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Shop Direct signs 10-year agreement with IBM

RBR Staff Writer Published 10 February 2015

British online retailer Shop Direct has partnered with IBM to accelerate its digital transformation by adopting a hybrid cloud model for enhanced flexibility.

As part of a 10-year, large-scale services agreement, Shop Direct can take advantage of IBM's suite of analytics, mobile, social and security offerings to improve its customers' online shopping experience and enhance collaboration for improved productivity.

The agreement focuses on two distinct areas of capacity on demand and end user services.

A hybrid cloud infrastructure will provide capacity on demand, enabling Shop Direct to quickly react to market changes and support digital initiatives while new, enhanced end user services from IBM will lead to improved satisfaction as well as productivity aligned to key business processes such as order taking and fulfilment.

These end user services include new desktops and laptops along with secure mobile device management and support for tablets and smartphones to support a mobile workforce.

SoftLayer, IBM's cloud infrastructure platform, will provide an enterprise strength computing platform with managed services from IBM Global Technology Services integrated with dedicated high availability systems. IBM MobileFirst Protect will underpin mobile productivity to enable secure access for Apple and Android devices.

Reacting to the agreement, Shop Direct CIO Andy Wolfe said: "As the UK and Ireland's leading multi-brand digital retailer, we're looking to tap IBM's cloud computing expertise to allow us to innovate and add value to both the experience we deliver to customers and the working experience we offer our people."

The new cloud platform will allow Shop Direct to be better prepared for high site traffic on days such as Black Friday.

IBM client chief innovation officer Strategic Outsourcing Europe Tony Morgan said: "Our secure, open enterprise cloud platform will enable Shop Direct to quickly deliver new innovations to its customers and staff and continue to build its leadership as a digital retailer."

Shop Direct delivers more than 48 million products a year and also owns the flagship brand, Very.co.uk.