How CSI is enabling a major omni-channel retailer to speed up the delivery of new offerings to their target market in order to sustain growth.
Our Client: operates over 400 successful stores and has a dedicated product innovation team that keeps in touch with constantly changing customer needs and trends – including a growing demand for online purchasing.
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As an omni-channel retailer, our client must exploit new technology to enhance offerings in-store as well as online.
In today’s fast moving e-commerce environment, the company has seen dramatic growth online, raising revenues by 35% over the past five years. The companies ambition is to increase online revenue by 50% year-on-year for the next three years.
To reduce the time to deploy new functionality to its e-commerce systems from the current week-long process and improve the deployment cycle from monthly to weekly. Ultimately the company wants to be able to introduce new features daily.
The current e-commerce platform is based on a large IBM Power Systems estate running SUSE Linux and HCL Commerce (formerly IBM WebSphere).
Our client wants to introduce new feature and function at pace, but this is hampered by the unwieldy nature of the monolithic application and the need to thoroughly test new releases before launching into production. The current deployment schedule is resource intensive and takes days to complete, resulting in a monthly release cycle at best.
The company needed a solution to achieve two objectives: increase the frequency of deployment while reducing the cost of each deployment.
DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, THE RETAILER EXPERIENCED EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH LEVELS OF DEMAND FOR ONLINE SHOPPING WITH MANY DAYS MATCHING THE HIGHEST PEAK VOLUMES USUALLY SEEN ONLY DURING “BLACK FRIDAY” SALES. THE IBM POWER SYSTEMS LINUX ENVIRONMENT COPED WITH THE INCREASED LOAD WITHOUT ANY DEGRADTION OF PERFROMANCE OR AVAILABILITY.
CSI is working with the company to introduce containerisation to the IBM Power and Linux systems. By moving to a containerised environment, our client can exploit the advantages of breaking the application into smaller units.
In this way, different areas of functionality are isolated from each other and can be changed, tested and deployed independently. This simplifies the deployment process and reducing the time to implement new features. At any time, resources are only required for the number of containers necessary to run the current workload.
New versions of software can be rolled out seamlessly and with no down-time thanks to the container orchestration engine that manages the process.
The success of this containerisation initiative can be measured across several factors:
In the digital economy, services need to be available 24/7 and new updates must be introduced regularly. Our client required tools that guarantee speed, stability and scalability and cloud-native technologies such as containers offer maximum flexibility and adaptability.
Channel shift is significant in this market. 15% of 2019’s sales made online (double the level in 2015)
The company offers an extended range of over 10,000 products on its online shopping website
In 2019, this retail sector was worth over £3 billion – an increase of almost 20% over the last five years