About K - Mail Order
K - Mail Order is a leading mail order company that dispatches thousands of deliveries every day and processes several million orders each year, operating under its well known KLiNGEL brand name. With headquarters in Pforzheim, Germany, and operations across ten European countries, the company employs approximately 2,000 people.
As the online retail industry becomes even more fast-paced, K - Mail Order wanted to increase business agility and its ability to respond faster to changing business requirements to stay one step ahead of competitors. The company knew that enabling staff to take advantage of the most advanced IT solutions available on the market would play a key role in achieving this goal.
Nils Schelenz, IT System Manager at K - Mail Order, said, “As our customers’ expectations continue to grow, we wanted to ensure that our IT systems were well-positioned to help staff work more productively and deliver outstanding customer service.”
K - Mail Order migrated its existing NetWare® services to state-of-the-art Open Enterprise Server with the Domain Services for Windows feature. Today, the company runs 12 Open Enterprise Server systems, with six set up in a cluster, three for domain services and three located at branch offices.
“Thanks to the excellent support from the Novell (now a part of Micro Focus) Consulting team, we successfully completed the migration on time and on budget,” said Schelenz.
After deploying Open Enterprise Server, K - Mail Order introduced Domain Services for Windows for its 2,000 user accounts to simplify user logins and improve compatibility with third-party applications. Domain Services for Windows enables smooth integration of Windows 7 desktops and many applications by providing a complete Active Directory-style environment.
In addition, the company implemented the Micro Focus iPrint Server feature, simplifying driver management and increasing the reliability of the printing environment across all locations and users. We now also deliver those same print capabilities to mobile devices through a standalone Micro Focus iPrint appliance solution.
K - Mail Order also restructured its data storage by deploying Dynamic Storage Technology, which automatically moves frequently accessed data to high-performance storage disks and data used less often to more economical storage—providing an excellent combination of low costs and fast performance.
With Open Enterprise Server, K - Mail Order can provide users with enriched functionality without adding to the operating costs for its infrastructure services.
Schelenz said, “We are highly satisfied with Open Enterprise Server. The product has delivered advanced functionality and eased compatibility issues—and we have experienced no downtime since the migration.”
Using Domain Services for Windows provides the company with excellent compatibility with third-party applications that require an Active Directory controller such as Matrix42 for software deployment on Windows 7 desktops, without having to incur the costs of implementing and operating a Windows Server.
“Active Directory compatibility enabled us to migrate our 1,500 workstations to Windows 7 without using a separate client application, simplifying the management of desktop computers throughout all departments and locations. Now, our employees benefit from single sign-on across applications, improving usability and increasing staff satisfaction with internal IT services,” said Schelenz.
Deploying Dynamic Storage Technology in combination with Cluster Services to ensure high availability and business continuity has enabled the company to cut data volumes stored on high-performance disks from 7 TB to 3 TB—a reduction of more than 55 percent. Reducing the need for ultra-fast storage has unlocked huge cost savings for K - Mail Order.
Schelenz said, “Moving to hierarchical storage and shifting around 4 TB of data to more economical storage enables us to provide extremely cost-efficient data storage with minimal impact on performance. Whenever older files are required, they are automatically migrated back onto our high-performance storage system.”
Optimized storage management also accelerates backup and restore processes. “With Dynamic Storage Technology, we have cut restore times by 80 percent—significantly improving our disaster recovery capabilities,” said Schelenz.
Ultimately, the solution helps staff at K - Mail Order to work more productively and deliver truly excellent customer service, helping the company to stay ahead of competitors in this fast-paced industry.