Sears Clothing, which is now part of the Arcadia Group, has successfully moved its datacenter from Leicester to London in an exercise aimed at streamlining operations and improving service.Arcadia, which owns major high street chains such as Top Shop, Principles and Wallis, acquired Sears Clothing from Philip Green last year, and the new datacenter is part of the reorganization started by the Sears Group to facilitate the sale of Sears Clothing.Retail IT consultant Nemea Consulting was appointed to oversee the move and setting up of the new facility in Cricklewood, north London and, working to a three month deadline, assited with the recruitment of new staff, documentation and training, in addition to the IT planning and implementation.The datacenter provides all the IT service for the Sears Clothing business, supporting the high street brands (Richards, Wallis, Warehouse, Miss Selfridge and Outfit) as well as providing services under an outsourcing contract to Adams Childrenswear. It houses seven IBM A/400s with a total of nearly half a terabyte of storage, an IBM SP2 parallel processing system for planning and reporting, and a collection of servers supporting users in the head offices and distribution centers. To successfully manage the project, Nemea utilized a product-based methodology. This ensured management focused on deliverable ‘products’ rather than activities and to-do lists. In addition, there was a broad involvement of senior stakeholders that allowed the project board to intervene at planned times, giving the project manager clear delegated limits of responsibility for day-to-day management.

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