SPAR: Bringing the Cloud down to earth

Retail has been one of the most disrupted industries of the digital era. With Amazon dominating seemingly every sector, and more specialist digital-first brands entering the market every day, established players have needed to act decisively to stay ahead of the competition.

For the SPAR Group, Austria’s largest private sector employer, having its own IT company, SPAR Information & Communication Services (ICS), has helped it keep abreast of technological innovation and make sure it has the infrastructure in place to support its business ambitions.

That technology is critical. All its business divisions rely on digital competency, meaning an IT failure resulting in a complete shutdown could lose the group millions in revenue.

The group therefore needs SPAR ICS to be able to support each division and understand where they all are in their individual transformation journey, as well as being able to manage projects operating at different speeds. To do that, SPAR ICS needed to shift from focusing on operational efficiency to acting in an agile and business-focused manner.

The result was a project called the Service Delivery Platform, which launched in 2015. Headlined “Bringing Clouds down to Earth”, its aim was to move from traditional infrastructure deployment to a more service-oriented architecture.

This meant turning SPAR ICS’s core competencies in storage, virtualization and compute into a single architecture which meant it could provide solutions on demand quickly. To deliver that, it needed an innovative approach to infrastructure management. To that end, as the video explains, SPAR ICS turned to Axians and VMware to support its aim, implementing a hybrid cloud based on VMware Software Defined Data centre (SDDC) technology stacks.

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“With its innovative approach as a technology leader for hybrid cloud solutions, VMware is offering us the optimum set up as a cloud provider,” explains Clemens Haudum, IT infrastructure architect at Axians. This meant that Axians was able to offer SPAR ICS complete support for its cloud strategy.

The successful implementation of the project has resulted in SPAR ICS being able to easily manage the growing number of cloud services and short product lifecycles it is being called upon to deliver for its clients. That means the SPAR Group’s business divisions receive resources that meet their needs exactly and are able to thrive safe in the knowledge that they have a resilient, flexible infrastructure supporting their ambitions.

To find out more, take a look at the SPAR ICS case study.


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