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Wasabi selects cloud IT services

By Retail Technology | Monday April 22 2013

Japanese-style food chain opts for managed multi-site cloud IT model to deliver a future-proofed infrastructure as it enters a period of sustained business growth

Wasabi, the ‘grab and go’ Japanese food chain in London, has selected the services of technology partner Fifosys to manage its entire IT infrastructure and aid heavily in its growth plans over the coming year. 

The hospitality firm is moving its IT infrastructure to the cloud to facilitate its multi-site business. The technology partner will also be assessing Wasabi’s business-critical applications to ensure they can continue to provide a rapid response to all customer enquires as well as ensuring a future-proofed IT function to continue to enhance it customer service.
Wasabi, which also includes Korean food from its sister company Kimchee as part of its portfolio, started back in 2003 with its first branch at Embankment, offering quality Japanese food at affordable prices with a speedy, efficient service. Since then, the company’s brand has grown fast, with 32 outlets now operational in the UK and aggressive growth plans to open 11 more outlets this year, including its first international presence in New York.

Virtual IT management role
This rapid expansion and the company’s plans for growth drove Wasabi’s decision to evaluate its IT infrastructure. The company identified that it needed high-level IT direction in the form of a virtual chief innovation officer (CIO) for an agile IT delivery model. Fifosys said the collaboration will see it provide an IT model that will not only accommodate the needs of the Wasabi business now, but also evolve with the growing demands it faces in its continuing expansion. By employing its skills, knowledge and sector experience, it added that Wasabi would benefit from an IT infrastructure that is procured, maintained and supported in a timely fashion in line with its business requirements.
Nikki Phillips, who is responsible for IT at Wasabi, commented: “Response times are key for us; we are not an office-based operation and, therefore, our IT has to be reliable across the entire business within every branch. We provide a premium service to our clients and they are our most important consideration. We want to ensure we maintain our fast paced business to our customers, so we needed to partner with an IT company that can develop with our organisation and our future needs.

Trusted one-stop partnership
Phillips continued: “Through outsourcing the IT function we get immediate access to high-level industry experts that are at the forefront of the market and bring with them a vast array of expertise, up-to-date knowledge and ideas and innovations from other industries. In Fifosys we effectively get a ‘one-stop-shop’ in having a trusted provider to handle all of our IT requirements.”
Looking to the future, Wasabi is planning move to a fully cloud-based infrastructure and is also looking at bringing more advanced consumer technology into its branches, as well as enhancing its current web-based home delivery service. 

Phillips added: “Finding the right IT partner was over a year-long project for us. But, in Fifosys, we have found a company similarly cultured to our own – an owner-managed, friendly and professional operation that offers agile services, a flexible and accommodating approach with great communication, fast response times and a true understanding of what our business requires both now and in achieving our long-term business goals.”

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