I've found it important to communicate with IT decision makers to learn how they made important IT decisions. This time, I had the opportunity to communicate with Jim DiMario, CIO and Director of IT at Mazada's North American Operations to learn more about his company's decision to use cloud services from RackSpace.
Please introduce yourself and your organization (Jim DiMarzio, CIO)
My name is Jim DiMarzio. I have been CIO, Director of IT at Mazda North American Operations since September 2001 and have over 26 years of IT experience with 20+ of those years being in automotive companies. At Mazda, the IT staff and I migrated all dealer system functions to graphical web applications and provided field managers with a web based contact system that includes real time Key Performance Indicators for each dealer. We also implemented a strategy that has at the core a partnership relation with the business areas. This culture promotes searching for opportunities to employ cost effective new technology in areas like wireless Sales and Service applications, "scoreboards" to focus employees on corporate targets, and dashboards or portals to provide a single consolidated view of a dealer for the field manager.
Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) is headquartered in Irvine, CA. MNAO oversees the marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through more than 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
What are you doing that needed this type of technology?
We currently host multiple consumer facing sites for US, Canada, Mexico, MyMazda Mobile App. These sites are the main focal point from which our customers and prospects are able to view products, get quotes, order accessories and learn about our new technology SkyActiv. We also place advertising on various sites via banner ads and from time to time we may have home page takeover on companies such as Yahoo, ESPN, CNN, etc. that sends a lot of traffic to our sites. Rackspace plays an important role in ensuring site stability by proactively monitoring while keeping the Mazda team informed and engaged in the stability of the sites.
What products did you consider before making a selection?
We evaluated three other companies before selecting Rackspace.
Note: Jim didn't indicate which other providers were considered.
Why did you select this product?
We started the evaluation process by establishing a set of criteria that comprised of support for existing business needs, solid knowledge and competency in existing technologies, forward thinking in new technologies and trends, high degree of customer support and service and finally cost. Rackspace came out well ahead of the pack.
What tangible benefits have you gotten through the use of this product?
Rackspace’s Fanatical Support is just that Fanatical Support. Through every encounter whether it be from their sales staff, back office staff to support engineer they’ve provided us Fanatical Support. The proactive monitoring from the Critical Applications Services team is a huge value-add to our business. We can now proactively scale for future demand.
What advice would you offer others?
Establish a strict set of criteria’s. Ensure the company you select will is proactively looking at new technologies and adapting to change and most importantly will work as a partner in making your company successful.