IBM Inks 10-Year Hybrid Cloud Deal With Shop Direct

IBM has signed a 10-year outsourcing deal to handle a hybrid cloud computing environment for British online retailer Shop Direct.

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IBM announced a new 10-year services agreement with Shop Direct to move the multi-brand digital retailer to a hybrid cloud model.

Shop Direct said it will tap IBM’s outsourcing capabilities and the IBM Cloud for analytics, mobile, social and security services that will enable greater customer satisfaction and workforce productivity.

The hybrid cloud, supported by IBM’s SoftLayer infrastructure, will deliver on-demand computing for Shop Direct, including its popular flagship brand. Shop Direct is one of the UK’s largest online retailers, delivering more than 48 million products a year and serving more than a million daily visitors across a variety of online and mobile platforms. The company’s 4,000 employees work with a diverse network of partners and vendors to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience – from online browsing to point-of-purchase to delivery.

IBM’s deal with Shop Direct focuses on improving the company’s customer experience in two distinct areas. First, the use of a hybrid cloud infrastructure will provide capacity on demand so that Shop Direct can react to market changes quickly and support digital initiatives, such as delivering an easier and more personalized customer experience.

Secondly, IBM will provide new, enhanced end user services for Shop Direct employees and partners across a broad range of devices to improve satisfaction and productivity across key business processes such as order taking and fulfillment. These end user services include new desktops and laptops along with secure mobile device management and support for tablets and smartphones to support a mobile workforce.

“As the UK and Ireland’s leading multi-brand digital retailer, we’re looking to tap IBM’s cloud computing expertise to allow us to innovate and add value to both the experience we deliver to customers and the working experience we offer our people,” said Andy Wolfe, Shop Direct CIO, in a statement.

Over the next ten years, IBM Cloud will provide Shop Direct with a more efficient and cost-effective service. As more of their applications leverage IBM’s cloud computing, the company will be able to respond quickly to change through peak periods so that it can meet the growing demands of its customers. IBM teams will work as part of Shop Direct’s IT organization.

The new agreement between IBM and Shop Direct reflects the shifting demands in a mobile- connected, cloud- enabled world. IBM’s SoftLayer cloud infrastructure will provide an enterprise strength computing platform with managed services integrated with dedicated high- availability systems. MaaS360 from Fiberlink will underpin mobile productivity to

The latest agreement is part of an ongoing collaboration between IBM and Shop Direct. In 2013, Shop Direct employed interns from IBM’s Extreme Blue program to develop ideas to gamify the shopping experience for customers. In 2010, IBM and Shop Direct

In 2010 IBM and Shop Direct entered into a transformational outsourcing contract where IBM transformed Shop Direct's delivery model and implemented service management tools and processes to update Shop Direct’s aging IT infrastructure.