Carrefour takes a cloud-first approach to their digital transformation

Carrefour has a well-established reputation as an innovator in the retail sector. Maintaining this status requires that they constantly evolve their IT systems.

Their existing legacy on-premises solution was proving to be too rigid to meet their evolving business needs, especially on high-traffic days, such as Black Friday, where their IT systems needed to quickly scale to meet increased customer demand.

Carrefour in Spain adopted a cloud-first approach to meet this requirement, migrating all their on-premises systems to Google Cloud Platform, developing disruptive new solutions to support business goals. Working together, we developed an ambitious blueprint, enabling them to migrate all existing platforms to the public cloud while quickly adding new capabilities to support future business requirements.

Client profile

Carrefour is a multinational retailer with a presence in more than 30 countries and headquarters in France.

With 12,300 stores and a turnover of more than EUR 100 billion, they are ranked among the world leaders in this sector.

Carrefour Spain is an omnichannel, multi-format and multi-brand company with 205 hypermarkets, 158 Carrefour Market supermarkets, 1,058 Carrefour Express stores and 49 Supeco discount stores in Spain, in addition to their online store.


Driving innovation with a cloud-first approach

Carrefour in Spain needed to be able to match the levels of speed, agility and cost flexibility of their cloud-native retail competitors to maintain their leading position.

To achieve this, they adopted a cloud-first strategy. This was essential in enabling them to take advantage of the innovative culture they had built up. Leveraging the power of the cloud would allow them to minimize the cost of activating new services, align IT costs to business needs and reduce their time to market for new applications.

This transformation required that they adopt flexible cloud infrastructures, agile DevOps processes and efficient automation tools. This meant going beyond incremental changes, instead taking a radical approach to their technology environment. With this vision in place, they collaborated with us to help facilitate their journey to the cloud.

‘'To maintain a leadership position we needed to adopt a cloud-first approach. Without the agility and flexibility that this provides, we would have struggled to maintain the innovative culture we’ve become known for.’'

Jose Luis González Santana
Cloud Manager, Carrefour

Creating a blueprint for the agile organization

Through a series of cloud strategy workshops, Carrefour identified us as their key partner in realizing their vision, including creating the strategy and operationalizing the blueprint. Working together, we followed our proven Cloud Transformation Framework, to design the new cloud-based IT service for Carrefour. This solution provides a new highly available, scalable and reliable infrastructure, leveraging extensive automation, alongside the use of infrastructure as code to enable them to maintain tight control over their environment.

The Google Cloud Platform architecture forms the basis of the solution, leveraging the optimal combination of IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, containers and serverless components. Having been successfully deployed, this is now managed by us leveraging our support, operation, maintenance, and cost control tools. Key to the success of this relationship is the knowledge transfer between our specialists and the team at Carrefour. Through a series of workshops and webinars, we’re working together to ensure that all team members are kept up to date with the latest developments, enabling the creation of a cloud-first culture.

In addition, there’s a continuous process of cooperation to optimize their global cloud migration strategy, with a focus on cloud governance and compliance, technical architecture and validating specific solutions. Beyond these initial platforms, the global Carrefour transformation plan also incorporates the migration of 382 existing workloads to GCP with a full re-platforming of 88% of these.

‘'Leveraging NTT’s depth of cloud and SAP expertise, we created an agile and flexible environment that lets us respond quickly to the needs of the business.’'

Jose Luis González Santana, 
Cloud Manager, Carrefour

Exploring the potential of a cloud-first future

Carrefour’s new cloud framework has enabled a new, flexible way of working. This framework includes a cloud governance model, service management and cost optimization as well as ensuring high-quality connectivity between Carrefour and GCP data centers.

Cloud-native integration

Working together we’ve integrated their core IT management tools with cloud-native tools, providing availability, reliability and scalability. This forms part of their new cloud service operating model, including continuous integration and delivery.

Reliable and agile business-critical platforms

Among the platforms Carrefour have deployed is an SAP Hana solution that consolidates more than 100 legacy applications. This business-critical platform supports the business processes at more than 200 hypermarkets. We also deployed a new e-commerce platform based on Kubernetes containers. This new agile development process, and the adaptability of the GCP platform, provides their online sales channel with an outstanding time-to-market when rolling out new services. The business is no longer constrained by inflexible legacy infrastructure and can now scale to meet changing demands.