Conte de Florence is one of Italy’s leading sportswear brands. Over the years products bearing the Conte de Florence logo have been worn by more than 50 million people in over 20 countries: among them, sporting champions, heads of state and even Pope John Paul II.

This Italian leader in the production and sale of sportswear, crafted clothing and accessories has been a notable presence in the global fashion industry for over half a century.

Conte of Florence needed a secure storage system for its sportswear sales and inventory data, as well as all photographs from its publications and fashion catalogues. This information needed to be retrieved quickly and efficiently on a regular basis, bearing in mind that files can date back a year or even longer.

It turned to Nexsan’s Assureon in order to protect their design and corporate information while improving operational efficiency and internal productivity. Nexsan delivers secure storage appliances and modular, high-capacity, disk storage systems for a broad range of applications including fixed content storage and archiving, compliance and litigation support, primary storage, disk-based backup, digital video security, medical imaging, email and rich media.

Conte de Florence chose the Nexsan Assureon unit because it found no equivalent in terms of the functionality it offered and the highly competitive price. In fact, Conte de Florence did not examine any other supplier's products. It was the first solution of its kind to be used by Conte de Florence and, therefore, it had no existing suppliers in this field.

The Conte de Florence computer systems are organised as follows:

1. Corporate ERP on IBM e-series
2. Warehouse system for raw materials and end products
3. A user-managed server farm, with CITRIX Terminal Server
4. HP network-attached storage
5. Microsoft Exchange server
6. A network of 100 single-brand stores and outlets that are connected in real time to the headquarters

Nexsan’s Assureon archive system was exactly what the historic Florentine fashion house was looking for: an effective system for long-term retention and management of large quantities of fixed-content information.

Another advantage was the system’s “single instance store” capability which eliminated multiple copies of the same file. Assureon’s CAS (Content Addressable Storage) technology de-duplicates documents based on their CAS address and stores only one copy, resulting in less storage needed.

“What attracted Conte de Florence to the Assureon was how simply it can deliver secure protection and immediate access to archival information at a fraction of the cost of comparable solutions,” said Gregg Pugmire, Nexsan's business development executive vice president. “For example, when one of their customers has an urgent query, Assureon gives them online access to historical data much faster than with traditional offline storage systems.”

Stefano Graffeo, IT Manager for Conte of Florence, was attracted by the “correct cost” pricing of Assureon, noting the balance that was reached between its high-performance, high-reliability features and a lower overall cost compared to the competition. “The cost-benefit ratio was clearly a deciding factor in choosing Nexsan’s Assureon,” he said.

Though traditionally hostile to alternative brands, Conte of Florence’s technology partner, Webkorner, converted to the virtues of Nexsan's Assureon and took a lead role in advising Conte about the advantages of Nexsan.

Working closely with some of the leading manufacturers in the market, Webkorner has a wealth of experience in large, distributed IT projects. It offers customers solutions that are tailor-made to their needs and advises them how to get the best in terms of technology, service and cost, while at the same time protecting their existing investments

“We are thrilled to effectively resolve the challenges faced by Conte of Florence, to their fullest satisfaction, by recommending the implementation of archiving solutions from Nexsan Technologies,” Giuseppe Raugei, director of sales of Webkorner, said.

Conte of Florence foresees strong and specific benefits from the Assureon solution moving forward. One of the company’s primary goals will continue to be managing its internal business operations as effectively and efficiently as possible. “The Nexsan product allows the Conte of Florence staff to work better,” Graffeo said, “Thanks to Assureon, we fully expect to improve our efficiency and productivity internally by 15 – 20 percent.”

We might suppose that the “bella figura” of increased productivity will certainly be a powerful fashion statement for Conte of Florence as it continues to design tomorrow’s trends with impeccable style and optimal efficiency.