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Ted Baker runs its IT shop for its global businesses from the UK

Ted Baker runs its IT shop for its global businesses from the UK

Ted Baker has tapped HP in a bid to help the UK clothing retailer overhaul its ERP. The company’s chief information officer Dustan Steer told BCN that Ted Baker needed to find a centrally managed solution that could help support the company’s multi-region growth going forward.

With over 2,000 employees globally, Ted Baker, which was founded in the UK in 1987, has grown significantly outside of the UK and now has stores across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US.

But Steer said the company needed to move away from its legacy ERP solution in order to further support that growth. The whole of the Ted Baker business – including ERP and IT more broadly – is effectively run out of the UK.

“We looked at either hosting it ourselves; putting it with some existing hosting partners that we had; and hosting it with some of the big players – the enterprise solutions providers,” Steer said. “We couldn’t host it ourselves because of physical space, and we didn’t really have a team in place to be able to support the solution properly. It would have meant having a team being on call 24/7, or getting a much bigger team, which is cost prohibitive.”

The company has deployed dedicated Microsoft Dynamics AX instances spread over two datacentres at HP’s Swindon location, which gives the company “more resilience than we had before.” The platform is currently in the UAT stage but is currently running smoothly, and the deal will see HP help manage the platform for the next 7 years.

But Steer said there’s still a learning curve involved in taking on such a large new platform.

“This is a large-scale ERP product that we have in place now, and it is a learning curve for my team to make that move to be able to support an environment of this size. We’re learning a great deal from HP around all of the controls that we need to put in place to be able to run this environment smoothly,” Steer said.

“We’ll be bringing in more systems to support ERP going forward, which we haven’t been able to do before. But this is the foundation for everything that we want to do going forward. In ten years we don’t want to be going through another ERP project,” he added.

Mark Powell, industry director for UK and Ireland at HP also said the company had to redesign some of the WAN and LAN infrastructure to ensure there was no latency for some of the far eastern and American operations. The companies are also working with K3 to bring their retail overlay to the ERP platform to help give it more vertically-specific capabilities.

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