METRO and Wipro sign strategic IT Deal

22 December 2020
METRO launches strategic multi-year digital and IT strategic partnership with Wipro Limited to make the group's IT even more efficient and to fully focus on innovation and customer needs
  • Parts of the current internal IT unit METRO-NOM will be acquired by Wipro; the remaining units will develop IT solutions for METRO AG's operational business under the new brand METRO Digital
  • METRO Digital will invest in digital modernisation to drive key innovation issues under METRO AG's wholesale 360 approach
  • Wipro will partner with METRO-NOM on the products that make up the backbone of the wholesale business that must be globally available 24/7. This includes elements such as the merchandise management system or the point of sale or the data warehouse

METRO AG announces a significant strategic digital and IT partnership with Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting, and business process services company, in order to drive forward the transformation of the Group's IT and to concentrate more strongly in future on activities that represent a differentiating added value for METRO customers. Within METRO Digital, the new IT unit of METRO AG, specific digital wholesale solutions will be developed, such as the customer app M|Companion. These solutions are developed internally and ensure a unique selling point for METRO wholesale customers. As a global technology partner, Wipro will provide IT support for the complete infrastructure, operation and further development of the core application landscape. As a global company, Wipro offers significant and distinct advantages in terms of scalability, fast processes and experience with international retail customers. With this partnership, Wipro acquires METRO-NOM GMBH and METRO SYSTEMS Romania S.R.L., the former IT units of METRO AG. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close on or before April 30, 2021. The strategic partnership is designed to run for five years, with the intention to extend up to 4 additional years. Both parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

METRO is using this process to position itself even more intensively as a 360° wholesale service provider in the HoReCa (hotel, restaurant and catering) and trader sector, offering its customers quality, focus and flexibility. “We are at a stage where we want to focus on the activities that are going to give us the strongest possible competitive advantage and to do that, we need to be confident in the digital infra-structure that underpins our growth. Partnering with Wipro allows us to simplify and streamline our IT landscape. This enables us to build more digital solutions that add value for our customers and drive the Wholesale 360 approach forward. Additionally, the close collaboration gives us access to innovation and the best digital practices,” commented Timo Salzsieder, CIO of METRO AG and CEO of METRO Digital. Around 1,000 employees at METRO Digital will continue to promote digital solutions for the wholesale sector and support and accompany the entire shopping experience in METRO stores with the latest IT solutions.

Through this partnership, more than 1,300 employees across Germany, Romania and India will transfer to Wipro, providing them with new opportunities to advance their careers, access innovation, work with leading digital technologies and adopt new ways of working that enable agility, speed and scale in engineering. Timo Salzsieder added: “The Metronomians who are transferring across to Wipro are going to have access to leading edge innovations that will accelerate their careers. I look forward to the continued close collaboration and partnership with the Metronomians who will continue to support our IT needs in 25 METRO countries.” The partnership deal will see Wipro deliver a complete technology, engineering and solutions transformation programme for METRO. At the heart of the partnership is the formation of a joint Transformation Office and Co-Innovation Council that will guide the businesses through the transformation and ensure safe spaces for collaborative innovation throughout the partnership.

“Like us, METRO AG is focused on leveraging digital transformation for competitive advantage. Wipro’s role is to make that transformation efficient and effective. Equally important for us is welcoming 1,300 new colleagues to Wipro and ensuring this move is positive and empowering for each of them. Wipro and METRO share a great deal in terms of culture and values, which has guided our discussions throughout, and led to the formation of the joint Transformation and Co-Innovation Council. Our relationship with METRO is a significant and strategic partnership.” said Thierry Delaporte, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Wipro Limited.

Wipro’s transformation programme will encompass cloud, data center services, workplace and network services, along with application development and operations to provide an integrated, flexible and robust digital infrastructure to help drive METRO´s transformation agenda.

Wipro also plans to launch a Digital Innovation Hub in Düsseldorf to support METRO and other clients in the region. The proposed Digital Innovation Hub will serve as Wipro’s flagship centre in Europe and enable organisations to cross skill and upskill, besides supporting talent development in local communities. The Digital Innovation Hub will aim to galvanise adoption of new skills and technologies by companies to innovate and re-imagine their products and services, improve operational efficiencies, and drive customer and employee delight, thereby transforming their ability to compete and thrive in the market.

The transition to the partnership was supported by the globally active strategy consultancy EY-Parthenon. METRO was legally advised by Baker McKenzie.

 

METRO is a leading international wholesale company with food and non-food assortments that specialises on serving the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent traders. Around the world, METRO has more than 16 million customers who can choose whether to shop in one of the large-format stores, order online and collect their purchases at the store or have them delivered. METRO in addition also supports the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and own businesses with digital solutions and thereby contributes to cultural diversity in retail and hospitality. Sustainability is a key pillar of METRO’s business. METRO has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 7 consecutive years. The company operates in 34 countries and employs more than 97,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2019/20, METRO generated sales of €25.6 billion.

Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO) is a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. We harness the power of cognitive computing, hyper-automation, robotics, cloud, analytics and emerging technologies to help our clients adapt to the digital world and make them successful. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability and good corporate citizenship, we have over 180,000 dedicated employees serving clients across six continents. Together, we discover ideas and connect the dots to build a better and a bold new future.