Villeroy & Boch: A traditional company becoming a global player in e-commerce

Posted on 07/02/2021 by osanders

Villeroy & Boch – a name, which everyone, with very high probability, has already heard at least once in his lifetime. With good reason, because over the last 270 years the ceramic manufacturer has established to a renowned brand, which is standing for both high quality and products with great design. Founded in 1748 in Mettlach, the Saarland company is now one of the leading brands within the global ceramics industry.

Its Global Presence in figures: there are a total of 14 production sites in Europe, Asia as well as America and 7,500 employees in 125 countries. The company relies on a long-standing sense of tradition as well as a spirit of innovation: Alongside the motto “digitalization”, Villeroy & Boch shows that class and sophistication can go hand in hand very well with state-of-the-art technology.

From traditional trade to e-commerce

Purchasing behaviour has changed: In the past, customers were shopping at physical stores. Today, the reality is quite different thanks to everyday life becoming more digital. Consumers now are preferring the shopping experience online. It may seem more convenient, faster, and less complicated for the customer, but it is presenting the challenge of providing a seamless shopping experience to companies at the same time. Short waiting periods, structured websites, and high rankings in the search engines are crucial for the success of an online retailer. That’s why Villeroy & Boch combines the tradition of its craftsmanship and corporate culture with a progressive spirit of the age – constantly aiming at: growth within the online business, driving the digitalization strategy forward, and maintaining the company’s overall ambition.

“It is our aspiration to quickly provide the sales channels with high quality content in the most standardized and efficient way possible” – Erik Heinen, Team Lead Enterprise Content Management, Villeroy & Boch

Villeroy & Boch therefore decided to further expand its digital infrastructure. Back in 2014, the group already brought the virtualization specialist OVHcloud on board for this: Since then, the digital transformation has been successfully driven forward by the two companies. In 2020, Villeroy & Boch eventually mastered the next milestone on this journey and migrated its IT Landscape to a hybrid, cloud-based data center based on VMware vSAN. The reason: The requirements regarding the company’s product experience management, consisting of a production information system (IPM) and a media asset management system (MAM), are constantly rising – growth in e-commerce requires both a high performance and flawless outcome. Villeroy & Boch has started with just 20 virtual machines, but the demand for capacity has now risen to at least 90 VMs.

“We are thus using the latest storage technology for our PIM and MAM systems. Thanks to the upgrade, we can now achieve a significant performance gain.” – Erik Heinen, Team Lead Enterprise Content Management, Villeroy & Boch

There are several advantages regarding the long-standing cooperation with OVHcloud: Thanks to Enterprise Support, Villeroy & Boch can test new solutions in a live environment and therefore base investment decisions on them without any nasty surprises later on. PIM, the new and now profitable application, thus first found its way into a clone environment to then elicit a sensible implementation within the new system.

Less effort, better performance and 70% uplift

With OVHcloud and VMware, Villeroy & Boch was able to increase its performance significantly, and as a result, achieve a shorter time-to-market. The decision to pursue a data center modernization strategy based on vSAN caused a performance uplift of critical applications in Product Experience Management of 70 percent.

“The migration benefits every single stakeholder. We receive fewer support requests from business departments, and as a result, the resources are freed up while management effort is significantly reduced.” – Erik Heinen, Team Lead Enterprise Content Management, Villeroy & Boch

Thanks to modernized enterprise content management systems, including the PIM guaranteeing the availability of all products across all channels, the group now benefits from cost savings and a faster market launch of new products. Villeroy & Boch successfully defies the competition: A sense of tradition goes together perfectly with technical innovations. And there is still no end in sight. In the future, Villeroy & Boch plans to develop new applications as well as implementing VMware’s complete cloud foundation stack into the OVHcloud data centre.

“OVHcloud together with VMware have supported us in successfully adapting our business model to the technological innovations and market conditions required.” – Erik Heinen, Team Lead Enterprise Content Management, Villeroy & Boch

Category: Success Stories

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