Komplett gears up for the future with real-time data and innovation

Caroline Skuland

With today's rapid technological development and changing market needs, it is common for businesses to modernize and improve their systems. Replacing the entire technological platform requires a lot of effort. Komplett worked in outdated systems and saw it as necessary to make significant changes to meet market needs and get rid of technical debt. Komplett achieved lower downtime, higher security, live data reporting and more sustainable growth through a collaboration with Evidi and Pearl. The project also enhanced Komplett's business model by fostering efficiency and innovation through close cooperation.

Komplett belongs to the Komplett Group, and offers electronics online. They realized early that online sales were the future, and have a long and exciting history in the Norwegian market. In Komplett Group, you will find businesses that operate in Norway and Sweden with both online and physical stores. They use the NetOnNet, Komplett, Webhallen, Ironstone and Itegra brands, and target customers in the B2C, B2B and distribution segments. Komplett has a strong culture driven by technology enthusiasts, and has changed from being a business of gamers and product experts to becoming a consultant for customers looking for good advice.

From technical debt to sustainable growth

Komplett recognized that their services needed more development as the online market and technical debt expanded quickly. They used outdated, complex solutions and had to scale up. The large amount of technical debt made it hard to adapt fast enough to keep up with the changing market demands.

Olav Bø Hernes, Chief Architect at Komplett, says that the systems Komplett used had messy integrations that they could not fully control. The data was in different places, so it was hard to add new solutions and involved too many resources. This slowed down their development and innovation for their customers, which was not a good way of working. 

They wanted a long-term partner they could work well with. Evidi and Pearl decided to partner up and offer a solution that suited Komplett. Many other strong market players also offered solutions, but Komplett chose Evidi's solutions and Pearl's SAP service team. Both Pearl and Evidi worked closely with Komplett's internal development teams, and Komplett also built much of the service platform itself.

Picture from the right: Rolf Albretsen (Director of Sales, Evidi), Olav Bø Hernes (Chief Architect, Komplett) and Martin Witsø (Lead Developer, Evidi)

Modernization of the technological platform

Replacing the entire technological platform and ERP system is a time-consuming and expensive process. However, in order to get rid of technical debt and maintain operational efficiency, Komplett considered it a necessary move. A completely new SAP solution was built based on S/4 HANA, and a digital service platform, DSP (Digital Service Platform). DSP can be explained as a layer that sits on top of the SAP platform. This is tightly integrated, but at the same time independent of SAP (ERP system).

We have collaborated with Evidi on many diverse services. Instead of having integrations directly into and out of the ERP system, we have now created the integrations as separate services in another layer, called DSP, which is outside the ERP layer, says Olav Bø Hernes, Chief Architect, Komplett.

The project had enough time for strategic advice, and for designing and building different services. It also had clear architecture guidelines, which were sharper than before. Komplett uses a three-layer separation, based on Gartners Pace Layered Architecture, with core systems (including SAP) at the bottom, a service layer in the middle (to access master data), and an innovation layer at the top. This enables consistent master data creation and constant innovation for the customer market.

Complete overhaul for creativity

Martin Witsø Løkkeberg, which is a developer at Evidi, has worked closely with Komplett since they became customers. He says that the project was similar to a total transformation. Olav Bø Hernes from Komplett concurs with the analogy. Olav says that it was a "massive change", with many services being replaced at once. He stresses that it is not just an upgrade, but a transition from the old to the new SAP solution.

We got rid of the old one completely. We built a new one from scratch in a year, Olav says.

Moreover, Olav claims that Komplett was likely among the early adopters of this integration approach in Norway, by first sending out events and then calling SAP afterwards. To enable this event-driven architecture, they are making full use of SAP Event Mesh. Martin from Evidi says that this is the best method for integrating with SAP, and an area where SAP will clearly put a lot of investment in the future.

