Famous Smoke Shop increases online presence and enhances security with IBM Informix

Published on 30-Apr-2010

Validated on 07 Oct 2013

"We’ve realized a 10 percent year-over-year increase in revenue since 2000 in online sales. IBM Informix provided the scalability and security necessary to support this increase and protect our customers’ credit card information." - Arthur Zaretsky, President, Famous Smoke Shop

Customer:
Famous Smoke Shop

Industry:
Retail

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
Database Management

IBM Business Partner:
One Point Solutions

Overview

An IBM Informix user since 1994, Famous Smoke Shop upgraded to Informix 11.5 to gain the scalability and security necessary to support its 10 percent year-over-year growth in online sales since 2000 and to help staff protect customers’ credit card information.

Business need:
Famous Smoke Shop needed to scale its business to support a significant increase in online orders and strengthen security of customer payment card information to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Solution:
The company has used IBM Informix since 1994 to support its operations. All computer-driven operations, including five different Web sites, are directly linked to the Informix database. The Web comprises 65% of sales, and online sales have increased by more than 10% each year since 2000. Upgrading to Informix 11.5 offered enhancements to scale the business and encryption features to protect customer payment information.  

Benefits:
§ Achieved continuous data availability for 24/7 operations § Strengthened data security to protect payment card data and support PCI DSS compliance § Reduced licensing costs through flexible IBM licensing options

Case Study

Famous Smoke Shop is an online cigar retailer offering a full range of popular and premium cigar selections and accessories at discount prices to customers worldwide.

Challenge
Famous Smoke Shop needed to scale its business to support an increase in online orders and strengthen security of customer payment card information to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Solution
Famous Smoke Shop implemented IBM® Informix® in 1994 to support all of its 24/7 business operations, including a retail store, onsite call center, warehouse and distribution facility. All computer-driven operations, including five different Web sites hosted internally, are directly linked to the Informix database. The Web comprises 65 percent of its business and online sales have increased by more than 10 percent each year since 2000.

“We wanted to upgrade to Informix 11.5, not just for maintenance and support reasons, but more importantly for the new security features, in particular, data encryption,” says Chad Kercher, IT Manager, Famous Smoke Shop. “We wanted to make sure that our customers’ data was safe, and we did not want to leave that to chance. The Informix upgrade offered the latest enhancements to scale our business plus the encryption capability we needed to better protect customer payment card information.”

One Point Solutions—an IBM Business Partner focused entirely on Informix and other IBM data solutions—was heavily involved in the upgrade, not only from a technical standpoint, but also in a license planning and cost optimization role. Using IBM’s flexible licensing model, One Point’s license review resulted in significant cost savings and Informix engine versions better suited to Famous Smoke Shop’s business needs. One Point’s role in the upgrade planning also optimized performance on the new Informix version and minimized downtime during the upgrade.

Famous Smoke Shop has an in-house custom application used for order entry that allows customers to place orders through the call center and various Web sites—all connected to its rock-solid Informix systems. After making some modifications to the application to take advantage of the encryption and other Informix features, upgrading to Informix 11.5 went very smoothly and took less than an hour. The actual cutover took place within a 24-hour period over one weekend.

Benefits
• Achieved continuous data availability for 24/7 operations
• Strengthened data security to protect payment card data and support PCI DSS compliance
• Reduced licensing costs through flexible IBM licensing options

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Informix Dynamic Server

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2010 IBM Software Group 111 Campus Drive Princeton, NJ 08540-6400 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America April 2010 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com and Informix are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” atibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Other product, company or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates or does business. Offerings are subject to change, extension or withdrawal without notice. All statements regarding IBM future direction or intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only. IMC14543-USEN-00