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Agile Computing: Press Release

Compuware APM Helped Things Remembered Prepare for Online Holiday Rush

Website Remained Stable Throughout Holiday Season; Surpasses Page Views, Unit and Dollar Sales

Compuware Corporation has announced that Things Remembered, the nation's largest and most prominent retailer of personalized gifts, had a successful online holiday season in part as the result of the optimal performance of its website.

Things Remembered has more than 600 retail stores in 48 states, primarily located in shopping malls. Customers can also shop online through its website and through mail order catalogs. As consumers continually shift their spending to the web for its convenience, price savings and efficiencies, Things Remembered needed to ensure that its website had all the elements in place to meet growing consumer demand and expectations in order to best position the company for holiday sales success.

Experience is a teacher and Things Remembered did not want to face a repeat of the myriad issues that previously brought down its website multiple times during testing. Things Remembered wanted its online store to be able to provide a great shopping experience and withstand the traffic spikes caused by seasonal upswings, events and promotions. While the goal was to balance performance with rich content, the line-of-business and marketing stakeholders were substantially invested in these events and promotions intended to drive users to the site.

"We know site performance directly impacts our business, so there was a lot riding on the performance of our website during the critical holiday season," said Mark Lilien, CIO, Things Remembered. "The Compuware solution helped us triple the load that our site could handle giving us the confidence needed going into the 2012 holiday season."

Retailers competing in the high-pressure world of e-commerce have many challenges, including the need to provide an interesting, compelling shopping experience that is also fast and reliable. They need to satisfy the ever-evolving, more sophisticated and discriminating consumers who will quickly move on to another merchant if their needs aren't met and address the ever-evolving levels of complexity due to distributed architectures, third-party contributors, storage requirements, and more.

Things Remembered realized that the only way to have complete confidence in its website performance was to test the application and infrastructure using high-volume, virtual, real-world load. The company needed to be able to pinpoint any scalability and performance problems across its critical applications and, if possible, down to the specific line of code. The retailer chose the Gomez 360˚ Web Load Testing solution to address the complexity of its applications, which were making it difficult to extrapolate results.

For Cyber Monday 2012, Things Remembered's site surpassed all its volume records (number of page views, unit and dollar sales, etc.) while the site successfully remained completely stable. Because Things Remembered could generate high-volume load from multiple public cloud locations, it had the most realistic test of application scalability in real-world environments, making it easier to find and resolve performance problems and geographical discrepancies that were undetectable with "behind the firewall" or "cloud/data center-only" solutions.

"Overall, what's absolutely critical to our business is that the performance experience we deliver when customers hit our site is absolutely fantastic," commented Lilien. "With Compuware's web load and performance-testing technologies, we proactively ensured that holiday peak traffic did not negatively impact our online customers. Our investment in our early alert mechanism is every bit as strategic as the website itself."

Click here to read a more details about Things Remembered's use of Compuware APM in validating its website was performing properly for maximum scalability under peak load.

Compuware APM® is the industry's leading solution for optimizing the performance of web, non-web, mobile, streaming and cloud applications. Driven by end-user experience, Compuware APM provides the market's only unified APM coverage across the entire application delivery chain-from the edge of the internet through the cloud to the datacenter. Compuware APM helps customers deliver proactive problem resolution for greater customer satisfaction, accelerate time-to-market for new application functionality and reduce application management costs through smarter analytics and advanced APM automation.

With more than 4,000 APM customers worldwide, Compuware is recognized as a leader in the "Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring" report. To read more about Compuware's leadership in the APM market, click here.

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