Improving the Customer Experience on Land and at Sea
Spirit of Tasmania ⋅ Industry: Transportation ⋅ Size: 500+ employees ⋅ Location: Devonport, Australia
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.
- Align fragmented operations
- Increase business intelligence
- Improve the customer experience
- Cisco Intersight™
- 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
- 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
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
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
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
“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
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.
“Cisco technologies have simplified and streamlined everything we do. Their stability is second to none, which allows us to focus on our applications and the services we provide for
Cliff Reardon, Manager of IS Projects and Architecture, Spirit of Tasmania
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.”
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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