architecture business process SOA web services

Award winning innovation with SOA and ATG

I’m pleased to announce that the Screwfix ‘Fusion’ programme yesterday won a prestigious industry award. This multi-million pound retail solution (for which I was the SOA architect) has been awarded Retail Technology Initiative of the Year 2011 by Oracle and Retail Week magazine.

So what is the Fusion programme and why did it win?

The Fusion programme consisted of 4 projects and involved over 100 people – all tasked with delivering a totally new and ground-breaking multi-channel retail sales system for sales order capture and customer service built using ATG eCommerce 2007 and supported by a bespoke service-oriented architecture.

The unique and innovative approach taken by Fusion meant that for all sales could be captured directly into ATG from all 4 retail channels – call center, stores, web and B2B. Because no traditional EPOS system was used in any of these channels, the customers resulting shopping experience could be seamless regardless of how they chose to shop with Screwfix.

Of course ATG can only go so far, so we designed a custom-built service-oriented architecture so that our strategic goals (business and technology alignment, increased organisational agility, intrinsic interoperability and vendor diversification options) could be realised.

In Screwfix’s case vendor diversification options and increased organisational agility proved particularly useful. The service-orientation approach taken means that Screwfix is free to change vendors of back-end systems at any time without the need to alter its ATG implementation. Additionally, the business agility created by having ‘business aligned’ SOA has allowed new commercial opportunities such as B2B and mobile to be brought to market very quickly.

As the SOA architect for the 3 years I spent on Fusion and the founder of the Screwfix SOA Governance Board I’m hugely proud of this achievement and I would like to extend my hearty congratulations to all my friends at Screwfix for their winning efforts!

If you’d like to find out more, please feel free to get in touch.

About the Retail Technology Initiative of the Year category: A category that aims to recognise a retail initiative which uses technology to generate clear business benefits. Innovations in technology, the supply chain and multichannel retailing are major areas of focus for all retailers and it is widely acknowledged that many UK retailers are leading the world in IT and supply chain innovations. This award is designed to throw a spotlight on those initiatives and is open to all retailers, regardless of turnover or size.