Established in 1955, NilsonGroup is Scandinavia's leading company for the design, manufacture, and distribution of shoes. It is known for such retail brands such as DinSko, Nilson Shoes, Skopunkten, and the franchised ECCO stores. Through some 200 shops in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, the family-owned company generates an annual turnover of US$270 million and employs about 1,000 people.
With the goal of reducing the cost of IT infrastructure, increasing business agility and flexibility, and taking advantage of the latest innovation in computing hardware, NilsonGroup realized that it was time for a hardware refresh. Considering the seasonality of the shoe business and the on-premises systems that were already sized for covering peak demand, NilsonGroup required a flexible computing solution to allow for higher or lower load, and that would scale according to volume.
The retailer also wanted to migrate core applications to the cloud—its custom-built enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, an analytics application used to monitor sales performance, as well as a data warehouse management system used for controlling stocks. Through this migration, the company aimed at reducing hardware administration and the complexity of IT operations, while also optimizing data security.
We already have lower costs and a much better analysis of what we consume in terms of hardware resources. It’s also easy to scale the solution up and down. We shut our development platform down when it’s not being used, which saves us money.
IT Operations Manager, NilsonGroup
NilsonGroup selected Oracle Cloud following a successful proof of concept with Oracle Analytics Cloud. After seeing the results, NilsonGroup leaders decided to move all their workloads to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with Oracle Autonomous Database.
As part of its modernization efforts, NilsonGroup also needed to reduce the effort involved in hosting and maintaining databases and achieve cost savings from on-demand scalability. Database lifecycle management automation and autoscaling capabilities were key differentiators that led to the decision to use OCI.
Autoscaling of Autonomous Database services, including Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse for back-end analytics and Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing for ERP and other applications, allows NilsonGroup to pay only for the database resources it consumes. When compared to regularly renewing on-premises hardware, a yearly savings of 30% or approximately US$120,000 has been achieved.
Also, the company gained more flexibility compared to on-premises IT operations. With Autonomous Database’s 3X autoscaling, workloads can automatically scale up or down to meet demand and shut down the development environment during weekends and evenings to save costs. “It's very easy to expand the databases. With just a click we can scale up and take on higher workloads. And we’ve scripted Oracle Autonomous Database to be shut down during evenings and weekends. It’s easy optimization from a cost point of view too,” says Johan Holmström, IT operations manager.
With OCI, NilsonGroup takes advantage of advanced features such as automatic updates and backups, and self-service data visualization to help the company stay on top of security patches, prevent ransomware issues, and improve productivity. “We are no longer behind with upgrades and security patches. Now it's someone else's hardware that needs to be renewed, and not ours. It's really great that we have everything covered and are able to focus on our main business,” says Holmström.
In addition, OCI security with always-on encryption and security management helps the company meet the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance requirements for sensitive customer information.
The process of taking data out of Oracle Autonomous Database and using it in Oracle Analytics Cloud takes less time now than with the original on-premises environment. “The load of our data warehouse is now twice as fast as before, and I think it can be even faster with some trimming in the future,” says Holmström.
Throughout the company’s journey to the cloud, Oracle Partner Upbase was NilsonGroup’s advisor.