Case Study – IKEA
Millions of shoppers choose IKEA for its stylish, efficient retail experience. And the company’s 8 core values, including cost-consciousness and simplicity, touch every part of the business.
Which is why three independently owned franchise stores of the home-furnishings giant located across Iceland and the Baltic region have pivoted to the cloud in recent years to manage an increasingly large pool of data.
Setting up IKEA employees to work in Microsoft 365 has offered access to collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, and the solutions have kept Iceland- and Baltic-based colleagues highly connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our productivity didn’t go down,” said Ölvir Sveinsson, Chief Information Officer for IKEA Baltics and Iceland. “When our store was closed in Iceland, we did extremely well over e-commerce.”
The capabilities of Microsoft 365 have also been essential as the franchise group continues to expand (a fourth IKEA store, located near Tallinn, Estonia, is set to open in autumn 2022).
But Microsoft 365 only retains documents deleted from the SharePoint recycle bin for 93 days — for emails, it’s 14 days — so the Reykjavik-based team sought long-term protection.
“It’s fairly simple: I need to back up everything, whatever it is, and be able to access it instantly when we need to restore,” Sveinsson said.
A strong backup solution was necessary for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. The legal framework sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information from individuals who live in the European Union. This includes the ability to restore availability and access to personal data in a timely manner.
The AvePoint Solution
When it came to protecting the cloud-based data of his IKEA franchises, Sveinsson had high standards. AvePoint Cloud Backup, he learned, could meet them all.
The 100% SaaS solution provides automated, comprehensive backup and restore services for Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and Dynamics 365. It features built-in storage and encryption and offers flexible pricing plans based on the number of users or the amount of data.
With backups performed four times daily, Cloud Backup is designed to accommodate the latest Microsoft APIs and handle granular rollbacks (including Teams chats, Groups, and Planner).
“I need to secure all of my data, not just part of it,” said Sveinsson, who estimates IKEA Baltics and Iceland will back up about 20 TB of data in M365 after the fourth store opens. “Teams chats are basically the same as email now. It’s a key communication point within the organization.”
Meanwhile, achieving GDPR compliance was easy with AvePoint’s dedicated European data centers and multi-geo capacity for customers to choose where their data lives — as well as functionality to comply with “right to be forgotten” requests.
Sveinsson purchased Cloud Backup in spring 2021 via Sensa, the IKEA franchises’ managed service provider. (The Icelandic MSP and reseller was recently acquired by Crayon).
Setting up Cloud Backup was simple. And with the AvePoint Elements partner portal, MSPs can continue delivering a seamless customer experience for backup and other solutions via a dedicated platform to manage support tickets, to view activity across the business, and to connect with 24/7 support teams.
“Ölvir was aware from day one that AvePoint was the leader in the market and the superior solution,” said Ingvar Linnet, a product management lead at Sensa. “For him, it was never about just ‘good enough.’”
The Bottom Line
As his IKEA franchise expands and serves more customers, Sveinsson knows that reliable backup and restore aren’t an option; they’re a necessity.
The franchise group hasn’t yet explored Cloud Backup’s self-service functions or the AVA chatbot to perform restores, but they plan to educate employees about the role and value of backup, and to work with their MSP to perform regular tests of Cloud Backup, Sveinsson said.
For now, IKEA Baltics and Iceland has a strong foundation for continued digital transformation — and peace of mind, no matter what happens.
“I really hope I will never have to use your product,” Sveinsson said. “But it’s good to know it’s there.”
Founded in Sweden, IKEA is an iconic home furnishings retailer known for ready-to-assemble pieces and modern style. Nearly all of IKEA’s 445 stores worldwide operate under franchise agreements. One franchisee, IKEA Baltics and Iceland, operates three IKEA locations — Reykjavik, Iceland; Vilnius, Lithuania; and Riga, Latvia — with a fourth in development.
Read the full case study here.