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Posted: 5/31/2013
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Tommy Hilfiger Japan Japanese Retailer Improves Service and Efficiency, Cuts Costs with Intelligent System

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Tommy Hilfiger Japan Corporation wanted to improve efficiency and data security. The company decided to replace stand-alone computers across 170 locations with mobile thin clients running Windows Embedded. The thin clients are connected locally to peripheral devices as well as remotely to the corporate infrastructure. By using an intelligent system to share information more efficiently, Tommy Hilfiger is enhancing customer service and brand identity, strengthening security, improving manageability and cutting costs.

Business Needs

Tommy Hilfiger Japan Corporation is a subsidiary of Tommy Hilfiger Group, a leading retailer of high-end clothing and furnishings with more than 1,000 stores worldwide and annual revenue of US$4.6 billion. The company has 170 stores and 1,000 employees in Japan.

As Tommy Hilfiger Japan expanded, it wanted to align more closely with the parent group’s brand identity, a goal that required improving the way it shared information between stores and with customers. To check the availability of products, employees used a computer installed in the back of each store. The process was time-consuming and inefficient and risked leaving customers unattended. Mr. Takashi Ogo, Chief Financial Officer at Tommy Hilfiger Japan Corporation says, “We wanted a companywide solution that would help store employees work more efficiently and easily while providing excellent customer service.”

* By taking advantage of a mobile thin-client solution based on Windows Embedded, we have cut maintenance costs by a third. *

Takashi Ogo
Chief Financial Officer
Tommy Hilfiger Japan Corporation

Strengthening security was another priority, and better information management was key to achieving that goal. Because its parent company is publically traded in the United States, Tommy Hilfiger Japan needed to comply with Sarbanes Oxley regulations that include guidelines for protecting the security of corporate information.

Working with Itochu Techo-Solutions Corporation, a regional provider of IT services, Tommy Hilfiger looked at several options, including Apple and Android devices. In particular, Tommy Hilfiger needed a solution that would be secure, easy to customize, and that would provide the connectivity required for peripheral devices such as barcode scanners. The device would also need to reliably stream video and other media content from the corporate network.

To share and manage information more efficiently and securely, Tommy Hilfiger Japan wanted an intelligent system that would connect mobile thin clients with peripheral devices as well as centrally managed applications and data.


When Tommy Hilfiger tested a tablet running the Windows Embedded operating system it knew it had found the right solution for connecting mobile thin-clients to its corporate infrastructure and peripheral devices. In December 2011, the company began implementing an end-to-end Microsoft platform that includes the Windows Embedded, Windows Server, and Windows operating systems, Microsoft SQL Server software, Hyper-V virtualization technology, and Active Directory Domain Services. The company also uses Microsoft System Center products for centralized management.

Each store is equipped with a Windows Embedded thin-client mobile device that employees use to check prices and inventory and show customers the latest Tommy Hilfiger videos and fashion shows. The thin clients can be controlled with the touchscreen or with a keyboard and mouse connected to a docking station. The devices also connect to barcode scanners and a handy terminal that employees use to check stock levels and other information.

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Each mobile thin client wirelessly connects to its own virtualized Windows 7 desktop, which operates in a Hyper-V environment on physical computers running Windows Server. The solution stores information in SQL Server databases. Tommy Hilfiger Japan also uses System Center Virtual Machine Manager to perform tasks such as software upgrades.

By implementing a Microsoft solution based on Windows Embedded, Tommy Hilfiger Japan is enhancing customer service and brand identity, strengthening security, improving manageability, and cutting costs.

Enhances Customer Service
Tommy Hilfiger is improving service by speeding access to information. By using mobile thin clients, employees can look up current inventory and prices without leaving the customer’s side. “Employees can provide timely service to the customer with mobile devices running Windows Embedded, regardless of where he or she is standing in the store,” says Mr. Takashi Kuroda, Senior Coordinator at Tommy Hilfiger Japan Corporation. “It’s much more efficient.”

The solution is also helping the company strengthen its brand image. Mr. Ogo says, “Because our Windows Embedded devices display videos and other rich media in addition to product information, they play an important part in getting our brand message across to customers.”

Strengthens Security of Corporate Data
The company is strengthening security as well as improving efficiency. “We are subject to strict guidelines for corporate governance, including IT security,” says Mr. Kuroda. “With a solution based on Windows Embedded, we can centralize information management instead of storing data on local devices, and, as a result, better protect corporate data.”

Improves Manageability and Cuts Costs
In the past, the company relied on an external vendor to travel to each location to maintain computers. Now, the company can manage a single, centralized infrastructure that employees connect to remotely. Mr. Kuroda says, “By taking advantage of a mobile thin-client solution based on Windows Embedded, we have cut maintenance costs by a third.”

In addition to reducing maintenance time and costs, the solution is improving uptime. “Instead of installing software separately on computers in 170 stores, we can centrally update our virtualized environment overnight,” says Mr. Kuroda. “With an intelligent system anchored by Windows Embedded, we can continue our workflow without interruption.”

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 1000 employees

Organization Profile

Tommy Hilfiger Japan Corporation is part of the Tommy Hilfiger Group, a leading global retailer of high-end clothing and lifestyle products.

Software and Services
  • Windows Embedded Standard 7
  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2
  • Windows 7
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise

Vertical Industries
General Merchandise


Business Need
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting
  • Business Productivity
  • Cost Containment
  • Data Protection and Recovery