IT Brief Asia logo
Technology news for Asia's largest enterprises
Partner content
Story image

Case study: How Microsoft helped a Kiwi company deliver mobile order software to McDonalds in Japan

By Nick Forrester
Sun 1 Aug 2021

Speak to anyone in the retail marketing industry, and they’ll tell you that in today’s digital world, the customer journey is everything. 

Customers don’t just expect your organisation to be present online; they expect to be fed relevant content anywhere, anytime, in a seamlessly customised way through their digital devices. 

Although highly convenient for the consumer, this digital transformation is forcing some retailers to rethink their entire business models and continuously adapt to ensure they are reaching their customers in the right way, and this is no easy feat.

Plexure, an intelligent marketing platform, helps brands embrace digital strategies to enhance customer experience. The tech company first cut its teeth in the mobile eCommerce space in New Zealand, and its business model was simple: provide a connection between customers and retailers, then enable those retailers to improve the customer’s experience, increase loyalty, and ultimately increase revenue. 

The business has expanded and now offers more digital services, including analytics and payment solutions that allow customers to order products off their devices before they reach the store.

“For Plexure to be successful as a business we knew we had to influence more than just the marketing experience customers receive,” says Plexure software architect Ryan Bullock.

“By branching out into new product areas, we now have the ability to utilise data and technology to impact the customer right across the buying experience, from the second they engage with the retailer via our app, to after they make the purchase.”
 

When a fast-food behemoth asks for an end-to-end mobile experience 

In 2018, the business was presented with an exciting opportunity; McDonald’s was looking to roll out a mobile order and pay system in Japan to complement the customer engagement app customers were already familiar with. 

McDonald’s wanted to combine the benefits of offering tailored discounts and deals via the app by giving them the ability to order and pay for food on their phone as well.

The reasoning was simple: as digital businesses increase in popularity because of the ease and simplicity of shopping online, why can’t traditional brick and mortar retailers like McDonald’s do the same?

McDonald’s restaurants can get so busy during rush hour that queues put customers off, and if they do take the time to line up, the pressure of having people waiting in line behind them means they are rushed, order quickly and have a bad experience. 

McDonald’s wanted to provide an order and pay solution so customers could order on their way to the restaurant, before leaving the office on their lunch break, or even at a table in the restaurant upon arrival.

This would give customers more time to browse the menu, order something they want and then it would be ready when they arrive or brought directly out to their table. At the same time, it meant McDonald’s could combine insights from its marketing efforts and offer customers discounts and deals while they browse the menu on their phone. 

While the strategy was simple, getting the technology ready in the back end wasn’t as straight forward, and that’s where the help of Microsoft came in.
 

The urgency to scale quickly

It’s not common knowledge, but Japan is the second-largest market for McDonald’s in the world, so Plexure knew that offering mobile order and pay would require serious levels of scalability.

Plexure approached Microsoft about migrating mobile order and pay, alongside its other eCommerce offerings to the Azure cloud.

“Since inception, we’ve worked with Microsoft – our architecture has always been .net, and the technology stack has always been Microsoft centric, so deploying all applications to Azure seemed like a no-brainer for business continuity and ease,” says Bullock.

But the rollout of such an extensive system that needs to reach so many customers isn’t straightforward. 

“We knew if we were going to get this right the first time, we’d have to ask for Microsoft’s help around the cloud-based architecture,” continues Bullock.

“We put in a request for Microsoft’s Fasttrack Programme, and it was a great review forum for architectural guidance and scalability.”

Microsoft FastTrack is a programme designed to help customers deploy Microsoft cloud solutions. This was key to the quick actioning of the project, and Plexure always knew that having Microsoft’s guidance was going to be integral, particularly in terms of saving time with best practise guidance and advice from the experts.

“For example, the mobile order and pay system we offer is a high availability deployment that runs across two different regions of Japan,” Bullock says.

