Pickles Auctions is Australia’s leading auction and valuations specialist with operations in every State and Territory. We’re already over 50 years old and are proud of that heritage.
To make sure our future’s as bright as our past we are engaged in a major digital transformation so that we can continue to offer the sort of customer value that built the reputation of the firm in the first place.
Key to that is our migration to the cloud – it’s how we will be able to transform the products we offer, engage our customers in new ways and optimise IT and business operations.
At Pickles, cloud, mobile, social and digital is what our technology transformation is all about. We’re very focussed on meeting the needs of our customers who are looking for a slicker online experience – but also on making the business more efficient, more effective and injecting mobility and flexibility for our employees.
By adopting Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365 for Operations we’re putting in place a platform that we believe will provide the basis for ongoing transformation and growth over at least the next decade.
Already Pickles is a big business. Last financial year we sold 220,000 vehicles, machinery and earthmoving equipment. Turnover is above $2.2 billion and already more than 35 per cent of sales were made to online buyers.
And we are truly national with operations in every State and Territory, and around 800 staff employed around the country in 21 branches.
For us transformation is about agility, it’s about time to market and pace so we can better serve our customers. That is why the cloud is essential – it’s a fundamental piece of our strategy and our platform as we move away from what was essentially home-grown legacy systems and position ourselves for continuous innovation.
One component of our transformation foundations was an end-user computing refresh. Now all our people have Windows 10; they have Office 365; and we have deployed a SharePoint based intranet that will streamline operations and support communication and collaboration. Our cloud office enables a mobile workforce and when we need to turn on services like Skype for Business it’s all just there waiting and ready.
Working with our Microsoft partner UXC Eclipse, we went live in March with another transformation foundation in the first phase of our Dynamics 365 for Operations implementation.
To keep us at the leading edge of building competitive differentiation and trusted marketplaces we’ve adopted a microservices architecture, automated application lifecycle management and agile delivery. Azure and Dynamics 365 support these frameworks nicely and give us room to move and add in specialist functionality where it’s needed.
We’re also starting to adopt a range of other Microsoft and Azure services such as Power BI, machine learning and Azure cognitive services. These services along with our master data management strategy will play a significant role in enabling our data, information and knowledge core competency.
It means we can also leverage the entire Microsoft ecosystem of products, software and third party solutions developed specifically for deployment in Azure as and when we need them. We’re future proofing ourselves because we are now able to plug into that community and make use of new technologies the minute they are launched.
It’s really important when you are designing infrastructure that will stand the test of time that you find ecosystems and solutions that work seamlessly together. That’s critical for strong and sustainable digital transformation.
Simplicity as well. There are so many vendors, so many opinions, so many products out there – if you keep it simple, you avoid costly complexity and instead stay agile, and keep pace with progress. For Pickles that’s paramount.