Pacific Coffee Perks Up Customer Loyalty and Protects Point-of-Sale Platform with Check Point Safe@Office

We needed a cost-effective, all-in-one, reliable, and flexible Internet security and VPN solution that was easy to manage. Check Point Safe@Office fits the bill perfectly. –  Natalie Ho, Marketing Communications Manager, Pacific Coffee Company Limited

Since 1992, Pacific Coffee Company has been providing world-class coffee to satisfy Hong Kong, China, and Singapore’s growing demand for specialty coffee beverages. The company continues to grow rapidly, opening more stores in many new locations. Today, there are around 80 retail outlets throughout Singapore, Hong Kong, and China, with over 60 stores in Hong Kong.

In addition to offering world-class coffee, great tasting food, and comfortable surroundings, Pacific Coffee Company is also committed to technology—in front of the counter as well as in the back office. The chain offers customers the ultimate in communication services. Whether for business or pleasure, the availability of its in-store Internet facilities provide customers access to this technology, when and where they need it.

With its focus on offering customers coffee as well as convenient computer connectivity, Pacific Coffee is no stranger to the challenges posed by technology. These challenges were highlighted recently when the organization began the transition from conventional cash registers to a modern, integrated Point-of-Sale (POS) system, specifically in terms of network security. These concerns were emphasized when it began planning the introduction of a new customer loyalty card program called, the Perfect Cup Card.

The new Perfect Cup Card replaces the previous practice of giving customers a paper card on which they collect stamps that are used for redeeming free coffees. It is not only more efficient, but is also more flexible, supporting a host of new sales and marketing initiatives. It is even more environmentally friendly as it is completely electronic.

Customers can now purchase the Perfect Cup Card at Pacific Coffee stores in Hong Kong with an initial cash value of HK$200. The loyalty program allows cardholders to accumulate points with any purchase. And customers can even register on-line to keep track of their points, and receive news and special offers from the chain.

However, while the Perfect Cup Card is a breakthrough in terms of customer loyalty in the Hong Kong coffee market, it relies on the ability to securely share real-time transaction data (including monetary values) between the POS terminals in coffee outlets and main data center. Pacific Coffee decided to explore the potential of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology to reliably secure its data en route.

Pacific Coffee now uses Check Point Safe@Office® VPN capability to support its customer loyalty program, protecting real-time data as it travels across the Internet. It also protects the POS systems in coffee outlets from the malicious intentions of hackers and other intruders.

“In today’s business environment, maintaining customer confidence and protecting your business means protecting your corporate information,” says Natalie Ho, Marketing Communications Manager of Pacific Coffee. “Taking steps to safeguard critical data such as customer records, proprietary files, and accounting information is vital to our success.”

Today, Pacific Coffee has a Safe@Office appliance in every coffeehouse. These connect to the data center of the Perfect Cup Card service provider. The implementation was so simple that Pacific Coffee was able to complete the rollout to nearly sixty coffeehouses within 12 days.

“Customer relationships are critical to Pacific Coffee and we feel a strong responsibility to protect our customers and their information from the unwelcome attention of hackers or phishing operators,” says Ho. “Check Point’s Safe@Office solution gives us what we need at a reasonable price.”

Safe@Office was chosen after a monthlong evaluation that reviewed a host of criteria including link rebuild, traffic shopping, reliability, and compatibility with other firewall systems. Safe@Office worked well in each area and provided the best performance/price ratio among all the solutions that were evaluated.

“The multitude and versatility of Internet threats require hosts of different solutions that are often difficult to integrate and require a large financial investment,” says Ho. “Companies need a costeffective, all-in-one, reliable and flexible Internet security and VPN solution that is easy to manage. The Check Point Safe@Office solution fits the bill perfectly.”

Provides secure and reliable remote data center access

Comfort and convenience are the very essence of Pacific Coffee’s customer value proposition. This means that reliability of its POS system and the infrastructure supporting the new Perfect Cup Card is paramount. However, in addition to delivering 100 percent uptime, it must also be secure and capable of protecting sensitive customer information.

Safe@Office is highly reliable, offering sufficient redundancy to ride out any technical “storms” and other unforeseen incidents. The smooth performance has removed much of the support burden that looking after numerous remote sites traditionally requires. It has also freed Pacific Coffee to focus on enhancing the quality of its customer services.

Delivers uncompromising uptime and robust reliability

Pacific Coffee handles a lot of data during the day, with peaks at breakfast, lunch, and dinner times. For instance, when customers are waiting for their breakfast, their orders are converted into small data packets that must be transmitted over the network. Such peaks can strain the capability of some VPN solutions, however, Check Point Safe@Office showed outstanding performance in tests, guaranteeing smooth data transmission during peak business periods.

By using Safe@Office VPN to allow its POS systems to access the core data center network remotely and securely, Pacific Coffee has been able to increase productivity and ensure business continuity without compromising network security.

Offers compatibility in extreme conditions

Safe@Office appliances are also designed to work in extreme environments, another factor that influenced Pacific Coffee’s choice. The appliances operate smoothly in hot environments— such as near coffee machines and food preparation areas— and are largely unaffected when the air-conditioning is switched off overnight.

Available with an integrated secure wireless access point and with an advanced ADSL/ADSL2+ modem, Safe@Office meets Pacific Coffee’s needs and protects its network so that its staff can focus on their primary business—serving customers and keeping the revenue rolling in.

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