Hardis Group, a digital services company and enterprise software publisher, has just announced that Nature & Découvertes has migrated all of its business applications to its private cloud. The choice to outsource the management of its IT infrastructures was motivated by the strategic decision to refocus the IT department on business applications that create more value for the brand than IT operations. The brand took advantage of a overhaul of its application heritage, and in particular the replacement of its internal ERP with SAP Hana, to switch to the cloud.
An aging and poorly scalable information system
Until 2012, Nature & Découverte’s employees relied mainly on applications developed and hosted internally to carry out their missions. But the information system showed its limits in terms of capacity for evolution, given the brand’s international expansion strategy and the need to better manage processes across channels. Not to mention that due to the small size of the IT department (which consists of a dozen employees), the level of service could be improved: The stores’ IT must be in operation 6 days a week, and the e-site trade must be available 24 hours a day. around the clock. day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, service levels.
Global audit of the organization, retail processes and IS
When Josselin Ollier took over as CIO in 2012, a new IT master plan was launched that includes two dimensions: organizational and technological. “We made the decision to continue to manage the business aspects that create value for the company internally and to outsource the rest.”it is stated in a press release
This is how it was decided to implement a new ERP (SAP Hana) in order to implement more modern retail processes and allow fine management of the activity, to revise office automation and its associated tools (messages in SaaS Office 365, Intranet SharePoint), renovation of IT the infrastructure (networks and servers) and the transfer of operations to a third party.
The choice to migrate all business applications (ERP, CRM, BI, etc.) to a private cloud – or to acquire SaaS applications – was governed by the following objectives: “We needed to build a high-performance, flexible technical base that could support SAP Hana ERP and the development of our IS. At the same time, we wanted to reduce the operating costs of the infrastructure. Finally, we did not have all the skills to manage the new environments. and the advent of these new technologies properly. ‘, says Josselin Ollier.
The IT department then began looking for a vendor that was able to set up the necessary infrastructure to host the new ERP and the other business applications and to operate them on a daily basis. After studying the offers from three companies, Hardis Group was selected in early 2013: “Hardis gave us the best financial deal. But we were looking for a partner, not just a supplier. We have found a partner on a human scale, close to its customers and responsive to our wishes »explains DSI.
In 24 months, the entire master plan will be completed. The new ERP will be operational in May 2015, and will support the new retail processes, which are defined by the company’s various departments. The network has been completely renovated to be able to absorb traffic between workstations, store checkout systems and servers hosted in Hardis Group’s private cloud. All the infrastructures necessary for the proper operation of the business applications have been set up and implemented in the production of the Hardis Group teams.
An IT department with a focus on business and value creation
For Nature & Découvertes, all goals were met. Outsourcing has enabled the brand to reduce the operating costs of the IT infrastructure by 25%, while improving the quality of service and security, as the applications are hosted in buildings dedicated to this use and are redundant. “The private cloud offers interesting flexibility: Previously, we dimensioned our infrastructure to absorb Christmas load peaks with power needs 5 times greater than the rest of the year. Now we only need a few hours to get more power.”states Josselin Ollier.
At the same time, the IT department has moved towards more value creation: the Hardis Group teams are responsible for the day-to-day operations, which enables the IT teams to concentrate on the business. “The people in charge of operations have seen their missions evolve towards managing our partnership with our suppliers and planning the changes to be made while specializing in our ERP SAP Hana, the value chain for the company. “, explains DSI. They are mainly based on dashboards provided by Hardis Group, which makes it possible to see disk utilization rates, available server power, service levels (SLA), etc. The rest of the DSI team has been expanded with business experts: In total, the IT department will have 14 people at the end of the year.
And the place of the global overhaul of the information system is not finished. At the moment, Nature & Découvertes is completely rethinking the flow of goods. And soon intends to create a “market” CRM, in order to have a vision across channels about its customers.