"Innovation is a key factor and, together with digitization, a driver for our retail business" says Valora's CIO Roberto Fedele, who is determined to harness the opportunities offered by the cloud to develop the business. With T-Systems' private cloud platforms, Valora has created a solid basis for future development. A possible prospect: the dynamic operation of cash register systems – the provision of which already needs to be reconsidered in light of the novel, automated shop concept.
At the same time, Valora is also benefiting from the cost advantages of the private cloud. Significant cost savings with significantly increased flexibility and stability as well as the high quality are clear arguments for this evolutionary step. With its operations in Frankfurt, T-Systems also supports the Swiss company's internationalization strategy.
In T-Systems we have found a partner that enables us to innovate both locally and internationally with optimum economic efficiency.
Up to now, Valora's IT has traditionally provided the infrastructure capacity for the backend of IT workstations and point-of-sale systems as well as SAP systems. However, fixed capacities (with corresponding vacancy risks or unused over-capacities) and the associated static price models result in high base costs for IT operations at a reduced equivalent value. Moreover, they are also an unsuitable basis for innovation.
"The retail business is changing," explains Roberto Fedele, CIO of the company. "Customer proximity combined with target group-oriented services are essential for future success." The flexibility and scalability of traditional infrastructures cannot meet these requirements. In addition, the CIO, like other cross-divisional areas, wanted to be more flexible for his customers within the group in terms of regional positioning.
Valora needed a future-proof platform which would enable it to cost-effectively shape the status quo for a substantial proportion of its application operations and to implement its digital ideas for the future. In other words: new scalable IT infrastructures for the retailer's ambitious growth targets.
It was clear to Valora that it had to move its infrastructure towards the cloud. For the first step, this meant introducing new infrastructures with a maximum degree of virtualization. The dynamic nature of T-Systems' private cloud offers Valora the optimal solution for the current situation. It combines scalability of infrastructures with a suitable pricing model and allows the establishment of new business models on a future-proof platform. It also offers reliable service levels, without which the continuous operation of business-relevant applications is not possible.T-Systems is using the VMware-based vCloud for Valora.
The division of tasks between Valora and T-Systems in the operation of the private cloud has been specifically and flexibly aligned to Valora in line with the "make" or "buy" service mix. Valora's IT team is responsible for the workplace backend, which is based on Citrix, and for managing business applications, while T-Systems handles operations for relevant business applications, middleware, databases, and operating systems. The basic operation of SAP (including HANA) takes place based on proven and sophisticated third-generation dynamic computing services. T-Systems operates the systems in a highly secure twin-core data center in Frankfurt. "We needed a partner for making the leap to a private cloud. We found it in T-Systems," says Fedele.
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Travelers know the situation only too well: when changing from one train to another, there are only a few minutes to grab a quick coffee, a bread roll, or to pick up something to read. The Swiss Valora Group, which operates brands such as BackWerk, Ditsch, Press & Books, k kiosk and U-Store, is a trusted partner for mobile consumers. The company runs more than 2,700 sales outlets at high-frequency locations in six European countries. In doing so, Valora is steadily expanding its position as a convenience and food service provider.
As part of their digital strategy, the Swiss are establishing completely new, automated convenience concepts such as the cashless avec box, in which customers handle all their in-store shopping via an app.