Ulta Beauty Standardizes on Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform for Automation Transformation

The beauty retailer can now more quickly scale automation, with organization-wide collaboration in its sights

CHICAGO — ANSIBLEFEST -

Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Ulta Beauty, the nation’s largest beauty retailer, has selected Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform as its internal standard for automation transformation. As part of a three-phased transformation project to free up IT teams by deploying technology with greater speed and efficiency, the retailer is using automation as a catalyst for innovation and cultural change. Through this effort, Ulta Beauty has already saved thousands of hours a year in manual work with Ansible Automation Platform.

The built-in capabilities of Ansible Automation Platform provide an accelerator in a box. It’s the de facto standard that many of our vendors and partners also use to write scripts to install, configure and maintain their technology.

Jesse Amerson

IT director, Ulta Beauty

Ulta Beauty is the largest U.S. beauty retailer, with more than 1,300 retail stores across 50 states, and also distributes its products through its website. The company is continuously seeking to improve the efficiency with which it delivers on guest needs while enhancing digital experiences. With these goals in mind, Ulta Beauty implemented a transformation strategy driven by Ansible Automation Platform to deploy their technology faster while also maintaining operational uptime. 

Ulta Beauty began its transformation by introducing the technology to a smaller group of experts for cross-environment implementation. This included tasks like automating the collection of failed hosts, enabling notifications, automating dynamic inventory and standardizing code across tasks. Since the adoption of Ansible Automation Platform, Ulta Beauty has already increased repeatability and time to value of automation. The team has decreased the risk of downtime, increased system stability, accelerated incident remediation and freed up thousands of technology team hours to redeploy to higher value initiatives.

A critical project for Ulta Beauty was its SAP digital transformation, migrating from the legacy, on-premises system (SAP ERP Central Component) to SAP S/4 HANA in the Microsoft Azure cloud. These components typically take weeks of manual effort from several team members to deploy, with an increased risk of human error given the scale and complexity of the work. With Ansible Automation Platform, Ulta Beauty decreased deployment time from three weeks down to less than a day. By automating this process, the team can deploy infrastructure with a few clicks of a button, and refocus their time to tackle greater business objectives that add value. 

Designed to help IT organizations meet the demands of managing across hybrid cloud environments, Ansible Automation Platform enables enterprise IT teams to achieve greater scale, speed and standardization. Ulta Beauty appreciates the platform’s technical capabilities: Its greater simplicity to adopt and scale automation, built-in analytics and templates for enterprise-grade use, the flexibility to run on cloud hyperscalers and pervasiveness among industry vendors and partners. All of these features are backed by Red Hat’s proven track record as strategic advisors. 

As phase two of Ulta Beauty’s transformation project gains momentum, Red Hat’s expertise is key to implementing a full-fledged automation culture across the organization. Together, Red Hat and Ulta Beauty have already begun establishing communities of practice, bringing teams together by connecting workflows, incorporating an automation component at the core of roles and enabling data driven ROI assessment for all automation projects. 

In the future, Ulta Beauty plans to continue using Ansible Automation Platform for its third phase, which will focus on driving automation as a core part of the toolkit to effectively eliminate manual configuration management and deployment.

Supporting Quotes

Thomas Anderson, vice president, Ansible, Red Hat

“Organizations now see automation success as extending beyond the confines of DevOps to all functional teams. Red Hat’s vision is to support enterprises as their automation approaches expand, enabling customers to use Ansible Automation Platform as common ground for varying domains and disciplines, and ultimately drive a culture of automation.”

Jesse Amerson, IT director, Ulta Beauty

“Every organization with a large technological footprint is deploying in the cloud and building a hyperscaler strategy, so implementing tools that help us run better and faster in the cloud is critical. We can directly deploy and run Ansible Automation Platform in the environments that we need to with the scale and speed that’s required. In addition, the built-in capabilities of Ansible Automation Platform provide an accelerator in a box. It’s the de facto standard that many of our vendors and partners also use to write scripts to install, configure and maintain their technology, which creates a network effect for professionals who utilize the platform.”

Additional Resources

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