Groupe Chantelle
Lingerie specialist re-invents its consumer business model—including a recyclable brassiere
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Inside view of a lingerie store

In response to consumer demand for sustainability and a dramatically changing retail landscape, Group Chantelle is re-inventing its lingerie business. The company chose IBM® Power Systems™ and IBM FlashSystem® servers to create a flexible, high-performance platform for SAP solutions that will drive omnichannel digital transformation.

Business challenge

To support the transformation of its supply chain and go-to-market models, Groupe Chantelle wanted an agile IT infrastructure that would also protect its past investments in SAP software.

Transformation

Working with Novahé, Groupe Chantelle deployed one IBM Power Systems S922 and two IBM Power Systems S914 servers with IBM POWER9™ processors, running both IBM i and Linux, and IBM FlashSystem storage.

Results 25% boost
in per-core performance enables greater responsiveness to customers
25% increase
in price-performance accelerates returns on IT investments
Enables
agile decisions about future IT, contributing to competitive edge
Business challenge story
Gaining the agility to change

Companies in all industries are seeking greater productivity and efficiency, backed by the flexibility to innovate and grow into new markets. Groupe Chantelle, a leading global manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of lingerie, is no exception. 

To create a new, customer-led business model, Groupe Chantelle is integrating its own in-store and online channels more closely—for example, enabling online customers to collect and return items in its retail stores. To respond to consumer passion for sustainability and corporate social responsibility Groupe Chantelle will soon pioneer a completely recyclable brassiere: an innovation that introduces new challenges at every level, from supply chain to customer service.

The company is also rolling out a direct fulfillment model whereby it ships products from its own warehouses to customers who purchase on third-party e-commerce partners’ websites. 

André Wei, CTO at Groupe Chantelle, comments, “We want to be more flexible and innovative both in the products we create and in the ways we go to market. In the past, we managed the selection for our retail partners, but they now want to manage stock for themselves, which generates entirely new demands on our business processes. Service levels have always been key in retail, and being able to deliver exactly what our sellers want is vital.”

Enabling these new ways of working depends on agile internal systems that can move quickly to support new retail offerings. “Our existing SAP ERP solution has long provided a fully integrated environment for fast and efficient business processes,” says André Wei. “However, the solution was not designed for rapid development or for supporting experimentation. We wanted to find a way both to ensure our traditional robust, high-performance and secure systems and support greater agility across the whole value chain.”

Our IBM Power Systems and IBM FlashSystem environments add to our flexibility—and therefore our competitive edge—by enabling us to place workloads wherever it makes the most sense to run them. André Wei CTO Groupe Chantelle
Transformation story
Two paths, one platform

To enable its new, omnichannel and customer-led business model, Groupe Chantelle needed a new technology platform that would support faster and more efficient interactions at every level, from supply chain to customer service. The company decided to adopt the SAP HANA database both for its existing SAP ERP environment and to support future SAP S/4HANA applications. The company engaged its long-term technology supplier, IBM Business Partner Novahé, to scope out a new hybrid platform that would enable it to run both the existing and newer elements side-by-side on the same infrastructure.

“We outlined what we wanted to achieve in business terms, and Novahé created a technical solution that met our precise needs and at the same ongoing cost as our previous platform,” says André Wei. “By choosing IBM Power Systems, we gained the ability to run both IBM i and Linux on the same platform. We also avoided the significant cost and risk of replacing our existing, well-adapted SAP ERP environment. And moving forward with IBM Power Systems, we can choose the best platform for whatever solutions we select based on business needs rather than technology constraints.”

Jean-François Fine, Presales Engineer at Novahé, says, “Drawing on our long experience with the IBM Power platform, we knew that the latest generation of IBM systems would give Groupe Chantelle all the technological capabilities it needed today and for the future.”

François Delbrel, Client Director at Novahé, adds, “The combination of IBM technology and our expertise in designing and delivering business solutions enables us to bring great ongoing value to our clients.”

