Comprehensive implementation of Cloud solutions
The first Auchan supermarket opened in the vicinity of Lille, in the north of France, in 1961. Almost 50 years later, Auchan has become a household name in 15 countries in the world with the Auchan Commercial Centers now found in France, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Luxemburg, China, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Romania, to name just a few. Auchan Holding is run jointly by the Mulliez family and the employees through the Employee Ownership Scheme and comprises three separate lines of business: Auchan Retail (its commercial division), Immochan (the commercial and real estate development and management group), and Oney Bank (provider of consumer loans and insurance services). Ever since Auchan Retail Polska, a member of Auchan Retail, first established its presence here in 1996, more than twenty years ago, it has operated in three different retail formats: Auchan hypermarkets, Simply and My Auchan supermarkets, while Auchan Direct.pl online handles sales in Warsaw and environs.
Prior to 2013 and lacking their own tools for online services, Auchan had used a local server-room. The first as yet unintegrated communication tools came later: an internal file-sharing and swapping website, the Intranet, a dedicated social site, and file shares. The company used newsletters, posters and billboards to announce major events, but even though they served their basic purpose, they still suffered from certain limitations: no mobile devices or online file sharing options; calendars not integrated with e-mail; no instant messaging or online communication / conferencing, which is a critical feature for management purposes (such as information sharing with foreign branches) and for contacts with outlets at various domestic locations.
All the Auchan branches worldwide switched to the Google Cloud infrastructure in 2017 and Seiloc assisted Auchan with implementation of the new solutions in Poland: approximately 22 thousand Auchan Retail Polska employees use the G Suite technology now. The opportunities offered by the G Suite technology are superior compared to the earlier solutions, mainly because employees may now use any device and work from any location. They not only enjoy access to large volume and fast e-mail boxes but also to Cloud storage. They can use Hangouts Chat – an intelligent communication app for file sharing, or Hangouts Meet – a new video meeting and conferencing experience. The G Suite has eliminated problems plaguing connecting to the Intranet and the need to go to the office to do your work. Even more significantly, G Suite operates entirely in the Cloud, making data storage 100% safe: no break-down or equipment failure will ever affect the company’s sensitive data.
The chief benefits listed by Auchan staff following the G Suite implementation include work flexibility, independence from the Intranet, plus higher convenience and ease of working on projects. Google Calendar assists with arranging meetings and video conferencing between Auchan stores or warehouse locations. The option to view other employees’ Calendar schedules makes it possible to set a meeting at the most convenient time for all the parties involved. Google Drive and tools for collaboration are now available for shared document editing by Auchan employees and business partners, shortening the lead time required for certain tasks and providing easy access to the complete documentation in one location only. Auchan employees may now share and work on their files without the need to send them by mail, thus avoiding unnecessary inbox overload. Google+ Communities assist employees with everyday contacts regarding general company updates and information flow between various departments and locations. Hangouts Meet brings together people working both on local and international projects; allows holding internal and outside training seminars for suppliers; and facilitates communication with IT support services providers. Ready-made forms make it possible to pose specific questions quickly and easily obtain questionnaire responses for a later presentation at a meeting. Working in the Cloud has simplified a number of Auchan Retail Polska internal processes and ideally dovetailed with the company’s innovation strategy for future development.