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The Best of Spikes Asia 2015

Andre Amaral, Regional Executive Creative Director at Vocanic was at the recently held Spikes Asia festival. He made some interesting observations that are worth taking note of.


Spikes Asia is a yearly, 3-day festival of creativity hosted at Suntec City in Singapore. It is by the same folks that run the Cannes Lions, Eurobest, and Dubai Lynx. This year I was able to attend the event in full, while representing Vocanic, the agency I work for.


Photo Credits : Spikes Asia Facebook

Photo Credits : Spikes Asia Facebook

And here’s what caught my attention among the various seminars, workshops, tech talks, competitions, video broadcasts, awards ceremonies and networking parties that happened this year:

#1 The Big Tech Three

Facebook, Twitter, and Google all had main stage keynotes this year. Our “frenemies”, as Martin Sorrell calls them, are ever more encroached and intertwined within the media and communication industry. Fergus O’Hare, the new Head of Creative Shop for APAC, presented for Facebook. A nice bloke from Ireland with a caustic sense of humor. He teased the audience with a few Facebook ad formats that are not yet available for sale. He also showed a handful of “creative data” campaigns, or pieces of communication that leveraged in full the targeting and format possibilities of the platform. Unfortunately, agencies are still struggling to make the most out of these. Facebook is aggressively pushing for Video Ads and Instagram Ads across the region, and that message was re-iterated by Fergus.

Google also showed off their creative capabilities, particularly highlighting a campaign they did for EA Sports’ Madden NFL, called #Giferator. Creative engines allowed users to generate an unlimited combination of animated GIFs with resources from the game, while at the same time, they leveraged precision targeting based on the game’s potential audience. Mobile, social, content, data, all boxes ticked!

Twitter’s Steven Kalifowitz (@skalifowitz) highlighted the #PowerOfNow. As the platform struggles with aggressive investors looking for a definition for the future, Twitter seems to be banking on the platform’s hold of the current moment and being the best companion for live experiences.I completely agree with this vision. Periscope is also a step in the same positioning (his team was broadcasting the presentation on it). Steven is a good presenter, and took questions from the audience using Twitter itself. Two nice little visions of what Twitter can offer for brands.

Key Take Away: Agencies, watch out!  All major tech players are continuing/growing their investments on internal creative resources (Creative Shop is hiring across the region) and on beefing up their direct relationships with bigger clients. Either agencies adapt and move up their offerings one notch higher, as cross-platform consultants perhaps, or be ready to perish.

#2 Good Work But Lots Of Lost Work Too

Spikes Asia is also a creative awards competition. lMHO, most projects didn’t scale in the proportion that they could have. Agencies still treat their projects as campaigns with a start and an end date. They should treat them like products that are nurtured and grow with time. The advertising industry still hasn’t figured out how to monetize their work to its full capacity.

Some interesting work done across the region :

Volkswagen’s “Reduce Speed Dial” (New Zealand)

Uni-Noodle’s “House of Little Moments” (Taiwan)

Pedigree’s “Found” (New Zealand)

Culture Convenience Club’s “Panicoupon” (Japan)

#3 Insightful TechTalks

I attended two of them; one by R/GA Singapore, and one by some colleagues from Maxus’ Metalworks.

R/GA ran a demo of a dynamic visual storytelling tool that combines keywords with databases of videos and sounds to put together videos on the fly. It’s the beginning of a very interesting platform, one that could help innovative marketers create more tailored messaging for their audiences.

Alex Jaspers from Metalworks talked about process and technology, while Mithru and Daylon sourced a few volunteers from the crowd to have their arms controlled by someone else using electrodes. How cool is that!

#4 Lovely Student Briefs

I heard a few student ideas at the conclusion of the Spikes Young Creative Academy. The energy in the room was palpable even with very tough behaviour change briefs (education in Pakistan, food wastage in Vietnam, over-sexualized media in South Korea, lack of friendliness in China). All insights were bang on, although some ideas lacked the creativity or viability needed, students were on the right path

#5 Shy Networking

Met some interesting creative people from a creative technologist shop in Jakarta, talked to a handful of the speakers, but in general the networking vibe is very shy compared to Cannes Lions or Dubai Lynx.

So this was my overall experience with Spikes Asia this year. If you want to know more about it, drop me a tweet at @andregoiano.

