CloudHealth’s Quick Implementation Accelerates Loblaw’s Cloud Journey
Loblaw is Canada’s biggest grocery retailer, thriving with over 22 grocery brands and 200,000 employees across the country. Second to the government, Loblaw employs the most people of any company in Canada, with 650 full-time employees within the technology division of the company alone. Since their founding in 1919, a love of food has driven Loblaw to find innovative ways to bring customers closer to their favorite products.
Loblaw's Journey to the Cloud
Loblaw’s cloud modernization journey started a few years ago, with the team looking to move everything to the cloud from their existing data centers. The team responsible for cloud costs and consumption realized that their Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) environments were expanding rapidly, which created a need for a tool that could manage these complex workloads at scale. When looking for a cloud management solution, the team needed a tool that was easy to use, intuitive, and as hands-off as possible. After the team conducted a study between CloudHealth by VMware and a competitor before purchasing, CloudHealth was the clear winner—delivering on all fronts and providing proof of value.
Iann Lennox, Capacity Planner at Loblaw, was tasked with finding the tool that would best accommodate the company’s complex infrastructure. Loblaw’s VMware account representative recommended CloudHealth, and once the team learned more about the platform, it was an easy sell. Heather Bailey, Director of Capacity Management at Loblaw, shared “the sales team did an incredible job of really diving in, taking all of our data, and coming back and presenting it to us. The return on investment was glaring in our faces.”
CloudHealth’s Professional Services team was engaged right from the beginning to help get Loblaw up and running on the platform quickly. The Professional Services team was very hands-on and communicated what was going to be accomplished as part of the Implementation Service and how they were going to get there. “We deal with a lot of vendors. CloudHealth certainly has fantastic customer service values,” Iann shared.
Acceleration in the Cloud
The Loblaw team is using CloudHealth to improve visibility, optimization, and financial management across their multicloud environment.
CloudHealth’s dashboards and drill-down capabilities help Loblaw analyze consumption across Azure and GCP.
"CloudHealth certainly made our team look fantastic. The intuitive nature of the product itself is very simple."Capacity Planner at Loblaw
Expanding upon that, Heather shared, “from a leadership standpoint, our executive team is enjoying the outputs we get from this.”
When building out dynamic business groups, known as CloudHealth Perspectives, the Professional Services team was always available to help. “I had emailed asking for assistance and the team was always very accommodating.” shared George Verdes, Capacity Planner at Loblaw. The team demonstrated how easy the workflow is when building perspectives, reports, and dashboards. “Obviously, there’s a learning curve but once you learn it flows very nicely,” George said.
Loblaw saw immediate savings of $768K over 7 months by purchasing Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances with a one-year term commitment. “The Azure RI Optimizer is hands down the number one thing that comes out of the tool,” Iann shared. As Loblaw matures, the team wants to progress without having to backtrack and change processes. The team relies on CloudHealth data to guide and optimize their cloud infrastructure.
"Collecting data from CloudHealth gives us some breathing room so we’re able to go back and look at data to see if it makes sense to reserve again."Capacity Planner at Loblaw
Iann also mentioned that he attended an executive presentation at CloudLIVE virtual that has greatly impacted Loblaw’s cloud journey. “I was amazed. I still think a lot about how they structure their environment. As we’re growing we want to do it right the first time.” Loblaw took the opportunity to learn from the CloudHealth community and implement key findings into their own cloud journey.
Next Steps for Loblaw
Loblaw intends to weave CloudHealth into business processes as they continue to build underlying infrastructure and provide platform access to different team members across the Loblaw portfolio of brands. Currently, a team of four people is still responsible for managing on-premises workloads as well as the cloud. CloudHealth will assist in building out a Cloud Center of Excellence to manage Loblaw’s multicloud environment as it continues to scale.
Loblaw has already seen a remarkable ROI and the team plans to build out KPIs to align cloud data with their business initiatives.