2020/06/19 • 2 min read

Our Tech Center Growth in Portugal, from 15 to 100+ Part 2

La Redoute has an IT team since its creation in Portugal. Based in Leiria, the team started with about 10 persons and is now more than 100+ IT professionals working on the technological area, mainly on Data, Dev, Ops and Security. This growth was made by a series of steps taken by the company over time in its transformation and reinvention, which this article will explain. The digitalization and technological transformation are a focus of the company sustaining the growth and investment in those areas.


Figure 1: We took the control of our IT Operations
Figure 1: We took the control of our IT Operations

A need to take control of our IT operations

In parallel to the development story, we wrote another one more focused on the IT operations part. At the beginning, the teams were taking care of the Portugal system based on AS400 technologies. Bit by bit, their scope of responsibilities increased with the international countries migration to the common platform. The main monitoring and maintenance of the system was externalized and became inadequate for our requirements. We took the decision to take over the control of our IT operations with our system monitoring, maintenance on 24/7.

Figure 2: We achieved a unified and 24/7 view of our operations
Figure 2: We achieved a unified and 24/7 view of our operations

We started by taking care of the Data platforms and ecosystem

In 2014, we also started to work as an international company, reducing the differences between the French and International activities. For the IT operations, the main decision was to take control over some of the company’s platforms. They ranged from database administration, analytics, reporting and data warehousing. We did the project in about a year, with major changes regarding the existing teams. New profiles for the database administration were required and trained. Also, we searched for expertise regarding specific and critical technologies like Oracle Exadata.


The next step was by securing our web platform transformation

A year later in 2015, a major transformation decision was taken regarding our IT platforms: we needed to move the French website to the international platform. The main drivers were to improve its stability, agility, performance and reactivity. Around the same period, we had to migrate the platform from its datacenter due to legal and contractual reasons. It was another opportunity to take-over the IT operations of the platform. In the end, we enhanced the internal knowledge, reactivity, and performance overall. The project was also completed within a year, with significant changes in our team structure and size. The team  was about 20 to 25 people  to manage the operations on 24/7 including system administration, releases, monitoring.


The remaining scope was done in a single migration

In 2017, the IT operations of existing French platforms that were not migrated were still managed by an external company. We also took the opportunity of a favorable internal and external context to take over this perimeter. The project was quite impressive in its timing as we had 4 months to complete the full migration. The challenge was quite high and complex.

We have now Replatformed the remaining part on our Mainframe to an open platform on the Cloud. This project achieved the last take-over for the IT operations, taking the full control of the La Redoute IT platform.


Our Tech Center and its future

We are today more than a hundred professionals, ranging from Development to Operations. Our main focus is to support the business transformation with new products, services and deliver them faster. The technological transformation is a main imperative to support this acceleration. Positions and competencies are evolving,  requiring more expertise, cloud and data. We still have legacy systems that need to be taken care of, that we gradually decomission or replace.

Figure 3: Our Teams in Leiria at a DevOps Event
Figure 3: Our Teams in Leiria at a DevOps Event

We continue our growth and investment in our Tech Center, and target to continue to work with the same level of interests and challenges over the coming years!



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