Introducing LOTTE Department Store
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, LOTTE Department Store is the country’s largest department store brand. With over 67 stores and 26,000 employees, the company offers a comprehensive range of goods and services, generating annual revenues equivalent to approximately $130 million. Its flagship store in Seoul’s shopping district, Myeongdong, houses over 12 stories and three basement levels of retail space.
LOTTE Group sought to deploy SAP S/4HANA to improve financial reporting and enhance customer experiences groupwide. To unlock the benefits of in-memory analytics while ensuring rock-solid reliability, LOTTE’s IT organization (LOTTE Data Communication Co., Ltd, or LDCC) selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications to host its new SAP business systems. For LOTTE’s IT provider, the SUSE platform offers simple management and seamless scalability. And for LOTTE Department Store, SLES for SAP Applications ensures 100% availability for mission-critical SAP S/4HANA services — enabling the company to harness up to 100x faster reporting and empower strategic operations 24/7.
Building outstanding experiences with data
For retailers, providing a consistently excellent customer experience is crucial to nurture long-term loyalty. To turn casual visitors into committed customers, LOTTE Department Store is always looking for innovative ways to reduce friction on the customer journey, whether by empowering shoppers to reserve online and collect in-store, or order for home delivery.
To help keep operations running smoothly, LOTTE Department Store depends on its IT systems. Like several other subsidiaries of LOTTE Group, the company has relied on SAP solutions to drive core business processes for many years.
Seo Jun-hyeok, technology manager, ERP Consulting Team at LDCC, says: “SAP ERP applications support LOTTE Department Store’s financial accounting, management accounting and money management workflows. With the launch of SAP S/4HANA, there was an opportunity to build on these capabilities by serving up real-time insights to the business.”
Embarking on a groupwide transformation
As part of a wider digital transformation initiative, LOTTE Group initiated a groupwide transition to SAP S/4HANA. The next-generation ERP will become the single, central platform for financial accounting for all group subsidiaries, and provide a basis for tighter process integration between different group companies in the future.
For LOTTE Department Store, moving from SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA will allow its leaders to make faster, better-informed decisions. In-memory processing for massive data sets promises to reveal a wide range of actionable insights: from improved forecasting and planning to faster month-end financial closing.
Selecting a dependable platform
As a first step, LOTTE Group’s shared IT services provider, LDCC, looked for an IT platform that could offer the availability, scalability and performance to support SAP S/4HANA for the long term.
“SAP solutions are mission-critical for LOTTE Department Store, and even a short period of unplanned downtime could cause significant disruption,” continues Seo. “Because SAP is business-critical, the server infrastructure platform on which SAP is built is also important. So, we looked for a robust enterprise solution for our new SAP S/4HANA environment.”
“Compared to other Linux distributions, we discovered that SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is by far the easiest to deploy and configure — and once deployed, the SUSE solution also wins out in terms of stability.“
Embracing SLES for SAP Applications
After thorough evaluation and testing of a number of leading server platforms, LDCC selected SLES for SAP Applications as the foundation for the new SAP S/4HANA solution. The platform will support companies across the entire group — including LOTTE Department Store, as well as other subsidiaries, such as Korea Seven and LOTTE Food.
“We formed a team to assess SLES for SAP Applications, and we were impressed by the results,” says Seo. “Compared to other Linux distributions, we discovered that SLES for SAP Applications is by far the easiest to deploy and configure — and once deployed, the SUSE solution also wins out in terms of stability. This experience made it clear why SLES for SAP Applications is SAP’s own platform of choice for SAP S/4HANA, and why so many other businesses around the world trust the SUSE solution.”
Supporting a hybrid-cloud architecture
Working with SUSE, LDCC sized, tested and deployed its new SAP S/4HANA environments on SLES for SAP Applications. The SUSE solution is configured to support the company’s hybrid storage architecture, which incorporates storage resources at its on-premises data centers and in the public cloud.
“One of the other important factors behind the selection of SLES for SAP Applications is the ease of obtaining good technical support,” adds Seo. “What we appreciate about working with SUSE is the fact that we can reach out to their local teams in Korea for support directly and receive timely, helpful assistance if we need it.”
Ensuring 100% availability for critical systems
By deploying SAP S/4HANA on SLES for SAP Applications, LDCC can guarantee maximum availability for crucial digital services, while ensuring the scalability to continue to bring more group companies onto the platform.
“SLES for SAP Applications is giving us 100% uptime for mission-critical SAP S/4HANA services,” states Seo. “The stability of the SUSE solution is truly flawless. In our experience of operating multiple SUSE Linux environments during the evaluation period and in production, SLES for SAP Applications has never let us down.”
Accelerating reporting by up to 100x
As LOTTE Department Store moves ahead with its digital transformation, companies across the extended enterprise — including LOTTE Food and Korea Seven — are now reaping the benefits of rapid access to business insights.
“Switching to an in-memory data platform is a big advantage for group companies, such as LOTTE Department Store,” continues Seo. “We have measured significant performance improvements for end-user analytics reporting tasks, many of which now complete tens or even hundreds of times faster than before. These enhancements aren’t limited to business intelligence reporting: one subsidiary cut its month-end closing process from several days to just a few hours.”
Planning for an integrated future
Equipped with real-time insights into business performance, LOTTE Department Store is in a stronger position than ever to deliver high-quality services that delight customers and foster their loyalty. And behind the scenes, LDCC is confident that it has a secure, stable and future-ready platform to support the entire LOTTE Group as its digital transformation continues.
“Above all, we chose SLES for SAP Applications because it is the leading operating system for SAP S/4HANA,” concludes Seo. “SUSE offers us better stability, performance and technical support than all the other platforms we considered, as well as extremely efficient management capabilities through open source tools unique to SLES, like YaST. We see that our strong relationship with SUSE and SAP will play a crucial role in LOTTE Group’s future success, and we look forward to building on that collaboration in the years ahead.”