Maplin selects Ensono to deliver its multichannel future in Amazon Web Services

Maplin, the UK specialist technology retailer, has selected Ensono to help bring its signature instore customer experience online; improving flexibility and consumer choice.

Maplin's new digital offering, built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), will be its first deployment of mission-critical applications onto the public cloud. This will allow the retailer to quickly adapt its digital platform to meet the ever-changing demands of the retail market, helping deliver better customer service. The flexibility afforded by Amazon EC2 will enable Maplin to capitalise on demand spikes in the retail calendar, such as the important Golden Quarter – the last three months of the year, including Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas and the Boxing Day sales.

Established 45 years ago, Maplin's business has evolved from a catalogue merchant to an omni-channel retailer selling 30,000 products across 800 technology categories. The leading high-street retailer prides itself on the expertise and advice it offers its customers, and Ensono was selected to help extend this first-class experience online. Over its rich history, Maplin has accrued a diverse legacy of customised, but siloed applications. Ensono will assist in rationalising these applications with its chosen end-to-end e-commerce platform, SAP Hybris, and the migration to a more elastic environment.

Alan Kay, Director of IT, Maplin, says: "This is the first time we are moving mission critical applications into AWS, which made it necessary to work with a partner that not only has the technical knowledge and experience but really understands our goals in the hyper-competitive retail market. We needed a partner that can help us truly deliver the best customer experience. Ensono proved itself to be just that partner, and we have been extremely impressed with their speed of delivery and how the Ensono team has integrated with ours."

To help Maplin meet its ambitious growth plans, Ensono utilised its automation and configuration technology in the new digital platform, enabling the release of new functionality onto the website with minimal risk. This customary Ensono approach to client service means Maplin's ultimate goal of shortening the release lifecycle to try new functions, deploying to a test environment and into production in a much shorter timeframe is achieved. The transformation will enable the retailer to become more responsive to fast-evolving customer needs, implement new features and address usability issues. This will ultimately help Maplin meet its dual goals of delivering a high-quality customer experience and increasing online revenue.

Maplin has realised further cost-savings and reduction in operational expenditure. The development environment will only be available during office hours, meaning Maplin only pays for cloud services when needed, rather than 24/7. Additionally, Ensono is helping Maplin make full use of AWS's innovative, scalable, secure and flexible services. For example, Ensono is using RDS, AWS's native relational database service to deliver a pay as you go database model. This allows Maplin to operate a flexible license-as-a-service database that increases commercial flexibility and resource scalability.

Integration with legacy technology that runs a range of critical applications is essential to enabling digital channels and automating back-end processes. Maplin's long-term goal is to move all appropriate applications into SAP Hybris, reducing the reliance on legacy systems. Ensono will help eliminate the complexities of integration, making the back-end processes more efficient and agile.

Paul Morris, Europe Managing Director, Ensono, says: "Maplin has a tremendous reputation for delivering the best technology to consumers across the country and is renowned for its expert advice. We're pleased to be working with Maplin on realising its vision to provide its signature instore first-class customer experience to today's multichannel retail environment. We look forward to continuing to support Maplin on this journey."

Ensono will be responsible for the day-to-day management of Maplin's AWS solution, helping it tune systems for better performance and reduced cost, and will provide ongoing support to help the company meet its business goals. Ensono's AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and Managed Service Partner status confirms its expertise in consulting, managing and migrating solutions on AWS, making it the ideal strategic partner for Maplin's digital transformation journey.

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