Learn How SmartFocus Achieved a 100% Success Rate for New Deployments

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Key Facts

Industry: Marketing Software

Company: SmartFocus

Headquarters: London

Employees: 400+

A provider of SaaS marketing solutions and a global leader in real-time, personalized marketing

Objective: Improve time-to-market with more frequent releases.

Environment: Approximately 1,200 Linux servers. 200 servers in process of being deployed to XL Deploy. 40 people in Dev, QA and Ops working on 120 apps. Java, Apache, Tomcat, Oracle and EnterpriseDB. Jenkins for Continuous Integration.

Challenges before XL Deploy

  • Slow deployment times 
  • Unreliable deployments with high failure rates 
  • Different tools used by Configuration team leading Operations team to mistakes 
  • Manual configurations causing too many errors 
  • Heavy maintenance due to many homegrown scripts

Life after XL Deploy

  • Saving 2 days per month on new releases
  • Faster deployment times 
  • Seamless deployment
  • Secured rollback procedures 
  • Daily tracking of deployments via reporting 
  • Easy to configure 
  • Successful application launch to production 
  • Integration with Jenkins, Maven and other tools


For over 13 years, SmartFocus is a leading software as a service (SaaS) marketing provider. Their cloud marketing solutions help businesses drive revenue, loyalty and satisfaction by engaging customers with highly personalized email, web, mobile and social marketing. Formerly known as Emailvision and headquartered in London, the company operates in 22 countries. In 2011, the company reported revenue in excess of $90 million.

SmartFocus Deployment Challenges

“Prior to XL Deploy, our main challenges were manual configurations and delay at handover points between teams in Operations. These issues were causing wasted time and errors. In addition to this, we did not have a standardized configuration database for all aspects of deployment, testing, and production,” said Julien Charier, SmartFocus Configuration Manager.

Rollbacks and Deployments Made Easy 

Prior to using XL Deploy, the SmartFocus team was cautious when it came to rollbacks. Today, they do not hesitate to perform rollbacks because XL Deploy enables the team to easily revert back to a previous version with a click of a button. In short, thanks to XL Deploy, SmartFocus is highly satisfied with the testing and deployment of its applications.

“Handling deployment and rollbacks is incredibly easy with XL Deploy. Performance and reporting is also very important to our team. With XL Deploy, we use out-of-the-box reports so we can track the time spent for each deployment,” said Julien.

“Every day, we deploy two different versions of an application. This was previously done manually. Now we use XL Deploy with Jenkins for Continuous Integration. We save about two hours every day for each environment.”

Saving 2 Days per Month

“In terms of production, we save two days per month. We issue one big release per month. So, for each of these iterative releases, we save about two days,” said Julien. “Once we are deploying all our servers to XL Deploy, we expect to save even more time on future releases.”

“For developers, it was very easy for us to deploy and to test the application. Before XL Deploy, sometimes the development team didn’t want to update the platform with the latest version of the application. Now, once they finish their code, when they commit, we can immediately deploy to the development environment to run the first test.”

More Reliability, Less Errors

“Moving to XL Deploy meant that we not only gained more time to work on other projects, but we also dramatically improved reliability and improved release time to market. We can now easily do things that were once a big pain to do. Deployments are seamless and rollbacks now run smoothly, mostly unattended,” added Julien.

“We’ve gained not only precious time, but valuable assurance that our actions will be 100% successful.”