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Rodan + Fields: Revitalizing customer experience to drive business growth

About Rodan + Fields

Rodan + Fields was launched in 2002 and founded by dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields with the mission of giving consumers the best skin of their lives. The brand is a result of the doctors' belief that healthy skin empowers people to feel confident. Born in the digital era and designed to directly reach consumers where they live and shop via mobile and social networks, Rodan + Fields disrupted the industry with its regimen-based skincare and powerful independent consultant community. Products are available through independent consultants or on the Rodan + Fields website at rodanandfields.com.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: United States

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About NTT DATA

As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, NTT DATA provides world-class cloud, application, data intelligence and analytics, hybrid infrastructure, workplace, and cybersecurity services.

Rodan + Fields has migrated its SAP suite to Google Cloud and can now better support its network of consultants while adding to the bottom line through more efficient IT resource allocation.

Google Cloud results

  • Reduces expenditure and improves bottom line by more accurately matching IT resources with demand
  • Delivers non-stop system availability for worldwide operations and customers
  • Supports more accurate marketing decisions based on higher-quality data
  • Uses a mix of behavioral and transactional data analysis to enhance customer and consultant experiences
  • Inspires employees and new hires through cutting-edge technology

Scaled up cluster nodes 4x in five minutes

A company’s success at offering quality, uninterrupted services to customers depends on the power of its underlying IT environment. This is particularly true in retail where consumers today enjoy more online shopping options than ever and product demand can spike at any time. As a leading skincare brand in the U.S., Rodan + Fields understands these challenges firsthand.

Founded by two Stanford-trained dermatologists, Rodan + Fields serves customers throughout North America and has additional operations in Japan and Australia. It is a 100 percent ecommerce organization with a distribution model based on direct sales, subscriptions, and a network of 300,000 consultants who act as brand ambassadors for the company and benefit from Rodan + Fields products, learning and development, and marketing support to grow their own business networks.

All of the company’s websites and customer-facing platforms run on SAP Hybris ecommerce. This enables Rodan + Fields to operate in multiple territories and make accurate, on-time payments to consultants while adhering to rigorous accounting procedures supported by its SAP-based ERP systems including SAP ERP Central Component (ECC).

“SAP ensures that our financials are always correct which is critical to our investor and consultant relationships. Internally, it is also essential that we can provide up-to-the minute financials to teams who need this information for reporting, planning, and other activities,” says Steve Dee, Chief Information Officer at Rodan + Fields.

After a decade of rapid expansion, the existing mixed-cloud and on-premises infrastructure was struggling to keep up, especially when matching spikes and dips in demand. “Different times of the month and year are busier for us. We want to be able to scale up and down quickly so that we don’t waste resources on unwanted capacity,” says Steve.

Uptime was also an issue. “We are a global business with thousands of customers and consultants who depend on our systems day and night without interruption,” he adds.

The existing database software also prevented the efficient distribution of actionable data to decision-makers within the business. “We needed a cloud platform with sufficient processing power and in-built intelligence to quickly distribute useful information to consultants and employees,” says Steve.

Looking to the future, any cloud platform would also need to support more than upgrades to the SAP family of ERP and ecommerce systems. “Our SAP road map goes beyond the next year or two. We want to take advantage of artificial intelligence and automation features as they become available,” says Evan Wayne, Vice President of Information Technology at Rodan + Fields.

Rapid growth on a stable, scalable cloud platform

The Rodan and Fields team researched several public cloud and managed service providers, focusing especially on SAP expertise and understanding of ecommerce businesses. They eventually chose Google Cloud, given the close alignment of offerings to their unique needs, along with NTT DATA to handle the migration.

“We set a demanding schedule for the migration and they executed flawlessly,” says Evan. “We highly recommend NTT DATA because they delivered on time and on budget while making themselves available at a moment’s notice to respond to our requests.”

Rodan and Field is now building a modern data architecture using Google Cloud. The company uses Cloud Data Fusion to move its data from its legacy database to a data warehousing environment based on BigQuery and is taking advantage of Google Confluent Cloud for real-time data streaming.

