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Latest Digital Trends and Business Transformation Stories from the Middle East

  • November 23, 2019

Landmark Group Adopts Cloud First Strategy To Drive Business Growth

Guest Author

Mohamed El Fanichi, Chief Information Officer, Landmark Group

 

When I first moved to Landmark Group, I was given the opportunity to look at the new IT model, support business growth and explore the opportunities technology can present to the business with an absolute focus on Landmark Group omni-channel ambitions.

Over the last few decades, our business has seen a phenomenal growth with hundreds of new stores spread across the GCC with a growing presence in South East Asia. In all of this, our focus has been to provide our customers with the best service along with a truly integrated shopping experience – one that gives them the best of both online and offline world. With this objective, we started working towards building a new Omni-channel strategy, ensuring all our resources to be digitally focused. Our aim was to provide shoppers with a seamless experience.

As a business, we realized that our customer’s journey online needed to be tightly integrated with the in-store experience. This was essential to cater to the evolving needs of the consumers. We have been in the region for over 46 years now. We have an extensive store network, established processes and a supply chain that was designed initially for the physical. To cater to the modern-day customer, it was essential to evolve – from a traditional retailer to a future-fit and digitally-focused Landmark Group that we are today.

Convenience and customer experience are at the core what we do.

In addition, we also have several mini-distribution centers that serve as a huge advantage helping us with easier fulfilment and delivery of goods to our customers.

We are seeing that the investments we made in technology and streamlining business process have already started to see a positive impact on the top and bottom line, and we are well into getting the model right. 

At Landmark Group, we are committed to the success of omni-channel. The investment in mega distribution center, one of the largest automated distribution center in the Middle East that will service the UAE and KSA and beyond represents a great step in that direction.

Our IT strategy is intertwined with that of Oracle. Bearing in mind the Group’s Omni channel ambitions, the massive growth in rich content and the plethora of data points we get from, or push to our stores and online meant that we needed to think differently about our infrastructure. 

Cloud was no longer a choice but a strategic imperative. Oracle Cloud and Oracle as an organization were there to support our migration journey to the cloud from the beginning.

It took under 12 months to move 80% of our business solutions to cloud from local data center to world class Cloud environments in two locations in Europe. This gives us scalability and we are seeing some major performance improvements and above 20% cost reduction.

This new-found freedom enabled by using Cloud, especially flexibility and agility to support businesses growth meant that our journey will continue with deployment of other solutions to service our need for a single view of customers and an accurate single view of inventory, including the use of a full end to end RFID in two of our concepts.

Ultimately, our aim is to offer our full range of products and service and reach the customers where they are.It takes a lot to be ready for Cloud – it takes a mindset to change, a thorough understanding of what you have, and a detailed discovery exercise to assess the readiness. As an organization, Landmark Group’s journey to cloud has been led by our belief in the solution and the collaborative effort put in by our businesses to ensure success at every point. 

I am constantly looking to ensure that Landmark Group has a competitive advantage.  Deploying transformative new solution continues to be a major part of that process, and Oracle Cloud is one of the solutions that has enabled us to deliver better. 

In April 2019, Landmark Group, the largest non-food retailer in the Middle East & India, went live with Production, Non-Prod and Disaster Recovery environments on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. With 950 stores processing daily transaction on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and a complete decommissioning of the On-prem environments.

“We are Working to automate every stage of the supply chain process, give a real-time picture of our inventory position and deliver accurate and timely information” said Mohamed El-Fanichi the group CIO in an interview posted in the CXO Insight ME in the May 2019 Edition

Landmark Group undergoes a massive cloud transformation journey with a Cloud First strategy. This is meant to save costs on their on-premise data centre which they plan to close in 4 years. The overall solution will result in 20% cost saving in 5 years according to the business case. 

Background:

Landmark Group is the largest non-food retailer in the Middle East and India with an impressive 5-year cloud strategy ranging from the modernization of the infrastructure, enhancement of the service delivery to reducing the overall IT costs and moving over 45 mission-critical applications including Oracle Retail and Planning to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

In December 2018, Landmark Group went live with Oracle Retail suite of applications (pre-production) followed by a production Go-Live in April 2019. In figures, this complex x-platform migration involves 500+ servers, 12,000-man days and impacts 12000 employees in 12 countries in Middle East, Africa and India.

The journey started a couple of years ago when the Oracle Presales team helped The Landmark Group to build their Cloud Strategy and prioritize workload migration based on costs, benefits, complexity and risk assessment. Landmark Group’s project with Accenture kicked-off in late June 2018 with a 3-month design phase followed by wave 1 & 2 migration plan. The first two waves, which started in June and were delivered in December 2018, represent 100% of the pre-production environment (a replica of their production environment). The Oracle Retail suite of applications (Pre-Production) is fully functional on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and went live on December 20th where a hard cut-over was conducted and on-premise pre-production environment was decommissioned with full dependency on OCI.

Followed by the subsequent waves, Production, DR and 4 other non-prod went live and are fully functional on OCI.

Landmark Group is currently running a total of 1070 OCPUs on OCI and have achieved at least 2 times performance improvement than their Power 8 based On-prem systems.

 

 

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