Bronto’s IT Team Beats Records to Take Silver in the International Business Awards

Erik Morse, Vice President of Software Development

Author Bio

As vice president of software development, Erik leads the effort to scale Bronto’s technology organization in order to meet the increasing performance demands of the company’s rapidly growing roster of commerce-focused companies. Erik also leads Bronto’s product development teams, bringing his lengthy SaaS experience to continually deliver innovative, yet easy-to-use functionality that helps retailers to maximize the impact of their marketing campaigns.

Prior to joining Bronto, Erik was the founding employee at Peopleclick, where he served for thirteen years as COO and CTO. During his tenure at Peopleclick, Morse was instrumental in building the technology organization and leading key product development initiatives, including the establishment of the company’s successful and rapidly scaling SaaS business model. Prior to Peopleclick, Erik served as a director of development for Seer Technologies, a leader in enterprise software infrastructure products. Previously, Erik held a key role at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) as a senior software engineer.

It’s not just in the swimming pool or on the vault where accolades are hard won. The Bronto team is understandably proud of our Olympic-caliber leadership and service during the 2015 holiday season, where our year-round training to support our customers’ marathon efforts paid off. For our work, we’ve been awarded a Silver Stevie Award for IT Department of the Year in the 2016 International Business Awards.

Last year, we sent 56% more emails from Nov. 25-Dec.1 than during the same seven-day period in 2014. We also set a new daily record, beating out the incumbent Cyber Monday send volume by 45%.

With such a dramatic increase in email sends, our IT team saw stresses on the system but worked closely to adjust and improve things on the fly.

With a mix of operations engineers and software developers, our IT team collaborates to resolve issues and preempt major roadblocks before they delay emails sends – especially around important holidays. As a result, we seamlessly delivered more than 1 billion emails over the seven days surrounding the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend in 2015.

The International Business Awards (IBAs) are the world’s premier business awards program. All individuals and organizations worldwide – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small – are eligible to submit nominations. This year, more than 3,800 entries from more than 60 nations were reviewed.

“Bronto’s IT team has created tremendous value to its company, as well as the company’s customers,” said one Stevie’s IBA judge. “It has helped the company to battle the ‘Black Friday Frenzy’ and still provide superb service during this extra high demand period. Its success story is inspirational.”

Each year, the holidays present tremendous pressures as retailers put a year’s worth of work to the test – failure is not an option. As a result, from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, we ensure retailers can send billions of emails to consumers to effectively communicate their holiday offers and stand out in their jam-packed inboxes.

Here’s what another judge wrote: “Being able to send a billion emails in seven days is an impressive achievement for any IT team because surely it requires sophisticated processes and new, ‘out-of-the-box’ approaches to deal with unanticipated problems.”

Additional achievements of our IT team include:

  • Executed more than 1.3 billion unique inbound marketing events on Cyber Monday – or about 15,000 every second.
  • Updated the operating systems for the Bronto Marketing Platform and virtualized most of the operations.
  • Without a single hiccup, upgraded our instance of Hadoop to make analytics faster.
  • Rolled out a new storage layer for the virtualized infrastructure to better accommodate increases in volume.
  • Implemented automated regression testing on code pushes.

With the 2016 holidays just around the corner, the lessons we learned in 2015 will be invaluable as we optimize operations and gear up for another high-volume year and successful deliveries.