Costa Koutakis
Costa Koutakis Executive Head: Enterprise

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Since the early 1950s, Black Friday has been the start of the Christmas shopping season. This is why many retailers use the opportunity to offer their customers sales and specials to get them into the festive-season shopping spirit.

data centre racks

To put the hype around Black Friday in context – in the US, about 30% of the average retailer’s annual sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. Last year, some 101.7 million people braved the crowds on Black Friday to hunt for bargains.

If you think that the Black Friday frenzy only applies to American retailers, think again. In 2016, South African retailers experienced predominantly weak sales. That was until a healthy surge occurred in November, which economists have attributed to Black Friday.

While there’s no denying that Black Friday/Cyber Monday are among the largest revenue events of the year, this sudden sales surge comes with an equal potential for disaster. This is why you need to prepare your business and IT operations for everything that Black Friday/Cyber Monday has in store for you.

To start with, you should consider:

  • Your telephone system:If you don’t want to miss a sale, your telephone system must be built to handle a high volume of incoming calls. With the right service provider, setting up additional lines or channels and running tests will guarantee that you are ready before the start of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness.
  • If you have a resilient hosting environment:Successfully handling spikes in web traffic is impossible without a flexible hosting environment. A resilient hosting environment allows you to scale up your bandwidth when you need it.
  • If scaling up is an option: Greater demand requires more hands and greater capacity. Your cloud service provider should be able to easily scale up your resources during peak times. Also ensure that you have enough staff available to handle the rise in orders, queries or complaints.

The best defence is a good offence

Businesses with poor planning and processes, ill-equipped technology and slow communication channels are set for a weekend of disaster and will miss out on the Black Friday fever.

To help you leverage the good – rather than fall victim to the bad – we’ve put together a list of how IS can help you. These are just a few of the things we already do for our existing clients and what we can do for you too.

  • Seamlessly increase bandwidth to help with a surge in POS transactions.
  • Provide additional capacity on your Communication as a Service environment.
  • Action any upgrades to Virtual Machines quickly
  • Increase call concurrency, per second call set-ups etc, all of which are dependent on bandwidth.
  • Set up a “Black Friday Support Team” with engineers across our different teams to guarantee that we react as quickly as possible if there is a problem.
  • Align infrastructure teams to increase their normal monitoring of our platforms and online ecosystems.
  • Monitor the current usage trend (for links hosting online services). If it is more than 70%, we will alert the client.
  • Have field services on standby with LTE-capable routers if any stores do go down.
  • Observe P1 escalations (when business has totally stopped), which will see team managers being informed about urgent action.
  • Increase overall security and support.

Whether you  are an existing client or a business looking for the right partner, we have all the skills you need to ensure that your business benefits from a healthy boost on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. If you would like to take advantage of our expertise, please get in touch with us.

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