General Pants reaches new global customers and business expansion with UltraServe’s digital commerce solution

Overview

General Pants (GP) is a leading Australian fashion retailer operating with over 50 physical stores across Australia, and online in multiple countries worldwide, covering USA, Canada, UK, Japan, Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, and more.

 

Challenge

GP were long-time SAP Hybris users, deployed on traditional physical infrastructure, on-premise in Data Centers hosted in Sydney. As part of a move to expand their online offering to other countries outside of Australia, GP looked to the cloud to add flexibility and resiliency to their infrastructure.

To support their expansion, GP needed to find the right partner to provide a platform for SAP Hybris to scale for anticipated surges in traffic (including sales promotions and holiday periods), add extra resiliency, and take full advantage of cloud technologies. GP was also going through a period of change and open to redesign with all elements of their infrastructure being under review.

Deployments of new code resulted in scheduled downtime to the GP site, located only in Australia. Fortunately for GP, this didn’t cause a huge impact to revenue since these deployments were done outside of Australian business hours. However, as GP looked forward to global expansion, they needed a new solution for updates that would minimize downtime at all times, decreasing disruption to customers.

Scalability is critical for any e-commerce business, and this was especially true for GP. While GP’s infrastructure allowed them scaling to handle anticipated surges in traffic (pre-planned sales, etc.), their target demographic meant that ad-hoc, instant surges in traffic (typically driven by social media) happened occasionally and by surprise. Their existing on-premise infrastructure setup meant that quickly scaling to handle the sudden surge of traffic was sometimes too slow to react, leading to issues with the website including poor user experience and inability to transact business.

 

Solution

GP came to UltraServe and took advantage of their Platform as a Service (SmartStack), professional services, and expertise with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Thanks to UltraServe’s SmartStack, GP was able to make the most of a number of AWS services. First, to address the restrictions of on-premise infrastructure hosting, SmartStack used AWS Database Migration Service to migrate GP site from MSSQL to Aurora with AWS Schema Conversion Tool. This combination ensured a smooth transfer to the AWS Cloud with little to no interruption to daily business.

UltraServe also used AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) with Elastic Load Balancing, AWS Relational Database Service (RDS), and AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) to make an easier setup, operate, secure, scalable, available, and a high performing environment for GP in the AWS Cloud. Continuing to increase performance of the GP digital commerce solution, UltraServe implemented AWS CloudFront, creating a better user experience for customers globally.

To address GP’s need for high global availability at scale, SmartStack utilizes AWS EC2 Instances to perform code deployments in such a way that reduce the duration and frequency of downtime windows when deploying new code. SmartStack also allows for 24/7 code deployments, even in Production, meaning GP can perform deployments at a time that suits them.

Additionally, SmartStack takes advantage of the ease of scalability that AWS offers which allows GP to quickly add additional resources during unexpected peak times. This differs from their previous hosting situation where new physical infrastructure needed to be purchased well in advance.

 

Outcome

Once commencing their relationship with UltraServe, GP noticed an improvement in site performance, availability, and scalability – at a reduced cost, thanks to the smooth migration to the AWS Cloud.

Attaining their expansion goals, GP expanded to over 8 regions of online stores globally, transacting business 24/7/365. SmartStack has eliminated downtime for code deployments, allowing GP to stay online at all times to be competitive in their market.

Without fear of their site slowing down or going offline due to unexpected high user loads, GP comfortable executes large scale sales and marketing campaigns. SmartStack’s ability to quickly react to GP load requirements in the AWS Cloud has kept the online stores highly available with their guaranteed Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 99.999% uptime.

GP now delivers increased customer experiences with their new digital commerce solution to more customers globally. UltraServe has proved a successful partner in supporting GP goals for global customer growth and business expansion, running millions in revenue through SmartStack in the AWS Cloud.

Assisting Novartis to create best in class customer experience while streamlining internal processes

Overview 

Novartis is one of the world’s largest international pharmaceutical companies supporting multiple divisions in medicine, millions of products, and over 200 innovative projects.

In 2015, Novartis launched an ambitious Hybris eCommerce program for its Surgical Eye Care division, with the dual objectives of delivering a best in class customer experience, while streamlining internal processes to reduce manual work.

