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Germany: Schwarz Group focusses on more speed for better interaction in digitalization

The Schwarz Group (owner of discounter LIDL, supermarket chain Kaufland, Schwarz (Food) Production and recycler Pre-Zero) strives to optimize its business processes in the entire digital area. This affects all four divisions of the company, including the online shops of Lidl and Kaufland, as well as the loyalty systems. The newer areas such as cloud stackit and cyber security are also to be improved. This modernization and optimization is intended to ensure better interlocking between digital strategy development, further development and close cooperation in the implementation of IT operations.

The two areas are called Schwarz Digital and Schwarz IT KG and are headed by two professional managers. On the one hand from Christian Müller, CEO Schwarz IT Chief Information Officer. Rolf Schumann leads the other area in the position of CEO Schwarz Digital and Chief Digital Officer. Both work closely together in the two areas in order to be able to react faster and more efficiently. There are a total of around 7,000 employees in the IT department, 4,000 of them at Schwarz IT and 3,000 at Schwarz Digital.

Schwarz Group: Accelerating business processes is paramount.

Schwarz's main goal is to advance all business processes, including abroad. This includes, among other things, the expansion of personalized customer approaches and the acceleration of "artificial and business intelligence" in the form of "machine learning". "Machine Learning" is a sub-area of ​​artificial intelligence that enables systems to learn and improve automatically from experiences (data).

It is currently still the case that the two different omnichannel loyalty systems from Lidl Plus and Kaufland K-Card run with different basic IT systems. It should also be part of the new business strategy to sell IT systems that have previously only been used for the company itself as a service to other companies. This would then affect the development of retail media services, the cloud platform StackIT (since 2018) and also the 500 million euro purchase of the IT security company XM Cyber. The StackIT platform is now also being advertised for external companies as a secure system.

More security in the event of cyber attacks.

The XM Cyber ​​program was also initially only used for the Schwarz Group in order to be better protected against hacker attacks. The Schwarz Group and the Israeli IT security company XM Cyber ​​agreed on a close partnership at the end of last year. With this partnership, the Schwarz Group has armed itself for future challenges in IT security. This also opened up new growth opportunities for XM Cyber. Because of the recent increase in cyber attacks, security in retail is playing an increasingly important role in the progress of digitization. XM Cyber ​​not only wants to ward off hacker attacks in the future, but also secures systems where the malware is already present in the system. This security product should now also be available for external companies.

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