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International retail giant tackles API modernization

Challenge

 

This international retail giant was looking to reimagine their brand and reposition themselves within the retail market. With a new CEO in place, it was a great time to evaluate not just branding, but their entire digital presence. In years past, the company’s focus had been their well-known in-store experience. But as they looked to expand their audience and create a broader appeal for their brand, leadership decided they needed to also provide a new and improved experience online.

Additionally, the leadership team was looking to expand their footprint. With a large, untapped market in Asia, they knew the brand had potential, but realized there might be barriers to scaling the business to reach millions of customers overseas.

Both initiatives required one thing: evaluation and modernization of the current digital presence.

Like many brands that flourished with their in-person shopping experience, online shopping capabilities and systems needed to become a higher priority going forward. There was concern that their current setup might not allow the team to create the online and scalable experience their customers were looking for.

Understanding technology challenges, they were ready to tackle this transformation. But with a bevy of modernization options available, there wasn’t a well-defined place to start.

They enlisted Fusion Alliance to design and implement new technology architecture, with the end goal of an improved global presence top of mind.

Solution

Their business strategies and goals demanded a connected, resilient, and globally extensible rich integration architecture. The Fusion team rolled out a two-phased approach that allowed for achievable timelines. Here’s how we approached developing a world-class integration solution with modern best practices, while also accounting for the idiosyncrasies of their technology portfolio and the ability to scale globally.

Phase 1: Strategy

They were dealing with limited integration possibilities, and they were looking to bring their API functions back in-house so they would have more flexibility for new development and be able to re-design and re-architect as needed.

In partnership with their team, we outlined the next steps using a customized decision-making framework. As with all digital transformation initiatives, we created a roadmap to achieve the necessary objectives.

For this project, there were three key areas of focus:

  • Designing the reference architecture: With the goal of driving toward opinionated architecture, our team researched, socialized, and agreed on a go-forward combination of essential capabilities, platforms, and architectures
  • Establishing key business capabilities: While many processes and platforms were adequate for the current state, key business capabilities were identified to focus on support for the channel modernization
  • Platforms and tools analysis: Equipped with the desired reference architectures, the team explored a variety of software packages across IPaaS, marketplace, API management, and other COTS/SaaS to accelerate the future program effort

The result was a blueprint that outlined the possibilities and could lead their team to realize future modernization goals.

Phase 2: Pilots & Acceleration

Equipped with the blueprints to drive the integration modernization program, the team laid out the key infrastructure to make the generational modernization a success.

We selected and deployed an API marketplace, the heart of the future integration topology, and began exposing mission-critical APIs in that direction. The team layered in other modern platforms, including Confluent Kakfa to accelerate the modernization platform. Ultimately, the team produced, exercised, and shared the key accelerators and templates to enable a future federated delivery models across all business units.

Integral to the overall program, the team established a center for enablement across all technology and platform teams. Ultimately, this was an organizational change project. Outputs included a document repository and hosted training sessions. This piece was key to ensuring that their team had what they needed to be successful now and in the future.

Outcomes

They now have a modern infrastructure that can be accessed from anywhere along with the internal knowledge and skills to make adjustments as needed. Their team is able to utilize different APIs, make edits and improvements, and keep up with traffic utilization.

Their team is able to plan ahead for demand and implement new tools as needed, not just keep up with current needs. Their web presence now reflects the elevated in-store shopping experience that their brand is known for. They have been able to drive business agility and productivity by enabling innovation with data and integrations. Through self-service enablement, they are able to increase their reporting efficiencies and ultimately save money. Most importantly, their team has been able to meet the overall business goal of expansion on a global scale.

Additional expected results include:

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Increased efficiency to 50%
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Improved speed to market by 20%
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Improved quality by 50-70%

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