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Retail chooses Azure Stack HCI for digital transformation

Retail chooses Azure Stack HCI for digital transformation

6 reasons to deploy Microsoft Azure Stack HCI

In the retail world, too, the digital transformation train is racing ahead at breakneck speed. In fact, we are at a critical turning point today. Crossovers between retail and technological innovations are transforming the sector from within. From inventory management and supply chain optimisation to customer engagement and in-store experiences. 
Every facet of the retail sector is impacted. That brings an endless stream of opportunities. But also a lot of challenges. In this blog, you will discover how the hybrid cloud based on Microsoft Azure Stack HCI is ushering in a new era. The era of smart retail.

Azure Stack HCI-based hybrid cloud ushers in new retail era

Customer expectations are changing. Whereas a few decades ago physical retail outlets were the mainstay of retail, today e-commerce platforms take the crown. In such a rapidly changing market, ambitious retail organisations are looking for solutions. They find them in technologies such as hyperconverged infrastructure and hybrid cloud.
Not surprisingly, several players have developed systems to bring just those technologies to retail businesses. One of these is Microsoft. With Azure Stack HCI, among others, they offer an answer to pertinent challenges of retail businesses. For us, Microsoft is the logical choice for retail businesses for more than one reason. You can read our motivation further in this blog.


Omnichannel approach to Azure Stack HCI

In an omnichannel-driven market, HCI paves the way for smart, data-driven retail organisations, also known as smart retail or retail 4.0. Because with one powerful system, HCI offers retailers the best agility, accelerated innovation processes and maximum scalability and flexibility.
But what exactly is Azure Stack HCI? Azure Stack HCI starts from Microsoft's pioneering cloud computing platform - Azure. A proven technology that accelerates digital transformation by offering integrations with other Microsoft services. But Azure Stack HCI can also be called revolutionary, to say the least.
Azure Stack HCI is a hyper-converged infrastructure solution that combines the flexibility of the cloud with the control and cost efficiency of on-premises data centres. In other words, it aggregates all the components of your IT environment into a single, integrated system. Without sacrificing processing power, storage and network capacity.
Thus, Azure Stack HCI enables organisations to run modern, virtual workloads with a direct link to the Azure cloud. Talk about a seamless hybrid experience! Managing, maintaining and scaling such a system is a lot easier and more cost-effective than traditional IT infrastructures.
In short, the hybrid cloud based on Azure Stack HCI is designed to be flexible, scalable and cost-effective. Thus, it provides retailers with a conclusive answer to various current challenges, which they immediately transform into opportunities with Azure Stack HCI. 


Download our Smart Retail e-book, to discover all the benefits of hybrid cloud based on Azure Stack HCI for your retail business.
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From challenge to opportunity with Microsoft Azure Stack

No challenge too big or Microsoft Azure Stack HCI has an appropriate (hybrid) solution for it. Learn about the 6 crucial benefits for the retail sector below:
1. Part of a powerful whole
Azure Stack HCI is not a standalone technology. The fact that it is tightly integrated with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform enables retail businesses to effortlessly leverage Azure services such as Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, Azure Defender, Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor. This makes it easy for your IT team to improve the security of your IT infrastructure, keep a finger on the pulse around its performance, and call on a powerful backup system. 
2. ​Hybrid cloud favourite

Want to extend your on-premise infrastructure to the cloud? With the combination of hybrid cloud based on Azure Stack HCI, it is very easy to do so. Ideal when you want to scale up or down your IT system to meet fluctuations in customer demand. 
In addition, the possibilities around data analytics, machine learning workloads and AI integrations, for example, are big pluses. By using the local data processing of Azure Stack HCI and the extensive data analytics and AI capabilities of Azure services, you choose the solutions your retail organisation needs à la carte, so to speak. At any time.
3. ​Frontrunner of innovation
Whether it's machine learning, artificial intelligence or advanced analytics, Microsoft is at the controls of these revolutionary technologies. Combined with Azure's cloud services, Azure Stack HCI enables a hybrid cloud environment. Thus, data and applications move seamlessly between on-premises environments and the Azure cloud. It is the ideal biotope for advanced analytics, AI and machine learning, among others.
4. ​Lower costs, greater efficiency

Azure's flexible payment model means you only pay for what you use. A monthly Azure subscription eliminates expensive and unnecessary hardware, drastically reducing your operational costs.

5.Safe and compliant

Like all Microsoft technologies, Azure Stack HCI is enormously secure. With various compliance certifications such as ISO, SOC 2 and AVG. For retail businesses processing sensitive customer data and transactions on a daily basis, compliance with legal provisions around data protection is vital. With Microsoft technologies like Azure Stack HCI, you can be 100% sure of that.

6. For small and large retail organisations

Whether you run a small-scale, medium-sized or international retail business, any ambition to grow needs support from a stable IT system. Instead of investing in expensive and cumbersome hardware-based solutions, HCI pitches itself as a flexible and highly scalable alternative. 
When your business grows in terms of number of customers, number of branches or traffic to your e-commerce platform, the complexity of your IT infrastructure also grows. You process more transaction data, support more locations and deal with fluctuations in demand. Azure Stack HCI helps you accommodate your growth thanks to its potential to scale seamlessly and through its integrations with Azure services.
Whatever stage your business is in, Microsoft Azure Stack HCI gives you a boost. From start-up over scale-up to big enterprise.


Microsoft technologies: trusted partner of retail

Many retail organisations already use Microsoft technologies. Think, for example, of Windows Server, Active Directory and System Center. This makes implementing hybrid cloud based on Azure Stack HCI all the easier. This is because it builds on these technologies. Very easy for IT teams to further implement, manage and maintain without extensive retraining. 
Choosing the hybrid cloud based on Azure Stack HCI means taking advantage of its seamless integration with Azure services and the Microsoft package. This allows administrators to implement complex hybrid scenarios such as disaster recovery and cloud monitoring. In addition, Azure Stack HCI allows for unified management through Windows Admin Center and Azure Arc. A requirement for a consistent experience across environments. 
These are just some of the many ways in which the hybrid cloud based on Azure Stack HCI adapts perfectly to changing business needs. Thanks to integration with multiple Azure services and Microsoft's strong focus on security and compliance (including Azure Security Center, Azure Sentinel, etc.), you can be sure of a highly secure IT environment.

Azure HCI, l'incontournable for smart retail companies

Let's face it: Azure Stack HCI is preparing retail businesses for the future like no other. Through unified buying experiences across Points Of Sale, it gives retailers a powerful IT foundation to meet the expectations of modern consumers. 
Through advanced data analysis, forecasting models and real-time insights, it optimises inventory management and supply chain, among other things. The benefits are quickly apparent: reduced costs, better customer experience, and secure data processing and storage. With the pay-as-you-go model, retailers have the flexibility to manage their IT budgets more effectively without compromising on technology capacity.
Ready for retail 4.0? So get advice from experts like us. We will help you map out your current IT infrastructure, analyse your future needs, and advise you on the best IT solution. When you are ready to implement your future-proof IT infrastructure, our specialists will get to work for you.
Download our Smart Retail e-book, to discover all the benefits of hybrid cloud based on Azure Stack HCI for your retail business.
Download our e-book