Make sure you explore the winning work here.

Paid Social is Still Permission Based

Ian Mckee is the CEO of Vocanic, Asia’s Largest Full Service Social Media Marketing Business. With over 17 yrs of experience, Ian is a pioneer in the field of word of mouth marketing and social media marketing. He often finds himself educating his clients on how to utilize the true value of social for their businesses. One such discussion prompted him to write this post. Read on to hear directly from Ian.


A few days ago, I was in a meeting with a large client who had an even larger digital team. We were showcasing our Mission Control dashboard to them. A topic that I find myself discussing very often these days came up; “How to build a measurement framework of metrics that are predictive and indicative of success for a brand”.

What happened next, left me shocked and inspired me to write this post.

“We use Facebook for frequency and reach.” the head of digital said. “We are not concerned about engagement on Facebook.” (REALLY?!!) I was speechless for a second or two, but then started to probe deeper.

The simple truth was that this client had understood that they cannot reach their audience effectively on TV and had moved significant budgets to digital. This was great! But sadly, they were bringing the mindset and metrics of interruption advertising to digital, and worse, to social.

When I gently pointed out that using the same approach and metrics for two very different media channels is likely to lead to the wrong actions, I was shut down with a phrase, “But this is paid social.”

What they had failed to understand was that Facebook puts the users experience first. And provides them with the ability to hide brand messages they don’t like. Users tell Facebook why they hid the message and permanently block an advertiser from being able to reach them again.

From the advertisers’ perspective, it gets even worse. Facebook reads these signals from users as evidence that the output of the brand is actively unwanted and increases the CPC/CPM costs to show the same content to other users, making it more expensive for them to advertise. This is a classic mistake made frequently by people who come from a traditional or biddable media background. Advertisers need to understand that social media is inherently permission based.

Here’s a step by step screenshot of how it’s done.



 So what should brands do?

Paid or Organic, it is a good idea to treat social media as entirely permission media. Putting old methods of interruption advertising into practice is a huge mistake. Performance of your content is more important than the reach. The content that works needs to be:

  • Remarkable
  • Personally relevant
  • Provide a value exchange for the audience by educating them, amusing them etc

Our decision making needs to be data driven as well. Data can show us which content works best, on which platform and with what audience. Data analytics reveal essential source of information to decide what to promote. Earlier, the creative used to generate the big idea, now it’s the data that drives the creative thought.

Because we at Vocanic understand social, we can work with the brand to stop thinking Inside Out and start the process of learning how to add value to their customers’ life and create positive experiences. (Hint: Most adverts are not a positive experience!). We have a planning methodology which is developed specifically for permission based media, where you want users to not just consume but even share with their friends, something you could never hope with your TV network.


A close encounter with Dominic Proctor, President of GroupM Global Operations

Kanika Agarwal is an Account Manager at Vocanic, Singapore and supports our StarHub relationship. She is an aspiring marketing technologist and a rising star at Vocanic. She was elated when she got a chance to meet Dominic Proctor, President of GroupM Global Operations who visited Singapore recently. Here is a first person account of her interaction with him.


Dom addressed the Singapore team during a company town hall. As expected, we had a full house! All agency folks were eager and excited to hear Dom take us through GroupM’s current strategy especially given the changing digital landscape.

Some lucky ones also got a chance to meet him over lunch and personally learn from his experiences. I was fortunate to be chosen as one of these young talents. I was thrilled at the opportunity to speak to him in person and understand more about Group M’s vision and where we were headed as a group. Without being too intrusive, I started shooting my questions.

When you meet Dom, you are first charmed by his personality. In spite of being extremely knowledgeable, he is also very humble.  Being a young employee, you tend to feel intimidated around the company of senior management. But Dom made sure he made me feel at ease.

GroupM’s aim is simple and unsurprisingly ambitious. It is working towards a universal goal or as Dom puts it, “for your advantage” and being  unrivaled in everything we do. The company has grown tremendously both in terms of absolute business and talent pool. The traditional media buying business has shifted from 90% to 65% and yet our overall business has grown. It has seen a growth in many areas and especially social, programmatic and research, which GroupM Singapore successfully delivers to its clients by employing from diversified talent pools and in building up & acquiring specialized thought-leader companies such as  Vocanic and Xaxis.

