Global Furniture Retailer

Challenge

A leading global furniture retailer needed to shift from in-person commerce to supporting growing online sales as consumers’ purchasing habits changed

Results

The company’s sales order management system was migrated to Skytap in less than 5 weeks and subsequent environments provisioned in less than 20 minutes versus 4 to 12 weeks.

One of the largest global furniture retailers, well known for its customer-centric culture, has long focused its operations around mindfully sourcing and manufacturing its products to provide a unique shopping experience that delivers quality items at affordable prices.

Knowledge Gaps in Traditional Commerce Applications

Business critical applications built and maintained by partners, outsourced development teams, and IT suffered from knowledge gaps, adding to the challenges of modernizing to support the multi-channel sales approach.

Long Test Cycles

Standing up a fully integrated environment and smoke testing was a slow and tedious process, with test periods ranging from six to nine months and significantly hindering innovation, remediation of issues, and delivery of new functionality.

Need for Agile Development

The new business strategy provided challenges for IT. Technical and process debt meant a new approach would be needed to increase release cadence, introduction of cloud native services, and containerization of applications.

With the onset of the millennial generation, the customer base that was once willing to spend the time picking up and building furniture in exchange for lower prices now don’t even want to leave their homes. Life today is busier and more fast-paced than ever, and the modern consumer wants a convenient, on-demand shopping experience, to receive quality goods for a fair price, and fast delivery. As the retail landscape has modernized, the company realized the need to shift away from its traditional brick-and-mortar ideology in order to remain competitive in an online world.

The market landscape was changing quickly with the arrival of new online purchasing and delivery driven by Amazon’s business model. This new model disrupted the classic approach to selling furniture through predominately brick and mortar stores, challenging the global furniture retailer to come up with a more modern approach. A new multichannel strategy would require modernization of existing commerce applications. Built on Linux, AIX on IBM Power, and Windows Server, the Oracle DB, WebSphere, Sterling Commerce and Greenfield applications had been built upon over more than 15 years, and incorporated sales, inventory, storefront, product, and pricing applications critical to business operations.

In response to the changing consumer landscape, the retailer initially experimented with innovations ranging from pop-up stores to the purchase of a task service provider to help customers with logistics and assembly. Yet this only grazed the surface of their modernization challenges and required a greater solution to transform its data, applications, and infrastructure.

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