As Australia’s leading retailer of office products, supplies, furniture, technology, and education resources, Officeworks is committed to making bigger things happen for their customers. They rely on SAP CRM and ERP solutions for everything from customer support to online orders and more. Through collaboration and partnership with Rimini Street, Officeworks has been able to extend the life of the core SAP solutions. However, taking the non-traditional path means that there will be challenges along the way.

One of the challenges of the non-traditional path is that their technology ecosystem ages at different rates, creating the need to innovate in order to integrate with the legacy core. In 2022, the versions of SAP that the retailer was using were certified to be accessed through Internet Explorer 11 only. When Microsoft announced it would retire the browser, Officeworks needed to somehow find an alternative browser to effectively access the system.

Browser retirement poses a threat to productivity

Officeworks understood that without access to the CRM, every aspect of the organisation that relied on the SAP CRM would no longer work. Their call centre and online customer support, for instance, would be unable to assist customers the moment Internet Explorer retired. 

The Officeworks team was faced with two options. Option 1: Undertake an expensive, business-disruptive, and complex upgrade of a system where the benefits case was not substantial enough to compete with investments that drive easier and more engaging customer offer. Option 2: Find alternative ways to make the existing system continue to function. 

A future-proof approach for compatibility

Officeworks determined that a comprehensive upgrade was not an economically viable option. As a result, they engaged Rimini Street – who had been supporting their current SAP solutions – to implement an alternative that would protect the retailer against browser compatibility challenges in the future.  

Officeworks had to solve the problem of maintaining system stability. It was also important to make the changes invisible to the customer support centre team members and others who relied on the SAP CRM. Rimini Street recommended the Rimini Connect™ for Browsers solution which would enable Officeworks to achieve the same functionality they’d experienced with Internet Explorer through other browsers such as Chrome or Edge. 

The Rimini Connect for Browsers solution uses an encapsulation strategy that leaves the core ERP and CRM system functionality intact. Rimini Connect for Browsers is installed by a rule-based, programmable engine that receives HTML from the ERP applications and reinterprets it for any combination of browsers and applications. With fast, in-memory operation, the solution doesn’t inhibit response times and easily supports rule modifications as new incompatibilities arise. 

Rimini Connect for Browsers solution provides an invisible transition    

Following rigorous testing and bespoke adaptions to the solution – necessary to meet the unique needs of the Officeworks environment – the implementation was completed before Internet Explorer 11 was retired.  

With stability the key indicator of the implementation’s success, the tailored Rimini Connect for Browsers solution enabled the Officeworks team members to leverage the functionality they’d been accustomed to with Internet Explorer 11 from any modern browser. In keeping with the need to ensure the change was as invisible as possible to team members, functionality was maintained, and no intensive training was required.  

The solution allows Officeworks to continue operating their current, stable SAP version with no need for a costly upgrade. Avoiding the upgrade has enabled Officeworks to continue leveraging their SAP footprint while they continue concentrating resources into improving customer experience.  

Client Profile
With 167 stores nationwide and more than 40,000 products on their website, Officeworks is Australia’s home for stationery, furniture, technology, and student supplies and services such as print and copy and on-site tech support through Geeks2U.
SAP ECC 6.0 EhP5, SAP CRM 7.0, SAP HANA 1.0, SAP BW 7.4, Business Objects 4.2
  • Extends life of their core SAP ERP
  • Maintains productivity with a seamless solution

“We knew from the moment that we chose the non-traditional path with SAP and Rimini Street that we would be faced with technological challenges to overcome. Taking calculated risks relies on a culture of innovation and problem solving and strong partnerships around us. This project really was a collaborative experience with the Rimini Street team; when any implementation issues occurred due to our unique environment, they were proactively helping us look for a solution and to troubleshoot. For us, it was about making this transition as seamlessly as possible without any interruption to business, and Rimini Street helped us achieve that.”

Michael Howard, Chief Operating Officer, Officeworks

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