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The customer is right most of the time, but sometimes they need a different perspective on things.

In a nutshell

Freelance IT consultant specialising in "Oracle Retail", Oracle Database, AWS and Azure.


Partly Available Immediately


Watford, London, United Kingdom



Interviewed By


HM Expert Since

Friday May 03, 2019

About Trevor

Recruited after graduation by Andersen Consulting to work on the first UK implementation of Retek 6.5i in 1997. Subsequently worked on thirteen separate implementations both directly to retailers and to system integrators including Oracle Retail Consulting, Accenture, IBM, OLR, KPMG, and Fujitsu. These projects covered sectors for Grocery (UK, Ireland), Fashion & Beauty (UK, Sweden, Ireland) and Electronics (Germany, China, France).

Working for Tier 1 international retailers such as Sainsburys, Tesco, Debenhams, Primark, Media Saturn, FNAC and TJX Europe has facilitated my contribution on major transformation programmes.

Involvement with smaller retailers such as Dunnes Stores, Axstores, and Selfridges has allowed me to work on end to end implementations to scope, define, design, develop and deliver complete solutions driven by business requirements.

My goal is to design and develop usable solutions using Vanilla Processes but accepting customisation is often also needed.

Current Role Details

Solution owner for Oracle Retail with Fujitsu as infrastructure partner to Primark.

Defined and setup alerting and monitoring of whole Oracle Retail infrastructure using OEM 13.2.

Defined and Implemented automated code deployment for all technologies including ADF, RIB, RSE and ODI.

Taught the client's system integrator the right way to use source control and setup procedures for them to follow to allow automation.

Providing diagnosis and troubleshooting in all areas of performance tuning including Database, JVM configuration on weblogic, application and batch.

Troubleshooting and advising on various Oracle Retail related topics as the Oracle Retail SME within the Infrastructure team.

Trevor's Valuable Contributions

(Case Studies)


The client, a duty free retailer with locations throughout North and Latin America, had been using an older version of Oracle Retail on premise for a number of years.

They are already using AWS as chosen cloud provider for other areas of the business.

They wanted to have a sandbox of the latest v16 to decide whether an upgrade was warranted.

Oracle quoted them more than the cost of physical hardware for a single v16 environment on Oracle cloud PER MONTH.

It would also take more than six weeks for the environment to be available. was contacted on 22nd January 2019 to discuss our solution.

On 20th February 2019, an agreement was signed to provide a v16 environment on AWS.

Our task was to provide an environment quicker and cheaper than the Oracle alternative.

The good news is we have spent the last four years developing an automated solution for this so the build takes about 70 minutes.

The bad news was that we have built our solution in the EU West 1 AWS region (Dublin) but the client is in Florida, USA with the nearest region being US East 1 (N.Virginia).

We needed to replicate our infrastructure to the US East region.

Then once replicated and tested, we could use our rapid build process to install the environment they needed and configure for access by the client.

The retail client had access to the sandbox environment less than two weeks after giving the go ahead and have been using it for the past six months without problems for evaluation purposes.

The retail client is on a subscription model which so far has, in total, cost them less than 10% of the one month cost they were quoted by Oracle.

The retail client has seamless access to the Oracle Retail environment from their on premise desktops and servers.

The retail client is not locked in as they can give us a months notice to end the subscription.

They can then decide if they want to keep the current environment, and pay a one off fee or have it terminated with nothing further to pay.

The fee per enviroment to transition the environment over to the retailer is a still a fraction of what Oracle or other system integrators charge for an installation.

We have introduced them to colleagues in Australia who are currently working on data conversion from their existing production instance into the provided environment.

We have been supporting them with adhoc tasks such as resizing the environment from a sandbox to one capable of handling the volume and performance needed for a data conversion environment.

Additional environments can be spun up in about 70 minutes each if required.

All our work has been carried out remotely from the UK with a handful of conference calls.


