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BT Advise provides Media-Saturn with a vision and roadmap for WAN optimisation and growth
An explosion in network transactions is a problem most high street retailers would love to have. But for Media-Saturn the impending launch of online channels meant its already-full network would have to cope with still more traffic. Customer service might suffer, and unhappy customers wouldn’t come back.
To help predict the shape and volume of the surge when the online channels opened for business, Jens Peter Labus chose an Operational Efficiency Quick Start from BT Advise. Focused on quickly providing solutions and recommendations, the work of the BT Advise consultants means Jens and his team can confidently plot a roadmap for the future.
The highly professional approach adopted by BT to create this comprehensive and detailed study serves as an example to us, in terms of our approach and methodology when tackling similarly demanding IT projects.”
- Jens Peter Labus, IT/Logistics Division Manager, Media-Saturn Deutschland GmbH
Media-Saturn is one of Europe’s leading consumer electronics and electrical goods retailers. BT manages the company’s wide area network (WAN), linking its headquarters in Ingolstadt, Bavaria with 390 high street outlets across Germany and reaching 15 other European countries, plus China.
Business growth had generated increased WAN traffic and, despite numerous bandwidth upgrades, some sites were regularly experiencing network congestion. Not only affecting customer service, this also reduced organisational agility. The planned launch of new online sales channels – Saturn.de in late-2011 and MediaMarkt.de in early-2012 – brought the problem into even sharper focus.
Marco Plannet, ICT Division Manager at Media-Saturn, recalls: “We sought a professional IT consultation as a sound basis on which to make future network expansion decisions. BT brought independent and impressive expertise within a very short timeframe.”
With five years’ experience in managing the Media-Saturn network, BT intimately understood its topology and performance characteristics. Equipped with this knowledge, together with experience from similar engagements, BT Advise consultants were able to get to work quickly using a proven methodology known as the Operational Efficiency IT Quick Start. This provides a landscape of current network usage mapped to business objectives. In so doing it drives both long-term IT strategy and pragmatic short-term action plans.
The Operational Efficiency IT Quick Start is conducted in three distinct phases. The initial information-gathering stage aggregates data from across the organisation about the network, its current use, and known future traffic requirements. Through a series of structured meetings and targeted interviews, BT assessed the operational status of the Media-Saturn IT architecture and related business plans and objectives.
Next the exercise progressed to analysis and prediction. The focus of this stage is to critically evaluate the data, using known usage patterns, and project likely traffic volumes for a number of business scenarios. For example, the BT Advise consultants looked at Media-Saturn stores varying in size, structure, and sales turnover to create possible network traffic profiles.
Finally, the results stage brings the output together to generate a company-wide traffic growth profile. This identified possible solutions together with specific recommendations and actions based upon likely Media-Saturn business strategies.
Because the Operational Efficiency IT Quick Start uses a series of focused assessments, rather than a long drawn out engagement, it delivers faster time to benefit at less cost. In so doing it provides a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Now Media-Saturn has an in-depth understanding of its WAN, a set of short-term actions to optimise its usage, and recommendations to enable effective future extension of the network and associated services.
By adopting selected recommendations, Media-Saturn will gain tangible improvements in cost and service – both on the high street and online – while benefiting from a high-level transformational roadmap that will underpin a business case for the future.
“The results of the study offer an invaluable overview of the current use of the wide area network, as well as specific courses of action to expand the network and its services in the future,” says Jens Peter Labus, IT and Logistics Division Manager at Media-Saturn. “This puts Media-Saturn in a position to carry out follow up projects and implement the necessary technical and organisational measures.”
- BT Operational Efficiency IT Quick Start using independent consultancy from BT Advise