Redcross.org exceeds concurrent usage records during Hurricane Sandy response

Press Release:

Redcross.org, designed by Empathy Lab and built on Oracle’s ATG Web Commerce, a component of Oracle Commerce, hosts 75,000 concurrent users during the peak online activity point of the large disaster response.

Newtown, PA, January 14, 2013 – Empathy Lab – recently acquired by EPAM Systems Inc. (NYSE:EPAM), and one of the world’s leading digital consultancies focused on ecommerce and broadband solutions across all connected devices – is thrilled to share the exceptional performance metrics of the American Red Cross website at redcross.org in the height of the Hurricane Sandy response.

During the Hurricane Sandy telethon on NBC that urged donations to the Red Cross, the new redcross.org set a new record, handling peak volumes of more than 500,000 page requests per minute, 75,000 concurrent credit card users, and 22 financial transactions per second with 100 percent uptime. This level of activity confirms the new platform can withstand a critical, high-traffic disaster situation.

“We knew that the true test of the digital experience would be how the site delivered during a disaster,” said Lisa Kagel, VP, Group Account Director with Empathy Lab. “We are so pleased that the new redcross.org has been able to help support so many people who wanted to help those impacted by Sandy.”

The new redcross.org, launched in August of 2012, leverages personalization, geo-location, user-generated content and automated checkout processes to drive donations, volunteerism, and overall brand-awareness. Empathy Lab’s Oracle-based solution includes a unified multi-channel user experience for the Red Cross, informed by a centralized user profile data repository that powers personalization, enhanced merchandizing, and content syndication. The crux of the initiative, however, involved uncovering human behavior when contributing to a non-profit. The Red Cross solution needed to capture exactly what donors were “buying” and deliver an emotionally driven, humanized experience through content and design.

“We began our relationship with the Red Cross just after the Haiti disaster,” noted Kevin Labick, CEO of Empathy Lab. “Much of what we created together was designed to enable their digital program to respond to events of this scale. Sandy provided validation that we accomplished our goal.”

In addition to the right tone and experience, the Red Cross needed a dependable platform that could support the high volume of financial donations, and perform under the pressure of both ongoing and spontaneous national and international relief efforts. ATG Web Commerce solution powers the world's best brands, and delivers a consistent, personalized cross-channel customer experience. It has helped the Red Cross improve business results, including increasing financial donations, online training and class registrations, and the ability to deliver localized, relevant content both during non-emergency and disaster states.

“We used Oracle’s ATG Web Commerce personalization and content targeting capabilities during our Sandy response to update and make changes hourly, to keep people informed and make it easier for them to get help and know how to help,” said Craig Oldham, Vice President of Marketing, Digital Engagement, American Red Cross. “Bringing all of the touch points onto a single platform makes it possible for us to offer users a personalized, consistent experience while reducing overall costs.  We are streamlining how we engage and interact with donors, volunteers, course-takers and supporters.”

Empathy Lab is excited to continue to help the Red Cross deliver on its mission and fundraising objectives. With Sandy relief efforts still very much in progress, and every day needs still constant, the agency is now working with the organization on testing and optimization strategies to enable continuous improvement and innovation, and to help fulfill its important mission.

Empathy Lab is a Gold level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN).


About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at blog.redcross.org.


About EPAM Systems and Empathy Lab

Established in 1993, EPAM Systems Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) provides software engineering solutions through its leading Central and Eastern European service delivery platform. Headquartered in the United States, EPAM employs over 8,100 IT professionals and serves clients worldwide from its locations in the United States, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Belarus, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Poland. EPAM is recognized among the top companies in IAOP's "The 2012 Global Outsourcing 100," featuring EPAM in a variety of sub-lists, including "Leaders-Companies in Eastern Europe." The company is also ranked among the best global service providers on "The 2012 Global Services 100" by Global Services Magazine and Neogroup, which names EPAM  "Leaders-Global Product Development" category.

For more information, please visit www.epam.com.

Empathy Lab is a digital strategy and execution unit of EPAM Systems Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) focused on driving breakthrough strategies and experiences that drive business success across web, mobile, tablet and smart TV for Fortune 500 and fast-growth organizations around the world. Empathy Lab’s clients include Liberty Global, the American Red Cross, Avon, Comcast, DirecTV, TJX, NBCU, Nintendo, Rogers Communications, Sony, Chartis/AIG, Sentara Healthcare, Chubb, Reed Elsevier, and Philosophy. 

For more information, please visit www.empathylab.com.


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Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes statements which may constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the accuracy of which are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied include general economic conditions and the factors discussed in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. EPAM undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities law.