News Release

Cisco Provides Collaboration Solutions for Smiles in Brazil

Cisco Solution Is Used to Manage Data of Over 10 Million Frequent Flyer Reward Program Members; Wireless Network and Softphone Were Adopted by 100% of the Staff, Reducing Costs and Increasing Productivity
Aug 27, 2014

Sao Paulo, Brazil, August 27, 2014 – Smiles, a membership rewards and loyalty program manager in Brazil, has chosen the Cisco® Unified Communications Solution to manage the data of its 10 million members. The platform includes chat tools, as well as video and voice communications, and helped reduce management costs and increase the company’s productivity.

The company chose the Cisco solution mainly for its functionality and TCO (total cost of ownership) features. "The Cisco solution offered us ease of management and further integration," said Pedro Dorico, CTO of Smiles. According to the executive, two factors were instrumental to build the company’s communication and collaboration infrastructure. One of them was connectivity. As the company's systems are divided into two remotely accessed data centers, ease of access was essential.

Besides, it was unanimous that the office should be a reference in innovation, reinventing the workspace without fixed desks. Laptop, softphone, videoconferencing and other collaboration tools should have a highlighting position into the workspace. "In companies like Smiles, operating in a dynamic environment and innovation ambience, to be able to offer the right tools to ensure productivity is critical," said Ricardo Amaral, director of A. Telecom, Cisco’s partner on the platform deployment.

Another determining factor of this project was the infrastructure availability. Smiles’ operation could not be interrupted, particularly during business hours. Any stoppage would affect the company's productivity and its ability to act on critical operational processes, such as customer service, sales and back-office functions (related to airline tickets issue or e-commerce sales). Therefore, Smiles chose the current wireless network, available to any device.

Cisco provided to the reward administrator a composite solution of LAN, WAN, firewall, wireless, Jabber® and BE 6000 (Business Edition 6000). The technology package enabled the offering of an integrated collaborative platform, safe and adaptable to Smiles employees’ needs and to the various platforms used (Android, Windows and Apple) in order to allow BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). A. Telecom integrator collaborated with Cisco both in the construction of a new 100 percent wireless network, as well as for the infrastructure maintenance under the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model.

Collaboration to support the growth of Smiles

Formerly a department of GOL Airlines, Smiles became an independent company in January 2013 and in April 2013 went public on the Stock Exchange. Raising approximately R$ 1.1 billion after the initial IPO, the newly created company had the challenge to build a complete and reliable infrastructure in a short period. Within a few months, Smiles had to operate in new headquarters, with its own systems and controls, with an operation adapted and integrated infrastructure.

The company grew considerably after the IPO, expanding partners’ relationships in various sectors, as well as creating new international airline partners and new agreements with service stations, restaurants, hotels, retail, etc. Smiles became a business coalition, and the complexity of the service demanded greater communication skills. According to Ricardo Ogata, Cisco Business Development Manager, Collaboration, technology can be a strategic ally in this process. "Nowadays, companies deal with a diversity of operations, constantly accessing networked content. Without easiness of collaboration and security among the staff this process can be very difficult," said the executive.

The Smiles team has easily adopted the new infrastructure. The wireless network and the softphone are available for 100 percent of employees (as the environment does not provide for the installation of fixed telephone terminals). The chat function is available for the entire team, and videoconferencing is being tested. Manpower was another important item. "We don’t have internal experts. All the infrastructure and telecom support are offered as a service, and adjusted to the requirements of our operation", explained Pedro Dorico, Smile’s CTO.

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