Woolworths inks hybrid cloud strategy deal with Dell Technologies

Adopting a hybrid cloud strategy will help the grocery giant scale applications based on demands.

Woolworths has announced a partnership with Dell Technologies to bring together its public and private clouds onto a single platform in a bid to improve the way it manages inventory and support operations of nearly 3,000 retail outlets. 

Under the deal, the pair would jointly launch a Woolworths group hosting service. The platform would serve as the single system to enable the grocery giant to access mission-critical processes and applications -- such as Kronos Workforce application for HR and payroll management, and Blue Yonder warehouse and transport management applications for the distribution of goods -- through the Dell Technologies Cloud.

At the same time, Woolworths would also have access to Dell Technologies' managed private cloud housed across two data centre facilities in Sydney, as well as adopt Dell Technologies On Demand to acquire on-premise IT via an as-a-service consumption model.

"With a presence in more than 1,000 communities across Australia and New Zealand, we have a vital role to play in meeting the essential needs of tens of millions of customers every week," Woolworths group CIO John Hunt said.

"To help us better manage this task, we're working with Dell Technologies to launch Woolworths group hosting service, which marries our public and private clouds into one seamless system."

See also: Financial services companies are ahead in hybrid cloud deployments (TechRepublic)

In July, the retail giant secured a deal with Microsoft to migrate its existing SAP cloud footprint to Azure.

Under the deal, Woolworths is set to migrate its SAP applications and platforms, including SAP ERP and SAP Cloud platform, to Azure to make way for the retailer's eventual plans to move to SAP S/4HANA.

Around the same time, the grocery giant signalled it would invest between AU$700 million and AU$780 million in technology and fitouts over the next four years as part of plans to build an automated regional and distribution centre and a semi-automated national distribution centre at Moorebank Logistics Park in Sydney.

For the full year ending 28 June 2020, Woolworths reported e-commerce sales through WooliesX, the digital arm of its business, grew by 43% on a normalised basis from AU$1.4 billion to AU$2 billion. This contributed to the company's total group sales of AU$64 billion, which grew 8% from AU$60 million last financial year.

Meanwhile, total group online sales lifted 42% to AU$3.52 billion during the full year.

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