Processing data at speed and scale alongside the transforming digital environment is imperative to successful innovation. Dan Djuric, Global Infrastructure and Enterprise Information Management at Domino’s, tells us how it leveraged Pure Storage’s data management solution on its journey to become the world’s number one pizza company.
In an attempt to become the number one pizza company in the world, Domino’s needed to transform the way it was working directly with its consumers, as well as adapting to the way the world was innovating.
Dan Djuric, Global Infrastructure and Enterprise Information Management, explains how Pure Storage has enabled this.
Can you tell us about how Domino’s has scaled as a business?
I first started at Domino’s around eight years ago and we were growing as an organisation both domestically and globally. We’ve gone from having 10,000 stores around that time within the US, to having roughly 17,000 over these past eight years and we continue to grow. Our scale is around growing our store footprint but also around drawing the consumer into the experience, so going through the Digital Transformation and allowing our customer base to leverage our product and change the way we communicate with our consumers overall.
The scale was also focused around changing our menu along the way to ensure that we had quality products and something that was attractive to our consumer.
How did this impact the amount of data you needed to process?
One of the things that we obviously need to do is understand what’s happening in all of our markets. So, going from 10,000 stores to 17,000 stores, not only are you consuming data on the store footprint, our supply chains begin to grow as well as how they deliver products to our stores and ensure that those products are being delivered. Moreover, as our store footprint and digital footprint grew, the consumer segment also grew in which we continue to inherit more attributes alongside our consumers. Ultimately, we went from having information about our delivery segments and to all of our segments as we continue to grow, so I’d like to say our data footprint on a scale of 0-10 was probably at a three and now we’re probably at a nine and continue growing. We’ve definitely experienced major change in terms of scale and data growth.
What key challenges were you looking to overcome ahead of selecting this solution?
It was being able to process the information effectively. Growing up in the industry, one of the things that you’re accustomed to is that data resides on disk and then if data is as fast as your disk, the engineering was in those types of solutions. I think it was a pivotal point into the technology stream where we realised as our solutions became more sought after from a consumer standpoint, our data backbone or storage backbone had to move just as quick. So, our key requirements when selecting the vendor were speed, reliability, resiliency and more importantly, the ability to move or replicate data not necessarily from a user standpoint, but from a data protection standpoint too. So in England, when doing our research, we found that using data in memory storage was something that would accommodate the speed, but more importantly, the engineering around moving data from location to location – the combination of the two was really what drew us to Pure.
Why did you ultimately decide to select this vendor and product?
Speed was the first task – we needed to ensure that we had the capabilities to not only manage the data that we had coming out of our stores, but also manage our corporate data, manage our supply chain data and manage our e-commerce data. So, looking at those lines of business – we needed to be fast and reliable, but more importantly, I couldn’t be the person slowing down the momentum of our organisation so I wanted to make sure we had a strong foundation behind us to ensure other segments. But, specifically, what really transformed it for us wasn’t just the speed, it was the ability to replicate the information using some of the proprietary logic that the Pure team developed through the art of moving data from one frame to another, or one data centre to another. The snapped-base or stream replication modules that we worked with Pure on to test and validate was something that really changed our perspective.
How was the implementation process – did you encounter any challenges and, if so, how easily were they resolved?
For us, it was very smooth. We partnered with Pure to do, first and foremost, a migration. We were migrating from one solution to another. As we were going through the migration, the team was really well organised in terms of how it wanted to approach it. We had to relay our visits and our concerns on it as we were still running a business at the time of the migration. I would say your normal migration pains are nothing out of the ordinary – scheduling, ensuring that applications can backup effectively when you do that migration, but more importantly, one of the challenges was trust. This is because we were moving from a solution in terms of a type of engineering that we’d lived with for years and years, and moving to a different type of footprint. We were very cautiously optimistic as we were going through the migration, but we decided to do a series of benchmark tests along the way to build that momentum and confidence when migrating from one to the other.
What training and support was provided to you both during and post-implementation?
In terms of support, what I really value when working with Pure is that, prior to COVID, the team was in our building every other week. The Pure engineering representative in our market and the salesperson in our market are part of my team, so what I really enjoy about that from a supportability standpoint is that we tend to be very innovative from an organisation standpoint and really challenge some of our technology partners along the way. We’ve been able to do that effectively with Pure and it has responded effectively, partly because of that support and because of that relationship. I’d give it a 10/10 in terms of how we work with Pure.
How has the solution benefited the company and your customers?
The solution has given us the ability to house, store, move and protect information effectively. We have three different data centres – two in the US and one in Europe – if you can imagine a triangle of how those applications move, the data moves along the same way. So, we’re able to design a solution that keeps us protected as we go around the globe to service our markets. In terms of benefits, I think it’s data response overall. When you go from zero data scientists to 50 over the course of less than 24 months, data scientists are very data-hungry and so one of the things you want to ensure is that the speed of performance meets their expectations. The last thing we wanted to do was have the shadow IT segment being created of people building solutions outside of some of the solutions we’ve built from an infrastructure standpoint. So, I would say wholeheartedly that it’s the reliability and the foundation of the platform that’s allowed us to serve the many parts of our organisation.
How has the solution enabled Domino’s continued innovation?
It’s understanding that whatever we wanted to do with the types of data and the attributes that we have were possible because we’re not impacted by speed or reliability. It’s about understanding the data catalogue we have and leveraging that data catalogue to effectively and surgically market and target our consumer base. When you’re sending an email campaign or an SMS campaign, it’s the data segment that’s helping to build that along the way and then capturing that response information effectively and leveraging that to continue to have a better relationship with our consumers. Realistically, as people look to migrate with a different type of partner with a new technology, I would say be realistic about your goals and work with a partner that’s going to reciprocate that understanding. If you’re not building an effective relationship with regard to technical partnership, you’re going to falter. As a provider, Pure has been with us for quite some time and as we continue to scale and grow, I know we’ve challenged Pure and that it has been able solve some of those challenges. There’s a technology component to this and there’s also a relationship component and sometimes we don’t value the two of those together.