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Digital IT Transformation Brings New Advantages to Retailer

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In any industry, it is paramount to align your IT goals with your business goals.

In the cutthroat retail industry, this is more visible to the average consumer than ever. Retailers are using technology and digital transformation to gain the edge over their competition.

According to Forbes, these are a few of the digital transformation trendsfor retailers in 2018:

  • Retailers are becoming tech companies. Today‘s retailers are innovating around the clock to deliver a better customer experience.
  • Technology is being used to solve business problems which in turn allow the retailer to compete more effectively on price and offer more value to the customer.
  • Customers are always searching for a more natural way to pay; retailers are continually innovating to take mobile to the next level.
  • The Internet of Things is streamlining shopping with things like one-click checkouts and inventory management solutions.

Retailers are focusing on customer experience more than ever before, and they are using technology to innovate and satisfy customers by solving their real problems. Regardless of your industry, Forbes has predicted 2018 is the year that digital transformation is a must. In retail specifically, digital transformation is necessary to gain the competitive edge and keep the lights on with the doors open.

Deciding Where to Invest in Technology

How do you know which technology investments will pay off and increase your profits? How do you decide which technological investment will solve your business problem? One surefire way is with a trusted partner like Rolta|Advizex. In early 2018, Advizex started offering insight into the possibilities of digital transformation with a free Dell EMC Get Modern Infrastructure Assessment. The assessment can take less than a week to complete and analyzes your current state—how your IT infrastructure is performing today.

Rolta|Advizex then works with the business to determine priorities and presents a fully customized report showing the cost savings and improved performance metrics of updating your current infrastructure. As a Dell EMC Top Technology Services Partner in the United States since 2008, Advizex’s technology experts have the experience and technical expertise in Dell EMC technologies to get the most out of your assessment.

Transforming IT with Assessments

Recently, Rolta|Advizex worked with a national specialty retail organization as they explored how advanced technology could help them streamline operations and reduce costs. A customer since 2012, this retail organization has approximately 5,000 stores across the United States. Over the last six years, Rolta|Advizex has worked with this retailer through their business acquisitions and IT integrations. The business transformation during this period has been incredible. More recently, Rolta|Advizex implemented a VMware solution to modernize one of their data centers.

In the retail industry, the pressure never stops. Consumers today want a 24×7 shopping experience that blends the online world with physical stores. They also demand a quality product at a fair price, combined with that a positive shopping experience in the virtual or physical world. Many legacy systems negatively impact consumer experience and cause performance bottlenecks which can slow or even debilitate a point of sale system, both at brick and mortar and online stores, causing endless frustration. In today‘s retail climate, outstanding customer service is essential to retaining customers. An inconvenienced customer quickly becomes a customer for a competitor. The benefits of a digital transformation—more positive customer experience (including shorter wait times), better in-store experiences, and more value for the money— far outweigh the costs.

The next step for this retailer in their technology transformation could have taken several different paths. With an eye for the bottom line, Rolta|Advizex recommended the free Dell EMC Get Modern Infrastructure Assessment to help discover where to invest in technology to better their business results.

In less than a month, Advizex discovered that the retail organization could run their business much more efficiently with a hyperconverged infrastructure with VxRail. The assessment not only showed that they could streamline IT operations, but it also revealed how they could merge data centers without risking security or data integrity. The advantages and options were all laid out for the retailer’s IT team in black and white. The decision to move forward with a hyper-converged infrastructure was obvious.

Results Speak Volumes

As a result of this hyper-converged deployment, the retail organization accelerated the deployment of their virtualized environment. There is still more savings ahead. They are currently working on expanding their HCI footprint which will result in a savings of at least $10 million per year. The assessment also revealed that the customer could replace an existing Dell EMC VMAX 40K that is consuming 7 floor tiles with a Dell EMC VMAX All Flash that is only 20U requiring 1 floor tile.

This sparked a deeper conversation around the All Flash solutions that significantly reduce the power and cooling costs associated with the storage devices. The next phase of the project will likely encompass replacing two Dell EMC VMAX 40Ks (11 floor tiles) with a single 20U Dell EMC PowerMax for all workloads that aren’t on the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).

Rolta|Advizex recommended a VxRail solution that enabled the organization to consolidate four arrays with a little over 500 TB of usable capacity into an array with 729 TB effective capacity allowing room for growth. The retail giant was also able to accelerate workloads, automate IT service delivery, increase performance, and generate cost savings. They also improved business insights and decision making. Additional benefits included more time to serve their customers and continue innovating to provide a better overall customer experience. Rolta|Advizex was also able to use their expertise to help this retailer orchestrate a data center consolidation project moving data from the East Coast to Ohio.

Additionally, the retail organization is working with Rolta|Advizex on moving outsourced storage environments back under internal management.

The Consultative Rolta|Advizex Approach

Rolta|Advizex has been meeting with the IT team of this major specialty retailer weekly since 2012. Advizex takes time to understand each customer’s business goals and desired business outcomes. We engage customers with a consultative approach rather than a sales approach. The assessments are an important step in this journey, akin to a doctor exploring your symptoms before prescribing a medicine.

This Get Modern Infrastructure Assessment took a mere two to three weeks and resulted in metrics and insights that will help this business for years to come. IT infrastructure improvements can make the difference from focusing on fighting to keep up with the competition to improving business results. It is clearly a win-win situation—gaining a new perspective on digital transformation for better business outcomes. ▪