Intersport is running faster with a digital service platform

Ranja Ovedal

The last few years have been eventful for the Norwegian part of the Intersport chain, which, with over 5500 stores in 44 different countries, is the largest sports chain in the world. Behind the scenes, and behind the media reports about Gresvig's bid and the merger with Sport 1, a digital initiative is taking plave in which Intersport Norway prepares for the future of retail. In 2020, in addition to other changes, the business switched e-commerce platforms to forge closer ties with the Intersport International Corporation.

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In the Intersport International Corportation, each country is responsible for its own activities. The chain's international network provides large scale enterprise benefits that will be important for Intersport Norway in the battle for market share. After all, they operate in an industry that in many ways is characterized by the same factors we know from sport, where competition is tough and the players have an unwavering desire to be better every single day.

In order to facilitate continuous development, Intersport Norway has built an integration platform in parallel with the transition to their new e-commerce solution.

- The need for the integration platform arose because we wanted to keep several of the systems we have used before. It would be very extensive and very high risk if we were to replace everything. We are very pleased with the systems already in place for product information, payment solutions, orders and logistics. That's why we needed a platform that allows data to flow securely and efficiently between all these systems, says Stian Dybdahl, integration and warehouse specialist at Intersport.

A long-term investment

The new integration platform thus solved a crucial challenge in the transition to the Salesforce-based e-commerce solution. But it is not only this project that will benefit from the new integration platform, Frank-André Nilsen, integration architect at Intersport, points out.

- This investment will give us a lot of value in the future. The overall idea is that the integration platform should act as a separate layer in our architecture. This allows us to offer data to different consumers more efficiently than before. We see that several suppliers need the same type of data, and with this platform we do not have to create integrations between all different systems. The ability to reuse data is very important, says Frank-André.

- Another major advantage is that we will have much better control over where our data is shared. This better ensures safety as well, he adds.

Rapid digital development

The data layer created by the integration platform helps Intersport reduce the complexity of its IT architecture. This creates several positive ripple effects, such as making the digital ecosystem less vulnerable to any system updates and upgrades.

In other words, the platform will be an ace in the sleeve on the road to a hypermodern IT foundation for everyday business operation. The architectural measures that the platform enables, better facilitate the development of new services and lifting systems into the cloud.

- If we choose to replace one of our other systems in the future, we simply change it in the backend. All data will still be available to others, so no one will notice that it is happening. Now the new system is ready to be connected to the platform, and we're good to go, says Frank-André.

Wanted to use subject matter experts

Stian explains that Intersport has a small IT department, with a lot of balls in the air. The inherent security in using a supplier with specialist expertise was therefore a deciding factor in collaborating with Evidi," he points out.

- Evidi offers a complete package, with good architects, developers and resources which safeguards the platform as well as make continuous improvements to it. It is secure and comfortable for us to work with experts who we can rely on to have everything under control.

He also highlights products Connxio and Archeo, in addition to framework MDC, as elements which ensured the success of the project. These are standard components that Evidi has developed. They ensure fast deliveries and the greatest possible value for the customer.

- It gives us extra peace of mind to know that we are working with a company that is constantly developing services with the latest technology. These services make it possible to work more efficiently, while we are noticing clear advantages in cost, says Stian.