Google Cloud Results
30 stores added in 1 year with streamlined infrastructure
• Enables rapid expansion with G Suite and Google Compute Engine scalability
• Mobilizes workforce by providing real-time, more secure access to data and documents
• Reduces the burden of DevOps and maintenance with easy to manage cloud-based servers
Over 25 years ago Giuseppe Nardelli, a knowledgeable, attentive observer of modern consumer needs, founded CO.CA.MA. in Italy. The company's core business is distributing high-end brands, adding value through retail projects that conform to the original brand's philosophy of high quality. In 2012, CO.CA.MA. acquired the exclusive license to produce the Liu Jo UOMO brand, targeting fashion-conscious men who love to explore different styles. An innovative retail approach, real customer care, excellent value for money, and a Made in Italy philosophy led to the success of the Liu Jo UOMO brand.
“We were growing very quickly and we realized that our on-premises infrastructure would not be able to keep up with us for much longer. We also wanted to improve our workforce mobility so a cloud-based solution made sense. We looked to power2Cloud and Google to help deliver that for us.” Vincenzo Oreste, CIO, Liu Jo UOMO
Over the last five years, Liu Jo UOMO has expanded into dozens of retail stores across its native Italy, but also across France and Spain, as well as Eastern Europe and the Middle East, selling a million articles of clothing each season. By 2015, as the company’s expansion was accelerating, the strain on its IT infrastructure was starting to show. CO.CA.MA. knew that it was time to review its entire IT infrastructure. It looked for a cloud-based solution and turned to specialists, power2Cloud, to deliver it with G Suite and Google Cloud Platform.
“We were growing very quickly and we realized that our on-premises infrastructure would not be able to keep up with us for much longer,” says Vincenzo Oreste, CIO at Liu Jo UOMO. “We also wanted to improve our workforce mobility so a cloud-based solution made sense. We looked to power2Cloud and Google to help deliver that for us.”
G Suite improves mobility
Success for CO.CA.MA. as a retail business with several stores in Italy and abroad, depends on day-to-day communication and collaboration. As the company expanded with limited resources, its IT staff found more of their time being taken up with managing the previous software platform and email systems, and maintaining servers. By 2015, it was clear to CO.CA.MA. its on-premises infrastructure could neither be scaled nor maintained at the current rate of growth.
As well as being able to scale at speed, the company wanted to make its workforce much more mobile. Personnel had to leave the office often to visit suppliers, existing stores, or to assess new locations, and CO.CA.MA. found that important documents and data would get lost in email attachments or on misplaced pen drives. CO.CA.MA. wanted to overhaul its entire productivity system as well as its infrastructure.
Teaming up with Google Cloud Partner power2Cloud, CO.CA.MA. adopted G Suite as its new productivity platform. “It was time to migrate the email servers to the new Google Cloud Platform infrastructure and to welcome Power2Retail, the new retail software,” says Vincenzo. With Gmail, CO.CA.MA. IT personnel no longer had to manage on-premises email servers with rigid limits on space and storage.
“Google Drive was the highlight for us. Having the ability to access documents from anywhere, anytime, while keeping information more secure has made it crucial for everyone.” Vincenzo Oreste, CIO, Liu Jo UOMO
Meanwhile, the company’s employees could communicate instantly through Google Hangouts Meet, reducing their dependency on email. Live editing features in Google Docs allowed them to collaborate without clogging inboxes with email attachments. With Google Drive as an easy-to-use, more secure storage and backup solution, Liu Jo UOMO knows that its personnel can keep working at full capacity, even in the event of a lost laptop or an equipment failure.
As well as helping with the technical implementation, power2Cloud provided a change management plan to help CO.CA.MA. employees adapt to the new system. In addition, power2Cloud helped migrate the company’s infrastructure from its on-premises servers to Google Compute Engine instances for easier, faster scalability, and to decrease latency across the company’s network by taking advantage of Google Cloud Platform Regions and Zones.
For Vincenzo, the shift to Google has helped “improve interaction between departments and helped provide information in an easy, clear way. Google Drive was the highlight for us. Having the ability to access documents from anywhere, anytime while keeping information more secure has made it crucial for everyone.”
High performance, low maintenance
“Google and power2Cloud helped make our strategic vision a reality. My colleagues are now empowered to leave headquarters, solve problems on the ground, and still have more secure access to all the data they need in real time.” Vincenzo Oreste, CIO, Liu Jo UOMO
Google and power2Cloud helped accelerate Liu Jo UOMO’s remarkable expansion even further. Within the last two years, Liu Jo UOMO has added approximately 30 stores to its existing network, bringing its total to over 50 retail stores in Italy.
“This has been made possible,” says Vincenzo, “because of the ease of setting up new stores in the Liu Jo UOMO network and signing them up with Google accounts. It used to take more than three hours to set up new store managers with the software platform and email but now we can get it all done in ten minutes. With just a browser, Google Chrome, we can access the software platform and all the G Suite apps”.
In addition, the IT department, freed from a heavy maintenance load, built an intranet in a matter of days using Google Sites. This intranet helps the company distribute internal communications and marketing materials much more quickly, efficiently, and cheaply. As Liu JO UOMO continues to expand, it keeps looking for ways to improve its processes. The company will take full advantage of G Suite Mobile Management when it starts distributing tablets to its employees in late 2017, mobilizing its workforce even further. With power2Cloud and Google, the company’s IT infrastructure can continue evolving as the company grows.
“Google and power2Cloud helped make our strategic vision a reality,” says Vincenzo. “My colleagues are now empowered to leave headquarters, solve problems on the ground, and still have more secure access to all the data they need in real time.”