Colt frees up Leroy Merlin to focus on outstanding customer service and growth
Colt today announces that it has been chosen by Leroy Merlin to manage its IT services, freeing up Europe’s largest do-it-yourself (DIY) retailer to focus on outstanding customer service and business growth. The move will allow Leroy Merlin’s IT department to focus on the business requirements of developing new products, safe in the knowledge that employees across its 47 Italian stores have continuous access to the product information, up to date stock levels and specialist DIY advice that is at the core of its business.
Leroy Merlin’s DIY hypermarkets are primarily situated in suburban areas. The home improvement leader knows that customers typically invest more time per visit to suburban stores than urban locations, often making special trips to purchase products for their homes. Fast and reliable access to the right information is therefore critical to delivering the responsive customer service for which Leroy Merlin is known, and vital to securing ongoing customer loyalty.
“Customer retention and our reputation depend on IT reliability,” explains Sergio Casado Castejón, Technology and Innovation Manager for Leroy Merlin. “Customers buy direct from our stores. If they cannot access product information when they arrive, they may not return to us.”
The continuous availability of Leroy Merlin’s information systems is essential to protecting their strong brand reputation in a commoditised and competitive market. Following an internal IT optimisation project, Leroy Merlin conducted an extensive review of the marketplace, Colt emerged as the clear leader; with the right combination of robust network connectivity, flexible IT infrastructure, in-country data centres, and managed IT services experience.
“Having undertaken a review internally, we recognised that we needed a fully IT managed service with a dedicated and knowledgeable team to manage it. In Colt we have a specialist provider with the necessary network and IT infrastructure capability, plus the expertise to manage it efficiently and cost-effectively,” adds Casado Castejón.
Colt’s Optimum services underpin Leroy Merlin’s business critical applications. The enterprise class cloud service, delivered from one of Colt’s Italian datacentres, provides a scalable environment to support the growing line of business requirements. The solution also includes storage and backup for business continuity and an additional colocation environment. The transition from the customer environment to the fully managed IT service was achieved seamlessly and on time, with no disruption to customers or employees.
Mimmo Zappi, Regional General Manager, Colt Enterprise Services, said: “Our customers are increasingly focused on business outcomes, rather than managing IT infrastructure. When enterprises are deciding on the right choice of service provider and the appropriate solution, commerciality and excellent customer service are key factors. Technology is of course integral to the solution, but is no longer the only consideration for our customers.
“We created a flexible solution for Leroy Merlin that can be rapidly scaled in line with changing business requirements. Staff can now access all the information they need to service their customers, at any time. Crucially, the IT department is able to devote its resources to strategic business initiatives and increasing turnover.”
Connectivity and reliability will also prove essential for Leroy Merlin’s next project. With Colt’s assistance, the company is in the process of creating a hybrid cloud as part of a new eCommerce venture, as well as looking at other ways to collaborate with Colt in other areas.
“I think the future is to outsource data centres and focus on the data itself, in order to react to changing consumer demands and develop new applications,” concludes Casado Castejón. “That’s what generates growth, not infrastructure.”
Colt Optimum is the name of the direct-to-enterprise portfolio across IT, Network and Communication Services. These services are differentiated by their unique combination of network reach, integrated technology, service management and commercial flexibility. They complement Colt Ceano, which is designed specifically for Colt’s indirect channel.
Colt is the information delivery platform, enabling its customers to deliver, share, process and store their vital business information. An established leader in delivering integrated computing and network services to major organisations, midsized businesses and wholesale customers, Colt operates a 22-country, 44,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 39 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 19,000 buildings and 20 carrier neutral Colt data centres.
In 2010, the Colt Data Centre Services business was launched to deliver innovative high quality data centre solutions at a Colt or customer site. Our Innovative data centres are rapid to deploy, flexible and highly efficient. In addition to its direct sales capability, Colt has four indirect channels to market; Agent, Franchise, Distributor and Wholesale which includes Carriers, Service Providers, VARs and Voice Resellers.
Colt is listed on the London Stock Exchange (COLT).
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