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Carrefour Belgium: Leading the charge in food retail digital transformation

About Carrefour Belgium

Carrefour Belgium, a part of Carrefour Group, is a leading grocer in Belgium. The company combines decades of experience serving customers in traditional stores with a commitment to meeting today’s consumer demands for digital services.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods, Food & Beverage
Location: Belgium

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About NTT

NTT, a Google Cloud partner, assists companies in their digital transformation journeys through business solutions and technical support.

Carrefour Belgium runs SAP on Google Cloud to reduce enterprise risk and increase security and availability, while leveraging Google Cloud solutions to strengthen data analytics.

Google Cloud results

  • Improves flexibility, uptime, and availability of SAP apps compared to on-premises
  • Accelerates time to insight through advanced data analytics
  • Strengthens overall security through next-gen zero-trust solution

Accelerates digital transformation across business units

The retail food industry has undergone massive changes over the past decade, driven in large part by consumer demand for quality digital shopping experiences on their favorite devices. Grocers have been working hard to implement technologies and processes that enable online ordering, curbside pickup, and other popular services.

Carrefour Belgium, part of Carrefour Group and one of Belgium’s largest grocers, has taken a leading position in digital transformation in retail.

“When you’re in charge of such a critical transformation, you simply want to have the best partners with you and that’s definitely the case with the Google Cloud team.”

Olivier Luxon, Chief Information Officer, Carrefour Belgium

“Technology is vital to carry Carrefour Belgium services now and in the future. This has prompted us to rethink our industry position as a digital retail company rather than just a grocer,” says Stijn Stabel, Chief Technology Officer at Carrefour Belgium. “To achieve our IT goals, we knew we needed a stronger cloud footprint to enable our goals.”

“When facing the IT legacy environment syndrome, you have two options: either never move to new technologies and ultimately disappear, or take the risk and make the magic happen. As failing was not an option, we decided to go with the second option,” says Olivier Luxon, Chief Information Officer at Carrefour Belgium.

Carrefour Belgium had been working closely with Google Cloud to run a number of its essential applications, including its pricing engine and employee collaboration tools. After its success with these Google Cloud solutions, Carrefour Belgium decided to migrate mission-critical SAP applications to SAP on Google Cloud.

“We have removed a lot of risk and greatly increased our system availability and uptime by migrating many SAP applications to Google Cloud.”

Stijn Stabel, Chief Technology Officer, Carrefour Belgium

A leader in listening and responding to customers

Carrefour Belgium’s focus on digitizing services highlights the company’s commitment to providing customers with the best, most advanced shopping experiences.

“We are a customer-first business, and consumers are constantly demanding new digital services,” says Stijn. “Our goal is to keep meeting and exceeding our customers’ needs when it comes to digital. We chose to work with Google Cloud on a large scale because of their ability to understand and adapt to our needs, which in turn allows us to better address customer expectations.”

Google Cloud met Carrefour Belgium’s demand for an advanced cloud infrastructure to host its SAP applications and manage data, while keeping costs down. Based on the scalability and agility of Google Cloud, Carrefour Belgium uses Google Cloud to support IT provisioning and made the decision to run its data platform and analytics on Google Cloud.

The ongoing collaboration with Google Cloud has given Carrefour Belgium everything needed to migrate all of its SAP applications onto Google Cloud. SAP FICO, SAP HR, and other applications already run on Google Cloud.

“When you’re in charge of such a critical transformation, you simply want to have the best partners with you and that’s definitely the case with the Google Cloud team,” says Olivier.

Given the complexity of a migration of this size, Carrefour Belgium sought out help from Google Cloud partner NTT. “A lot of work so far has been optimizing smaller applications and performance,” says Stijn. “We have removed a lot of risk and greatly increased our system availability and uptime by migrating many SAP applications to Google Cloud.”

As part of its larger digital transformation, Carrefour Belgium is working to lift and shift its ECC and R/3 applications into the new S/4 HANA environment for greater efficiency and SAP centralization.

All legacy SAP components are now being migrated to Google Cloud and consolidated in the S/4 HANA environment. Carrefour Belgium expects dramatic improvements in data accessibility, resulting in enhanced visibility into business processes and the chance to further optimize through analytics as the S/4 HANA rollout happens. “The full benefits for our business will be seen with the new S/4 HANA system,” according to Stijn.

Data-driven business transformation

In moving so many valuable SAP applications and data to Google Cloud, Carrefour Belgium is opening the doors to a more powerful and unified data analytics platform based on BigQuery.

“Data is key to Carrefour Belgium. We are pushing a lot more of it into BigQuery including SAP data because it’s much more straightforward compared to other data migrations we did in the past,” says Stijn. “We’re making excellent progress and adding a lot of business value thanks to the increased data management agility supported by Google Cloud.”

While much of the initial transformation efforts are focused on internal teams, such as improving access to SAP applications and data, the company also sees the value of these efforts on directly serving customers. The efficiency gains in the backend systems also translate to freeing up resources to continually refine shopper services.

“The adoption of Google Cloud tools and methodology has been a game changer for Carrefour Belgium,” says Stijn. “With Google Cloud and Google Workspace, Google has reinvented ways of working. Their solutions have helped us navigate the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining exceptional levels of shopper services.”

“When collaborating, Carrefour and Google Cloud form a powerful team that overcomes all odds to get any job done.”

David Kestermans, Director of IT, Marketing, Digital, Carrefour Belgium

Leading the path to further industry and group transformation

Carrefour Belgium is also set to become the first member of the Carrefour Group to begin using BeyondCorp Enterprise, an open-source implementation of security concepts to achieve zero trust network protections. This move will at once improve Carrefour Belgium’s data security and strengthen secure access to SAP and other business-critical applications.

“When collaborating, Carrefour and Google Cloud form a powerful team that overcomes all odds to get any job done,” says David Kestermans, Director of IT, Marketing, and Digital at Carrefour Belgium.

With its large-scale digital transformation underway with the help of Google Cloud solutions, Carrefour Belgium is solidifying its position as a leading 21st century food retailer. At the same time, the company’s ongoing work with Google Cloud is fostering other positive changes across the business.

“Our use of Google Cloud is not just about technology—it’s just as much about collaboration and a cultural shift,” says Stijn. “Google Cloud delivers outstanding solutions and can offer strong insights to inform our digital transformation. We have been inspired to create a truly digital business. We know our relationship with Google Cloud will grow and support us as we strive to deliver even better, more-advanced shopper services.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Carrefour Belgium

Carrefour Belgium, a part of Carrefour Group, is a leading grocer in Belgium. The company combines decades of experience serving customers in traditional stores with a commitment to meeting today’s consumer demands for digital services.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods, Food & Beverage
Location: Belgium

About NTT

NTT, a Google Cloud partner, assists companies in their digital transformation journeys through business solutions and technical support.