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South Africa's Pick n Pay Improves IT Control, Monitoring

Pick n Pay, one of the largest retailers on the African continent, has completed a rollout of SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service systems at each of its 546 hypermarkets, supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores.

The retailer deployed SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service throughout its network of stores to improve control and monitoring of IT systems at its retail locations. The solution provides Pick n Pay with a central, more accurate view of its entire IT estate.

"We used to work quite blindly in the past, as we were never certain what software was installed where," said Wesley Grisdale, systems manager point of sale for Pick n Pay. "We now have a guaranteed way of knowing exactly what version each terminal is running, which is a massive help when it comes to updates and maintenance."

SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service is designed specifically for retail environments, combining the operating system base of SUSE Linux Enterprise with extensions that facilitate the creation of a point-of-service (POS) managed client solution. It was developed to offer a low total cost of ownership by eliminating licensing costs, so Pick n Pay only pays a yearly subscription fee for maintenance and support services. Because the software is not tied to a specific device, the company can re-purpose existing hardware to run the application, eliminating the need for costly new machines. In addition, Pick n Pay is taking advantage of the unique benefits of Linux, such as reduced hardware resource requirements, flexibility and open design.

"In an increasingly competitive retail environment, we pride ourselves on helping retailers maximize operational efficiency and provide a superior customer experience while keeping costs low,” said Michael Miller, SUSE VP of global alliances and marketing. “We're thrilled Pick n Pay uses SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service to ensure that business-critical systems are on a solid, reliable IT platform, operating at peak efficiency."

Using the new system, Pick n Pay's IT infrastructure has seen the following benefits, according to SUSE:

  • Centralized, automated management of an extensive POS estate, reducing time spent on maintenance and support and improving control of business systems.
  • Enhanced lifecycle management of the entire infrastructure, with improved overview of configuration, software versions and status of POS devices at all retail locations.
  • Improved system resilience; in the event of network problems, stores can operate business-critical systems independently of branch or administrative servers.

Pick n Pay worked with MarkeTech Technology Group to design and implement SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service. The company is using the solution's imaging suite to create and deploy client images for a wide variety of POS devices. In addition, it has built a number of customized POS images with the help of the KIWI toolset.


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