“We found that we could get a retail-hardened, reliable advanced machine from HP with larger Intel® processors and more memory priced well below the IBM and NCR options,” explains Bader. “On top of that, we could maintain the same chip set for five years when previously we had to migrate to a different machine and chip set every nine months. HP rp5000 POS devices enabled us to reduce the number of software images and the need to support multiple images and environments.”
The retailer hired HP Services to integrate and deploy roughly 1,000 HP POS devices in more than 700 North American stores in six weeks. The deployment expanded application functionality, improved inventory-in/sales-out data reporting performance and sped up customer checkout. The specialty retailer has since adopted HP rp5700 POS devices.
While HP POS systems reign in Chico’s stores, HP Integrity servers rule in the back office. Chico’s previously used IBM eight-way servers for the database layer, but in late 2005 engaged HP’s Solution Centers to help oversee the testing of an HP Integrity rx8620 Server running 64-bit Microsoft® SQL Server 2005. The outstanding results prompted the retailer to select the HP server to run SQL Server databases and link to Chico’s e-commerce site.
“We don’t just get servers from HP, we get solutions,” says Steven Ross, Vice President of Technology for Chico’s. “The entire implementation curve was handled for us. The HP engineers did a fantastic job on the initial implementation and the upgrade.”
Crunching the numbers
Recently, Intel and HP Services helped Chico’s maximize compute capacity at the Fort Myers facility and determine its power constraints.
“Implementing a new data center can be expensive and disruptive,” says Ross. “HP and Intel conducted cooling ratios, segregated hot and cold isles, re-routed some of the cooling and performed some venting. They helped with our circuitry and power consumption loads. At their recommendation, we are buying more c-Class blades, which require less cooling.”
Since deploying the first HP Integrity rx8620 Server, Chico’s purchased another and also an HP Integrity Superdome Server with Dual-Core Intel Itanium processors. The retailer has about 500 HP ProLiant c- and p-Class server blades running Windows, the company’s SAP application tier and the Chico’s Web site.
“We depend on the built-in redundancy, efficient cooling and power consumption of ProLiant blade servers, and the flexibility to put two- and four-way servers in the enclosures on the fly. The HP BladeSystem allows us to provision application services quickly,” says Ross.
Fashions change fast. But innovative HP solutions and services enable Chico’s IT staff to adjust quickly, while helping the company to maintain a healthy balance sheet.
“We have a strong bond with HP, and as a result we have a close working relationship. This relationship equals good service all across the board,” Ross concludes.