GERRY WEBER is a listed international fashion and lifestyle group that turns global trends into wearable fashion. The lifestyle brand is fresh, modern, high-quality and unmistakeably feminine! Worldwide, some 6,500 employees help to meet the needs of their fashion-conscious customers. The group has around 1,230 stores and 280 franchises in nine countries plus an online shop, giving their customers the opportunity to try and acquire the modern design, high quality and excellent fit of the GERRY WEBER collections for themselves.
GERRY WEBER's focus is firmly on their customerd which is why, over the past few years, all stores have undergone complete refurbishment and now each offers sales areas of around 200 m2 in which to present the Group’s core brands. The stores are all connected to the company network via WAN. This is a business-critical connecntion that has to work reliably. In order to ensure the highest possible IT availability for the future, GERRY WEBER were eager to equip their newly renovated stores with an up-to-date WAN. This task needed to be completed in all stores, over just one weekend – a real challenge for project management.
GERRY WEBER had very high expectations of any IT partner that stepped up to the challenge, which could only be met by being located close to the stores and having the necessary expertise in technical implementation. Of particular importance to GERRY WEBER was a quick, seamless switch to thenew system at all German locations. The IT partner needed to habe te necessary personnel resources in order to enable the rollout of the software-defined WAN (SD WAN) in the stores and install the required components at the various sites.
We had a long wish list: 350 stores had to be switched over to a new WAN in one go and routers and switches needed to be updated and configured to the WAN as our CIO, Stefan Beyler, was keen to minimise outages in the stores so that the switch over went unnoticed while our network administrator, Marc Pannhorst, wanted the SD WAN to be centrally managed and configured Bechtle responded to both of these requirements with Cisco Meraki. The switch-over took place in one night without any noticeable issue. A great achivement!
Stefan Weinrich, CISO/Project Manager, GERRY WEBER International AG
In Bechtle, GERRY WEBER found the ideal partner, offering on-site services thanks to its 70 regional systems integrators throughout Germany. Working together with Bechtle, GERRY WEBER developed a concept for the rollout of the SD WAN in all stores together with suitable future-proof WAN hardware and software, The conception phase—which included extensive consultation on hardware selection and Proof of Concept (PoC)—was followed by a three-week rollout, laying the foundations for a seamless switch on the weekend of the migration. Thanks to excellent planning on the part of Bechtle plus expert rollout implementation, the switch-over successfully took place in the space of just one weekend without causing any noticeable issues for GERRY WEBER. During this ambitious project, Bechtle worked in close cooperation with GERRY WEBER, taking on the detailed planning, minimising risks through the PoC and numerous other measures; and reserving all necessary human resources required for fast and successful implementation early on.
Thanks to Bechtle's comprehensive consultation and PoC, GERRY WEBER decided on Cisco Meraki as their hardware solution. The router can be administered via the cloud without the need for a direct link to each store meaning that the Cisco Meraki hardware does need require a VPN connection but can still always be accessed and administered. This enabled Bechtle to connect all 350 stores to the existing WAN in one night and then carry out the remaining installation centrally without the need for trained staff on-site. The GERRY WEBER stores are now ready for the future. The cloud-hosted, centralised administration platform and the easy-to-use interface mean that even employees without a much technical expertise can handle any potential network problems. Furthermore, Cisco Meraki provides a REST (REpresentational State Transfer) API that facilitates quick changes on a large scale to the SD WAN simultaneously in each store, meaning that all on-premise technical components are easy to directly and centrally administer.
Bechtle implemented the project with Cisco Meraki in the GERRY WEBER stores in a very short period of time with the staff required always on hand to install the routers and switches. Thanks to Bechtle's consultation, risk minimisation ensured by factores including the POC, Bechtle's installation instructions, ongoing coordination with GERRY WEBER and the excellent communincation within the project team, this high-risk project was a complete success. In addition, remote configuration has resulted in lower costs than before and maintenance will also be more affordable for GERRY WEBER in the future. Cisco Meraki has made GERRY WEBER much less dependent on external service providers and can handle any store-based issues by themselves.