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.