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IT Management Outsourcing – Communications and Security

Industries:

  • Diversified Services

Offering Groups:

  • Solutions

Solution Areas:

  • Business Applications

Regions:

  • Spain

Challenges:

  • Security outsourcing, Communications services, Techological consulting.

Benefits:

  • Items can be found at any point of sale
  • Improved card payment system
  • Improved logistics and operations system

The challenge

Headquartered in Madrid and with over 500 employees, BLANCO is one of the national benchmark companies in the fashion world. The company’s annual turnover stands at around 90 million euros and it covers all the business phases from design, production, etc. to commercialization (it has a network of more than 50 own stores).

In the midst of expanding its stores throughout Spanish territory, BLANCO DIAGOMODA set FUJITSU the challenge of equipping its entire office network with an economic and secure communications solution which was capable of incorporating new technologies and added value services for both voice and data transmission.

For many years, BLANCO DIAGOMODA has been firmly committed to new technologies, and as part of this commitment to technological advancement it has always placed its trust in FUJITSU as its global solution provider.

The Solution

Already existing stores and those provided for in the BLANCO DIAGOMODA expansion plan needed a secure and economic way to communicate with each other in order to update billing data, sales results, and stock and order management.

Prior to implementing the solution proposed by FUJITSU, communications were undertaken using a private network on ISDN lines which was very costly and could not be technically adapted to the company’s expansion plan. However, due to high operating costs, the main problem consisted in the fact that the stores could not access the server application controlling the whole of the logistics and stock management application in real time.

The consulting service designed a communications solution outsourced at FUJITSU based on ADSL lines both for voice (VoIP) and for data transmission, in which security and scalability were given precedence. Via this solution, all the stores are connected to each other and with the server, so that all the services are centralized, maintenance is unified, and information can be accessed from any store.

BLANCO DIAGOMODA is a firm which competes in a highly aggressive sector, where costs, flexibility, and market response speed are elements which condition marketplace inclusion. For this reason, BLANCO needed to focus all its efforts on its business without having to concern itself with activities such as communication, which are necessary for a business to run properly, but not critical for its commercial activity. The solution proposed by FUJITSU in an outsourcing modality makes it easier to lower service management and administration costs without having to earmark resources for activities other than those proper to the business.

In addition, as an added value to the solution, FUJITSU introduced the concept of a “one-step, multipurpose window”, which comprises a single information entry point and a single customer contact point for solving any incidents. In the opinion of Luis Ramírez, the Computing Director for BLANCO, the one-step, multipurpose window was one of the most important agreements to be reached with FUJITSU, “It was absolutely crucial for us. My firm’s main business is not computing so we can say that we have two clearly defined areas: the information systems, which owing to their very nature and their daily running need us to support them, and other systems such as communications, third party applications and so on, which can be easily outsourced preventing us from having to double our efforts. Consequently, one of the most important things is the concept of globalization and a one-step, multipurpose window”.

FUJITSU offered a global solution encompassing all services from the moment when BLANCO laid down its requirements right up to the management of the installed infrastructure, guaranteeing the most reliable, secure, economic and competitive technological solution which was fully integrated into the firm’s regular strategic transactions (billing update, sales results, stock and order management).

The corporation was also charged with the project management (the sole point of contact with third parties), installation, network deployment, tests and starting-up, unfailingly geared towards ensuring that the network boasts high operating availability.

Services offered by Fujitsu

  • Techological consulting
    Taking into consideration the objectives and needs raised by BLANCODIAGOMODA, FUJITSU analyzed the existing network and its costs to then design the best IT strategy in terms of costs, security, scalability and information sharing.
    The communications solution proposed, outsourced at FUJITSU, is based on an ADSL network which communicates 50 stores with each other and with the headquarters. These lines are responsible for Internet traffic, Intranet data traffic to its headquarters, methods of payment POS terminal data traffic and data transfer by IP (VoIP).
    The central access network is designed to provide high availability so that in the event of a line collapsing, the service continues working in the same way and the user does not notice the difference. The service runs on two 2Mb lines which are both used to transmit Internet, Intranet and VoIP traffic, provided by different operators.
    The availability of the methods of payment access network is the most critical element in the solution and because of this a “Payment Gateway Cluster” is defined with two X.25 links.

