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8/27/2003
10:32 AM
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App Management For The Holidays

Harry and David, which does 70% of its business during the holiday season, has turned to application-management software from Wily Technology to deal with the heavy traffic.

Harry and David, a purveyor of fruit baskets, chocolate truffles, and other goodies, recently invested in application-management software from Wily Technology Inc. in preparation for its typically busy holiday season.

A subsidiary of Yamanouchi Consumer Inc., Harry and David does about 70% of its annual business during Thanksgiving and Christmas, says Bill Baumbach, VP and chief technology officer at Yamanouchi. Wily Introscope monitors the company's phone and catalog ordering system and E-commerce orders from its Web site, Baumbach says.

Wily Introscope is designed to track the performance of Java applications and pinpoint the cause of performance bottlenecks. Prior to implementing the Wily software, Baumbach says, his IT staff could spend hours trying to identify a problem, but Introscope immediately locates the source of a problem.

Baumbach says Harry & David is fine-tuning Wily Introscope in preparation for its busy season. In November and December, "a 15-minute [ordering system] outage can cause significant financial impact," he says.

During Harry & David's heaviest week, typically right before Christmas, the retailer takes about 90,000 orders and ships 300,000 packages daily. The company employs about 1,500 call-center agents to handle calls in the holiday season, compared to as few as 100 agents during low-sales periods.

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