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Shoe Carnival Increases Security and Availability with Oracle Ksplice

Melody Wood
Senior Principal Program Manager

In this article, we will discuss how Shoe Carnival increased their IT systems security and availability using Oracle Ksplice.

Shoe Carnival, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest family footwear retailers, offering a broad assortment of moderately priced dress, casual and athletic footwear for men, women and children with emphasis on national name brands. The company operates 390 stores in 35 states and Puerto Rico, and offers online shopping.

In keeping with the carnival spirit of rewarding surprises, Shoe Carnival offers their customers chances to win various coupons and discounts.  Customers can spontaneously win while spinning the carnival wheel in the store or redeeming an a promotional offer. These specials encourage customers to make a purchase. Customers are also eligible to earn loyalty rewards via a “Shoe Perks” membership. This loyalty program allows them to earn points with each purchase and receive exclusive offers. Members can redeem points and awards either when in store or shopping online.

Shoe Carnival is focused on customer service and giving its clients a positive experience. To this end, its technology infrastructure plays a very important role in supporting  customer-facing operations. In each of its 395 stores, Shoe Carnival has 2 servers supporting the register systems.  These systems are critical for  helping to ensure business runs smoothly. A store clerk uses this system to look up a customer’s loyalty account, apply appropriate discounts,  and ultimately complete sales. When the system is down, it can impede Shoe Carnival’s ability to provide a high-quality customer customer experience.  

Previously, Shoe Carnival was running its systems on Red Hat. They switched to Oracle Linux for several reasons including increased availability and security, improved support, and lower overall costs.

Security is top of mind for retailers handing customer information. In particular, there are many compliance and regulatory mandates for handling a customer’s personal and financial payment information.

To thwart and protect against cyber security threats, the Shoe Carnival IT team needs to regularly patch and update its Linux operating systems (OS) with the latest fixes. Oracle Ksplice allows them to do automated live patching without any downtime. Whereas before, it was a struggle to update all servers in a timely fashion and avoid service disruptions. Today, Ksplice has enabled Shoe Carnival to reduce planned downtime by more than 20%.  The automated features have also saved up to 35% of administrator time per system.

Lastly, being a long standing Oracle Database and Oracle Exadata customer, Shoe Carnival found value in using the same support vendor for its OS.  Using Oracle Linux Premier Support has yielded a 50% faster support ticket resolution.
We are proud to help customers like Shoe Carnival increase IT systems security and availability, enabling it to deliver an improved customer experience.  Watch this video to learn more!


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