Local knowledge, global expertise - NTT Communications helps Cath Kidston refurbish IT core in 28 stores in Japan
Refurbish ICT equipment of 28 stores in Japan within tight deadlines Cannot close stores during the day to install equipment
Install IT equipment simultaneously across Japan over a single night with detailed project plans
Connect stores via Arcstar Universal One virtual private network, and store sales data in NTT Communications Enterprise Cloud
Refurbish 28 stores on schedule with project management in two countries Establish single point of contact IT Helpdesk in Japan
IT Director, Cath Kidston
Karl de Bruijn
"We were clear that we wanted a provider that could oer not just ICT solutions, but go beyond that in both the UK and Japan. Project management, communication, trust and support were as important to us as IT and network capability. NTT Communications oered that complete package, which made it possible for us to grow in Japan when most of our technical people are in the UK."
Deploy MPLS network to connect stores in shopping malls that require strict security compliance
Cath Kidston wanted to connect its 28 retail stores in Japan with each other and to the headquarters in London, to enable merchandise and order data to be synchronised. It wanted a hosting solution to store its sales data and technical support services to help managers and staff in running the retail stores smoothly. With headquarters in the UK and operations in Japan, Cath Kidston wanted a provider with a strong global infrastructure.
Cath Kidston had to go-live on 1st September 2015 with no flexibility on this deadline as its contract with its franchise partners ended on 31st August 2015. This left only four months for NTT Communications between signing the agreement and go-live, to deliver Cath Kidston’s requirements.
Cath Kidston wanted the changeover of the ICT equipment to happen simultaneously across all stores on 31st August 2015. The stores could not be closed for even a day. This required liaising with multiple vendors in Japan, and seamless communication between the Cath Kidston team in the UK and the NTT Communications teams in Japan and the UK.
Deploying an MPLS network to connect the stores that are typically located in shopping malls required strict security compliance: each building came with its own list of security protocols which meant that there was no homogeneity in the network setup and equipment installation process.
Masaaki Moribayashi, Managing Director for NTT Europe said, "Our strong presence in Japan meant that our personnel understood and appreciated the importance of the minutiae of local rules and associated variances and adhered to them to ensure that NTT Communications met the deadline and its commitments."
Leveraged NTT Com’s global network to refurbish 28 retail stores
Connectivity to the stores is delivered via the Arcstar universal One virtual private network. The sales data from the stores is kept in the secure, private cloud solution, NTT Communications Enterprise Cloud. In each Cath Kidston retail store, NTT Communications set up IT equipment consisting of: a POS (Point of Sale) terminal, a PC, a switch, a printer, a telephone, and a router. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection from Japan to a Cath Kidston data center in the UK was set up to enable Cath Kidston to control the location of data. NTT Communications established a bilingual help desk in Tokyo offering support in Japanese and English to help store personnel deal with IT issues. The IT equipment was installed simultaneously across Japan over a single night with detailed project plans and communication between teams, avoiding any store closure or loss of revenue.
Karl de Bruijn, IT Director for Cath Kidston said, "Without the support of NTT Communications we wouldn’ t have gone live on 1st September 2015 and could have ended up being delayed by 3-4 weeks. Where possible NTT Communications came up with workarounds such as using a backup mobile telephony network to connect some of the stores that did not have a leased line, which ensured we could go live as planned"
-Local market knowledge to simplify dealing with vendors
-IT helpdesk for 24/7 support
NTT Communications worked with local vendors in Japan to source and manage IT equipment for Cath Kidston. This meant that Cath Kidston signed contracts only with NTT Communications and avoided having to sign contracts with multiple vendors in Japan. With NTT Communications having a strong presence in the UK and Japan, project management was seamless, helping Cath Kidston to open its refurbished stores on schedule as planned.
Karl de Bruijn, IT Director Cath Kidston, said, "We were taking back control of our franchised stores but we did not have any personnel of our own in Japan to handle the IT side of business. We needed a partner to act on our behalf and NTT Communications did exactly that. Its knowledge of the local market has been especially invaluable as, for example, NTT Communications knew the landlords of our stores and liaised with them on our behalf."
Enterprise Cloud is a Private Cloud Service that customers have come to expect from a telecommunications carrier, in cooperation with Data Centers, Networks and Servers. NTT Communications provides the IT environment applicable to the core business, with flexible resource provision and variety of options that meet the customer's demand.
Name: Cath Kidston
Business: Cath Kidston is an international chain of retail stores that sells home furnishings, bags, accessories, products for children and fashion with a distinctly modern vintage aesthetic. Cath Kidston operates 230 stores in 18 countries
(as of March, 2016)