Topgolf grows from 14 to 50 venues blending technology and entertainment
Fully Integrated business operations with best-of-breed SaaS, cloud and on-prem applications
Topgolf has grown aggressively from 14 venues to 50 in last 3 years. It has also opened its first international location in Australia in June, 2018, offering its golf gaming experience in a box through a franchise model. Some of the elements of this success has been its strategy to fuel innovation, create a competitive advantage, and achieve operational excellence by using best of the breed SaaS, cloud and proprietary on-premise system wired in cohesive business processes.
“RoboMQ has enabled us to get our business critical information at the right time, and at the right place, without any manual intervention. Needless to say, their services have had a significant impact on the ability to optimize and transform our business so we are ultimately able to leverage leading edge technology to deliver great value and services to all of our Topgolf guests, as well as our own employees.”
- Andrew Macaulay, CTO, Topgolf Entertainment Group
Topgolf was bracing for explosive growth as it has expanded aggressively since its start in 2005 in the US. In 2015, Topgolf had 14 locations. There were manual processes and the state of Information Technology (IT) was not optimal to support or propel fast growth. The desire "to create an experience that makes socializing a sport for everyone" at the scale at which Topgolf wanted to operate on, required a rethink of its application strategy to support all aspects of its operations. To give a perspective of the Topgolf scale, in 2017:
- 13 Millions guests visited TopGolf during the year
- 35,000 guests visit Topgolf in a day and spend an average of 2 hours
- 672 Million golf balls were hit
- Topgolf employed 15,633 associates
Back in 2015, Topgolf lacked specialized systems for its business operations, both front of the house catering to the customers, and the back of the house managing F&B inventory, restaurant, HR, event sales, and back office. Many of the processes were manual and relied on exchanging and editing excel spreadsheets and files. There was rework and at times it was error prone and not repeatable. This created unnecessary workload on its already busy but very smart associates. In order to expand its footprint by opening new venues and to support resulting growth of customers and employees, it required specialized SaaS and cloud system that would integrate with its patented and proprietary gaming platform and on-premise applications.
Without automated business processes, Topgolf would have struggled to keep pace with its growth. Topgolf employees would have been spending their time in low-value activities like managing new hires, manually running payroll across venues with different local regulations, and managing large event sales without automated processes. Topgolf would be missing on new opportunities to grow and to focus on innovation, which they do best. It would not have been possible to provide a superior entertainment experience to its guest and a fulfilling working environment to its associates.
Topgolf under its visionary leadership embarked on "cloud first strategy" with an intent to create a competitive advantage by leveraging state of art available technologies and the best specialized applications. Topgolf wanted to use functional capabilities available with best of the breed SaaS platforms and wire them together with its on-premise and private cloud applications on AWS to create unique strategic advantages.
Topgolf chose RoboMQ as its Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) providing the glue that will integrate SaaS, cloud and on-premise systems while providing highly scalable service mesh that supports Topgolf unique business requirements.
Today, RoboMQ provides integration of RFID based golf gaming system, POS, CRM, large event sales, HR, Payroll, F&B inventory, finance and back office systems at its 50 venues and AWS cloud in a federated hybrid cloud setup which provides:
- Integration of 30+ systems with 65 workflows
- Annual savings of over $700,000 by employee life cycle management of 15,633 associates
- Pluggable Point Of Sale integration of 3 leading POS systems today that can support new POS systems as needed to support Topgolf expansion
- Payroll integration across Topgolf venues complying with local regulations like Nevada overtime rules
- Revenue assurance, planned vs actual and inventory management for food and beverage for 35,000 guests daily
What is next?
RoboMQ is now supporting international expansion of Topgolf. RoboMQ OEM offering "Integration Powered by RoboMQ" provides integration of Topgolf gaming experience with local franchisor's business operations systems. Topgolf opened its first international location in Gold Coast, Australia in June 2108 and RoboMQ is proud to be associated with this major expansion.
Topgolf pioneered a technology to make golf more fun and engaging. It has since emerged as a global sports and entertainment community focused on connecting people in meaningful ways. Today, Topgolf continues to blend technology and entertainment, golfers and non-golfers, children and adults – to create an experience that makes socializing a sport for everyone.