The adidas Group was started in 1920 by Adi Dassler, a German entrepreneur. Adi was a real visionary and wanted to make the best sports shoes money could buy. Having set up his small business and naming it ‘adidas’, no guessing where the name came from - he set about the manufacture of his perfect sports footwear. By 1928, sports people were wearing his shoes at the Olympic Games of that year, held in Amsterdam.
The rest, as they say, is history. Today, with world Headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany (known to insiders as Herzo-base), Adidas has become a name that is synonymous with quality, style and agility, associated with every conceivable sport and leisure activity, and involved in one way or another with every major sporting event in the global calendar today.
From those humble origins in 1920, it is now a corporation with revenues around €10 billion and representation in every major market in the world.
Today, the company is the world’s largest manufacturer of sports footwear, clothing and accessories and in 2006 acquired one of its major competitors, Reebok.
adidas Korea is just one of the many successful national subsidiaries of the group, now with 500 stores around the country. Being a long-established user of IBM System i hardware, it had developed its own legacy ERP application which has successfully coped with the company’s requirements for some years.
The problem was – and it’s a problem shared by many 5250 based applications around the world – the acceptance of the customized RPG back-end was hampered by its green-screen front-end. There was also no chance of successfully and easily achieving the integration requirements being consistently identified by users for the desktop functions of Microsoft Office front-end.
"Our system needed agile responses and data integrity throughout all the processes relating to new product announcements, promotions and the processing of orders and sales. To achieve these requirements, we investigated a number of options, and newlook gave the best results. It made it possible for us to develop a graphical, web-enabled user interface in no time at all from our text-based legacy system", said B.H. Lee, Team Leader of adidas Korea’s IT team.
"Our end users are very happy with the convenience and added functions that we have provided them with. They love the seamless integration with Microsoft Office and now think the System i is wonderful!", said Mr. Lee.
Now they have an integrated, web-enabled system capable of graphical information work and easy, rapid integration with other applications - and with no changes required to the legacy system! newlook integrates seamlessly with Excel, Word and other desktop applications.
"The more we use it to enhance, modernize and integrate our applications, the more we appreciate the power of the looksoftware suite of programs", said Mr. Lee. Our users are now actively suggesting other ways in which the applications can benefit from newlook’s capabilities – it seems to them that there is very little you can’t do with it!
The old sayings, "Seeing is believing" and "A picture speaks a thousand words" are what come to mind when Mr. Lee considers the outcomes of his recent modernization project.
Indeed, he reckons that the real worth of a good application is when it outperforms user expectations, and that is what he and his team have achieved for adidas Korea’s users - not at all dissimilar to the aspirations of his founder, Adi Dassler, all those years ago.
"adidas is leading an important new trend started by Microsoft and SAP with their Duet product when they connected SAP back-end functionality to the Office front-end", said Marcus Dee, Managing Director, of looksoftware. "The analysts including Gartner and Forrester agree that it makes sense to connect existing back-end applications to the front-ends that most users already use and prefer, like Microsoft’s Outlook and IBM’s Notes. IBM back-end applications can be accessed from Outlook, Notes, even Google, relatively easily, using SOA, without changing a line of code." Dee continued.
As the corporate slogan says, "Impossible is Nothing"!