Core system outage averted
The Clorox Company (NYSE: CLX) is a worldwide manufacturer and marketer of consumer packaged goods. Clorox brands include its namesake bleach and a growing line of cleaning and other household products sold through mass merchandisers, retail outlets, e-commerce channels, and distributors.
For 100 years, The Clorox Company has been a pioneering enterprise, fostering a culture of innovation across its global workforce. When new digital technologies began to change consumer behavior in the mid-2000s, Clorox began transforming its business model. Ralph Loura became the CIO of Clorox in early 2010, and his immediate priority was to modernize the company’s IT operations and adopt technologies that would drive growth.
“In 2008, to reach 80% of our customers, we only needed to work with five retailers,” said Loura.
“In 2010, we needed 48 retailers. This is how fast shopping and buying behaviors were changing.”
The key to success was owning the relationship with the customer, which meant Clorox needed to tap into new digital channels and forge stronger partnerships between the business and IT. A key obstacle impeding Clorox’s transformation was the enormous amount of data that needed to be managed.
“Data puts tremendous pressure on IT,” says Loura. “New technologies such as the Internet of Things create a tsunami of data.”
Keeping this massive swell of data current, handling it, copying it, and moving it, was quickly becoming the biggest challenge for the Clorox IT organization:
- Provisioning an SAP system took 45 days, impacting Clorox’s ability to quickly respond to changes for its many brands across the globe. Developers were often constrained by the availability of environments, causing project delays.
- Testers frequently used inconsistent test data, impacting QA teams’ ability to accurately test transactions across interconnected systems.
- Clorox chose to switch service providers, requiring the IT team to migrate its entire application estate to a new location. Estimated downtime was seven days—an unacceptably long outage for core systems.
- Clorox faced significant recurring storage costs for non-production databases
Clorox partnered with Delphix to virtualize the company’s data infrastructure. Less than six weeks after deploying the Delphix Dynamic Data Platform, Clorox was successfully provisioning space-efficient virtual database copies for its development and testing teams. Delphix helped accelerate time to value for Clorox, enabling IT to better position the company’s brands using both traditional retail and digital channels across the globe.
By accelerating the provisioning of high-quality data to SAP development systems, Clorox can now react quicker to customer demands, make swift operational adjustments, and make strategy decisions in response to changing consumer behavior.
- Delphix gave Clorox teams the ability to create bookmarks in SAP environments and roll back to a previous state in minutes. Testing against a consistent baseline of pristine data helped QA teams eliminate data-related defects and improve overall application quality.
- When Clorox needs to refresh its SAP systems, teams can now provision and refresh data in a matter of hours, not weeks, improving IT agility.
- Clorox also used Delphix to solve their data migration challenges, moving large and very complex datasets from one datacenter to another in hours instead of days, minimizing risk and avoiding costly downtime.
- Improving the utilization of environment resources enabled developers to start projects sooner, boosting productivity and enabling IT to respond faster to business demands.