Novahé’s proposal called for the deployment of two IBM Power Systems S914 servers running the IBM i operating system for the production landscape, one dedicated to the SAP central instance and one to SAP Retail. Groupe Chantelle also deployed an IBM Power Systems S922 server that will run SAP HANA on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications (link resides outside of ibm.com), ready to introduce the SAP S/4HANA for Fashion and Vertical Business solution. These servers feature IBM POWER9 processors, which offer both more cores and 26 percent higher per-core performance for SAP than Groupe Chantelle’s previous processors, while the IBM Power Systems S922 server has a full 2 TB of memory to support the in-memory HANA database. 

The IBM servers are complemented by an end-to-end NVMe flash storage environment on IBM FlashSystem storage servers. Certified by SAP for use with SAP HANA, IBM FlashSystem storage accelerates application performance and enhances business productivity, and on-the-fly data compression provides greater capacity within the same footprint.

“Our relationship with Novahé is built on trust and we have total confidence in their knowledge of the IBM Power Systems architecture,” says André Wei. “We’re not an enormous organization, and we don’t have the resources to be experts in every single technology. For advanced platforms like IBM Power Systems, it makes sense for us to take advantage of experienced external partners in this way.”

We are excited about what the future holds, and with IBM Power Systems running both IBM i and Linux, we can rapidly deploy whatever new tools the business needs and keep raising service levels for customers. André Wei CTO Groupe Chantelle
Results story
One size fits all

With up to 25 percent gains in performance for its SAP ERP application, and the same monthly costs as before, Groupe Chantelle is already reaping the rewards of its upgrade to IBM POWER9 processor-based servers. Led by Novahé, the migration ran smoothly despite taking place during a lockdown period in the 2020 global pandemic. Says André Wei, “We benefitted from the expertise of our partners, Novahé and IBM, and the migration was completely transparent from the business and operational perspectives.” 

As Groupe Chantelle continues to work through its transformation plans, its new IBM Power Systems infrastructure provides a flexible platform that enhances existing capabilities and is ready for whatever the future may bring. The adoption of SAP S/4HANA is the current direction of travel, and Groupe Chantelle anticipates that new applications will enable it to boost engagement through enhanced customer experiences. “We are excited about what the future holds, and with Power Systems running both IBM i and Linux, we can rapidly deploy whatever new tools the business needs and keep raising service levels for customers,” says André Wei.

The company is also now ready for a hybrid-cloud future. “At one point, everyone was talking about full cloud as the inevitable direction for all IT environments, but it’s a little more nuanced today,” says André Wei. “A lot of corporate systems have moved to PaaS or IaaS, where you still need to manage infrastructure. And while cloud is cost-effective for systems that have high seasonal variability or special connectivity needs, it’s usually much less expensive to run large corporate applications on-premises. For these reasons, the paradigm has shifted to hybrid cloud. The approach should help us get bigger returns on our IT investments.”

He adds, “It’s all about using the right solution for each need, because changing for change’s sake is risky and costly, especially right now. Our IBM Power Systems and IBM FlashSystem environments add to our flexibility—and therefore our competitive edge—by enabling us to place workloads wherever it makes the most sense to run them.”

Groupe Chantelle logo
About Groupe Chantelle

Groupe Chantelle (link resides outside of ibm.com) is a family-owned lingerie company headquartered in France. With six international brands, the company has been an innovator in clothing technology since 1876, and manages the entire value chain from design through manufacture to distribution and retail. Groupe Chantelle manufactures 15 million items each year across its eight factories.

About Novahé

A specialist in designing and delivering advanced hybrid infrastructures, Novahé (link resides outside of ibm.com) supports its clients in creating agile information systems that enable organizational transformation.

Take the next step

To learn more about IBM Power Systems servers or IBM FlashSystem storage, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following websites: ibm.com/power and ibm.com/flashsystem

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