Supermarket Chain Selects Advizex to Manage HP-UX Environment

by | 26 Feb, 2024 | Case Study

Supermarket Chain Selects Advizex to Manage HP-UX Environment

With more than 75 supermarkets across multiple states, this Advizex customer is widely known for a long-standing tradition of bringing a human touch to business. A family-owned chain, it has maintained a very traditional approach and has eschewed self-checkout lanes, only launching an online presence several years ago — about one hundred years after its founding. That’s not to say, on the backend, that technology hasn’t been vital to its success. “They need IT up 24-7 to keep things operating smoothly,” says Scott Feffer, Senior Account Executive at Advizex responsible for serving the company.

Maintaining an Aging Environment

The chain’s old-school approach isn’t limited to customer service and corporate values but also shows in terms of its technology infrastructure. Not having yet made the jump to cloud services, much of its operations continued to run on older HP-UX servers. While a recent refresh had the company looking to modernize IT with more current solutions, its older environment needed to be supported and maintained. Unfortunately, the skill set to manage and support these systems had started to become harder and harder to find. The supermarket giant’s IT team reached out to HPE for help and advice on where to turn. Thanks in part to its strong partner relationship with Advizex, HPE recommended Advizex Managed Services, based on the team’s more than four decades of experience with running HP-UX environments for customers. This isn’t the only Advizex customer still operating on an HP-UX environment, and it’s for those customers that the managed services team has kept their abilities in the area strong. “HP-UX is a technology that’s been proven to last a long time since it’s still in production environments,” Feffer says. “We know our customer base really well and knew that we needed to keep skill sets on board to support them while they’re still on this platform.”

Serving Retail: A 24/7 Job

While the supermarket chain locations aren’t up 24 hours a day, IT needs to be. To support this, the managed services team takes a proactive approach that starts with 24/7 monitoring. Should a problem occur, the services team is then able to act quickly to replace any hardware or address any software challenges that occur. In addition, Advizex is responsible for all patching and software updates. These administrative duties free up the internal team to accelerate its modernization efforts. “They can focus on the newer technologies that they’re investing in and support that and their efforts to stay current,” Feffer says. The year-long contract has gone extremely well, Feffer says, thanks to the team — Senior Consultant Brad Smithberger and Principal Consultant Joe Stottmann — in place that are consistently exceeding customer expectations. “My job is pretty easy because of the team in place and the consistent relationship we are building with the customer.”

Creating a Customer for Life

While Advizex had worked with the customer around 10 years ago, the two companies hadn’t done business since. Feffer attributes the strong relationship Advizex has with HPE for the reintroduction, and the team has worked hard to build on the momentum. “If we didn’t have such a tight relationship with HPE, you know, we might have never had the opportunity to be back working with them,” he says, adding that it illustrates how important it is to remain close with OEM partners. That close relationship is why HPE could be confident in recommending Advizex for both its skill set and its own customer-centric philosophy. Having proven its value through the managed services contract, the Advizex team is now helping provide consultation where it can without stepping on the toes of existing partnerships. Most recently, Advizex is helping the customer migrate its data to a new Dell EMC Unity storage array. Says Feffer: “We didn’t sell the hardware because of existing vendor relationships with other partners, but we’d proven ourselves and they trusted our services and knew we had the skills.” He adds that he thinks this customer is a prime example of how Advizex builds customers for life. “They work with us, and they may not need us year in and year out, but they eventually come back.”