Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc Boosts Application Performance, Stability, and Visibility, and Improves Database Administrator Productivity
 
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Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc Boosts Application Performance, Stability, and Visibility, and Improves Database Administrator Productivity

Established 100 years ago, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc (Morrisons) is the United Kingdom’s fourth-largest food retailer with 11.5 million customers shopping at its 476 stores each week. The company sources and processes most of the fresh food it sells through its own manufacturing facilities, which gives it very close control over provenance and quality.

Following the acquisition of rival supermarket Safeway in 2004, Morrisons needed to combine and consolidate the IT infrastructure for two large supermarket chains as well as Morrisons’ manufacturing solutions. Morrisons sought to unify the stores across the United Kingdom to create a consistent brand.

In 2006, Morrisons chose Oracle as its preferred software supplier for the newly expanded organization. Oracle now underpins the entire Morrisons operation, from warehousing and retail management, through to finance and human resources. Oracle provides Morrisons with the flexibility and scalability it needs to adapt and expand in a highly competitive and fast-moving environment while maintaining tight control over its distribution processes.

Morrisons chose Oracle Enterprise Manager to streamline and improve management of its IT systems. Working with the Oracle Strategic Customer Program Plus team to optimize its use of Oracle Enterprise Manager, Morrisons has improved application performance, service quality, and visibility across its data center. Oracle Enterprise Manager helps Morrisons to manage and keep its business applications running smoothly, ensuring that the right products are in-store at the right prices to meet customer demand.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc

  • “Oracle Enterprise Manager enables us to increase visibility into our IT systems while reducing complexity. By improving productivity, administrators can now focus time and effort on delivering value to the business and, ultimately, to our customers.” – Mark Westwood, DBA Manager, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc

  • Improve management of a growing and complex IT environment to ensure smooth manufacturing, distribution, and sale of fresh foods and groceries delivered via an expanding network of 476 stores across the United Kingdom
  • Maintain compliance with Oracle’s recommended patch set update (PSU) and critical patch update (CPU) release cycles to ensure availability and stability of business-critical systems, such as manufacturing, retail, finance, and human resources applications
  • Achieve standardized and consistent ways of issuing alerts across Oracle Databases, Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Service Bus, Oracle Weblogic Server, and other Oracle applications to detect any potential issues before they adversely impact IT service levels
  • Improve remote monitoring of business-critical retail applications by the head office database administrator (DBA) team to maintain database performance and service quality at each remote site
  • Improve configuration management to ensure consistency and compliance with corporate standards

Solutions

  • Participated in the Oracle Strategic Customer Program Plus to optimize use of Oracle Enterprise Manager and improve business performance―from manufacturing through sale of food and grocery products
  • Improved remote visibility into entire IT environment, alerting a team of 30 DBAs based at the head office to any in-store issues and enabling them to address those problems before they adversely impact application service levels and, potentially, the customer grocery-buying experience
  • Enabled fast and effective response to changes in grocery-buying patterns on a national and regional basis, with the improved visibility and control afforded by Oracle Enterprise Manager
  • Used Oracle Enterprise Manager to save 1,800 working hours each year and effectively gaining one additional team member
  • Improved management of a voice-activated warehouse picking system, which is orchestrated through Oracle Database to ensure that picking queues are not overloaded
  • Achieved consistent management of Oracle Database 11g, Enterprise Edition, Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Service Bus, Oracle WebLogic Server, and other Oracle applications across all operational teams with Oracle Enterprise Manager’s centralized management console, improving visibility and DBA productivity
  • Saved hundreds of hours previously spent on manual patching by automating the PSU and CPU update process using Oracle Configuration Management Pack and Oracle Provisioning and Patch Automation Pack, ensuring compliance and greater security across all systems
  • Deployed user defined metrics within Oracle Enterprise Manager to monitor and manage standard components within the Oracle Retail application stack, which helps Morrisons to manage pricing and promotions―freeing up the IT team to focus on core business requirements
  • Compared configurations across 476 remote sites feeding a central Oracle Retail repository to enforce consistency and compliance with every component, improving core retail system availability
  • Decreased deployment time for new environments, such as a new warehouse management system, reducing average build and deployment time for all systems by 85%, from three weeks to just three days
  • Created a standardized, consistent approach for monitoring and issuing system alerts across the entire Oracle ecosystem―from development to production environments

Why Oracle

“At Morrisons we like to have a long-term relationship with our vendors. We have already been working with Oracle for more than six years. With Oracle Strategic Customer Program Plus, we can move very quickly on our IT projects and always get a swift response, with hands-on expertise and advice from the team at Oracle. This has a very positive impact on the speed of new implementations,” said Mark Westwood, DBA manager, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc.