"Moving from such an established system to a brand new, revolutionary platform was definitely daunting because there are some unknowns. Essentially, we had to take a leap of faith. But we didn’t have any concerns when it came to MOQdigital. The knowledge and level of support they provided made the decision a lot easier for us to make."
Phil Oldfield Database Administrator, Iceland Foods
Iceland Foods is a British food retailer with over 900 supermarkets throughout the UK, a further 40 owned or franchised stores across Europe, and a global export business. The UK’s leading frozen food specialist is committing to become the first major retailer globally to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own brand products by the end of 2023. The process starts now and Iceland is challenging itself to complete it within the next five years.
Iceland is one of Britain’s fastest-growing and most innovative retailers, recognised as one of the best companies to work for in the UK.
Iceland Foods had a high dependency on data to allow key staff to assess customer and sales insights. In 2019, the existing data estate, a proprietary platform created by
Teradata, was coming to its end of life. The Iceland Foods team knew that replacing the Teradata platform would be a complex process. The data estate had been in place for 20 years and since its implementation, Cloud technology had evolved resulting in new alternative options for a modern data estate. Iceland Foods needed to increase the agility of the data platform in order to drive more value from the data.
Concerns with replacing the old Teradata platform with a newer version of Teradata also centred on the niche skill set necessary to access the data. To that end, Iceland contacted Microsoft to discuss options for the new estate,
With time of the essence due to the approaching end of life, Microsoft connected Iceland Foods with data estate specialists, MOQdigital.
The solution identified for Iceland Foods was to create a new modern data warehouse using Azure Synapse. This would accelerate the company’s journey to the Cloud and introduce HADR (high availability and disaster recovery).
The modern data estate is user friendly and was built using familiar Microsoft technology. This enabled key business leaders to access information with greater ease and easily ingest additional data sources to augment their existing
data. In turn, this ease-of-use has made recruitment easier for Iceland Foods, as there are less technical skills required to access and analyse the information.
This also means that onboarding staff and providing training is a quicker and smoother process. The data itself, the most important component, has proven to be as robust and reliable as it was before the migration, meaning the transition has been a success. However, the opportunities for how to use this content are now much greater due to the intelligent functionality of Azure Synapse.
The migration to Azure Synapse has resulted in significantly reduced operational costs. The modern data warehouse has transformed Iceland Foods from an expensive capital expenditure model to a cost-effective operational expenditure model. The data itself, the most important component, has proven to be as robust and reliable as it was before the migration, meaning the transition has been a success. However, the opportunities for how to use this content are now much greater due to the intelligent functionality of Azure Synapse.
The new solution is also scalable and can adapt to meet the requirements of peak trading times including Christmas. With the former estate retired, the Azure data estate aligns with Iceland Foods’ broader business plan of Cloud migration. The next step for Iceland Foods is to explore the machine learning possibilities available to them. The team aspire to use AI to enable staff to conduct sophisticated data analysis. Additionally, Phil and his team are planning on working closely with WARDY IT Solutions to optimise the estate now it is in place.