Bringing Technology Into Focus for Shutterfly

Entrepreneur snapshot: A new-media visionary with a successful track record of building profitable online consumer brands by combining commerce and community, Jeffrey Housenbold is the president and CEO of Redwood City-based Shutterfly, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFLY). Founded in 1999, Shutterfly, Inc. is the leading manufacturer and digital retailer of high-quality personalized products and services.

 Jeffrey’s leadership and vision are the driving force behind Shutterfly's industry-leading transformation from an online photofinisher into a personal publishing and social expression platform. Under Jeffrey’s leadership, the company has been recognized both for its business achievements and company culture. Shutterfly was named one of the top 10 fastest growing technology companies by Forbes and one of the top 24 mid-sized companies to work for in the United States by the Great Place to Work Institute.

Need: Shutterfly’s primary focus is on helping consumers celebrate their memories through the powerful medium of photos. The site provides a full range of products and services that make it easy, convenient and fun for consumers to upload, edit, enhance, organize, share and preserve their digital photos in a creative and thoughtful manner.

According to Jeffrey, “Our vision is to make the world a better place by helping people share life’s joy, and technology is the vehicle that makes our vision a reality.” With the evolution of digital cameras and technology, millions of people around the world are capturing their memories and communicating in deeper, more meaningful ways.

Under Jeffrey’s leadership, beginning in 2005, growth across Shutterfly Inc.'s four lifestyle brands – Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, Wedding Paper Divas and Treat – has driven 50 consecutive quarters of growth. With this growth, Jeffrey and his team recognized that in order to fully integrate these multiple brands into one Shutterfly Inc., a consolidated approach to technology was needed to execute the company’s multi-brand strategy. Jeffrey turned to Geoffrey Weber, vice president and CIO, and Dell to identify a solution to simplify the overall IT strategy given the challenge of a multi-brand organization with a diversified set of offices worldwide.

Solution: Shutterfly chose Dell because of its standards-based approach. Today, Shutterfly uses Dell PowerEdge R720xd to manage internal storage, such as secure storage of photos, with the large amount of data from Shutterfly’s acquired companies and to ensure the website is working efficiently for customers.

This helped Shutterfly save money on the bottom line by enabling bulk order discounting, all while increasing efficiency for server deployment by using Dell’s servers within the data center.

Additionally, with a recent facility opening in Fort Mill, South Carolina, Shutterfly was in need of a single solution appliance to manage its many servers. The company decided on Dell KACE, system-management solutions.

“We chose Dell servers to run Shutterfly for their performance, reliability and cost-effectiveness,” said Geoffrey.  “Combining Dell servers with Dell systems management solutions like Dell KACE, allow Shutterfly to build and deploy state-of-the-art solutions for our B2C and B2B businesses.”

Lessons learned: Behind successful Internet-based companies are the servers to help scale their business. It is important to prioritize and put the correct measures in place to focus on seamlessly bringing a company’s multi-brand strategy together, especially when dealing with diversified offices worldwide.

Dell specializes in partnering with companies that are rapidly growing and need to scale quickly and offers flexible IT solutions, allowing businesses to eliminate technology challenges they may be facing, ensuring cost efficiencies are in line.



About the Author: Ingrid Vanderveldt