Roles & Results

FUJITSU / PRIMARK - Solution Owner

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Delivery and Achievements
Designed and configured alerting and monitoring across the Oracle Retail programme. Automated ODI initial code deploy for each environment from 3 days to 1 hour. Redesigned and currently rebuilding the integration between clients monitoring system and helpdesk to use batched restful webservice calls (one of the product natively only supported SOAP) giving better control over what is written, direct links back and reducing number of tickets raised allowing client IT staff to focus on the issues, not the helpdesk system overhead.


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Delivery and Achievements
Providing technical Quality Assurance for data migration and integration designs for Oracle Retail implementation for Transition 3 (Transactional)

IBM / NEW LOOK - Package Solution Consultant

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Delivery and Achievements
Defined strategy and implemented volume performance test for Oracle Retail Implementation

ORACLE CONSULTING / DEBENHAMS - Senior Technical Consultant

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Delivery and Achievements
Run workshops to elicit information on legacy systems for integration mapping to/from non Oracle systems from/to Oracle Retail and write functional designs for those integrations.

OLR / AHLENS - Technical Team Lead

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Delivery and Achievements
Managed the data conversion, Batch Schedule and integration

IBM / TJX EUROPE - Oracle Retail Consultant

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Delivery and Achievements
Oracle Retail SME in the design phase of the TJX Galaxy project to implement Oracle Retail

ORACLE CONSULTING / MEDIA MARKT - Oracle Retail Consultant

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Delivery and Achievements
Working in a scrum team based in Shanghai, China to design, build and testing of custom RIB code to enable SIM to be used as a lightweight warehouse system whilst staying on the upgrade path, design of the ticketing solution from SIM using Zebra and SATO ticket printers saving licensing costs on middleware, design and testing of store systems interfaces such as Emergency Price Changes to store systems (Wincor POS, ZIR Pricing, ZIR service and Prestige InStore labelling)

KPMG / MORRISONS - Oracle Retail Solution Architect

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Delivery and Achievements
Reviewing data, integration and quality horizontal workstreams spanning vertical projects in Manufacturing and Finance (AP, AR, FA), Logistics (RWMS), Retail (Retalix, RDM) and Trading and Supply Chain

SELFRIDGES - Oracle Retail Consultant

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Delivery and Achievements
Working on supply chain improvements - integration of Retek 9 and Zetes In-Store for supplier ASNs via EDI to reduce time for fast tracking of beauty hall products, SKU stock accuracy, In Store Ticketing System Replacement and analysis of replenishment optimisation.


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Delivery and Achievements
Design and build of priority one reporting requirements for RMS 12.1, RPM 12.1 and ReIM 12.1. Coded and tested data generation scripts to create realistic volumes of valid data for performance testing of Multibuy Promotions, Deals, Landed Cost, Foundation data (Approved items) and transactional data including purchase orders & transfers for warehouse testing and shipments and invoices for invoice matching). Post implementation support including warehouse interfacing and cost functionality issues (Landed Cost, Complex Deals, Fixed Deals and Cost Changes)

RETEK / TESCO - Retek Consultant

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Delivery and Achievements
Implementation and bespoke development of SRS (Oracle Retail 10) for Tesco Ireland . Replatforming of existing Oracle Retail 10 system (SRS UK) to a new SAN and server including design and execution of regression testing. Oracle Performance tuning on Oracle Retail 10 and 12 including targeted tuning work on several components which realised over six hours saving on the normal overnight batch and more during peak volumes at Christmas.

ACCENTURE / SAINSBURY - Retek Consultant

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Delivery and Achievements
Design and testing of Oracle Retail (Retek 9) interfaces from mainframe systems and to new data warehouse solution as part of Sainsburys massive transformation programme run by Accenture.

ACCENTURE / FNAC - Retek Consultant

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Delivery and Achievements
Working at the Merchandise Development Centre in Manchester designing and developing bespoke modifications for FNAC to Oracle Retail (Retek 9).


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Delivery and Achievements
Providing Oracle Retail environments on AWS to facilitate upgrade project.

ASOS - AWS Service Provider

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Delivery and Achievements
Providing Oracle Retail Merchandising and Planning systems on AWS to facilitate kick start to Oracle Retail implementation



Trevor North

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