Modern, ‘Apple-like’ Store Experience Shouldn’t Be Held Hostage by Traditional WAN
Director of Product Marketing, VeloCloud
November 18, 2015
Market traction for Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology, especially in the Retail segment for VeloCloud, has been phenomenal ever since we launched our products 6 quarters ago. In a recent conversation with our sales rock stars, Nacime Karami and Bob Ashmore, we compiled a list capturing reasons why a top, popular clothing retailer chose to transform their branch network with VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN. That conversation revealed how all of the modern retail store consumer experience is held hostage by the store network.
Like so much else in our modern age, Retail industry is disrupting itself on a frequent basis. Of late, it’s been rushing to copy the Apple stores model to provide customers the option not only to see, touch, and feel the products they desire but also enable them to buy online, search product options, talk to sales people and use online coupons – all right there in the store. This Apple store copycat trend spells serious growth and competitive advantage for traditional brick & mortar retailers. They are paying attention to all the benefits an Apple-like store brings from reducing on-hand inventory, collecting customer data to boosting brand loyalty. But what constitutes a modern Apple-like store?
Elegant Displays | Virtual Assistance | Virtual Desktop for Product Searching or Coupons | Guest Wi-Fi | Digital (Changeable) Signage | Mobile Checkout (Point-of-sale)
Five of the six services on this list are dependent on 24/7, reliable connections for applications and data access. Without these, a modern store’s experience can rapidly degrade. Many of the applications that support these in-store services are bandwidth hungry. Imagine a number of them running together during peak store hours?
Most retailers cannot support these apps and data access reliably with their existing WAN network due to bandwidth capacity limitations and performance issues (latency, jitter or packet loss). In other words, the whole modern “Apple-like” store experience could be held hostage by a retail store’s traditional WAN. Private lines/MPLS are not practical or scalable to enhance WAN network reliability due to the cost involved to support the multiple stores. And public broadband and 4G-LTE are not robust or reliable enough to compensate for additional bandwidth.
What retailers need is a robust virtual network that is 99.99%+ reliable without being expensive and able to handle multiple bandwidth hungry applications at any given time.
Now there is an easy and effective way to create such a robust, affordable virtual network: by using SD-WAN, an emerging technology that functions as an overlay to a traditional wide area network.
In fact, VeloCloud’s cloud-delivered SD-WAN can automatically and intelligently mix any number broadband/Internet links like cable, DSL and 4G-LTE, to create a robust virtual network capable of supporting a modern store’s multiple, bandwidth hungry applications and data access.
VeloCloud’s service allows retailers to provide a delightful shopping experience for their customers using readily available, inexpensive commodity circuits and transforming them into consistent, reliable, and resilient circuits. At the same time, administrators gain full real-time and historical visibility into circuit characteristics and all traffic. With 99% application performance assurance, VeloCloud SD-WAN can help retailers accelerate implementing their Apple-like store vision.
Next time a customer steps into the store to use the kiosk or checkout a merchandise from a sales person on a mobile device and if that connection goes down, this delightful Apple store-like experience will be gone in an instant.
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