“As we move from traditional data platforms to Google Cloud, we have the potential to return millions of dollars to the bottom line, directly improve margins, and improve the customer shopping experience.”

Steve Dee, Chief Information Officer, Rodan + Fields

Delivering financial benefits direct to the bottom line

Since migrating SAP ECC to Google Cloud, Rodan + Fields has achieved 100 percent availability. “We were looking for a stable, scalable, and cost-effective solution to host SAP ECC. Google Cloud has delivered,” says Steve.

Google Cloud also offers greater flexibility. When the company launched in Japan, it needed to spin up more test environments. “It was very slow and cumbersome to scale with our previous platform provider, but it's been easy and efficient in Google Cloud,” says Evan.

Rodan + Fields has also seen significant improvements with SAP Hybris, especially when responding to peaks in demand. Thanks to the Kubernetes environment in Google Cloud, the business can spin different clusters up and down according to customer and consultant requirements. This often coincides with monthly sales and promotions. “One of our sales turned out to be much bigger than expected, but we were able to scale our SAP Hybris nodes by a factor of four in just five minutes,” says Evan.

More recently, the business implemented auto-scaling of its Kubernetes clusters. This ability to match business demand with technology offers enormous financial benefits. “As we move from traditional data platforms to Google Cloud, we have the potential to return millions of dollars to the bottom line and directly increase margins. We can reinvest that money in technology that supports the overall organization and improves our products,” says Steve.

“BigQuery enables us to draw on shopping behavior as well as actual sales. This results in an improved customer experience because we now better understand their expectations and preferences.”

Evan Wayne, Vice President of Information Technology, Rodan + Fields

Uncovering data insights that fuel business growth

By migrating its SAP ECC data into BigQuery, the business can now cross-reference transactional data with experience data. “BigQuery enables us to draw on shopping behavior as well as actual sales,” says Evan. “This results in an improved customer experience because we now better understand their expectations and preferences.”

As the company migrates to the cloud, it is discovering more flexible ways to leverage its wealth of transactional data that historically was managed only in-house. “We're uncovering intelligence that was previously unavailable because it was so difficult to turn the data into insights,” says Steve. “We can pass this on to our marketing team to inform campaign decisions and more efficiently target the right audience.”

Moving to a modern technology platform has also helped to motivate employees who are being trained in new skills that support their long-term careers. “People are really proud of our new systems and excited at the opportunities that go with a cutting-edge technology environment,” says Evan. It also makes the company more appealing when looking to attract new tech hires. “If we had stayed with more traditional ways of managing technology, we wouldn't be able to reach the kind of talent that we're attracting now,” he adds.

“Empowering our consultants is fundamental to our business. Running SAP on Google Cloud presents further opportunities for them to increase their revenues and create a world-class digital experience.”

Steve Dee, Chief Information Officer, Rodan + Fields

Artificial intelligence empowers customers and consultants

Looking to the future, Google Cloud plus SAP delivers a more agile environment that can better support Rodan + Fields as it targets new areas for growth.

It also opens the door to next-generation technologies, including potential migration to SAP S/4HANA, Google Cloud machine learning technology, and further opportunities for automation. This includes providing consultants with the right type of prospects and the marketing resources to help them expand their networks.

“AI and automation will help us deliver even better customer product recommendations while providing our consultants with market intelligence that enables them to successfully grow their business. Empowering our consultants is fundamental to our success as well. Running SAP on Google Cloud presents new opportunities to increase revenue,” says Steve.

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

Contact us

About Rodan + Fields

Rodan + Fields was launched in 2002 and founded by dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields with the mission of giving consumers the best skin of their lives. The brand is a result of the doctors' belief that healthy skin empowers people to feel confident. Born in the digital era and designed to directly reach consumers where they live and shop via mobile and social networks, Rodan + Fields disrupted the industry with its regimen-based skincare and powerful independent consultant community. Products are available through independent consultants or on the Rodan + Fields website at rodanandfields.com.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: United States

About NTT DATA

As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, NTT DATA provides world-class cloud, application, data intelligence and analytics, hybrid infrastructure, workplace, and cybersecurity services.