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Exclusive: Aldo Group adopts composable cloud architecture

Matthieu Houle, Aldo Shoes
Matthieu Houle, CIO, The Aldo Group Inc.

A global footwear and accessories retailer is adopting a cloud-based, best-of-breed enterprise approach.

Chain Store Age recently spoke with Matthieu Houle, CIO of Montreal, Canada-based The Aldo Group Inc., about the company’s deployment of the SAP Commerce Cloud platform. Aldo operates in 100 countries globally, including the U.S.

“Aldo originally utilized an enterprise e-commerce platform called iCongo, which was acquired by Hybris,” explained Houle. “Then SAP acquired Hybris and now has renamed the solution SAP Commerce Cloud.”

In 2020, Aldo migrated from the on-premises version of what was then known as SAP Hybris to the cloud-based release. This enabled the retailer to begin creating a  composable architecture, or a cloud-based collection of integrated, best-of-breed solutions that communicate with each other and act as a customized technology ecosystem.

“The reason for shifting to a composable architecture was to obtain flexibility,” said Houle. “And the ability to modify and control the front end and the user experience was definitely a driver. The real benefit is the ability be quick and agile in terms of providing best-in-class user experience and consumer experience.”

According to Houle, Aldo did not perform a major cloud migration, but rather took a “lift and shift” approach where on-premises applications were moved to the cloud with minimal modifications.

“Cloud migration was seamless,” said Houle. “It was not a big project. It's been done via small steps, rather than a ‘big bang.’”

Since Aldo was already using SAP Hybris, Houle said shifting that solution to the cloud was not a migration, but simply following the evolution of the product. The company then migrated its ERP solutions to technology from SAP and SAP partners, including SAP Success Factors HR and Fluent Commerce order management.

In addition, Aldo is currently transitioning its POS system to the Flooid unified commerce platform to enable a seamless checkout experience that crosses channels, and is examining possible online search applications.

“The beauty of adding solutions is that we have the core, which is doing its job very well,” said Houle. “The core is stable; we went through the last few Black Fridays without a glitch. But then we're able to add a bit of a piece of the puzzle based on where the business benefits are, and without having to do a ‘Big Bang’ approach.”

As an example, Houle cited Aldo’s decision during the COVID-19 pandemic to make pairs of shoes that were still en route in the supply chain available for advance reservation on its e-commerce site.

“We were able to launch the initiative in a matter of weeks, if not days, in terms of a quick turnaround,” recalled Houle. And in that pandemic period, everything was changing every day. So we're very agile in the way we can do those kinds of things.”

[Read more: CSA Exclusive: Aldo follows up on early steps toward Instagram shopping]

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