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ICT-Enabled Transformation Delivers Value

SF Express, a leading delivery services provider based in Shenzhen, China, played a significant role in the 2014 Chinese “Singles Day” shopping festival — held annually on November 11 — by delivering 278 million parcels, valued at over US$ 9.3 billion, for Alibaba’s on-line Tmall.

Among the critical factors ensuring the success of SF Express for this high-volume, high-pressure event are the ICT systems that coordinate the collaboration among more than 290,000 employees using 12,000 vehicles, 15 all-cargo aircraft, 260 regional branches, and 9,100 outlets scattered across China and the world. The ICT systems of SF Express not only enable efficient local operations, but also lay a solid foundation for the company’s continuing global business growth.

Pain Points

In its early stages, SF Express chose a franchise model as the way to incentivize the rapid expansion from its South China headquarters to the rest of the country. Once a rate of stable business growth was achieved, the company changed the branch office model from a franchise structure to a direct operation under corporate control. The variables affecting the completion of the direct operation transformation related to ICT infrastructure generally fell within the domain of Operation and Maintenance (O&M):

  • Time-consuming system migration limiting the rate of business model transformation.
  • Complex system maintenance increased labor costs by requiring dedicated O&M personnel.
  • Heightened security risk for lack of 24/7, uninterrupted O&M.

Huawei MicroDC Solution

Following a six-month evaluation period, the decision was made to award the ICT transformation contract to Huawei for a MicroDC all-in-one data center package tailored to meet the full list of business needs for SF Express company branches:

  • Highly integrated: The all-in-one solution incorporates servers; network and security devices; cabinets; power supplies and distribution; heat dissipation modules; temperature, smoke, and door status sensors.
  • Unified management: Huawei eSight management software allows headquarters to perform remote O&M for unattended IT branch maintenance.

Winning Customer Trust

Over the course of the deployment cycle Huawei was able to match the quick pace of the logistics industry to keep SF Express one-step ahead of their competition:

  • Quick deployment: Beginning with a pilot project at the Hainan branch that affected nearly 200 employees, the overall project demonstrated a dramatic reduction in deployment costs. From final requirements to online operations, the MicroDC solution was deployed in 56% less time than predicted for a traditional solution.
  • Simplified O&M: When system faults occur, the Huawei solution generates notification alarms by text message or email. The result is a reduction in troubleshooting time that keeps IT personnel focused on the development and provisioning of new services.
  • Accelerated business expansion: Efficient deployment cycles for the MicroDC platform supports rapid business growth.

The Huawei MicroDC ICT solution provides SF Express substantial operational benefits and maximum Return on Investment (ROI). As a result of the Hainan branch trial, SF Express plans to deploy Huawei MicroDC at its new headquarters and other key branches.

Voice of the Customer

“The MicroDC ICT solution has reduced the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) at our Hainan branch office by 27% within a single year. This figure enhances our confidence in Huawei and proves that we made the right choice. Going forward, SF Express is committed to deeper levels of cooperation with Huawei.”

— ICT Administrator in charge of SF Express branches

By Luo Linyan

Huawei Data Center Solution Marketing Manager