How CSI is enabling an international high street retail chain to control costs by relocating core infrastructure from the USA and operating more efficiently in UK-based data centres.
Our Client: was founded over 100 years ago and has grown to over 1,300 stores in 16 countries – and operating six different brands, a growing franchise initiative has established a presence in many more.
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With annual revenues of close to £1 billion, the company has been an acquisition target by several private equity firms with the result that IT operations have been led by different countries depending on management control.
After a recent change of ownership, it was decided to migrate its core IBM i environment from the USA to the UK – and to take the opportunity to upgrade the underlying infrastructure and reduce operating costs at the same time.
The transition to new infrastructure in the UK had to be achieved while continuing operations to support over 7,000 employees and countless customers around the world.
A change of company ownership meant that core applications had to be migrated from shared infrastructure in the USA to new IT platform in the UK.
Far from a simple “lift and shift” migration, the company wanted to avoid a large capex investment, while improving performance and resilience.
The company needed a partner that could meet complex combination of requirements: platform migration skills, IBM Power Systems and IBM i expertise, a flexible and scalability as-as-service IBM i platform, and high-speed inter-connectivity to public clouds.
BUSINESSES THAT RUN ON IBM i GAIN A DISTINCT COMPETITIVE EDGE THANKS TO IBM i'S UNIQUE CAPABILITIES AS AN INTEGRATED TRANSACTIONS, DATABASE, AND BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PLATFORM. THE SYSTEM'S LOW OPERATIONAL EXPENSES ARE COMBINED WITH THE PERFORMANCE AND CAPABILITIES OF THE UNDERLYING POWER SYSTEMS HARDWARE.
CSI was selected to provide a new environment for the company’s core and complex IBM i workloads. The CSI PowerCloud was configured to deliver over 30,000 CPW compute capacity across production and development environments. The workload was moved from the USA to the UK with no loss of availability.
Together with strategic partner Equinix, CSI provides high-speed connectivity between the company’s systems of record running on IBM i and its systems of engagement running in the AWS public cloud. All services have Direct Connect dual paths with full separation and no single point of failure.
CSI also provides ongoing system administration, network connectivity, and storage services.
The transition from the USA to the UK had the potential to place a large additional burden on the client’s IT staff. CSI managed the migration while maintaining system availability of critical systems. At the same time, CSI also implemented a high availability & disaster recovery solution at a lower cost than previous capex-intensive solutions.
After going live on the new platform, the company rated CSI’s service as being better than the incumbent provider of shared services in the USA.
This success strengthened CSI’s relationship with the client and led to increased CSI PowerCloud capacity being delivered with additional LPARs forming a test system.
In contrast to high street trends, this company extended average store size by 15% to give consumers more space to browse.
This company has seen subscription sales have increased six-fold through online and in-store applications.
By 2022, it’s predicted that British consumers will spend an average of £400 in this market sector.