Fujitsu Technology, Grid Dynamics Offer Retailers Cloud Bundle
Fujitsu Technology and Business of America and Grid Dynamics have teamed up to offer retailers a managed cloud service that includes Oracle Commerce Platform, Fujitsu M10 servers running Oracle Solaris, and Grid Dynamics' Tonomi application delivery platform and managed services.
Designed to scale, the cloud-based solution allows retailers to address the typical highs and lows of their industry, said Ferhat Hatay, senior manager, Strategy and Innovation at Fujitsu Technology in an interview. In times of peak demand – such as the holiday buying season – retailers can rely on cloud to scale up; in slower periods, they can pull back, without having to purchase on-premise equipment that supports their busiest periods, he said.
"The customer wants to scale and they also want flexibility," he said. "It's like buying clothes for your newborn: They grow so fast. There is another aspect. They may start a new service, want to use cloud and when the service takes off they might want to bring it in-house or grow in the cloud."
Because of its seasonal nature, some retailers have been faster to adopt cloud. In fact, retail is one of the top five verticals in its use of the technology, according to a July report by IDC. Retailers were expected to spend $15.1 billion on cloud this year, compared with $4.2 billion in 2011, Accenture found.
"The technological innovations and enabling capabilities unleashed by cloud have fostered new opportunities across the industries," said Eileen Smith, program manager, IDC Global Technology and Research Group, in its report. "As a result, it is necessary for both technology vendors and buyers to recognize the industry drivers and barriers of cloud deployment, to understand the business transformation brought by cloud, and to act upon the changes that will shape business and technology strategy in the coming years."
Retailers want to act fast – and that means removing manual processes, Stan Klimoff, general manager, Cloud, at Grid Dynamics, told EnterpriseTech. To address this requirement, the Fujitsui-Grid Dynamics offering includes Tonomi, an automation, orchestration, and configuration management solution that gives retailers self-service capabilities for cloud applications. It also features environments for managed development, testing, staging, and production designed to connect to retailers' internal systems, essential in this agile, DevOps era, he said.
"One of the main reasons they can move as fast as they can is the resiliency of the infrastructure. We have, essentially, a DevOps platform which allows for managing the environment in an automated way," said Klimoff.
At the heart of the solution lies Oracle Commerce. Oracle is one of four developers that offer a fully integrated suite of software for retailers, according to Forrester. Typically, enterprises compare Oracle Commerce, Demandware, hybris, and IBM on price, vision, and alliances more than price and features, wrote Peter Sheldon in "The Forrester Wave: B2C Commerce Suites, Q1 2015." With the advent of Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle crafted together "a genuine hybrid of old and new code" from Oracle Commerce and the new cloud-based offering, Sheldon said in a brief, "Oracle Commerce Gets the Cloud Treatment."
Fujitsu M10 SPARC servers are based on Fujitsu SPARC64 X+/X processors running Oracle Solaris. Available as single-socket 1RU M10-1; 4-socket 4RU M10-4, or scalable M10-4S models, M10 servers include CPU core activation and building block architectures.
The Fujitsu-Grid solution is delivered as a subscription service, offered at a monthly fee; pricing depends on several factors, such as infrastructure complexity and size, said Grid Dynamics' Klimoff. The cost is comparable to other enterprise offerings and includes the ability to create new cloud environments, he said.
Although this is the first vertical the two companies are focusing on, expect them to address others in the future. Finance could be next, suggested Hatay, given the sector's demand for speed, flexibility, and agility.