• September 25, 2020

Legendary Help: Delivering a home-away-from-home experience every single time

Although the restaurant industry may be experiencing a shift due to COVID-19, that doesn’t mean that they’ve stopped thinking about how to optimize business. With many restaurants closed or facing changes to how they operate, this makes it an ideal time to reconsider their systems. The world is changing and we may never go back to “normal,” but at Rocket, we’re trying to help customers prepare for the “new normal.” One way we are helping is by providing proven technology solutions that improve how businesses run, and how customers interact with the business.

Before the pandemic, Rocket helped a major U.S.-based restaurant chain deliver the best home-away-from-home experience to its visitors. Although most customers only see the exterior experience in restaurants, behind this chain’s country-fried steaks and milkshakes is a complex IT system. They needed help modernizing their systems to provide visitors and staff with an experience that lived up to the restaurant’s welcoming, in-store service.

The Challenge

The restaurant chain relied on an IBM i system to manage the back-end operations of their stores, but younger employees were experiencing difficulties. Not used to the interface of IBM i systems, they had trouble navigating the green-screen interface. The restaurant chain wanted to modernize the interface to provide all employees the ability to manage the system efficiently. 

Although outside IBM i programmers had previously worked to simplify many of the chain’s web applications by building a PHP front end using Zend Studio, it never worked out. Somehow, in the transition, the application front and back end became focused on the back-end only. The chain still needed to manage changes to the UI over time. With no change or release management capabilities in place, the developers, who had been working on green screens for 20 years, needed a way to tie together the back-end development with the front-end development.

The Solution 

As this issue involved modernizing the IBM i interface, we used Rocket® Aldon® Lifecycle Manager. As an application designed specifically for the IBM i system, it helps to simplify platforms and provide real-time visibility for developers. It centralizes all applications to provide a secure and efficient deployment environment. It also automates the software delivery process to multiple environments.

For this restaurant chain, Rocket Aldon gave developers the skills to make the connection between the front end and the back end, and to release code without the risk of downtime. This solution was achieved by linking the IBM i RPG back-end development with the front end, by implementing the Rocket Aldon suite of Lifecycle Manager for IBM i and Enterprise, Deployment Manager for i and Enterprise, and Web Portal for i and Enterprise. The fact that the solution had built-in support for OS/400, Windows and Linux platforms was an added bonus for the customer.

Built for Growth 

Like most businesses, this restaurant chain started small, with stores built near Interstate highway exits in the southeastern part of the U.S. They have since expanded, operating over 600 locations in more than 40 states across the country. The reason for this expansive growth? The chain isn’t just connecting with its customers through exceptional retail experiences and high-quality meals. With the help of modern technology, it also brings people together through a shared meaning of home. As the world shifts and restaurants struggle to adapt to the new normal, Rocket is here to help. Whatever the issue, technology solutions can help businesses usher in the new normal, and begin to thrive again. 

Rocket Software

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Thousands of companies around the world depend on Rocket to solve their most challenging business problems by helping them run their critical infrastructure, business processes, and data, as well as extending the value of these assets to take advantage of cloud and mobile computing, advanced analytics, and other future innovations.


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