Waitrose – the Nation’s Favourite Supermarket and winner of the BestSupermarket and Best Food and Grocery Retailer awards – currently has 339 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 60 convenience branches, and another 28 shops at Welcome Break locations. As with many organisations, the key issue for Waitrose was that its embedded IBM Notes application infrastructure was connected with several mission critical business applications. Although the Notes applications at Waitrose are vital to the continued communication and collaboration between Waitrose and its branch outlets and its supply chain, it was not considered an integral part of its wider strategic IT vision. As such the decision was made to take steps to replace it.Any migration project of this nature this can be long and arduous, so Waitrose decided to enlist the assistance of a Managed Service Provider to take responsibility for:Incident Management Problem ManagementContinual Improvement & Development work Migration to other platformsAd hoc project assistanceWaitrose also needed project assistance where amendments to the Notes applications were required until a replacement for the platform and the underlying applications were identified. Waitrose needed an organisation that it could partner with and trust to take full control of the application architecture for the Commercial and Retail sides of its business.Waitrose initially engaged Spargonet on a T&M basis in order to augment its in- house Notes Team. Due to an IT wide Transformation Programme to focus employees on current and future state projects and away from legacy applications and infrastructure Waitrose put out a tender. It wanted a partner to provide onsite Managed Service support which would free up the employees and leave one manager to monitor SLAs against performance.Spargonet was included in the tender process due to successful engagements within Waitrose in the past. Spargonet proved both its technical expertise in Notes and also its understanding of the working practises within Waitrose whilst demonstrating a flexibility of approach.Spargonet initially placed a single resource at Waitrose with the intention of understanding what was required to provide the best service possible to the retailer. From the information, Spargonet was able to design the shape of the Managed Service to fit the requirement. Spargonet and Waitrose decided to take a grass roots approach to this as it was the first time that Waitrose had attempted to build a Managed Service of this type. Spargonet worked closely with Waitrose to design:Bespoke systems for Incident ManagementMetrics and Timesheet provisionAchievable SLA standards and metrics provisionDocumentation StandardsContinual Improvement process workflowSpargonet ensured that the offering remained both innovative and flexible so that it would continue to be best-of-breed and also the best fit for the ever changing Waitrose landscape. Spargonet’s advice led to a number of Notes based mobile applications for communication with the branches being developed by a Spargonet sourced team. These applications provided a significant cost saving to Waitrose compared to the alternative of developing native IOS applications and also enable the solutions to be supported easily by the Managed Service operation.”Spargonet has provided Waitrose with a Managed Service which looks after an enterprise wide Notes Application estate. It has given us a truly excellent service for the past two years providing key incident and problem management as well as an exceptional continual improvement effort providing innovative solutions to our Business problems. We are delighted that Spargonet is accompanying us on our journey,” said Mathew Hallett – Commercial and Information Systems Operations ManagerSpargonet has assisted Waitrose with the delivery of several high profile projects, often designing bespoke tools to ease the stress of migration, whilst at the same time, ensuring key incident SLA metrics were adhered to and the end user remained happy. Spargonet provided an approach that was bespoke to the organisation which could be successfully delivered to provide a solution that ensured all of Waitrose’s business needs were noticeably met. The implementation of the Managed Service was rapid, due to the prior discovery period and due diligence applied by Spargonet to ensure that the boundaries of the requirement were correctly understood. Spargonet ensured quality of resource provided – it had proven to be experienced not only from a technology perspective but were able to understand the requirements from both an IT and business perspective. This was accentuated by the fact that the members of the Managed Service team were picked as best of breed to ensure that Spargonet could hit the ground running when the project began. As time has gone on, the Managed Service team has proven on many occasions that it can be trusted with the complete running and maintenance of the Notes application environment at Waitrose. This has allowed Waitrose to work autonomously, freeing up the group lead and Waitrose support team members to concentrate on new IT support areas. About Spargonet Consulting PlcSpargonet is an independent, UK based IT Services organisation, which provides business driven IT solutions across four core areas: Mobile, Data Services, Development and Support Services. It has developed a strong reputation for successfully delivering project after project to a portfolio of blue chip clients and fast growing small to mid-sized companies. It has extensive experience in delivering complex solutions with transparent delivery, on-time and on-budget.Throughout its 30-year history many of its clients have continuously turned to Spargonet to help them with their needs and the company is often seen as an extension of internal teams. Editorial contactsSean Hand / Joanna CannonSpreckleyTel: 020 7388 9988Email: spargonet@spreckley.co.uk Twitter: @SpreckleyPR Source: RealWire

Leave a Reply