Keeping customers at the heart of everything they do is paramount to this brand, and the business is heavily invested in creating an image that is relatable, friendly and trustworthy.
However, like many businesses with a digital focus, this retailer had accumulated a surplus of legacy systems and APIs over time, resulting in performance issues and inefficiencies at the point of checkout, also requiring a high degree of internal management and maintenance.
The infrastructure issues had financial effects, too: when performance suffered, offers made to customers could be impacted. Errors with inventory, sale prices and shipping calculations all had a critical impact on the bottom line.
With millions of product API updates occurring every day, this retailer recognised the crucial need to modernise their systems to create a frictionless customer experience, both in-store and via their e-commerce channels. They also wanted to provide the business with a reliable source of truth for all their product and inventory information.
As Black Friday sales were approaching, they required a reliable partner who could handle the task swiftly and precisely.
Arinco's Approach and solution
Partnering with Arinco, we deployed our Azure Done Right solution.
- This started with an assessment of the landscape, uncovering what sort of infrastructure they deployed on and how their environment was configured.
- We then worked out the goals of the project with a plan that would first migrate their product, pricing, bundling and discount APIs over to the Azure cloud.
- The second component was to move the inventory APIs that integrated data between their in-store and online systems.
It was a complex challenge. Changes had to be made through a live migration without making any configuration adjustments to API clients, ensuring no unplanned outages.
The goal was to validate the Azure platform under high load to show it could satisfy the performance demands depending on peak customer demand (their Black Friday and Charismas Sales).
Customer Outcomes and Benefits
This retailer have an exceptionally skilled internal technology team and rarely require the assistance of external providers. However, when they were seeking a partner to assist with the migration of their APIs and back-end databases over to Azure, Arinco made sure the job was seamless.
The following outcomes were achieved:
Business strategy alignment
- Streamlining architecture onto a centralised cloud provider, Microsoft Azure, allows the retailer to reduce their cloud footprint over time and allocate previous budgets associated with legacy technology towards innovation and automation
- Zero downtime of APIs avoiding negative brand associations and impact on their bottom line
- Time to market was reduced, with the APIs running on managed infrastructure (Cosmos DB). IT staff can now iterate quicker, and less staff are required to support the infrastructure, also lowering the cost of delivery
Reliability and end-user impact
- Load testing demonstrated that the website can handle five times more load than their busiest periods, with infrastructure able to scale out to a level that was greater than their previous busiest shopping period with autoscaling
- Predictability of the website was boosted, supporting increased revenue at the online checkout. Getting to this position was important, where a large proportion of their revenue comes from the online store.