Selfridges: Computing Modernisation
Selfridges, founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1908, is a chain of high-end department stores in the UK. The flagship store on London’s Oxford Street is the second largest shop in the UK and opened 15 March 1909.
As part of a major digital investment programme to create a world-class IT Service, Selfridges embarked on a programme of IT investments to provide the business with the tools to do their job.
Selfridges were facing a number of IT challenges:
- Slow and unreliable technology with most of the PC estate more than 4 years old
- Disruption to end users from the manual installation of applications
- A complex and varied IT environment with 250 unique applications, 4 different operating systems, several “standard” PC builds and 94% of desktops with no extended life support
- Frequent need for manual audits and interventions when deploying new hardware or software solutions
- Increased demand and expectation from team members for improved mail, calendaring and collaboration functionality
A programme of work was initiated to:
- Modernise all workplace technology
- Implement new hosting infrastructure in a new data centre and disaster recovery facility
- Replace local and wide area networking
- Install new Microsoft software
- Provide Mac integration
- Implement a mobility solution
- Migrate 1,500 members of staff from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange
Having identified the need to procure and implement a robust, future proof, best practice IT environment to support continued growth, Selfridges engaged Leading Resolutions to lead and manage the design, build, test and deployment.
The programme was structured into two phases to minimise the business impact of introducing such significant change, recognising significant peak trading periods:
Replacement of all workplace technology with new standards and new software, hosting of core services, upgraded Microsoft Windows and Office
Enable new data centre and disaster recovery facility to host migration from IBM Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange, Lync Instant Messenger and mobile computing.
The project had to move swiftly to minimise downtime and impact during peak trading periods. Leading Resolutions’ hands-on approach quickly identified and gained agreement of requirements via a series of workshops. The team then provided leadership and full support to the IS teams as they transitioned to a new way of working, delivering the programme using Prince2 methodology aligned to Selfridges’ project processes and using the Leading Resolutions recommended governance structure.
Fast & stable IT environments
Up to date technology
Improved compliance and ways of working
Reduction of unsupported operating systems
Reduced help-desk calls
Increased retail space
Having the Leading Resolutions team working alongside our own internal groups to manage our supplier in this high-profile programme has been a great success. They were flexible enough to react to the changing timescales of the business and employed a pragmatic and mature approach to controlling costs and scope.
From their cross functional capability and expertise across project, service and business engagement to their appreciation and understanding of the complexities of our highly complex and uniquely placed retail business; with Leading Resolutions, our team members were supported and engaged throughout.
With their help, we have fundamentally changed the way we work and provided our team members with the 'tools for the job'.