USM’s Haller modular furniture system is the gold standard for furniture in offices around the world. Immortalized by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, it is finding new life as a top choice for discerning shoppers now working from home. In 2020, residential orders skyrocketed and created new revenue streams for the business.
“Our furniture is both beautiful and endlessly versatile,” says Thomas Flügge, group ICT service manager at USM. “It was built sustainably by intention, which is why USM’s design and functionality still feels fresh 50 years after being introduced.”
Both commercial and residential customers use the company’s virtual USM design software to create modular furniture solutions that meet their specific requirements. The software registers every order component, inputs those into USM’s ERP system, and automatically produces an invoice for the customer.
This resource-intensive process required better data compression, speed, and performance than USM’s existing storage system could handle. Without the ability to access accurate data in real time, USM risked falling behind on its orders. The company needed a storage infrastructure that was as modular and versatile as its products.
Storage So Easy, It’s Invisible
When Flügge took his new role at USM in April 2020, his mandate was clear: to streamline IT operations. This included moving regional IT systems from branch office servers to the cloud to bring consistency to USM’s operations, improve collaboration, and minimize downtime. The company selected Pure Storage® FlashArray//X and migrated all of its data at the peak of COVID-19.
“With Pure, we learned that robust data storage is the difference between clunky data integrations and a seamless operation that is always one step ahead of customer needs.” –Thomas Flügge, Group ICT Service Manager, USM
Despite all of its employees working remotely, the implementation went smoothly. USM’s regional data centers are now hosted in the cloud, with its Swiss headquarters running on premises. Every virtual machine at USM runs on Pure FlashArray™, supporting a 2TB SQL database, its ERP system, and a range of customer services. The Pure solutions were implemented in partnership with BNC, a longstanding USM technology partner.
“With Pure’s technology and BNC’s expertise, our migration was so smooth that, other than my team, nobody even realized it happened,” Flügge recalls. “That’s exactly what you want from storage, for it to work seamlessly right out of the box and never have to worry about it again.”
Data backup and recovery are handled by a unique real-time mirroring approach ensuring continuity of operations for USM and reliable service for its customers.
USM also adopted Pure SafeMode™ snapshots to shore up its data security and ransomware mitigation. “SafeMode snapshots help us ensure our data backups are up to date without putting more pressure on my team, which is a killer benefit,” says Flügge. “They can’t be modified or erased after the fact, which gives us peace of mind.”
A Playground for Faster Innovation
These enhancements have brought new levels of speed, reliability, and security to USM data storage, ERP integrations, and customer service. Its employees can access files more easily, process orders more efficiently, and deliver furniture to customers more quickly.
This transformation reflects the freedom and culture of experimentation that have set USM apart for decades. “Our founder always said that a company should be a playground for adults. You need the freedom to play, fail, and learn from your mistakes,” says Flügge. “With Pure, we learned that robust data storage is the difference between clunky data integrations and a seamless operation that is always one step ahead of customer needs.”
Next up is an ERP upgrade, which would not have been successful without the improved compression rates and data recovery capabilities gained in the past year. “I can’t express how beneficial this transformation has been,” says Flügge. “There’s no way we’d be rolling out these projects on our old storage, but with Pure, we’ve set ourselves up to keep playing and finding new ways to delight our customers.”