We are absolutely delighted that Pret A Manger has won the Best Overall DevOps Project – Retail Sector category at the DevOps Industry Awards.
In 2019, before the pandemic, Pret had ambitious plans for growth. With a strong brand identity, but limited digital capability to interact with customers, or to understand their needs, Pret knew it was time not just to play catch up, but to leapfrog the competition.
Pret needed to implement a digital strategy which allowed for both a deeper understanding of their customers, and the ability to build a loyal customer base through ongoing engagement. This required a step change in their approach to digital innovation.
Working with the Pret team and taking lessons learned from building digital platforms at other organisations, Equal Experts and Pret devised a digital platform strategy that would accelerate delivery across multiple digital products. A platform team leveraged cloud tooling such as GCP Cloud Run, GCP Cloud Monitoring, and Github Actions to build a bespoke PaaS for Pret.
I’ve found that investing in a digital platform when building Pret’s digital capability reduced duplication of effort, baked in continuous delivery and operability principles, and lightened the cognitive load needed for teams to build and run a digital service. It has enabled Pret to continuously deliver high-quality services right from the start. Ross Pyres, Global Head of Technology, Pret A Manger
During the early stages of the pandemic, the number of deployments ramped up quickly. In the first year of work on the first digital proposition, there were between 3-4,000 deployments. The best estimates predict that by the end of 2021, the total number of deployments since 2020 will be in excess of 10,000.
These numbers have been achieved in large part by radically reducing the lead time to production. This focus on reducing lead times has allowed Pret to sustain their ability to innovate and launch a number of new digital propositions to engage customers.
Well done to all the finalists and winners and thanks to the DevOps Industry Awards for a great event!
During May 2021, over 500 people around the world participated in the annual Equal Experts Walkathon – to keep fit, make friends, and help raise money for a charity of their choice.
With Equal Experts pledging £3 for every 10,000 steps, the following charities will benefit from everyone’s efforts:
- Anti-Slavery International – £5,876
- Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) (MSF) – £8,180
- Save the Children – £8,086
- The Pret Foundation – which supports local charities and projects to help break the cycle of homelessness – £9,138
And with our hearts going out to our friends in India during the Covid-19 crisis, we added an Indian charity element to our list of charities during the event (charity/ies tbc), for whom we raised £8,850.
All this means that in total we raised £40,130 for charity, making this the most successful walkathon ever!
How many times around the world did we walk?
Across the 540 participants, in 56 teams, we collectively walked a staggering 133,764,316 steps. To put it another way, we walked 95,141km, equivalent to nearly 2.5 times around the world!
In terms of winners, well – everyone’s a winner! That said, team ‘Walkie-Talkies’ won the 2021 Equal Experts Walkathon by averaging an amazing 20,000 steps a day throughout the entire month. This was a team from Pret A Manger made up of vickyke, matka, xavier25, yoyoxx, uber69, baldandbankrupt, peterlgw and adrianag. Congratulations to you all!
And congratulations to “baldandbankrupt” for walking the most steps overall – a massive 1,298,584. That’s the equivalent of walking from the northern tip of Scotland all the way down to the south coast of England. We’d also like to congratulate the rest of the top 10:
- The 39 Steps
- The Walking Dread
- The Slow and the Furious
- Holy Walkamolies
- Sandwich Way Shall We Go
- Her Majesty’s Rambling Collective
- One Step Beyond
And the top 9 walkers after “baldandbankrupt” were as follows – and please note that the top 7 were all millionaire walkers, as in they all walked over a million steps each this May – WOW!
- magnematt – millionaire walker
- elmicas – millionaire walker
- lisacopland – millionaire walker
- matka – millionaire walker
- nitish – millionaire walker
- phantomsteps – millionaire walker
It’s been terrific to welcome family, friends and customers in unprecedented numbers to the walkathon this year. We were blown away by the enthusiasm of the 180 participants from Pret A Manger, as well as those eager and committed walkers from HMRC, John Lewis and Springer Nature, among others who joined in too.
Everywhere we looked we saw people getting to know one another, grow competitive with their “walking arch enemies,” and share lovely photos from their walks around the world – from New York to Sydney via Bangalore, Pune, Cape Town and many, many more cities around the world. After such a tough year for so many of us, those beautiful pictures of nature and pets and wildlife really gripped our imaginations (and made us want to travel again).
Thank you everyone – we can’t wait to do it again next year!