Hippo Stores Launches One-Stop Shop for Home Builders in 5 Months with SAP S/4HANA on AWS
Building Dream Homes with All Materials Under One Roof
If you’ve just purchased a home that needs construction or renovation, sourcing the right building materials and comparing prices can be a stressful, drawn-out process. Hippo Stores looked to solve this issue for homeowners, architects, interior designers, and construction companies.
In February 2021, Hippo Stores, a one-stop shop for building materials, launched with over 12,000 products at wholesale prices. Its vision is to be part of every home construction or renovation, and a robust IT platform was necessary to support the chain’s growth ambitions. Customers can visit the company’s 50,000 sq. ft store in Mayapuri, West Delhi, or order building materials online for home delivery. The business is planning to roll out more delivery locations over the next few months.
AWS has given us the assurance over the past year that we have a scalable, robust, and flexible foundation to grow our business.”
CTO, Hippo Stores, Dalmia Bharat Venture
Launches in 5 Months on the AWS Cloud
Hippo Stores launched on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud to meet its tight go-to-market timeline of 5 months, despite remote working conditions at the time. With AWS, it has a secure, robust foundation to run SAP S/4HANA and benefits from a pay-as-you-go costing model to start small and pay more as the business scales.
Ranjit Satyanath, chief technology officer of Hippo Stores, recognized that direct, hands-on support offered by the local AWS team would be critical to quickly getting the business off the ground. “We had frequent calls with AWS and all our questions were resolved quickly. In terms of platform evolution, robustness, and ease of integration, I felt AWS was always a step ahead,” Satyanath says.
IT that Moves at the Speed of the Business
Within 5 months, from June to October 2020, Hippo Stores implemented SAP S/4HANA on AWS and associated modules SAP PO, SAP Web Dispatcher, and SAP Fiori. Hippo Stores’ ecommerce site also went live in Feb 2021. Implementation was performed remotely in conjunction with an experienced AWS partner. “AWS Cloud helped my team respond to business needs with tremendous agility. IT can now move at the speed of the business,” says Satyanath.
Since Hippo Stores went live on AWS, the business has had numerous requirements from its expanding customer base. The company plans to further strengthen its ecommerce offering to include products targeting individual home builders.
Hippo Stores has configured its infrastructure to autoscale according to user demand and is using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Convertible Reserved Instances to control costs as the business grows. “AWS has given us the assurance over the past year that we have a scalable, robust, and flexible foundation to grow our business. It offers the potential for limitless, secure scaling without costly capital expenditure investment,” Satyanath says. Since launching, Hippo Stores has experienced 99.999 percent uptime on AWS.
Leveraging Customer Data for Better Business Decisions
Hippo Stores has since embarked on creating a data and analytics pipeline on AWS. To provide visibility into product movement across Hippo’s website and delivery networks in real-time, Satyanath and his team have developed analytics dashboards—built within a few days—for its sales, operations, and supply chain departments. Business leaders and their teams use these dashboards daily to make strategic decisions.
By running SAP on AWS and using complementary services such as Amazon Redshift as its data warehouse, Hippo Stores can avoid building additional pipelines for data extraction. Satyanath envisions an evolution of Hippo Stores’ analytics journey within the next 12 months—from operational to diagnostics to prescriptive, then finally to predictive applications that use machine learning to determine where the business should open new stores.
Secures SAP in a Private Network Environment
Security was a top consideration when designing Hippo Stores’ mission-critical SAP architecture. The retailer is using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) with multi-factor authentication to control user permissions, along with NAT Gateways in an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) to securely route outgoing messages.
Hippo Stores has a separate site-to-site virtual private network between its locations, and employees working remotely are given access to SAP in a private network environment through secured tunnels. “Rather than investing heavily in security software, we could take advantage of what AWS has built for so many years for its customers across geographies,” says Satyanath.
Satyanath concludes, “We wanted to pick a cloud platform that we could grow with, and AWS fits the bill. Anything we do in the next few years, whether it’s leveraging our customer data to make better decisions or making sure the business is secure, our provider of choice is always going to be AWS.”
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About Hippo Stores
Hippo Stores is a one-stop shop for building materials for B2B and B2B consumers. It offers over 12,000 building products and more than 160 brands at wholesale prices under one roof.
Benefits of AWS
- Launched new business and ecommerce site in 5 months
- Receives frequent, direct support from local cloud specialists
- Achieves 99.999% uptime
- Secures mission-critical data in a private network
- Develops detailed analytics dashboards within days
- Autoscales infrastructure to control costs
AWS Services Used
SAP S/4HANA on AWS
Amazon Web Services (AWS) and SAP have worked together closely to certify the AWS platform so that companies of all sizes can fully realize all the benefits of the SAP HANA in-memory computing platform on AWS.
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) gives you complete control over your virtual networking environment including resource placement, connectivity, and security.
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) enables you to manage access to AWS services and resources securely. Using IAM, you can create and manage AWS users and groups, and use permissions to allow and deny their access to AWS resources.
Companies of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS Cloud journey today.