“This means there is a lot of information being stored and processed at any one time. Because of the size of the system, handling the volumes can be complicated.

“We made Microsoft aware of this early on in the cloud migration process, which meant they were able to offer the right architecture advice so this wasn’t an issue when we released to market.” 
 

Launching during a global pandemic

Fast forward to March 2020 and the team at Plexure were ready to implement the service when the world ground to a halt as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

But with the new solution providing a contactless payment system, customers only needed to be in the store to pick up their food, and social distancing could be more easily implemented.

Today the McDonald’s app serves 2,875 stores across the country with millions of users on the number one app in their category. 

With Plexure’s mobile order and pay now well established in Japan, it is looking to expand even more globally. 

“We are thrilled with the successes we’ve seen so far in Japan, but we’re not stopping there - the future is looking bright,” says Bullock.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Storage
EXCLUSIVE: Finding the best data center for your business needs with datacenterHawk
Companies using cloud are consistently looking for the best storage solutions to suit their enterprise needs and often have to go through rather complex processes in order to find the right fit.
Story image
Ransomware
Examining the future of ransomware threats with Vectra’s CTO
As customers' valuable data move to the cloud, so will ransomware. What is the current landscape and what do we need to know?
Story image
Recruitment
Thales on recruitment hunt for next disruptive innovations
"Recruiting new talent is part of Thales's belief in the power of innovation and technological progress to build a safer, greener and more inclusive world."
Story image
Apple
Jamf introduces new content filtering solution for education providers
Jamf has announced the launch of Jamf Safe Internet, a new offering that looks to deliver a safe online experience to students while offering better management options for admins.
Story image
Supply chain
Supply chains continue to be disrupted, enterprises embrace circular economy
“Businesses urgently need to find a solution that can help them to manage this disruption, and transition to a circular economy."
Story image
Robotics
Evonik relies on Getac F110 tablet to control autonomous robot
The aim of the project is to evaluate the practicality of an automated robotic maintenance and inspection solution in the chemical industry.
Story image
Cloud
BT builds on Equinix partnership with new cloud offering
BT has launched a next-generation cloud connectivity offering extending its global network into strategic carrier-neutral facilities (CNFs) and building on its existing partnership with Equinix.
Story image
IDTechEx
The next stage for 5G in thermal materials - IDTechEx
IDTechEx says higher frequency deployments, such as mmWave devices and very different station types such as small cells, present their own technological evolution and, with it, thermal challenges. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Dynatrace extends automatic release validation capabilities
Dynatrace has extended its platform release validation capabilities to improve user experience at every stage of the software development lifecycle.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Salesforce announces new innovations for financial services
Salesforce has launched expanded financial services that offer more targeted and trusted automation to help teams unlock insights, deliver better customer service, and drive operational efficiencies.
Story image
Cloudian
Cloudian, Vertica to deliver on-premise data warehouse platform
"We’re enabling our customers to capitalise on a leading object storage platform and maximise the value of their digital assets.”
Story image
Microsoft
SAS wins Microsoft ISV 2022 Partner of the Year award
"We formed the SAS and Microsoft strategic partnership with a shared goal of making it easier for customers to drive better decisions in the cloud."
Story image
Multi Cloud
Cloud is a tool, not a destination
For many years, “cloud” has been thought of as a destination which has led to a misguided strategy that sees an enterprise trying to shift all its applications to a single cloud provider – regardless of the specific needs and nuances of each individual workload.
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Remote Working
RDP attacks on the rise, Kaspersky experts offer advice
"Given that remote work is here to stay, we urge companies to seriously look into securing their remote and hybrid workforce to protect their data."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Migration
SNP unveils next generation of CrystalBridge software platform
Data is a key pillar of every customer-centric organisation, as it relies on agile decisions to become increasingly sustainable and intelligent.
Story image
Research