Komplett launched the project in October 2023 and is now working on more development. They used Evidi's integration and logging tools Connxio and Archeo for the project. They built most of the integrations in Azure Functions and Connxio. Archeo logs almost all services and integrations in DSP, which makes it easier to find logs. Almost all services and integrations established in DSP log to Archeo, which is a more business-friendly tool for searching logs. Splunk and Application Insights are tools that are also used, but require higher technical competence.

Live update and increased efficiency

Working with Evidi has brought many benefits for Komplett. Olav Bø Hernes points out one of the perks, which is the live updates into the data warehouse. He says that they stream data through an event hub, to Databricks, which then shows up inside the data warehouse.

With Power BI, you can now base your reports on live data instead of batch processing. You can access all the data that Komplett has across all systems and the entire group. Working with Evidi gives us a new way of improving the systems. This leads to faster delivery of stable solutions for the business.

Olav Bø Hernes, Chief Architect in Komplett

Olav emphasizes that live updates on sales every minute are a key advantage during Blackweek and other big sales events. He says that an important outcome is the decrease in the downtime that the customer experiences. Before, the whole website would go down when there were updates. Now, when new systems are updated and some parts of the system are offline, the customer's order (and other changes) will be put on hold in the service team and completed when the update is done. Other improvements that Komplett sees after the upgrade are better security and more frequent updates of the ERP system.

Olav is very pleased with the way they have cooperated. He says that they have a powerful internal development environment at Komplett, and that the internal team has engaged closely with the team from Evidi. Komplett and Evidi work together on a daily basis, and instead of Evidi creating all the services for Komplett, Komplett itself has contributed to the development. The conversations with Evidi began strategically, but became more technical as the solutions were put into practice. The collaboration has not followed the usual typical customer-supplier relationship, but has rather been marked by professional cooperation.

Martin from Evidi has joined the platform team at Komplett, which is responsible for, among other things, developing the technical platform for Komplett. He says that the way of working together has led to many valuable professional conversations. This has allowed Evidi to participate in strategic discussions that go beyond the service layer, such as web enhancements and technology decisions.

Future project and continuous development

Komplett has a promising future, where they will keep improving their services. Olav from Komplett says that they have switched from project to product development. The design, architecture and strategy that they established with close cooperation in the project will continue in further development. The service team was built for the whole group, even though Komplett mainly uses it now. They plan to use the service layer as a way to integrate dataflows across the Komplett Group.

By upgrading to the new ERP system and architecture, Komplett can offer more reliable solutions and boost sales efficiency. They also have improved insight and analysis, and stronger security. With the new service layer, Komplett will keep building new services for the market together with Evidi.

Details on the tools Komplett applied in the project

Several different technologies and frameworks have been used as part of the project and platform.

Some information on the services/integrations that Komplett employs

The new service layer at Komplett now has more than 28 different services and six Connxio integrations, split into seven distinct domains. These are some of the services that were launched in October 2023:

  • Customer service: Manages the master data for customer data, oversees the creation and modification of customer data, and makes sure that related services are updated when customer data changes (incl. SAP).

  • Credit service: Check external credit services for new B2B customers who apply for credit. Send the customer's credit to SAP, which uses it to decide which orders to accept. The service also shares this data with the web services.

  • Order service: Manages all steps in the order process, including alignment with SAP's order processes. Broadcasts order updates to a dozen other services that subscribe to order events.

  • Returns service: Manages all activities related to returns, including coordination between SAP and Web, and sending notifications to customers when they need to know the progress of returns.

  • Price, inventory, and catalog integrations: Keeps web data current with source systems for price, inventory, and catalog information.

  • Shipping service: Manages interaction with different delivery systems (Budbee, Porterbuddy, etc.). The service also talks to Komplett's autostore.

  • Insurance service: Creates insurance from new orders against Trygg.

  • Communication service: Sends all transactional messages to customers through external CRM systems, like order confirmation and pick-up alert of packages.