HMV invests in company-wide IT infrastructure upgrade

Thin clients deliver electricity savings store-wide of ?45k over three years.

IGEL has revealed that the UK’s largest [physical] music retailer, HMV Retail Limited, has completed a project to install 760 new Universal Desktop 2 (UD2) terminals throughout its 129 stores and warehouses in the UK.
This is part of a wider programme to refresh and upgrade IT infrastructure throughout the business, save money and invest for the future after the company exited administration. HMV was purchased by Hilco Capital in 2013.
HMV is a specialist retailer of music, film, games and technology products. Employing 2,500 staff, it has a turnover today of over ?400 million and offers a wide selection of new release and catalogue items. HMV – which stands for His Master’s Voice - has a rich heritage dating back 95 years when the first store opened in London by the celebrated British composer and conductor, Sir Edward Elgar.
Getting more for less
HMV has undertaken a comprehensive IT investment programme since 2013 that will bring its IT infrastructure up-to-date, reduce IT expenditure and support commercial growth. Various initiatives are underway in parallel to achieve this:
  • HMV is moving a number of services to a new datacentre provider, shifting to a hybrid cloud-based solution. The third party will host its core HR, loyalty card and desktop delivery environments.
  • HMV is upgrading to a more modern VDI Citrix environment installing XenDesktop 7.6 and installing new faster servers. The new Citrix platform also means HMV is able to further adopt virtualization to reduce its physical estate. The number of servers will drop from 50 to six.
  • HMV has introduced a new electronic point of sale system for staff in store replacing old IBM 4690 tills with a point-to-point encrypted solution from WorldPay.
Derek Walklate, HMV’s service delivery manager, says, “Our IT investment shows that HMV is committed to supporting our business by replacing old equipment which is out of support and costly to maintain. The business is keen to leverage cost saving opportunities through using cloud-based solutions. New IT means we not only get the latest and fastest technology but have the potential to save money through our new Citrix farm and server virtualization as well as getting rid of end of life equipment which has excessive maintenance charges.”
As part of the Citrix upgrade, HMV had to replace all its ageing desktop thin client terminals which were over 15 years old and not compatible with the new software. HMV bought 800 UD2 terminals supplied by IGEL reseller, Trust Systems, of which 760 have been installed in stores - the remainder kept for backup and other purposes. In addition, new keyboards, mice and 21.5-inch monitors have been purchased resulting in a wholesale desktop refresh throughout HMV’s store estate.
Staff use the IGEL UD2 terminals to access standard Microsoft Windows applications via Citrix and an in-house developed stock management solution called Track Systems. This lists every product sold and tracks sales, items which need re-ordering while providing a variety of analytic and reporting features.
HMV did a comprehensive market review and carried out an in-house trial reviewing other traditional thin client vendors as well as suppliers of Chromebooks.
Walklate says, “IGEL was selected because of a recommendation from Trust Systems, one of our key IT partners, lower software licensing costs and our internal team liked its Universal Management Suite (UMS) which is far simpler to use compared to others. Using a central console, the UMS allows remote administration of IGEL devices over our network which is important given stores are located from Cornwall to Inverness and beyond.”
The roll out of IGEL UD2 units by Trust Systems was carried out based on where engineers were located and clusters of shops. Typically, two stores per engineer were upgraded each day.
Considerable total cost of ownership benefits
IGEL UD2 terminals are super power efficient using 5 watts of power per hour compared to other devices which consume as much as 45. Nick Potts, managing director, Trust Systems, says, “When we reviewed products for HMV, our analysis showed that that they could save more than ?45k on electricity over a three year period using IGEL UD2 terminals versus product from another well known competitor.”[1]
Simon Richards, Managing Director for IGEL South & Western Europe, says, “With the Citrix upgrade and new IGEL desktops, HMV now has a modern, fast and response system for all store and warehouse staff which obviously helps them do their jobs more efficiently with obvious benefits for customer service. IGEL devices play a part in this as they are easy to use and simple for HMV’s IT team to manage.”
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