New study reveals 51% of employees using unauthorised apps
The research shows that 92% of employees and managers in large enterprises want full control over applications, but they don't have it.
Story image
MarTech
Martech experts reveal the “buzz” on personalisation
In the digital age, innovative technology must be leveraged to power an efficient and effective relationship marketing strategy.
SonicWall
Find out how you and your business can prevent being caught out by everything from ransomware to cryptojacking.
Link image
Story image
Aspire
NEC expands Open RAN ecosystem with Aspire Tech acquisition
With its agreement to acquire Aspire Technology, NEC Corporation has further increased its capacity to deliver End-to-End Open RAN ecosystems.
Story image
Cybersecurity
How organisations can mitigate IoT and IIoT security risks
IoT and IIoT come with inherent risks because they are often deployed faster than they can be secured, putting organisations in danger of cyber threats. Here are tips on how to mitigate those risks.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
Salesforce announces latest generation of MuleSoft
Salesforce has introduced the next generation of MuleSoft, a unified solution for automation, integration and APIs to automate any workflow.
Story image
Sustainability
Vertiv releases updates on ESG initiatives, sets sights on future
Vertiv has released its inaugural environmental, social and governance (ESG) report, the company’s first public report of its ESG activities.
Story image
Internet of Things
ManageEngine wins big in IDC MarketScape assessment
ManageEngine's Endpoint Central service has been recognised as a leader by IDC MarketScape in several categories including Internet of Things device deployments and UEM software for SMEs.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity named a Leader in Access Management
Ping Identity has been named a leader in the 2022 KuppingerCole Leadership Compass report for Access Management. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.
Story image
Mergers and Acquisitions
SAS acquires Kamakura to propel risk technology innovation
Underscoring SAS growth in the domain-specific solutions space, the acquisition will enable SAS to greatly enhance the breadth of its risk solutions portfolio. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Eight top DevSecOps trends to support IT innovation in 2022
The use of DevSecOps practices is growing, as it is increasingly seen as the best way to produce high-quality and secure code. So what are the current trends?
Story image
Data
Kacific and Teleglobal support expansion of telecom networks in Indonesia
Kacific has partnered with Teleglobal in Indonesia to provide a large-scale deployment of mobile backhaul services to major telecommunications operators.
Story image
Ransomware
Businesses unprepared to defend against ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks continue to impact organisations worldwide with high costs, but businesses are still largely unprepared.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
Infrastructure
New VMware offerings improve cloud infrastructure management
VMware has unveiled VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ to help organisations bring benefits of the cloud to existing on-prem infrastructure.
Story image
Infosys
Preparing for the digital decade with the right workforce strategies
For a decade that started under the pall of the pandemic, the 2020s is poised to end with a bang with the digital economy swelling to a high across the world.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Digital
Ivanti puts spotlight on power of employee digital experiences
The report revealed that 49% of employees are frustrated by the tech and tools their organisation provides and 64% believe this impacts morale.
Story image
Microsoft
ASI Solutions named finalist of Microsoft Surface Partner of the Year
"ASI Solutions has a strong Microsoft focus, building value by helping customers maximise investment in modern workplace solutions."
Story image
Compliance
SentinelOne integrates with Torq to empower security teams
"With Torq, security teams can extend the power of SentinelOne to systems across the organisation to benefit from a proactive security posture.”
Story image
Innovation
Hyland enables digital evolution with latest updates
The new product functionality seeks to help organisations advance employee and customer experience initiatives.
Story image
Cybersecurity
FIDO Alliance releases guidelines for optimising UX with FIDO Security Keys
The new guidelines aim to accelerate multi-factor authentication deployment and adoption with FIDO security keys.
Story image
Voice recognition
Renesas and Cyberon expand services with voice recognition
“We are honoured to collaborate with Renesas to simplify the development of embedded voice recognition functions."
Story image
Development
Intel Labs unveils integrated photonics research advancement
"This new research demonstrates that its possible to achieve well-matched output power with uniform and densely spaced wavelengths."