When the Swiss need groceries, electronics, sporting goods, garden supplies, and just about anything else, many of them turn to Migros—and not just because it’s the largest retail company, the largest supermarket/hypermarket chain, and the largest private employer in Switzerland. Swiss shoppers choose to shop at Migros because they appreciate the value and quality the retail cooperative brings.
The Migros vision is to make the lives of its members, employees, and fellow residents better every day, whether that’s providing healthful food, delivering innovative products, or contributing a portion of its revenue to social and cultural projects. Even after 90 years in business, this vision still guides the daily business of the cooperative.
Simplifying a complex application environment
One way Migros fulfils its promise of improving lives is with a robust, easy-to-use online shopping experience as well as a mobile shopping app. Alain Petignat, who heads up online development and operations for Migros, has a team of IT specialists responsible for a large environment of customer-facing applications, including iOS and Android mobile apps, that deliver a digital shopping experience.
‘For our customer-facing software, we have around 300 different instances of applications based on many different technologies’, says Petignat. ‘Our environment is a mix of third-party-developed applications and our own custom-developed applications and microservices. Plus while most of our applications run on-premises, we also use cloud services to host components such as image processing.’ The result is a complex mixture of applications, microservices, technologies, and infrastructure, not to mention various development teams with different deployment processes and scheduling.
Not surprisingly, Petignat’s team needed a way to ‘really streamline and simplify our deployment, operations, and monitoring processes.’ The first step was moving to Pivotal Cloud Foundry, a cloud platform-as-a-service solution, and Puppet, a deployment and operations automation tool. ‘With Pivotal and Puppet, we standardised our deployment process’, says Petignat. ‘That was a very important effort for us.’