The Client

Founded in 1987, Anya Hindmarch is a leading global fashion brand that produces luxury handbags and accessories. There are over 45 Anya Hindmarch stores worldwide, including flagship stores in London, New York and Tokyo.

The Challenge

  • Efficient rollout of new stores
  • Create a consistent, multinational platform across all sites
  • Coordinate a complex and dynamic IT environment

Our Solution

  • Templated IT for stores
  • Hybrid cloud solution with on-premise and vCloud servers
  • Tight operational integration using onsite staff

Outcome

  • New stores planned and implemented efficiently and cost-effectively
  • A fully scalable, robust infrastructure capable of managing growth in multiple territories
  • Accessible support for the ever evolving and growing business demands

What Anya Hindmarch say about Conosco

“We’ve worked closely with the team at Conosco for 14 years. As the business continues to grow rapidly both in the UK and abroad, it has become ever more important that we have a truly scalable and robust IT infrastructure. The migration of all our Head Office servers to vCloud has made this possible. It has allowed us to streamline internal processes and improve file sharing and communications across our global estate of stores, warehouses and head offices. It has also reduced the costs of our off-site backups and allowed us to put in place very effective business continuity and disaster recovery plans. In the course of our work with Conosco they have become a key strategic partner and we cannot imagine being without their guidance and support.”
– Dan Orteu, Operations and IT Director

How we did it

Strategy, support and services are the three foundation stones of every Conosco success story. Services without support lack substance. Support without strategy lacks vision. Everything that follows in this case study is built on this approach.

Creativity in computing 

Much of Anya Hindmarch’s expansion has been in small stores and concessions with just a couple of devices to run the point-of-sales and customer relationship systems. These require reliable Internet connections for trading. With many locations offering limited connectivity and with the size of the stores dictating limited budgets, we had to be creative in finding backup connections. Our solution? All Anya Hindmarch sites are now connected via Conosco’s MPLS, providing a private wide area network.

New store? No problem… 

We created an IT blueprint for new stores, which includes a set of standardised hardware and software and a standard timeline and budget. This helps the project manager to plan and implement a new store efficiently.

A multi-national cloud network 

In 2015, Conosco recommended that Anya Hindmarch migrate to a hybrid cloud infrastructure to address the needs of the growing business, eliminate traditional risks associated with an on-premise core server infrastructure and create a consistent, multinational platform across all sites, including a new Japanese Head Office and 20 stores in Japan.

All production servers were migrated to the VMware vCloud Air platform while retaining on-premise servers to provide print, image deployment and windows domain management services. This hybrid cloud offering allows for easier migration of workloads between public and private clouds. It combines the flexibility and efficiency of public cloud with the security and control of the on-premise data centre. The business is now able to store large volumes of unstructured data in a way that is scalable, accessible (with instant, self-service access), durable, and secure.

As part of the vCloud project, we also undertook some groundbreaking work, provisioning a ‘first-of-its-kind’ interconnect between vCloud Air platform and Anya’s MPLS network. This created a fast, direct, secure connection between all sites and the hosted infrastructure without routing traffic over the public Internet.

Finally, all servers on the vCloud Air platform have backups, which have been replicated to Amazon Web Services (AWS). This is done through a new StorageCraft ShadowProtect (backup) server on the vCloud Air platform.

As a result of the migration to vCloud Air, Anya Hindmarch has seen noticeable improvements in day-to-day performance, all of which impact the company’s efficiency and bottom line. Servers are now running on SSD storage, which means that access speeds have been increased, allowing for a more productive work environment.

Warehouse management

We work closely with a third party company who use SAP software to improve the planning and optimisation of Anya’s warehouse operations. The best-of-breed SAP software allows for the automation of warehouse operations, improving asset utilisation, increasing throughput, and helping ensure on-time and accurate order fulfillment.

Partnership

Anya Hindmarch have their own highly capable Technical Director and strong IT strategy. We work very closely with the Anya team, supporting their vision with IT services that remove the distractions of day-to-day IT management.

Our tech manager now works from Anya Hindmarch’s head office one day a week, immersed in their daily operations. His primary operational focus is adapting Anya Hindmarch’s core IT systems to support their ever-evolving business demands. In addition, he coordinates third party technical providers, including voice communications, data connections, CCTV, in-store music systems and point of sales systems across the globe. 

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