Sweden’s Systembolaget picks Evry for cloud transformation

Government-owned retailer signs major IT outsourcing agreement as part of its digital transformation programme

Sweden’s state-owned alcohol retailer Systembolaget is investing further in its digitalisation and cloud transformation by signing a five-year agreement with Norwegian IT services provider Evry.

“[The agreement] is very much about building stable, modern, cost-effective IT services so we can prepare well for digitalisation,” said Eva Listi, CIO at Systembolaget. “This is the biggest procurement we will do in the next five years. It covers all IT operations, but also in its scope are application development and maintenance.”

The SEK500m (£46.8m) deal extends and expands on Systembolaget’s existing collaboration with Evry. The service provider will manage IT operations for all the alcohol retailer’s 438 Swedish stores nationwide as well as its headquarters and subsidiaries. Evry will also support Systembolaget’s cloud transformation and deliver applications and mobile services.

The five-year agreement starts in June, with an optional two-year extension. The same expiry date applies to Systembolaget’s new contract with Accenture, which was sealed as part of the same procurement and covers the web and business intelligence side of applications.

Increased use of cloud services is a vital part of Systembolaget’s digitalisation strategy. The company is investigating tapping into cloud-based software, platform and infrastructure services. It currently uses Microsoft Office 365, but Listi said this does not restrict its choice of cloud suppliers elsewhere in IT.

“We already use cloud-based services in many areas, and this is something we will continue to expand whenever there is value and business benefits in it,” said Listi. “We will not just do cloud for the sake of it, but will evaluate it very carefully.”

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Another focus area for Systembolaget is strengthening the mobility of its digital workplace services. This work with Evry will start in autumn 2018 and will expand into updating the retailer’s point-of-sales systems in 2019.

The new deal with Evry will not incur any personnel changes for Systembolaget. Instead, Listi believes it will free up IT staff to focus more on business development as Evry takes a bigger role in the retailer’s configuration management (CM) processes, including the control of other service providers.

“Moving from a technology-centric organisation to a more information-centric one is something we have been working on since I started [in March 2016],” said Listi. “With the new contract, I would expect my people to work less with technology and managing our service providers and work more with our business colleagues.”

Systembolaget has previously worked with Evry across a number of IT services, such as application management, workplace operations and cash register systems. The service provider won the latest deal after a year-long procurement process. According to Listi, Systembolaget wanted to thoroughly assess what was available on the market, but Evry came up with the winning bid.

For Evry, the Systembolaget deal is a welcome boost after it lost a £264m outsourcing contract with the City of Stockholm last year because of an administrative error.

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