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Improving the Customer Experience on Land and at Sea

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Updated:February 3, 2021

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  • PDF
    (689.3 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:February 3, 2021

Table of Contents

 

TT-Line Company Pty. Ltd. (trading as Spirit of Tasmania) has been operating ferries from mainland Australia to Tasmania since 1985. Its iconic red-and-white twin ships—Spirit of Tasmania I and II—carry up to 1400 passengers and 500 vehicles across Bass Strait twice a day in peak seasons. For more information, visit spiritoftasmania.com.au.

Executive Summary

Customer Name: Spirit of Tasmania

Industry: Transportation

Location: Devonport, Australia

Number of Employees: 500+

Challenges

  Align fragmented operations
  Increase business intelligence
  Improve the customer experience

Solutions

  Cisco Intersight™ Infrastructure Service
  Cisco AppDynamics®
  Cisco UCS® Mini
  Cisco Nexus® 9000 Series switches
  Cisco Umbrella®
  Cisco Stealthwatch®
  Cisco® Identity Services Engine (ISE)
  Cisco Catalyst® 9000 Series switches
  Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers

Results

  Increased application performance by 50 percent
  Standardized and simplified IT infrastructure across land and sea operations                                                       
  Gained an unprecedented view of passenger preferences and patterns

 

Related image, diagram or screenshot

 

Challenge: Deliver a seamless, port-to-port passenger experience

Although Spirit of Tasmania is a ferry service between mainland Australia and Tasmania, the onboard experience is like being on a cruise. Hundreds of cabins and recliners provide comfort for overnight sails. A variety of eateries and bars offer sustenance and relaxation. And a movie theater, gaming arcade, and live music deliver fun and entertainment.

In addition to helping passengers enjoy the journey, these cruise-like amenities also represent critical revenue streams. And with Cisco technologies now underpinning its operations, Spirit of Tasmania continues to enhance—and even extend—its interactions with passengers.

“We want to maximize our time with customers,” says Cliff Reardon, manager of IS projects and architecture at Spirit of Tasmania. “That starts when they visit our website and doesn’t end until they step or drive off the ship.”

With different technologies on its vessels and in its corporate headquarters, delivering a seamless, port-to-port experience has historically been a challenge for Spirit of Tasmania. A disparity of online booking systems, port-based ticketing and security systems, and onboard wireless and point-of-sale systems required passengers to sign into multiple networks. And Spirit of Tasmania had a disjointed view of—and limited ability to improve—the passenger journey from beginning to end.

“It was a fragmented experience,” Reardon recalls, “not only for our customers, but also for us internally.”

Spirit of Tasmania’s IT team effectively manages four data centers: One on each ship and two on shore. With no permanent IT staff on the vessels, the team must perform all systems maintenance, troubleshooting, and upgrades for the ships during the short periods of time when the ships are in port.

“It’s really difficult from an operational standpoint when you have different systems, support processes, and management tools spread across multiple data centers,” says Reardon. “So we decided to leverage advanced technologies and make a full, 360 degree change in how we run our business.”

 

“It’s really difficult from an operational standpoint when you have different systems, support processes, and management tools spread across multiple data centers. So we decided to leverage advanced technologies and make a full, 360 degree change in how we run our business.”

Cliff Reardon, Manager of IS Projects and Architecture, Spirit of Tasmania

 

Standardizing data centers on land and at sea

In an effort to simplify its operations, boost security, and improve the customer experience, Spirit of Tasmania upgraded and standardized its IT systems and processes—within its data centers and its ships.

“We started with policy because that’s what binds and protects everything,” Reardon explains. “Security and automation were high priorities for us, and drove the decision of which platform to use.”

Spirit of Tasmania chose Cisco UCS Mini. Optimized for branch offices, point-of-sale locations, and smaller IT environments, the solution delivers infrastructure and policy consistency across the company’s land and sea operations. Cisco Nexus 9000 Series switches provide network connectivity, and Cisco Umbrella, Cisco Stealthwatch, and Cisco ISE provide exceptional security.

“Everything is much simpler now,” Reardon says. “We have a single set of processes and tools for systems provisioning, maintenance, and security. And for the first time, we have full visibility of the infrastructure stack, our staff, and our customers.”

What’s more, the company’s most important software platform—an Oracle application that handles everything from reservations and ticketing to financials, business intelligence, and reporting—is now much faster.

“Migrating from cloud-based Infrastructure-as-a- Service to on-prem Cisco UCS Mini reduced our costs, gave us much better control and agility, and increased application performance by at least 50 percent,” Reardon says.

Going deep with analytics

Standardizing infrastructure systems and simplifying IT operations were just the first steps of a much larger transformation. With its IT systems more aligned than ever before, Spirit of Tasmania is now working to attain and leverage new insights.

“We’re going deep with analytics and doubling down on automation,” says Reardon. “The more we can learn and automate, the more we can improve the customer experience.”

The company is using a combination of Cisco Intersight and Cisco AppDynamics to gain an unprecedented view of its business and the technologies supporting it.

“We can see trends, anticipate opportunities, and be proactive in addressing them,” Reardon notes. “We visualize all of the network traffic flows and patterns and then fine-tune security and bandwidth accordingly.”

 

“We can see trends, anticipate opportunities, and be proactive in addressing them. We visualize all of the network traffic flows and patterns and then fine-tune security and bandwidth accordingly.”

Cliff Reardon, Manager of IS Projects and Architecture, Spirit of Tasmania

 

Spirit of Tasmania is also collecting telemetry data from its customer-facing systems and using Cisco AppDynamics to better understand passenger preferences and inform future decisions.

“Cisco technologies have simplified and streamlined everything we do,” Reardon concludes. “Their stability is second to none, which allows us to focus on our applications and the services we provide for customers.”

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