Circle K

Rocket Partners Architects a Cost-Effective, Integrated Data Warehouse Solution, Leveraging Modern Cloud-Based Technologies

The Challenge

Circle K is one of the world's largest convenience store operator with over 10,000 locations in20 countries. As one of its many market leading initiatives, Circle K has adopted in-store digitaltechnologies that engage consumers and drive sales.

n 2016, with 5000 stores already deployed, Circle K purchased the technology assets of the LIFTRetail (LIFT) interactive digital signage network. LIFT is an interactive display that sits on a retailcounter top, integrates with the point of sale to monitor purchase data in real time, andengages shoppers with customized offers, discounts, and loyalty programs.

As part of the acquisition, Circle K had to migrate the technology infrastructure off of a legacythird party cloud/on-prem hybrid to a Circle K owned Amazon AWS cloud environment. One ofthe first challenges was figuring out how to replace/migrate an IBM Netezza data warehouseappliance. The Netezza EDW was collecting data on 50MM LIFT advertising impression and 5MMretail transactions each day.

Rocket Partners Solution

After a detailed evaluation, Rocket Partners recommended Amazon’s Redshift cloud enterprise data warehouse (EDW) as a replacement solution. Since the majority of business reports were compatible from one platform to the other, the primary challenge was moving all of the data to the cloud while continuing to catch multiple terabytes of inbound data each day.

Rocket Partners solution was to decouple inbound streaming telemetry from the 10,000 deployed LIFT devices from the ETL process. Telemetry that had previously been “trickle fed” into the Netezza would be collected and cleaned and stored in large aggregate files in S3. Each aggregated day would then be efficiently loaded from S3 into Redshift in an overnight batch process. With this pipeline in place new data could be loaded at the same time old “days” were exported from the Netezza to Redshift S3 files.

Todd Isaacs

“After the LIFT acquisition, the path forward for our digital architecture was not clear. The Rocket Partners team came in as true subject matter experts in custom enterprise cloud solutions and led our team through the decision-making process of how to leverage modern Amazon Web Services (AWS) solutions in the most cost-effective manner.”

Todd Isaacs
Sr. Director of Loyalty, Digital & Payments


The architecture proposal met all of the key criteria of Circle K, including lowering the overall cost of operating the solution once integration was complete.

By leveraging the Amazon solution, Circle K was able to change the telemetry from being “trickle fed” into the Netezza solution to a modern, scalable cloud-based solution.

With the successful implementation of the Rocket Partners solution, Circle K was able to take full advantage of the LIFT acquisition.


  • Provided a comprehensive multi-phase cloud-architecture solution
  • Introduced a lower-cost operating model, leveraging Amazon Web Service solutions including Redshift and S3.
  • The Tech Services operating costs were lowered by 50 percent

Tools Used

  • AWS S3
  • AWS Aurora
  • AWS Redshift
  • AWS ELB (Elastic Load Balancer)
  • AWS Lambda
  • AWS Route 53
  • AWS Dynamo
  • AWS Cloudwatch
Circle K point of sale with digital ad placement