Halfords, the car parts and bikes retailer, has signed a contract with Fujitsu for three years of IT maintenance and support.
Fujitsu is taking over from IT services provider Barron McCann, which had provided the support for “a number of years”, according to Halfords CIO Anna Barsby.
Under the contract, Fujitsu will provide break-fix services for all of the retailer’s store hardware, which includes till systems, telephony and printers. The contract is expected to reduce costs for Halfords, and improve quality.
“I have seen them do it before at Whitbread,” Barsby said of Fujitsu, saying that the IT services provider had supplied a similar contract to the multinational hotel, restaurant and coffee shop group when she was there as head of infrastructure and service delivery.
Fujitsu will also provide support for store manager laptops and Lenovo tablet devices that have recently been rolled out, one of each per store.
“The tablets are for use by colleagues for accessing the extended Halfords range on the web. We chose a basic tablet because ultimately, we just need web access on them,” Barsby explained.
The contract with Fujitsu is part of an overall strategy to improve IT at Halfords. The retailer is currently one year into a three-year transformation programme to upgrade its SAP systems, which forms the back end for Halfords’ sales systems.
“[The upgrade] has been a few years in the waiting,” said Barsby. “We’ve got quite a legacy estate and we’re looking to make sure we provide a platform that enables growth for the business. I’ve been here a year, and have had things asked of me and I’ve had to say no to because our systems won’t allow us to do them.”
Halfords is using HP to carry out the SAP upgrade, and the system will be hosted in HP’s virtual private cloud. Prior to HP, the SAP estate was being maintained by CenturyLink, previously Savvis.
Also under the terms of the Fujitsu contract is for the vendor to be Halford’s strategic partner on future projects.
“We’re currently looking at our data centre migration hosting strategy and what that might look like. We’re looking at the design and maintenance of our network, and we’re looking at our end user computing,” said Barsby.
In one project, Halfords is exploring virtualisation as a way to reduce its data centre footprint.
“We’ve just started a virtualisation programme. The move to HP is one of the ways we go forward,” Barsby said.