Case Study: John Lewis

John Lewis is a chain of upmarket department stores operating throughout Great Britain. The chain is owned by the John Lewis Partnership. The first John Lewis store was opened in 1864 in Oxford Street, London.

days per year


Orion Security were approached by John Lewis to help with a new vision for their people counting solution.

John Lewis were looking for the ability to have one web portal to allow people counting statistics (including transaction data) available at all times, to anyone with secure access.

Due to the partnership between Orion Security and Digital Forge, work begun to come up with the best scalable and robust solution for the UK’s number one retailer.

Working with Digital Forge was a breeze. They work to incredibly tight deadlines yet somehow always manage to deliver.Technical Director, Orion Security.


Developed from the ground up, Digital Forge created Abacus. implementing a mixture of Verint and Irisys InfraRed cameras (offering 98% accuracy), Abacus went live in December 2013 and has since processed over 45,000,000 events across all branches.

Providing an always on experience allows John Lewis to have visualisation of their customers at all times, every day.

Introducing Abacus

Real-time store reporting

Abacus manages its data in real-time. Each and every store uploads its to Abacus in near real-time allowing for a perspective on your business that would sometimes take days to accomplish. Compare stores against each other, monitor trends and purchasing habits doesn’t come much easier than this.

Azure hosted

As with all of Digital Forge’s solutions, Abacus is hosted on Microsoft’s Windows Azure Platform. scalable and robust, Azure allows for geo location, allowing Abacus to be hosted anywhere in the world for optimum speed. Along with 99.9% guaranteed uptime, Abacus is always up to date.

Multi-Building, Multi Tenant

As with all of our solutions, Abacus has been developed with Multi-Tenancy in mind. This allows for a granular level of security and permissions as well as full control over who has access to what. Allowing all buildings to report into one location gives you the flexibility of only ever needing to use one portal to view your entire organisation.


All connections to Abacus require HTTPS utilising a 2048bit AES SSL certificate provided by COMODO. With Azure, Microsoft has decades-long experience building enterprise software and running some of the largest online services in the world.