Australia’s largest retailer has embarked on a move from on-prem ERP to a full cloud-based solution to streamline customer experiences.

To foster innovation and improve speed to market for customers, Australia’s largest retailer Woolworths has looked to cloud computing as a springboard.

The retailer is a diverse group of retail businesses serving more than 29 million customers each week online and in-store. With a physical footprint of 3,000 stores, the company employs more than 200,000 people and is a business partner to thousands of suppliers.

John Hunt, CIO, Woolworths said: “We’re harnessing the cloud to provide evergreen infrastructures that foster innovation and improve speed to market. Our cloud transformation is making work simpler for our teams, streamlining our supply chains and improving the customer experiences across our vast network of stores and online channels.”

Hunt was referring to the backbone cloud technologies for Woolworths’ SAP solutions as the retailer migrates its current SAP footprint to Microsoft Azure, paving the way for the upgrade path to SAP S/4HANA. Woolworths is the first company in the Asia Pacific Japan region, and one of the first in the world to leverage the Microsoft-SAP initiative called EMBRACE, which involves:

  • A simplified move from on-premise editions of SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA for customers with integrated product and industry solutions, through a singular reference architecture and path to streamline implementation.
  • A collaborative support model for simplified resolution. A combined support model for Azure and SAP Cloud Platform helps to ease migration and improve communication.
  • Jointly-developed market journeys to support customer needs. Microsoft and system integrator partners will provide roadmaps to the digital enterprise with recommended solutions and reference architectures for customers.

With its head in the clouds, the retail chain can be expected to leverage this next step in digital transformation to provide more exceptional customer experiences.