‘Thanks to AWS Cloud, we no longer have gaps in our inventory.’

Martin Stucki among products from the Loeb department store.

Loeb is a successful, long-established department store in Bern that opted for IT outsourcing. After migrating its SAP systems to the AWS Cloud, the retailer is now ready for the digital future.  

Migration of SAP systems to AWS at Loeb

  • Employees: 330
  • Sector: Retail
  • Headquarters: Bern
  • Cost efficiency, scalability, data analysis, and insights into customer behaviour
  • High data security and compliance
  • Increased flexibility and agility to respond quickly to change and growth

Keeping pace with digitalisation

The popular, long-established department store Loeb, headquartered in the heart of Bern, prides itself on offering its customers a comprehensive shopping experience with the most personalised service in Switzerland. There are 30 systems in the department store’s IT landscape, including nine SAP systems. These systems are now managed by Swisscom, alongside the workstations, POS systems and entire network, under a full outsourcing contract. To prepare itself for the digital future, Loeb opted to migrate its IT landscape to the cloud. Its aim was to achieve greater flexibility and performance overall.

‘We were looking for a cloud solution that would give us greater flexibility and performance.’

Martin Stucki, Chief Digital Officer, Loeb AG

Cloud solution for maximum cost efficiency

Loeb’s top priorities were to optimise its IT infrastructure costs while also increasing security and stability: Uninterrupted IT system availability is essential for a department store. The SAP environment is central to Loeb’s IT operations and is in use all year round. “Without the SAP system, managing the flow of goods would be impossible. Our business relies on everything always running smoothly,” explains Martin Stucki.

After analysing various cloud solutions, Swisscom proposed a migration of the store’s existing SAP environment to the AWS Cloud. Udo Pfeiffer, Head of the SAP Sourcing Market at Swisscom, explains, “This option gave Loeb AG the flexibility and advantages it needs for its business over the long term with minimal investment”. This includes in particular per-minute billing for computing capacity for projects. In the pay-as-you-go model, Loeb can also purchase and test new SAP functions on an ad-hoc basis and at low cost. The cloud solution also eliminates infrastructure costs for the retailer. And thanks to the high system stability, there is no or only minimal downtime.  

High stability, constant performance

Loeb’s journey to the cloud began with the migration of its SAP systems to AWS from summer to autumn 2023. The go-live on 16 September 2023 went smoothly. “It was a bit like open-heart surgery as all systems had to continue running in parallel,” says Martin Stucki. With the SAP environment in the AWS Cloud, the department store now has an extremely stable system that delivers exceptional performance.  

One notable benefit is the guaranteed availability of goods. The AWS Cloud facilitates swift scaling of the IT infras­tructure, meaning that Loeb can scale up its warehouse management and ordering systems much faster than with its previous on-premise solution, without significant upfront investment in physical hardware. This is especially useful for dealing with peak periods such as public holidays or the Christmas spending season, when demand for certain products can rise sharply. The consistently high system performance also avoids latency issues with transactions. In finance and accounting, for example, there can be many Loeb employees using the system to process a high volume of item lists. Customers benefit indirectly because employees can see in seconds in the ERP system whether a specific item that is not in stock in one store is available in another.   

‘It was a bit like open-heart surgery.’

Martin Stucki, Chief Digital Officer, Loeb AG

At the start of the digital journey

Swisscom manages Loeb’s production systems and other workloads on AWS. The cloud solution provides the store with a solid basis for adding more services in the future, such as cost-efficient HANA environments for SAP S/4HANA. “AWS offers a great many opportunities for the further digitisation of Loeb,” explains Udo Pfeiffer. Martin Stucki agrees: “We don’t yet know just what opportunities await us thanks to this cloud solution. More targeted customer offers perhaps, the configuration of specific product combinations or the straightforward integration of third-party suppliers or logistics partners into our network.

With powerful data analytics and machine learning tools, Loeb can gain insights into customer behaviour, optimise inventories and develop targeted marketing strategies. To protect sensitive customer data, AWS Cloud deploys robust backup, disaster recovery and high availability solutions, which also help to ensure business continuity and prevent data loss.   

A successful partnership

Summing up the project, Martin Stucki said: “Moving to the AWS Cloud has not only given Loeb a more efficient environment, but has also enabled us to act faster and more successfully on the market.” Swisscom also found the experience a positive one. As Udo Pfeiffer explains: “Given the business criticality, downtime was kept to a mini­mum. We also had to keep all interfaces to internal and external systems up and running during the implementation so as not to compromise Loeb AG’s business continuity.” Employees were thus able to focus on their core activities throughout the project. Martin Stucki concludes: “We were again impressed by the professional, proactive consulting service and subsequent implementation by our IT partner Swisscom.”  

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