Client story: helping Specsavers enhance purchase journeys through their Oracle system


Specsavers is a Partnership of nearly 2,000 locally-run businesses, committed to delivering high quality, affordable optical and hearing care in the communities they serve. It is the largest privately owned optical retailer in the world, operating across 10 countries.

Specsavers operates on a joint venture basis, with each store owned and operated by local partners, supported by key specialists in support offices, who provide a range of services, such as marketing, accounting, IT and wholesaling, among others.



Specsavers set about rationalising its entire corporate data management strategy by adopting a master data management (MDM) approach to data handling using Oracle’s Product Data Hub. They wanted to ensure that data from the Product Hub was available across all its countries. As many of Specsavers international operations operated different legacy systems, the team needed to ensure that the data flows between the new Product Data Hub and the legacy systems were both reliable and scalable to cope with expected volumes.

The first set of products to be migrated to the new MDM system were contact lenses, a category containing over 120,000 products. Data cleansing was a key issue and information in the new Oracle Product Hub had to be correct, as it would become the primary source for product data across all of Specsavers’ main operational systems.



Expleo conducted testing and quality assurance for the MDM programme using its onshore and offshore teams in the UK and in India. The test team carried out system and large scale integration testing with multiple legacy systems. This ensured that a single version of product data could be created in the Product Data Hub, enabling distribution to, and use in, all the downstream legacy systems. The testing was of such calibre that zero functional defects leaked from system testing into User Acceptance Testing. Saving Specsavers the time, effort and cost that would have been involved in unnecessary rework. Both organisations worked closely to improve the quality of the application throughout the process.

Close collaboration played an important part in ensuring the programme’s success and Expleo tailored its offshore engagement approach to suit Specsavers’ preferred operating model. Technical experts and business analysts from Specsavers frequently worked alongside Expleo teams in India and the UK, ensuring the free flow of information between all parties.


Benefits for the Customer

The MDM programme delivered:

• To budget and on time

• Eighteen months after inception with no major defects discovered after the system went into production.

• Fundamental change in the way that Specsavers managed its operational data, both in terms of IT systems and organisational change with new teams created as custodians of that data.

Although the level and rigour of testing was more intensive than might typically be conducted on a system of this complexity, this paid dividends in the quality of the system delivered to the live environment.


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"We worked hard on making this programme a collaborative venture, and the Expleo team went to some lengths to ensure that they were fully engaged and seen as an integral part of the programme team. Expleo assured, from a quality governance point of view, that we were rigorous and robust through the entire process – hence the high-quality outcome for the programme as a whole."

MDM programme Director, Specsavers