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UK photographic retailer Jessops is using procurement workflow Mercato ITelligence to consistently drive 3% savings on IT margins. Neil Stokes, Jessops

group service delivery manager, who runs the infrastructure team, found the numerous, concurrent existing projects and the volatility of IT prices and stock hampered his ability to conduct thorough cost analysis and comparison on IT purchases. He said: “As a company we had a

portfolio of loyal suppliers built up over time that we trusted and so deals were not always being checked for value. But we became aware we were not always getting the best deals. “It is not unusual, however, for the team to be handling 15 different projects concurrently. Evaluating costs associated with a new project could take up to two and half weeks.” Jessops adopted the Chartered Institute

of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) accredited Mercato ITelligence tool to provide simple

ask the supplier if they can deliver on a best practice cost plus 3% margin. When they hear that there is usually a sharp intake of breath and it’s a quick conversation that delivers value.”

Jessops has also unlocked

more informed and strategic buying habits. Stokes explained: “It has got to the stage where we might want Dell laptops

online IT spend analysis that conducts automatic benchmarking of quoted prices against trade guide price and stock levels. It informs buyers of the margin their supplier is proposing and sends daily alerts about price and stock movements. Mercato ITelligence users also have

exclusive access to the Mercato Procurement Hub. This guarantees to deliver cost plus 3% margin as a fall back or complimentary service, ensuring sustained best value whatever the product. “Whenever I’m approached by a supplier

now, I go straight to the tool, which provides validated ‘live’ benchmark price and stock figures,” said Stokes. “I can now openly

but we can see there are other products with the same specification at much better prices, so we are often choosing to buy those instead. We are getting more from our existing budgets.”

The ability to review the market instantly

has also allowed Jessops’ infrastructure team to validate and justify major purchasing decisions much faster than before. “Mercato ITelligence is helping us save money across all procurements, so we can buy more or better ICT with the same budget,” concluded Stokes. “The efficiency it delivers into the procurement process and the fundamental of benchmarking, has transformed the speed of complex large procurements by 99.9%.”

COVERSANDCASES SECURES IT IN THE CLOUD C, an online retailer supplying cases for mobile phones and tablets, has turned to

the public cloud for security and uptime assurance. Since launching in January 2012,

CoversandCases founder Campbell Smith has grown the business through direct sales channel online, powered by Magento, as well as via eBay and Amazon web stores. “Downtime, for any reason, can lead to lost sales and damaged credibility and, for an ecommerce business starting-up, the stakes are even higher – interruptions to website service delivery can be the end,” said Campbell Smith. To support the rapid growth and mitigate downtime due to instability, lack of resources, or something worse like a hack or breach, CoversandCases needed

to find a secure, reliable and flexible way of managing the site, as well as its information technology assets. Having worked with e-commerce

specialist, The Distance, to build its Magento web store the supplier worked with CoversandCases to select secure cloud hosting specialist, FireHost to protect the web application and database. FireHost secure servers offer built-in

high availability, providing reliable uptime and security for many of The Distance’s e-commerce clients. CoversandCases also benefits from FireHost’s elastic scaling, in which memory, processors, and storage space flex independently and as needed. “I can adjust the site server capacity

easily to prepare for high traffic shopping days,” added Smith. “Weekends, bank holidays, marketing and launch events

provide CoversandCases with managed support, hosting infrastructure and web application monitoring, managing day-to- day maintenance tasks such as patching, user provisioning, resource provisioning and site updates. In addition, the public infrastructure

as a service (IaaS) is purpose built to provide web application protection that exceeds compliance requirements for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS). FireHost has successfully blocked 2,700 malicious hacker attempts since CoversandCases took on its services.


go smoothly now and, thanks to scaling capabilities in the FireHost portal, it’s easy to make sure that the site is correctly resourced at all times.” FireHost and The Distance jointly

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