    On the left: Rafael Rodríguez, Manager of Fujitsu España. On the right: Luis Ramírez, Computing Director for Blanco Diagomoda
  • Communications outsourcing
    FUJITSU provides an integrated outsourcing service (systems management outsourcing) which includes all aspects ranging from machine administration to the maintenance of the communications network throughout national territory. The service is provided both from FUJITSU’s Internet Data Center and from the outside via machines housed at BLANCO sites.
    In addition to having extremely demanding response times – less than four hours for solving incidents -, FUJITSU has implemented the one-step, multipurpose window concept as an added value, establishing one single information entry and contact point for solving any incidents whatever the problem may be.
  • Security outsourcing
    In order to ensure that the system is as secure as possible and to guarantee data integrity, the Intranet is a VPN, each store is equipped with a local firewall, and a cluster of firewalls coupled with a gateway antivirus has been planned for central services.
  • Noteworthy aspects of the Fujitsu solution:
    High system availability: One of the primary objectives when designing the communications network was to achieve high system reliability so that, even if a line collapses, the service continues to work without the user noticing any difference. In this way, it is guaranteed that BLANCO will not lose any business on account of technical problems.

    Greater network security: A totally transparent system has been developed for security at BLANCO, integrated with the security of the bank and managed from FUJITSU, which does not penalize electronic payment operating times.

    Easy system scalability: In line with BLANCO’s expansion policy, the system is fully scalable. The solution even allows the old BLANCO network to be maintained and its equipment to be kept.

    FUJITSU as the sole liaison point with third parties: one-step, multipurpose window. Making it easier for BLANCO to monitor the project and subsequently operate the network.

The Benefits

Items can be found at any point of sale
As information can be shared in real time, all customers can find out on the spot and from any store how to obtain an item and where to find it, consequently increasing customer satisfaction.

Improved card payment system
The solution boasts another strong point as it enables new solutions to be introduced, such as the integration of electronic payment into POS terminals. The new payment system improves speed, security and ease of use, eliminating the failings of the old dataphones. “On its own, this solution is worthy of study, as for the first time the main infrastructure of the system is concentrated into one, achieving unprecedented cost reduction and simplicity unlike the current decentralized infrastructures where each point of sale has its own communication and process infrastructure. A true challenge in all senses”.

Improved logistics and operations system
“All our inventory processes, stock replacement, etc. are strengthened to the utmost so we can quickly offer our customers what they want at our points of sale. The group work tools, e-mail, Intranet, etc. will also drive our capacity to better serve our main asset, our customers, every day”, Luis Ramírez explains.

THE OUTCOME AND ITS ADVANTAGES
Cheapening of communication costs and fast return on investment

As a result of the solution offered by FUJITSU, BLANCO DIAGOMODA has fulfilled one of its primary objectives - to reduce its monthly communication costs. As is explained by Luis Ramírez, the Blanco computing director, “Almost all the projects we have implemented are paying for themselves. We have made significant savings, in fact, with the voice saving we have paid almost 50% or more”.

Business improvements thanks to the added value afforded by the new communications infrastructure
This is one of the most important advantages for BLANCO as it enables all the stores to communicate with each other in real time and with the central host, ensuring it obtains the necessary information.
“We are fully satisfied, and on this highway we have to include a good deal of added value. I believe that FUJITSU’s role in all these developments is going to be pivotal as it is a company which is going to allow us to stop worrying about these issues so we can focus on what we really know how to do, which is to apply business logic and to be able to develop a series of applications which draw us closer to our customers”
, Luis Ramírez remarks.