B&Q embrace digital and virtual infrastructure in the store with Gyrocom
Kingfisher, Europe’s leading home improvement group, is a geographically diverse retailer operating 1,331 stores globally. It operates in nine countries across Europe and Asia and generates sales of nearly £11 billion. Over six million customers are served in-store, on the web and apps every week, from everyday DIYers to trade professionals. The Kingfisher brands; B&Q, Castorama, Brico Depot and ScrewFix employ 78,000 staff worldwide.
Kingfisher launched a new five-year digital initiative to better engage with their customers with a focus on providing a consistent experience from website through to store. Existing B&Q store infrastructure was aged and designed to support EPOS and store operations. There was no single standard build or configuration, thereby slowing the ability at which Kingfisher could provision new applications and services to the store. Quickly restoring infrastructure in the event of a hardware failure was difficult and required multiple teams.
The existing store infrastructure was going end of support and was not suitable to meet the advent of the new digital programme, which was driving very tight timescales.
Gyrocom, provided a solution which comprised of a new X86 host running VMware Remote Office Branch Office which provided an agile and scalable platform to meet the demands of the business. To address the on-going Operational challenges, Gyrocom implemented Puppet Enterprise to provide an automation platform that both enabled faster builds, whilst simplifying operational management with pro-active configuration management.
By utilising Puppet for orchestration and automation, it ensured that all stores received a consistent system build and prevented any configuration drift. The ‘modular’ approach adopted for the code development, allowed common configuration items to be recycled for easy deployment and support for different geographic regions. Embracing the ethos of ‘Infrastructure as code’ also facilitated the ability to easily create lab environments for application development and testing in a dramatically reduced timeline.
Gyrocom deployed this solution across an estate of 300 B&Q stores over a 4 month rollout programme. This included the end-to-end implementation from bare metal servers up to handing over migrated services to the production support teams.
This new virtual infrastructure has enabled Kingfisher and B&Q to accelerate the pace at which the business adopts new digital services into the store.
Application development teams confident in the knowledge that all store infrastructure is consistent and remains as built through pro-active Puppet configuration management
Support newly defined services with an Agile platform that allows IT to spin up virtual machines quickly
Increase operational efficiency by controlling all store infrastructure centrally and pushing new configurations to stores in minutes
Improve IT uptime in the store by speeding up the ability to provision new server infrastructure fast
Security compliance with controls baked into the base build and auditable through Puppet reporting
Reduction in human resource requirements to provision and support systems through automation, allowing staff to focus on other business objectives
Improved DR capabilities through improved processes and control, as well as the removal of many manual tasks.
Met strategic Group Green initiatives by reducing store power consumption by 60%
Gyrocom is a network and security company. We support your digital transformation with secure, automated and simple to managed solutions for the data centre, branch office and cloud. Whether in the cloud or in your own data centre, infrastructure silos are consolidating and Gyrocom can help your organisation recognise the very clear benefits of this brave new world.