There is no dearth of reports and researches available online that confirm that Asia is now leading the growth in mobile penetration and internet consumption. I was curious to understand from Dom his personal views on how the region is adapting to these changes. From his global perspective, he agrees that Asian consumers are fast paced. However from a client perspective, there is still a lot that we need to do to support the traditional media buying game. We need to provide them with integrated solutions. Clients are looking for agencies that can provide complete solutions to their connected consumer. The era of approaching different marketing touch points in silos is now over.  The beauty of GroupM is that it owns all these agencies within its umbrella. Group M can help bring media experts from across its agencies to build and execute against best-in-class communication plans for our clients.

Another interesting thing he pointed out was that every conversation with our clients today needs to start with mobile, especially in Asia. The smaller the screen,the more difficult it is for brands to provide uninterrupted communication. In that sense, the billboard age was easier. I couldn’t agree more. Given that the new age consumer is always on his mobile, you have to think of innovate ways to make his experience positive.

I asked him to choose between data driven marketing and content driven marketing and he said that he was putting his bets on data driven marketing. He thinks this will be a game changer and a strong tool in the hands of a smart marketer. Data can help answer critical business queries such as ‘What product to design”, “What content to post” etc. One can truly unlock the power of data by analysing and interpreting the right insights from it. Technological tools alone cannot help you answer that. You need to strengthen your analytics and insight capabilities as well. The recent decision of the group to acquire Greenhouse Group shows GroupM’s focus in this area.

Kanika Agarwal with Dominic Proctor

Kanika Agarwal with Dominic Proctor

To summarize, meeting Dom was a huge learning experience for me. Not only did it help me get an overview on the group’s ideology and industry best practices, but it also provided me with areas to focus on from a personal development perspective.



Creating a Brand Persona on Social Media

It is not easy being a brand on social media! Here, people care more about connecting with each other than a company or a logo. This makes it challenging for corporates to have an effective communication strategy to shine above the rest. Brands need to create a persona that represents their image, delivers their message and works on social media.

Social media gives brands the chance to develop a personalitybrand persona and style that is more amiable and relevant than a print ad.Establishing a consistent personality helps to humanize your brand, connect emotionally with your audience and take part in conversations naturally. This can go a long way to determine how people perceive you. People will always prefer to buy from a brand that they can relate to better. As you can see, your social media updates are more than just words. If your brand is trusted, your audience will end up doing your marketing for you.

Across board, social media experts agree that following these simple steps will work wonders to your social media communications:

Assess Culture: Look internally at the culture of your brand and find out what makes your brand unique. Even amongst directly competing brands, your audience should be able to tell you apart based on the vibe your brand gives out. This is essentially the personality of your brand.

Assess Audience: Using social media listening tools, you can find out more about your audiences. Once you know how your community speaks and what they care about, you can use their language to connect over topics that are close to their hearts. Chances of them wanting to speak back to you will be higher and more engaging.

Assess Purpose and Value: It is important to be clear about what your brand wants to bring to the conversation with the audience. Why are you on social media in the first place? For building your brand reputation, tackling customer service, subtly selling your products and services or for educating your prospective customers about your ongoing offers.

Assess Brand Voice: Once you have clarity on the above steps, you can start developing a voice for your brand that matches the character of your brand. So you decide if you want to be friendly, quirky, formal, provocative, funny, edgy, authoritative, or informative.

And Remember…

The key takeaways to a killer social media brand strategy are:

  • Focus on the experience and emotions associated with your brand
  • Involve your followers
  • Keep the product messages low key
  • Be Relevant

It might take some time, but all good relationships need hard work, don’t they?

Hands on with Periscope

Within 4 months, Periscope has surpassed 10 million accounts. Twitter’s live video streaming acquisition seems to be sustaining a fair amount of community growth and tech journalism attention. That has attracted the folks in adland, and the eyes of early adopter marketers, who are now scrambling to assess how to leverage this new audience in a fresh paradigm of live video sharing.

Before diving into the question of how and whether your brand should be using Periscope, let’s take a quick look at the current app user experience. The app has been changing quite a bit: according to Periscope’s latest Medium post, the product team’s focus has been on notifications and enhancing the Global Feed experience, where users can find live streaming options by exploring a global map. There are now featured users in the People section, and broadcasts are currently stored and viewable in the user’s profile for a period of time after the broadcast. Users can follow their Twitter friends who are also Periscope users, but there still isn’t a way to follow Facebook friends or Periscope app users from a contact list. Lastly, the broadcasts can now be viewed in a desktop browser, without the need to forcefully download the app.

