In this article you will read about,
- how a Bavarian company helps small retailers to expand their local skills by digital means,
- what role cloud containers play in this process and
- why trust is the top priority.
In this article you will read about,
The German retail sector has some catching up to do: German retail companies scored only 50 out of a possible 100 points in Deutsche Telekom's Digitalization Index for SMEs in 2018. That’s almost 10 percent less than the average. According to an analysis by the data portal Statista, 44 million people shop regularly at Amazon – this corresponds to three-quarters of all 60 million German Internet users.
"Nevertheless, retailers should not make the mistake of trying to compete with online giants like Amazon," says digital expert Udo Latino. "Local retailers should play to their strengths instead. They have a local presence and a direct line to customers that pure online retailers don't have. If they combine this competence with intelligent, digital tools, they have a unique selling point and thus a real advantage over pure e-commerce providers."
Udo Latino is Managing Director of brodos.net – a company that helps local retailers leverage this potential: brodos.net has developed an omnichannel platform for retailers that is available from the Open Telekom Cloud. This allows retailers to digitally expand their local business. For example, they can use a CRM system to maintain contact with their customers. A shop software with which even small retailers can sell their products online. Or with touchscreens with which they can digitally add hundreds of products to their local counters. The omnichannel platform is in great demand among German retailers.
In the beginning, the Bavarian company provided its omnichannel platform from its own on-premises resources. One reason was because brodos.net has always attached great importance to IT security and data protection. After all, brodos.net as a platform provider manages the data of its customers, which is their most valuable asset. And local retailers in particular depend on the trust and loyalty of their customers. But in order to be able to scale and grow even faster, brodos.net wanted to supplement its own IT with capacities from the cloud.
In order to better meet the high demand without compromising security and data protection, brodos.net now hosts its omnichannel platform in the scalable Open Telekom Cloud. But why in Telekom’s public cloud and not that of another large cloud provider? "The high level of data security and data protection offered by the IT resources from the multiple-certified data centers in Saxony-Anhalt played a central role," says Managing Director Latino. "Customers entrust us with very sensitive data. Trust therefore plays a central role in our business. There are projects and customers that we would be unlikely to win without such a trustworthy cloud basis."
Technical aspects also played an important role for brodos.net when deciding in favor of the Open Telekom Cloud. For example, the company benefits from the Cloud Container Engine (CCE) based on Kubernetes – a container framework with which developers can provision containers quickly and easily; both with virtual machines and with bare metal servers.
"We could have set up our own container framework, but that would have been much more complex and time-consuming," says Felix Dingermann, Managing Director Business Development at brodos.net. In addition, brodos.net uses virtual machines from the Elastic Cloud Server (ECS), Relational Database Service (RDS), Object Storage Service (OBS) and Elastic Load Balancer (ELB). From brodos.net's point of view, another factor in favor of the Open Telekom Cloud was that it is supported by the OpenStack software architecture, which ensures a low vendor lock-in risk.
With the help of IT resources from the Open Telekom Cloud, brodos.net was able to increase the computing performance of its systems by around 40 percent. In addition, brodos.net benefits from a high degree of reliability. The Open Telekom Cloud offers a guaranteed availability of 99.95 percent.
An offer that has obviously hit the mark: More than 1,000 retailers purchase components from brodos.net’s omnichannel platform, from Telekom's data centers in Saxony-Anhalt. The company has also been able to extend the omnichannel solution to other industries. Initially developed exclusively for local retailers in the mobile communications sector, brodos.net now also offers the system and its components in the sanitary, bicycle, fashion and furniture sectors. Further industries, but also new markets are to follow: As well as the German-speaking countries, brodos.net also wants to offer its solution in other European countries. "With the scalable IT resources of the Open Telekom Cloud," says Latino, "we are technologically well equipped for this at any rate."
The Cologne-based digital agency Ambient Innovation GmbH offers its customers individualized business applications.
New digital sales channels, more intensive customer relationships through better customer knowledge and increased efficiency of existing processes are on retailers' agendas. The cloud helps with this.