STEP LOGIC upgraded Utkonos ONLINE's IT and engineering infrastructure

09 July 2020

A productive, reliable and scalable telecommunication and engineering infrastructure was created for the company's geographically distributed facilities, allowing flexible addition of resources and capacities as the business grows and optimisation of business processes.

Utkonos ONLINE was established in 2000 and is the largest player in the Russian e-grocery market. Today, its existing logistics facilities allow delivering more than 16,000 orders per day. With the opening of fulfilment centres Kubinka, in Saint Petersburg, and Volkovsky, in the north of Moscow, the company's total productivity will increase to 32,000 orders.

To develop the business, increase the number of processed orders and improve the client service quality, in 2018 the company decided to build fulfilment centre Sever in Solnechnogorsk, Moscow Region, with a total area of 61,500 m², which includes a warehouse and an administrative complex, as well as its own Data Processing Center.

Currently, each picker operating in FC Sever covers up to 27 km per day. To increase picking speed, create automatic picking systems and online transfer of inventory balances data to accounting systems, STEP LOGIC deployed a wireless LAN with seamless roaming and redundancy. Difficult conditions (metal racks, high shelves, constantly changing composition of goods), required the creation of a computer network based on more than 600 access points and controllers. When choosing the optimal model for introducing changes and opportunities to preventively respond to system failures, the logical decision was to lay a software-defined network based on Cisco Systems products.

Particular attention was paid to the access control and management system, which, thanks to the intelligent authentication and profiling services, ensures that only legitimate and trusted devices are connected to the network. The task was complicated by the presence, in addition to simple computers and printers, of a large number of highly specialised devices: terminals, scales, scanners, etc. The obtained profiles made it possible to form a flexible access matrix that allows applying the principle of assigning minimum rights.

Issues related to perimeter protection, internal network segmentation, detection of 0-day threats, detection of anomalies and prevention of intrusions were resolved.

A feature of the project in terms of implementation of the DPC engineering infrastructure was the use of BIM technology and CFD modelling both at the planning and preparation stage of design solutions and during the implementation of the project for verification of engineering solutions. This allowed to link all subsystems, minimise errors and implementation costs, amend the design documentation with minimal effort and reduce the time spent on design and installation work by 50%.

STEP LOGIC provided network connectivity between the two sites for the smooth migration of services and servers from the Butovo FC to the new Sever DPC. Utkonos ONLINE needed high-quality communications since at that moment both warehouses continued to work in parallel (the online store accepts and processes orders 24/7).

Utkonos ONLINE decided to transfer part of the client services to an isolated site at an external DPC, and by the end of 2019, the work was completed: a reliable secure network infrastructure was created to connect all geographically distributed objects with the possibility of further expansion.

At the beginning of 2020, work began on the modernisation of the ICT infrastructure of the Butovo FC, whose work was completely suspended in 2019. It is planned to resume operations at the warehouse this autumn.

According to Utkonos ONLINE, in late March demand increased more than threefold in connection with the lockdown. The number of goods per order grew by about 30%, which additionally increased the load on the company's existing logistics facilities. To satisfy the sharply increased demand, Utkonos ONLINE opened the Mosrentgen additional FC as soon as possible, and already in June, it leased another FC, Volkovsky. Both warehouses required urgent connection to the existing IT infrastructure.

The ICT infrastructure built by STEP LOGIC allowed Utkonos ONLINE to rapidly increase capacity and connect the new facilities, constantly improving the client service quality.

Today Utkonos ONLINE has 6 sites with secure communication channels, fault-tolerant DPCs and a single flexible infrastructure.

«In modern business, more and more tasks need to be done every day. IT is an integral part of the business model, a factor affecting the company's profit. The created infrastructure will allow our IT services to effectively support the company's growing network, instantly respond to changes, improve services and client service, maintain leadership in the market», comments
Maria Artamonova, IT Director of Utkonos ONLINE.


About STEP LOGIC

STEP LOGIC (www.step.ru) is a member of SGC (Systematica Group of Companies JSC) and has been providing the Russian market with network and system integration services for 27 years.
The Company has more than 600 employees at its offices located in Moscow, Kazan, Yerevan, and Almaty. The company employs more than 350 engineers and system architects certified by the world's leading manufacturers. The company has high-level authorisation with such vendors as APC by Schneider Electric, Avaya, Check Point, Cisco Systems, Crestron, Dell Technologies, Extron, Fortinet, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Juniper Networks, Lenovo, Microsoft, Polycom, Unify and others. The range of solutions and services includes network and systems integration, audio and visual solutions, development of videoconferencing systems and contact centres, complex security, data processing and storage services, network and engineering infrastructure development for buildings, the Internet of Things as well as a full range of services for the technical support and maintenance of information systems, including IT consulting, auditing and outsourcing.

About Utkonos ONLINE

Utkonos ONLINE is a next-generation grocery delivery service that combines traditional and modern retail technologies. 
The online store has 40,000 SKUs. 
Grocery delivery is a high-tech, resource-intensive and intellectual area of e-commerce. Today Utkonos has 4,900 employees, a huge distribution centre with an area of 61,500 m² with various storage temperature zones, an automated quality control system at all goods movement stages, as well as a large fleet of vehicles equipped with special refrigerators. An efficient delivery system ensures two-hour intervals for the reception of orders and allows the use of various payment methods.
According to InfoLine research agency, Utkonos, with a turnover of RUB 10 bln, is the leader in the online food market and occupies 30% of the sales of Russian online food stores. 
For more information, please visit www.utkonos.ru

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