In short, the app is robust and well designed, but still changing at fast pace. The major hurdles in the user experience are actually on the cellular network side. Data is still expensive in most countries, and network speeds are not constant. Users in locations with advanced 4G networks — but high concentration of tall buildings — face problems in their broadcasts. Video broadcasting is the juggernaut of data consumption, and that has a big effect on most mobile users in developing markets.

Source : Mashable

Source : Mashable

With the app experience still evolving, and network issues still playing an important role, there’s still a bit of time for most brands to consider using Periscope. We see a low hanging fruit opportunity for brands that currently rely on events as part of their marketing mix. Periscope is a quick and easy way to increase ROI in the investments already done in putting these events together. Media and journalism brands are also natural fits. The government sector might be one of the best opportunities of them all.

It is important to highlight that brands with a healthy number of Twitter followers have a start advantage on Periscope. Without in-built connectors to other social networks, Periscope broadcasts are usually found organically on Twitter feeds, and via push notifications.

In summary, have your marketing team download and explore the app. Invite your extended PR and agency team to do the same. Consider using Periscope for internal content sessions (private broadcasts are possible). Provision for free and fast wifi coverage during your brand events, in order to incentivize the use of Periscope. Start following a few featured users, and keep an eye on what type of content they are highlighting. The interesting use cases for Periscope are still being defined, and there hasn’t been any outstanding brand use cases yet. You still might be the first one.

New Senior Appointments for Vocanic’s Regional Management

Social media marketing firm, Vocanic, announced the appointment of Vivienne Maguire as General Manager, Malaysia  and Shane Crombie as Country Head, Indonesia for its growing regional business.

Vivienne Maguire

Vivienne Maguire

Vivienne Maguire moves to the newly created role of General Manager of Vocanic Malaysia. Viv brings with her a wealth of digital marketing experience. She has worked with multinational clients across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including HSBC, Coca Cola, Renault, Philip Morris, Samsung. She has successfully launched and developed the digital marketing divisions of global advertising and media agencies and independent web development agencies. Her success has been awarded and recognized by the industry where she won the DMA Award for Best Start Up and Independent Grand Prix Award. On her new role, Viv said, “I was attracted by Vocanic’s exceptional credentials as the leading Social Media Agency in the Asian region, combine this with one of the world’s largest media groups, GroupM, and the opportunities for clients are exceptional. I would like to continue to build on the amazing success of Vocanic in the region and look to do this by further developing our offering across Social Media including data analytics, content and strategic services.”

Shane Crombie joins Vocanic from sister GroupM agency MediaCom, China where he functioned as national head of digital.

Shane Crombie

Shane Crombie

Shane has 20 years of digital media experience and has also held leadership positions in Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Shanghai and Beijing with some of the world’s leading media and creative agencies. “Earned media is not a mystical unicorn anymore, content marketing has evolved from a “good to have” to a “must have”. It is the new frontier for media ROI.” said Shane when asked what attracted him to the social media business. Commenting on his new team, Shane said, “We have an outstanding group in Indonesia who do amazing work. Social never sleeps and neither does my team.”

Ian McKee, Chief Executive Officer, Vocanic said, “We are delighted to welcome Viv and Shane to the Vocanic family. Viv and Shane have a deep understanding of the social and digital marketing eco system. With the appointment of these two very experienced and accomplished digital professionals, we are further building the management bench strength for Vocanic. Both Viv and Shane will be very valuable as we accelerate our APAC expansion plans.”

Vocanic continues hiring with the third announcement this year. Vocanic has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Vocanic and StarHub win at the Loyalty & Engagement Awards 2015

Vocanic Pte Ltd. and StarHub bagged an award at the Loyalty & Engagement Awards 2015 for the exemplary work done in the category ‘Best Use of Social’.

Vocanic CEO Ian Mckee and Account Director Tina Jasmine Kaur at the Award Ceremony.

Vocanic CEO Ian Mckee and Account Director Tina Jasmine Kaur at the Award Ceremony.

