Chemist Warehouse to shift away from on-premise data centre as part of IT overhaul

Working with HPE, Chemist Warehouse will replace its existing data centre with a hyperconverged platform and virtual desktop infrastructure.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Chemist Warehouse has announced that it will be completely overhauling its existing IT infrastructure in a bid to support the company's growth strategy.

The pharmacy retail chain said it is working with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to replace its on-premise data centre with a hyperconverged platform and virtual desktop infrastructure using HPE ProLiant servers. This will see all of Chemist Warehouse Australia's core systems be completely shifted.

The update is also touted to improve Chemist Warehouse's overall energy consumption by 30%, according to HPE.

"Our commitment to modernising our IT is critical for us to achieve our transformation goals and continued growth. With reduced administrative overheads, we can reallocate resources to innovation," Chemist Warehouse IT general manager Simon Hibbert said.

"The initial beneficiaries will be our staff, which will experience improved productivity and in return, will have a positive, downstream impact to our customers in-store and online."

The work will coincide with ongoing work that Chemist Warehouse is doing around its cloud transformation strategy where it is gradually transitioning from its on-premise Microsoft Dynamics AX platform to Microsoft's Dynamics 365 ERP platform.

Chemist Warehouse CIO Jules Cardinale previously told ZDNet the move would underpin its international expansion plans.

The company has been growing its footprint in New Zealand, China, and Ireland, and currently sells through third-party providers such as Alibaba's Tmall marketplace.

"This will allow us to consistently manage and maintain the various systems across the world using best practice infrastructure with greater availability, scalability, and cost-effectiveness than what our on-prem solution could afford us," he said.

Chemist Warehouse said it anticipates the cloud transformation will be completed by mid-2022.

Other technologies the company is exploring is how artificial intelligence and the use of customer data can be integrated to provide further health and wellbeing insight to customers, such as potentially helping customers determine the risk of melanoma.

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