Luxury independent department store, Fenwick has partnered with leading digital and cloud service provider, ANS to migrate wholesale to the Microsoft Azure public cloud to improve efficiencies and build the foundations to enable them to optimise and innovate leveraging advanced cloud services in the future.
Established in 1882, Fenwick is one of the UK’s oldest department stores with nine branches across the UK and over 1,000 employees. The organisation’s IT estate resided in an old Fenwick building which was due to be repurposed and the organisation saw this as an opportunity to modernise its IT estate in order to future-proof the business. They were also looking to migrate to public cloud to gain insightful operation metrics and deeper analytics across the data they were generating, such as understanding the IT operating costs of each department in order to identify savings to reinvest back into the business.
ANS conducted a cloud plan and design exercise to help Fenwick understand the benefits and associated risks, along with the commercial and operational implications of adopting public cloud. The assessment identified that Fenwick could make savings of 24% by migrating its environment to Azure vs remaining on-premises. Using these insights ANS worked with Fenwick to build a robust business case and strategy to enable a smooth transition without disruption to the business over peak periods.
Following the success of the cloud plan and design, ANS migrated Fenwick’s applications, which included the re-host of Windows servers and SQL Server workloads to Microsoft Azure along with 24/7 co-managed support across the platform ensuring it is fully governed, secure and operating at optimal efficiency.
As a result of Azure migration, the organisation can now begin to automate security and business processes.
Andy Lee, Head of IT at Fenwick said, “We really wanted to use public cloud as a springboard to enable us to use predictive analytics and ultimately make better business decisions. Data will be key for the retail industry over the coming years and as a result of moving to Azure, we’re already able to capture and analyse more data. We’re using Azure Data Lake, which is enabling us to capture footfall, integrate social media feeds and weather analysis to predict buying habits and therefore increase sales. In one case we identified that by operating our escalators in the opposite direction, we could direct customers to particular floors, which resulted in a sales increase and assisted with social distancing.”
“All of this has been made possible by the power of public cloud. ANS’ proven expertise and experience in the retail sector gave us the confidence we needed to make the move. ANS put an enormous amount of legwork into building the business case which ultimately made the migration a seamless experience. The end-to-end the delivery lasted just 10 weeks which in my opinion is unprecedented for a data centre migration to the cloud.”
A spokesperson at ANS commented, “We’re delighted to be working with Fenwick as they lay the foundations for their ambitious digital strategy. It’s extremely encouraging to see how the organisation is already using the platform to collect and analyse more data than ever before which will be key to the business’s success moving forwards. We look forward to strengthen our relationship with Fenwick as we continue to work with them on managing their public cloud platform.”