Case Study: Fashion-Forward Looks, Technology-Driven Results with HP CloudSystem


Every industry needs a technology champion. Whether it’s behind-the-scenes support or an immersive end-user experience, retailers rely on technology more than the average shopper might think.


In Europe, if you’re a fashion retailer, designer, manufacturer or customer, chances are you have encountered one of the many technology solutions of ACA Fashion Software. The company provides integrated software for point-of-sale (POS) information, inventory, customer management, pricing, stocking and replenishment. ACA Fashion Software has more than 1,000 customers in Sweden, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, France, and of course, its home country, the Netherlands.


Since its founding in the 1983, ACA has become known for its integrated solutions and their simplicity of operation. “It’s always been our goal to be a one-stop shop for retail technology solutions,” says Patrick van den Bosch, technology manager at ACA Fashion Software. “We offer a total package, even though our main focus is software.”



Delivering back-office applications used to mean bundling hardware with its applications. It was a fine model back then, but it has drawbacks. “The server side of the solution could get tricky,” explains van den Bosch. “Customers are all looking for a deal; they all want to try to use their own server, networking, or storage configuration, and many of them had system administrators with their own recommendations.”


The end result could be both confusing and expensive for the customer. That is why ACA Fashion Software started looking for ways to simplify its software-based solutions by eliminating the hardware piece.


“We started looking at cloud solutions a few years ago,” van den Bosch says. “ACA Fashion Software, but we knew we were able to offer our customers a product that was totally flexible, scalable, and available. Our goal was to offer all the benefits of a cloud solution while keeping startup costs to a minimum.”



Because ACA Fashion Software had built its solution on HP ProLiant servers, both at customer sites and its own datacenter, ACA chose HP CloudSystem, part of the HP Helion portfolio of hybrid cloud products, to deliver its retail solution. Based on HP Converged System hardware, ACA built its own cloud environment using CloudSystem Matrix technology.


The solution made good on its promise of scalability, flexibility, and simplicity. “Moving to HP CloudSystem has reduced management time of our own infrastructure by 25 percent while cutting time to add new capacity by 80 percent,” reports van den Bosch.


The move to the cloud has been popular with the customers of ACA as well. “In retail, every euro counts,” explains van den Bosch. “Our cloud-based solution allows new customers to get our full solution without the typical startup costs of a hardware-based product. From their perspective, it’s just a monthly fee plus a small onboarding charge. We’ve been really surprised at how fast it has taken off.”


aca2.pngWHY HP HELION?

Already, more than 15 percent of ACA’s customers have taken advantage of its new cloud-based product. “What this shows us is that people are ready to make the move to the cloud, because it simplifies their business while offering the kind of reliability that only major retailers can achieve,” van den Bosch says.


As it continues to champion new solutions for its customers, ACA Fashion Software is researching the delivery of its POS solutions from the cloud as well. Again, van den Bosch is looking to HP. “We want to bring the same level of reliability and simplicity of our back-office products to POS,” explains van den Bosch. “If you’re a retail shop, and you can’t sell anything because your registers are down, you’re basically out of business. Our cloud-based HP solution will bring guaranteed uptime for POS systems, and that’s where we’re headed in the near future.”

Labels: HP cloud
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About the Author
Stephen Spector is a HP Cloud Evangelist promoting the OpenStack based clouds at HP for hybrid, public, and private clouds . He was previous...

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