I don’t know about you, but whenever my kids get to choose where we’re going for dinner – they vote for McDonald’s. And it’s hard to resist these days, as I’ve got a good business case for visiting one of Belgium’s McDonald’s branches. It means I can see how they’re doing with a new hyper-converged solution based on Fujitsu infrastructure.
Fujitsu and our partner Microsoft are playing a part in providing the next generation technologies that keep Belgian consumers supplied with their fast food. We’re also a contributing power behind Tom&Co, one of Belgium’s biggest pet food and accessories retailers, which operates more than 150 branches.
McDonald’s in Belgium and Tom&Co depend on Fujitsu and Microsoft to run their day-to-day operations, based on a hybrid-cloud solution integrating Fujitsu technology. This remote office/back office architecture, , known as ROBO for short, is called PRIMEFLEX for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI. For both these examples the solution runs in the Brussels data center of a Belgian partner, the managed service provider HapBit.
The solution performs data transfers and backups faster than earlier generation technologies, and the Azure cloud platform enhances data security. In addition, thanks to the well-integrated Microsoft and Fujitsu technology, Hapbit is now able to resolve mission-critical issues for its end customers within four hours.
To serve hungry customers better and faster, HapBit enabled McDonald’s in Belgium to go fully digital with its ordering system. On entering any branch of the restaurant across the whole country, customers make their choices on touchscreen self-service kiosks, before paying and receiving a ticket with their order number. This accelerates the ordering process, as new orders are sent to the kitchens in real-time, and payment automated.
As you can imagine, keeping hungry customers happy is a key part of the user experience. It’s something that requires lightning-fast responses from the IT infrastructure behind the screens.
After carefully considering the balance between cost and efficiency, McDonald’s chose a fully virtualized solution that runs centrally in HapBit’s data center in Brussels, with Fujitsu as its technology partner.
The solution is powered by Fujitsu PRIMEFLEX for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI system which includes all the hardware and software to simplify procurement and deployment of Microsoft-based hyper-converged IT infrastructure. It leverages high performance, energy-efficient FUJITSU PRIMERGY standard x86 servers and the software-defined server and storage technology (Hyper-V and Storage Spaces Direct).
The solution powers everything from the order terminals and payment system to the back-end order processing for the kitchens in every McDonald’s branch. This is a great example of trusted enterprise virtualization – running workloads on a highly-secure infrastructure based on purpose-designed hardware.
“We needed to make sure the kiosks are running at 100% speed. If the technology fails, McDonald’s isn’t able to sell hamburgers,” explains Stephan Van den Eynde, CEO at HapBit. “We chose Fujitsu because of our similar philosophies in working very closely with our customers. In just one word, Fujitsu is trustworthy.”
Meanwhile, Tom&Co depends on Azure to manage inventory levels at more than 150 stores across Belgium. The highly available PRIMEFLEX hardware underlines the robustness of the solution’s design for branch office and edge scenarios.
Both deployments highlight that the new Azure Stack HCI is optimally designed for ROBO scenarios, thanks to both technology innovation and built-in resilience.
If you’re looking for a demonstration of how Fujitsu’s PRIMEFLEX hyper-converged solutions are powering real-world digital transformation, just drop in at any McDonald’s branch across Belgium – I’d be happy to join you!