IBM recently signed a deal to migrate the IT operations of the Giant Eagle supermarket chain to the IBM Cloud.
Giant Eagle is one of the United States' largest privately held multi-format food, fuel and pharmacy retailers with locations across Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana. Big Blue is in the initial stages of overhauling the company's IT infrastructure with a hybrid cloud solution from IBM Cloud.
The new solution, based on IBM Cloud's infrastructure as a service, SoftLayer, is designed to provide Giant Eagle with flexible, consumption-based pricing, as well as faster procurement and provisioning of applications, and integrated system management. A primary goal of the overhaul is to provide greater visibility into data from everything from the supply chain to the check-out line.
"Our goals to reposition our technology infrastructure were to achieve the scalability, security, reliability, resiliency and efficiency that the advancements in the technology are making possible without making significant capital investments," said Jeremy Gill, senior director of technology infrastructure at Giant Eagle. "IBM's full range of offerings from public cloud, private cloud and bare metal and robust security capabilities were their competitive differentiators."
Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle serves more than 5 million customers annually in more than 420 locations. To succeed through the years, Giant Eagle has been at the forefront of innovation in its industry, adopting such practices as glass freezer-cases in the 1950s, a digitized supply chain in the 1960s, and "fuelperks," a customer loyalty program started in 2004. These moves, like the move to the cloud, have the common goal of ultimately improving the shopping experience and overall value to customers.
Giant Eagle is currently in phase one of its rollout, which includes the deployment of the development/test and disaster recovery environments. Phase two will include migrating the company's production IT operations to IBM.
"Companies that succeed for as long as Giant Eagle [has succeeded] have done so because they understand the value of adopting innovation," Jim Comfort, general manager of IBM Cloud, said in a statement. "For Giant Eagle, the move to an IBM hybrid cloud is just the latest example of its foresight and it will serve as the next strategic move in the company's digital transformation."
In other recent IBM Cloud news, IBM announced the expansion of its Direct Link services through new collaborations with Verizon, Equinix, Digital Realty, among others, to help enterprises adopt a hybrid cloud infrastructure.
IBM Direct Link provides enterprises with a reliable and secure connection to the cloud by enabling them to directly plug into the IBM Cloud through private and secure IP network connections.
The enhanced services include new co-location capabilities enabling companies to house their own infrastructure in a secure cabinet within an IBM Cloud data center while connecting directly into the IBM Cloud network from 13 global data center locations. They also can easily move workloads to and from the IBM Cloud as if they are part of their local-area network, adding even more flexibility.
"Low latency, security and reliability are high priorities when implementing a hybrid cloud because they drive a positive user experience," said Jack Beech, vice president of business development for IBM's SoftLayer cloud infrastructure unit. "With help from providers such as Verizon, Equinix and Digital Realty, we're giving clients more options for connecting to our cloud platform. Users can connect directly into our infrastructure as a service from their global data centers or offices using Direct Link, benefiting from a faster, more reliable and more secure connection than is typical through the public Internet."