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UK's CEF embarks on digital transformation journey with HPE
Fri, 27th Jan 2023
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has announced that City Electrical Factors (CEF), the United Kingdom’s electrical wholesale network, has selected the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform as the first step in its digital transformation journey.

The HPE GreenLake platform is set to enable CEF to optimise their infrastructure management and improve security using the disaster recovery capabilities of Zerto.

Established in 1951, CEF has been focused on delivering optimal customer service and satisfaction. CEF’s customer platform, which enables them to respond to and track orders of all sizes, was based on legacy technology and had become outdated. To improve the customer experience, CEF decided to move to a cloud experience with the HPE GreenLake platform.

As part of the solution the wholesaler will move into global International Business Exchangeä (IBXâ) data centres operated by HPE partner Equinix, benefitting from HPE Datacenter Technology Services to plan, design and deploy the solution.

This move will provide the company with a cloud experience that allows them to scale on demand and pay as they use.

CEF will also simplify their infrastructure management experience using HPE GreenLake Management Services and ensure their business continuity with Zerto for Disaster Recovery.

With the implementation of the HPE GreenLake platform in the UK, CEF now has a global platform that can be deployed and replicated with a single user experience throughout all their regions, including North America, Ireland, Spain and Australia.

Jon Higginson, IT EMEA Director at CEF, commented, “We’ve enjoyed a long-standing partnership with HPE for the past 15 years, and we are delighted to continue this journey utilising the HPE GreenLake platform.

“We were looking to improve our service offering to our customers through the adoption of cloud technologies and we found the HPE GreenLake platform to be the most compelling offer available.

"As we operate over 400 stores globally, we need to ensure that we have a consistent platform that delivers an ongoing positive customer experience, scales as we grow and provides the flexibility to be tailored to potential future requirements. The disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities of Zerto in particular will deliver the enhanced stability and reliability we seek for our operations.”

When researching a new solution to drive their transformation, CEF focused on systems that would enable them in their journey to the cloud, enhance their security and strengthen their customer relationships.

Key requirements were to increase the company’s protection against cyber threats and external disruptions, ensure the continuity of high quality of customer service, and the reduction of energy consumption and thereby of the group’s carbon footprint. At the same time, it was important for the services to be deployable and replicable throughout the different regions CEF operates in.

Matt Harris, managing director UK, HPE, says, “Running the HPE GreenLake platform in a colocation is the ideal solution for customers like CEF, who are looking for a cloud experience while staying in full control of their IT.

“As a partner first organisation, we’re delighted to work with Equinix, the HPE GreenLake Momentum Partner of the Year 2022, to enable CEF to access the hybrid cloud services they require, wherever and whenever they need them. Not only does this give CEF the control over their usage and cost, but it also allows them to free up more of their time that can be further invested into their transformation efforts.”

With the deployment of HPE GreenLake Management Services, CEF will entrust the managing of its infrastructure stack to HPE. By reducing the time spent on management, about 20% of the CEF IT team’s time will be freed up.

This additional time will allow the group to enhance their offerings and address their customer’s needs and requirements and accelerate their cloud journey in additional regions.

HPE GreenLake also allows them to migrate their bespoke applications to a hybrid cloud platform designed for both cloud-native and legacy workloads. HPE GreenLake and Zerto will give CEF peace of mind, as it ensures close to zero downtime and allows them to move production workloads quickly into the disaster recovery environment.

As part of the disaster recovery environment, the group will reduce the recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) from 24 hours down to minutes. This ensures internal and external end users stay unaffected and allows their business to continue trading. After the initial roll-out of HPE GreenLake with Zerto at their DR site in the UK, CEF is planning to deploy HPE GreenLake in Australia as well as their production site in the UK.