Part of DX’s commitment to powering great experiences at cinemas is to ensure that those “great experiences” are inclusive to everyone involved in the transaction – not just the audiences who are buying tickets and popcorn (the end users of our product), but also our direct customers, the owners and operators of cinemas. Our ultimate goal is to deliver a smooth experience for everyone because we know ease-of-use makes both our customers (cinemas) and their customers (cinemagoers) happy and, hopefully, frequent customers.
Our decision in 2020 to now deliver and host our product as software as a service – meaning we’re building it for the cloud and in the cloud – has made a significant positive difference in the way we grow our product, respond to customer feedback, and, most importantly, the ease of use and access for our cinema customers. In the process, our product and engineering teams have mastered cloud-based tools that weren’t even developed when DX was founded 25 years ago.
Learning how to create and maintain our product in the cloud also forced us to change the way we work – we’re responding to fixes and updates in real-time, and working remotely (accelerated by the pandemic) allows our teams to work virtually around-the-clock since we can hire the best talent from around the globe. It’s why we say DX feels like a fresh start-up company with 25 years experience! That makes DX’s current setup ideal for a software as service product.
What is "software as a service"?
Software as a service (SaaS) is a method of providing applications through a cloud provider so they can be accessed by the user anywhere with an internet connection with any device that has a web browser. Because the software isn’t installed on any particular device or terminal, users not only have the ability to access their data whenever they need it, but it gives the service provider (in this case, DX) the ability to update the software with the latest patches, bug fixes, new features, and all other types of upkeep to maintain and upgrade the applications.
In other words, whenever our customers use their product, they are using the most secure, up-to-date version of the platform.
How does SaaS benefit our cinema customers?
With our SaaS model, DX is saving our customers time by creating a product that gets easier to use with every update. And it's all happening in the cloud in real-time.
Years ago updates to DX’s product were sent to users via postal mail on floppy disks. While we later were able to provide updates through the internet, we could never ensure that our users were staying current with upgrades and that they would be using the best possible version of our product. Since we’re now making our updates in the cloud, we take on the responsibility of updating our product ourselves and stand by its security and stability.
That old-fashioned update process also took much more time to get those updates to our customers. Think of it this way – now that over half of the global population owns a smartphone, nearly everyone in business (particularly in technology-driven businesses like cinemas) has developed mastery at downloading and using apps on smartphones. But how much time do those individuals spend updating the apps on their phones? In most cases, almost never – apps are largely updated automatically. Similarly, with our SaaS model, every user is using the most up-to-date version of our application for the smoothest, most secure performance we can deliver... until our next exciting upgrade, that is. Better yet, we’re adding new features regularly, and they are immediately available – no need to wait by the mailbox for the next floppy disk to update and self-manage the on-premise software!
Speaking of apps, the similarities between our product and commonly-used smartphones and tablets makes it easy for our customers to onboard new users on their team because they’ve mostly likely worked with apps with similar interfaces. Plus, the ability to access our product anywhere and from any device with a wifi connection allows our users to access their cinema data and analytics at any time, enabling our users to make a quick schedule change or manage their ticketing on the go. Though as far back as dxWeb which allows cinemas to manage their websites through the DX technology, which launched in 2016, we made our product internet-based to allow our customers to access it from anywhere. The speed and performance of our internet product has increased remarkably since shifting to a SaaS platform.
It’s all there in the cloud for our customers – another example is our integrated payment service and integrated payment processing. It’s all in one package with no need for separate agreements for payment services (the cloud platform can already do that!) We’ve freed cinemas from having to juggle multiple vendors for their payment operations, which means they spend less time dealing with different vendors when issues arise with their systems and procedures.
How does SaaS benefit our teams?
While DX puts our customers first, any change in the way our product operates obviously impacts our product and engineering teams who bring our product to life and maintain it. As much as we hope to keep our customers happy, we also want our teams to operate in a way where they are not just working effectively but that they’re also enjoying what they do because they believe in the direction of our product.
Our product is developed through the on-demand cloud computer platform Amazon Web Services, which is trusted and used by thousands of companies across the globe including entertainment giants like Netflix, HBO Max, and Epic Games. As the global leader in cloud infrastructure, Amazon Web Services offers DX unparalleled service and features that help us further develop our product in innovative and exciting ways. Hosting with Amazon Web Services enables us to operate faster and easier, saving our teams countless hours and enabling them to do what they do best – providing superb service to our customers as they continue to develop a great product.
Just like how DX’s product makes cinemagoing an easier – and happier – experience, working with our product in the cloud makes our product and engineering teams feel more accomplished and satisfied with what they produce.
How does SaaS benefit cinemagoers?
With a SaaS platform, there’s less of a chance for extended periods of downtime, bugs, or ongoing crashes – all things customers now expect from their website and app experiences. Cinema might be a hundred year-old industry, but the experience of going to see a movie needs to be as seamless as accessing more modern forms of entertainment that cinema competes with.
Our teams are always focused on how to make the experience smoother, more secure, and more stable. We know that the better experience that cinemagoers have with DX’s platform, the more likely they’ll return to a cinema that is utilizing our product again to buy tickets, seat upgrades, and concessions.
Our product team spends so much time thinking about the experience from a cinemagoer’s point of view because creating a deeper, more meaningful connection between cinemas and their customers is an essential part of what DX delivers. We’re committed to providing that great experience – for our teams, our cinemas, and everyone who buys a ticket. We envision that as cinemagoers’ phones become increasingly part of the cinemagoing experience – for watching trailers of upcoming must-see films, booking tickets, and sharing their instant reactions on social media after the movie ends as they leave the theater – our cloud-based platform has countless opportunities to integrate into that before, during, and after experience.
We aspire to partner with cinemas to help them create and maintain a loyal customer base through the collected data of your audience, allowing them to create truly unforgettable entertainment experiences.