoring services. They will always see one another as a partner and remember their Oracle to AWS migration as a testament to creative thinking and collaboration.

 

 

"Tenzing was a true partner. They had a very clear plan, but were pragmatic enough to be flexible where needed without causing set backs. They made DXL aware or all potential problemS in advance. When unforeseen obstacles were discovered, they were
quick to come up with creative solutions."

— Dasarathy Ponnappan, Director of Digital Architecture at DXL

Customer Spotlight: DXL

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