Google Apps set for rollout across John Lewis and Waitrose

John Lewis store in shopping centre

John Lewis regularly states it is never knowingly undersold, but now its keen to stress it won't be under-provisioned either.

The company, along with food retailer Waitrose, is to roll out Google Apps across all its stores in a bid to improve flexibility and speed up delivery of customer updates.

The announcement, which was made at the Google Atmosphere event, was another example of how companies want real-time information delivered quickly, according Amit Singh, president of Google Enterprise.

Singh said Google was looking for customers who were true digital businesses. “They want to engage with customers at scale and engage with employees. Their collective intelligence is shared with no silos."

He said John Lewis was a great example of a digital business, as everything is about improving the experience for customers in a device-independent way.

Google Apps will provide a way for employees to share ideas and manage information like rotas, as well as improving communication across the stores.

Paul Coby, CIO of John Lewis, said the deal would help build on the company’s reputation for customer service by speeding up responses to its punters.

“Traditionally retail operational and procedural information has been in a paper-based format. This is difficult to access when partners are on the shop floor. We rolled out Google Apps for the Retail Support platform to 30,000 employees in just six weeks, enabling them to access and manage information on the go, in real-time and on any device,” he said.

Waitrose will also be rolling out Google Apps to its 30,000 employees: the company is not quite as advanced as its parent company in the implementation but Waitrose CIO Cheryl Milligan is already seeing benefits.

“We’re just at the start of our Google journey but already apps are making it easier to communicate, collaborate and share ideas, as well as improving business processes," she said.

Max Cooter

Max Cooter is a freelance journalist who has been writing about the tech sector for almost forty years.

At ITPro, Max’s work has primarily focused on cloud computing, storage, and migration. He has also contributed software reviews and interviews with CIOs from a range of companies.

He edited IDG’s Techworld for several years and was the founder-editor of CloudPro, which launched in 2011 to become the UK’s leading publication focused entirely on cloud computing news.

Max attained a BA in philosophy and mathematics at the University of Bradford, combining humanities with a firm understanding of the STEM world in a manner that has served him well throughout his career.