“It is harder for brands to shine on social media as many users generate content of their own. That is why when we introduced StarHub Community in 2012, we constantly pushed the social media envelope to engage our audiences through crowd support, crowdsourcing, co-creation and collaboration. We are heartened that, today, our efforts have been recognised. We thank our advocates and Vocanic, our agency for making this award possible”, said Darren Choo, AVP, Social CRM at StarHub

This is the third time in a row that Vocanic and StarHub have been recognized by Marketing Magazine, having won awards for Best Use of Brand Advocacy and Best Use of Social. Vocanic’s work for StarHub was also recently recognized at the Lithys where StarHub Community won the Social ROI Titan award amongst 400 global communities.

Another client of Vocanic, Nikon was a finalist in the ‘Best Use of Games/ Contests/ Quizzes’ category. Commenting on their relationship with Vocanic, Sunny Ng, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager, Nikon said, “At Nikon, we understand that a group of highly engaged audience is the key to a brand’s social success. We challenged our social media partner, Vocanic, to come up with a campaign that will continue to build lasting relationships with our strong community of photographers. What we got was a strategy that provided a strong, measurable brand engagement through creative design and development, earned and paid distribution, and real-time analytics.”

Every year, the awards recognize elevating marketing standards and practices in the region to focus on customer loyalty and engagement.  The award is given for cutting edge work done in the field of social media and judged by an esteemed panel of judges comprising client-side marketers and loyalty experts.


Facebook’s ‘See First’ : What should brands do?

Facebook now has 936 million daily active users (source : Facebook). More brands sign up for Facebook Pages on a daily basis to reach out to potential users. This essentially means that there is increased competition, decreased organic reach and limited space on the News Feed.

The social network has always stressed on the importance of displaying stories that matter to the users and this has predominantly been the guiding principle of all News Feed related updates. Until now, Facebook relied on its secret algorithm (a.k.a. Ranking) to construe what should be shown to the users. But it is now putting the power in the hands of its users by simply making them in charge of what drives majority of their time online.

In the United States, Facebook is rolling out a way to choose friends and Pages you want to “See First” and putting their content atop your news feed.  The upgraded settings section will display who’s shown most in your feed and if you want, let you unfollow them. It will also make it easy to refollow people you’ve hidden and discover Pages based on your interests.

source : Facebook

source : Facebook

Assuming that Facebook puts emphasis on this feature, make it an obvious button that doesn’t require digging, it may be used. And if it is used, this might provide hope for brands who were severely hit by the declining reach of their page.

It will be imperative for them to continue posting creative and relevant content so they are put above on audiences’ News Feed. We should expect brands who invested in acquiring “likes” to come up with campaigns to be added to your preferred list. The brands with the best strategy to convince fans to add them to the chosen list will stay ahead in the game.

This feature also acts as a reminder that Facebook organic reach is practically dead. Unless, brands pump significant social media ad budget into their marketing efforts, their content will not reach the target audience. If you’re relying solely on organic efforts, you are not maximizing your efforts.

The attention span of a modern internet consumer is very limited. The current generation is used to instant gratification and quick fixes. Just like companies have spent on resources for SEO to improve their ranking on the Google search page, we need socially devoted brands to focus on tactics to appear at the top of the most valuable real estate in the social media universe.

Will your brand make the cut?


Are we killing another golden goose?

Facebook Inc. owns Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp. The total number of monthly active users they can reach is a mind blowing 2.24 billion!  !  (source :  Facebook, TechCrunch and Instagram )

The Facebook ecosystem is now the most important marketing space for you and your brands. Unfortunately, most brands are not giving this area enough attention and budget.

Facebook’s  strategy was simple and elegant. Build functionality that users find compelling. Get a billion of them.  Evolve a symbiotic relationship with brands. Give them free space ( the Fan Page) and free media (the Newsfeed). Smart brands jumped on the opportunity and built large communities of fans.

Through dialogue, brands increased loyalty. They implemented business initiatives such as Social Loyalty, Social CRM and Social Customer Support. StarHub for example pioneered this in Singapore. Brands developed content strategies to exploit the free ride to reach their audiencegoose

Like all innovations, things evolved. Brands killed the golden goose! Majority of brands pumped either below average content or regurgitated ATL material. Users perceived this content to be irrelevant. Facebook changed their algorithm leading to lower organic reach for non-engaging content. If we had a dollar for every time we were asked to post a TVC on Facebook, we’d be very rich indeed!

