Villeroy-Boch VMware

Villeroy & Boch: digitizing a traditional company to become a global player in e-commerce

Posted on 30/12/2020 by vmwarebelgium

Undoubtedly you once ate – at a restaurant or at home – from a plate of Villeroy & Boch. The Saarland company was founded in 1748 in Mettlach – near the boarder with Luxembourg. It’s one of the leading brands within the global ceramics industry, standing for both high quality and great design. Today tradition and craftwork meets state-of-the-art technology. For example with a focus on e-commerce.

Villeroy & Boch has a global presence with 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. Because it seems 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, 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. In other words: aiming at growth within the online business, driving the digitalization strategy forward, and maintaining the company’s ambition.

“Our aspiration is to quickly provide the sales channels with high quality content in the most standardized and efficient way”
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 its digital 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. This consists of a production information system (IPM) and a media asset management system (MAM). The requirements 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 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, the group now benefits from cost savings and a faster market launch of new products (via the e-commerce website). For example the PIM is guaranteeing the availability of all products across all channels. 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”, says Erik Heinen to conclude.


Category: Success Stories

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