How internet speed helps Fortress deliver out-of-this world customer experience
Fortress is an entertainment company that provides gaming, dining and events in venues in Melbourne and Sydney. We spoke to founder and CEO Jon Satterley to learn how Fortress uses technology to craft a unique customer experience that keeps people coming back.
Fortress brings together people who enjoy gaming, science fiction and fantasy cultures. Its two flagship venues are havens for gamers of all kinds with esports arenas, dedicated PC gaming zones and console booths. Customers can hire board games while they enjoy the fantasy themed taverns and regular special events.
“Our mission is ‘heroic venues, mighty events, epic dining, and spirits lifted’, Jon Satterley, Fortress founder and CEO says. “We want to inspire people with larger-than-life concepts and be a social hub for the gaming community and geek cultures. We craft everything – from our food, to our games and technology – to appeal to our target audience.”
Combine leading technologies to drive customer loyalty
Fortress’ business model has two main elements. Food and beverage sales from the tavern and bars and paid-for gameplay. From the beginning, Jon knew it would be the quality of the customer experience that would give Fortress a competitive edge.
“We compete against all the other out-of-home entertainment options on any given night,” Jon explains. “If we’re going to sell time on computers for people to play games, then the experience on those computers has to be far greater than what you get at home.”
To keep customers coming back, Fortress invested in state-of-the-art technology, paired with a fast and reliable internet connection.
“We have the Ferraris of gaming machines,” Jon says. “But there’s no point having a Ferrari if you don’t have a great road to drive it on.”
That’s where business-grade fibre internet comes in. Business-grade fibre is ideal for the demands of hospitality businesses because it can offer reliable internet experiences to lots of patrons at once.
A distinctive feature business-grade fibre offers is symmetrical speeds. In a nutshell, symmetrical speeds mean your upload bandwidth and your download bandwidth is the same. Furthermore, symmetrical speeds can help provide a more reliable internet connection, as you won't lose bandwidth when you're uploading and downloading at the same time.
Some solutions also offer businesses uncontended connections. Standard business internet services are generally offered via contended connections. This means the ‘pipe’ is being used by multiple organisations at the same time. An uncontended connection is a dedicated internet connection that’s not shared with other businesses or users. Since the connection is not shared, your internet performance isn’t affected by other organisations’ usage, offering greater reliability for your business.
“Very few people could ever get the internet speed we deliver at Fortress in their homes. We offer amazing internet speeds. And it makes for an extraordinary customer experience.”
Latency is also important for Fortress’ customers. Latency is the round-trip time it takes for data to go from one point to another. It’s vital in high precision, online multiplayer games where every millisecond counts. Low latency connectivity can also help improve the overall customer experience by making digital interactions, such as tapping on a point of sale or ordering food via an online menu, fast and responsive.
Plan for performance
The Fortress team drew on expertise from consultants, technology suppliers and partners to bring Jon’s vision to life. A team of architects, AV consultants, managed IT services providers and business service providers helped devise the venue set-up.
“Our partners were crucial to making our dream a reality,” Jon says. “My background is not in electrical engineering or computer science. I’m from the music and entertainment industry. The only way we could succeed is by bringing in experts to work with our internal teams.”
Like any hospitality business that wants to offer a consistent and reliably great customer experience, whether that’s a caravan park offering internet services to guests or a pub showing live entertainment, Fortress understands the underlying internet connection is crucial to its success. Fortress’ flagships provide a technology blueprint for the business’ expansion into new locations.
“Great business-grade fibre is a non-negotiable for us. We need that capacity and internet speed. Any potential site for us must have business-grade fibre, or we’ll go elsewhere. It’s that important.” Jon says.
He notes that Fortress has upgraded their original 2 Gbps link in Melbourne to 10 Gbps to cater for increased demand and business growth. When Sydney launched, it was with 10 Gbps. Fortress put in two links at each site from the beginning to provide redundancy. A second connection means the business stays connected in the rare event of a fault on the first link.
“We wanted a rock-solid internet connection to deliver the gaming experience our customers expect.”
“Like any business, we have lots of moving parts in our business operations where things could go wrong. Computer hardware, cloud software, game compatibility issues, game publisher activity. Things do crop up, but we have people and experts to mitigate those kinds of challenges.”
Epic experiences drive Fortress’ business growth
The team’s solid foundation of optimising their internet connection alongside the customer experience is driving Fortress’ growth. They’re currently in the planning phase of designing new concepts and considering new locations. As they explore new opportunities, they retain their focus on delivering something customers can’t get anywhere else.
“It’s the experience we offer that makes our business work,” Jon says. That experience encapsulates the final words of their mission statement: spirits lifted. “It’s a humble idea, but we want people to leave Fortress feeling better than when they went in.”
Learn more about ways business grade-fibre can boost your productivity.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of Telstra or its staff.
Service Availability: Services, access types and bandwidth options not available to all areas or premises.
Internet speeds: Actual speeds experienced may vary due to various factors including, but not limited to, your access service type, the maximum line speed at your premises, your hardware and software capabilities and configurations, and the type and source of content your business downloads.