Challenge 

Under the original platform solution Novartis experienced a 3 to 4 week platform build lead time, delaying the release of important application features and stability improvements. Also, the solution did not satisfy strict security requirements for the pharmaceutical industry. The outcome of these business critical issues was the launch RFP and the section of the UltraServe SmartSack solution.

Solution 

In three months, from July to September 2016, UltraServe used its Platform as a Service (PaaS), SmartStack, with SAP Commerce Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch Novartis’s digital commerce solution. SmartStack offered Novartis the scalability they needed at scale and matched industry required security requirements.

“Clearly experts with Hybris technology and AWS, customer focused and great to work with, the UltraServe team brought much needed stability to the platform.”
– Robin Shah, Head of IT, EMEA Region / Global Head of eCommerce solutions

As Novartis ramped up volumes on SmartStack, UltraServe worked closely with the internal teams providing the necessary environments and expertise to address performance bottlenecks, perform system upgrades and deliver additional capabilities through the regular sprint cycles.

Outcome 

Novartis now has a stable and performant enterprise grade digital commerce solution that meets a strict regulatory framework with the convince of continued integration and continuous deployment capabilities.

“UltraServe met our stringent security standards, and quickly became a trusted partner for our IT and business teams.”
– Robin Shah, Head of IT, EMEA Region / Global Head of eCommerce solutions

The digital commerce program has been a success story for Novartis with over 100% year on year growth equating to circa $300m of business going through the platform in 2018.

Contact an UltraServe Hybris expert today to talk in confidence about how we can help you.

sales@ultraserve.com.au

Delivering next-gen digital commerce platforms for DuluxGroup

Overview

DuluxGroup is a leading marketer and manufacturer of premium branded products that enhance, protect and maintain the places and spaces in which people live and work.

In addition to having a proud heritage, the business is maturing to meet an exciting future. UltraServe is helping them do that head on, with a suite of integrated platform services that can offer the scalability, responsivity and reliability to meet their ambitions.

“You’re going to experience major challenges on any e-commerce project of this scale, and if your partner isn’t experienced with projects of the same technology, scale and complexity, you can expect those problems to multiply. UltraServe demonstrated that they had not only delivered similar projects to ours but were also a thought leader in how these projects should be managed.”

Dafydd Lewis, Technical Lead, DuluxGroup

Problem 

Months of discovery, analysis and planning went in to defining DuluxGroup’s digital transformation strategy. The result was a multimillion-dollar commitment to delivering a single, group-wide marketing and e-commerce platform that encompassed mobile push, point of sale and analytics.

The solution had to be fully centralised while remaining scalable across multiple geographies, businesses and audiences. At every stage, user experience and best practice were to be championed. That meant reliability – and experience – were of paramount importance when it came to selecting a partner to ensure the smooth deployment and implementation of the chosen SAP Hybris, Adobe Campaign and Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) platforms. Which made UltraServe the natural choice.

“UltraServe came highly recommended by both our digital marketing agency and SAP themselves. They had the most Hybris experience by a significant margin, and also had experience with Adobe AEM and Campaign.”

Solution

As with any large-scale, multi-market e-commerce solution, deployment, hosting and management was never going to be straightforward. However, the DuluxGroup team recognised the need for expert support early in the process.

“Hosting is often deceptively simple. It’s seen as a commodity to purchase, but it needs expertise to launch successfully without racking up technical debt. With such a large, complex and evolving project, we didn’t know exactly what would be needed when we started. UltraServe had that experience.”

By getting involved sooner, the DuluxGroup team – led by Dafydd Lewis – was able to mitigate against risk at launch and beyond. In addition to hosting, UltraServe managed deployment and patching while automating as many processes as possible. By removing human intervention, UltraServe greatly reduced the potential for error.

“UltraServe took the uncertainty out of hosting solutions. And they did so in a way that flexed to accommodate the fluid nature of the project. They were hugely responsive and went above and beyond to meet all our support needs.

With UltraServe’s instantly scalable services in place, DuluxGroup can be confident that their platforms are ready for whatever the future brings, be that international growth or e-commerce expansion.

Outcome

  • The deployment of an integrated platform to ultimately support 60+ e-commerce and content sites
  • Integrated management and analytics spanning multiple geographies
  • Instantly scalable, completely recoverable platforms
  • Recouped opportunity cost by decreasing the need for post-implementation support.

Contact an UltraServe Hybris expert today to talk in confidence about how we can help you.

sales@ultraserve.com.au