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Germany: Lidl implements a cloud-based ERP system

Discount Retail Chain LIDL had already invested 500 million euros when the "Elwis" project was stopped in 2018. In cooperation with SAP, the in-house ERP system "Wawi" was to be replaced. However, according to the company, the originally defined strategic goals have not been achieved with "Elwis". Instead, they wanted to develop "Wawi" further. Since the SAP system was not suitable for more individualization, Lidl canceled the further implementation and switched.


Now LIDL, owned by the Schwarz Group, is setting up a new ERP system so that LIDL is moving into the new cloud. To ensure that this succeeds, developers of Schwarz IT are currently working together with the software specialist "Freiheit". Here, the company wants to design and further develop the new system on the basis of its own cloud Stackit.


Founded in 1999 in the midst of the first Internet boom, "Freiheit.com Technologies" develops tailor-made software platforms and supports its customers in the software-based development of future business models. For LIDL, Microsoft Azure is now only used at the beginning, as Stackit is not yet ready to fully cover all necessary processes. Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform from Microsoft with services such as SQL Azure or AppFabric, which is primarily aimed at software developers. Currently, the Schwarz Group pays about a mid-double-digit million amount annually to the external cloud service providers. Initially, the company will therefore probably only store individual elements of the ERP system on Stackit and continue to use third-party providers.


Schwarz's future plans go even further

The new system should be ready in about two years. LIDL's IT departments are always working on new solutions to be even better equipped for the future. The best example of this is the current test phase with "Wire" to explore the limits of Stackit. "Wire on Stackit is an internal messenger service that deals with the topic of data protection and data sovereignty. Due to the current state of Cloud Stackit, there is still no exact date for the end of the project. Stackit has already been offered as cloud and colocation services to customers outside the Schwarz Group for about two years. 


The individual, modular solution is intended to better link the stores with the online business. With 575,000 employees and 13,700 locations, the Schwarz Group is one of the largest retail groups in the world. Schwarz IT, with 4,000 employees, is responsible for the digital infrastructure and applications. The Schwarz Group, headquartered in Neckarsulm, Germany, wants to be as independent as possible from non-European providers when it comes to IT and digitalization. Therefore, in the fall of last year, it bundled all its IT and digital activities in a separate division called "Schwarz Digits".



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