This is just a rerun of the last incarnation of Content Marketing. We knew it then as ‘email marketing’ and the ‘e-Newsletter’. Back in the days, consumers jumped into email as the new revolution. Brands built email databases and blasted marketing material to serve their own agenda. It got so bad that media providers like YahooMail, Hotmail, Gmail invested in technology to protect their users. This led to the birth of SPAM filters and the Junk Mail button.

People around the world are now spending more time online (smartphone + tablet + laptop) than watching TV. This has led to marketers shifting their attention to digital. We are in an era where this is the new mass media. Millions are spent on interrupting people on the internet. There’s banners, pop-ups, site take overs, pre-role video etc.  The mindless intrusion of unconnected ads has led to the growing threat from Ad blocking technology. Ad blocking technology is now reaching 10% (source : AdAge) .  10% may not seem much, but the rate of adoption is accelerating. This is often seen as the tipping point to mass adoption. Ad blocking usage has reached the point where the upcoming release of Safari on the iPhone will allow you to block an ad on mobile too. On the way the browser providers will make ad-blocking even easier for the layman.

As an industry, we have a history of abusing marketing platforms and consumer trust. Brands forget that the marketing world has advanced. It is now permission based unlike Radio, TV & Print. Audiences can choose to block them when they feel frustrated with constant endorsements. Marketers from an ATL only background are finding it hard to make the transition. So where does that leave brands?

Back to where some of them originally started. Refocus on delivering an experience that is good enough to earn a recommendation.  Create content and interactions that generate value for the audience. Become consumer centric and join the consumer’s conversation. And of course – never try to force your agenda on them.

Switch Your Sessions to Redis (Without Downtime)

By default PHP’s session management is to store them in temporary files on the file system. This doesn’t scale up if you are developing a web application to run on multiple machines. You could set up your load balancer to have sticky sessions – where a session is associated to a machine – but the major drawback here is to have sessions become “bad” when that machine is out of rotation – primarily due to an error.

The typical solution, then, is to store the PHP sessions in Database, or some such store. We, at Vocanic, started off by storing the sessions in MySQL, but then as our traffic went up, scaling that instance of MySQL became a headache and so we replaced it with a MySQL+Memcache solution, which was good enough for quite a while.

Recently, we saw a bigger problem – MySQL tends to be blocking if you are doing edits, and if the MySQL instance is shared between Sessions and any other data, then any major edit operation on the other databases also slows down the Sessions code and eventually blocks all the users out – since Sessions is the first module that needs to be loaded up for all of this to work.

So, we wanted to a non-blocking, fast, scalable store for our session management. These days, I am personally going through a Redis-Admiration phase and hence I decided to migrate this code to use Redis.


The pseudo code for this is something like this:

class RedisSessionHandler implements SessionHandlerInterface {

public function open($save_path, $name) {
// Set up your Redis Connection

public function close() {
/* */
return true;

public function read($id) {
// GET '$id' // unserialize and return

public function write($id, $data) {
$wrapper = new stdClass();
$wrapper->id = $id;
$wrapper->access = time();
$wrapper->data = $data;
// SET '$id' serialize($wrapper);
// ZADD 'ALL_SESSIONS' $wrapper->access, $id

public function destroy($id) {
// DEL '$id'

public function gc($maxlifetime) {
$old = time() - $maxlifetime;
// $keys = ZRANGEBYSCORE 'ALL_SESSIONS', 0, '($old'
foreach($keys as $id) {

$sessionDataHandler = new RedisSessionHandler();
session_set_save_handler($sessionDataHandler, true);

// Send any headers you want to

// Rest of the code

While this will just work for a new application, we wanted to ensure that your current sessions are migrated – so we wrote a compound session handler that wrote to both old session handler and the new session handler and compared the read results to ensure that we weren’t seeing anything inconsistent.

Once we ran it for a few cycles of “$maxlifetime” – ours was set at 1440 seconds, we were sure that the new handler was working as expected. Once that happened, we replaced it with code that was just the Redis Handler and we had the entire system shift to Redis.

At the moment, my nascent profiling is showing me that we are saving somewhere close to about 30ms savings in page views that uses Sessions.