Retail networks: the benefits of SD-WAN
Author: Leigh Sanders | Head of Enterprise Technical | Date published: February 20, 2023, UK | Read est: 3 min read
In today’s omnichannel retail environments, customers want to interact via online and digital channels when shopping in-store and expect to encounter a consistent, secure and ‘always on’ experience that’s capable of powering time saving customer services. Everything from kerbside and buy online, pick up in store options to instore self-service options and personalised notifications that streamline and inform their shopping experience.
For retailers looking to quickly expand their omnichannel retailing capabilities or scale up their retail network to handle demand peaks and growing volumes of contactless payments as well as implementing roaming PoS and queue busting options, having the right network infrastructure in place is becoming a must have.
Problem is many retailers lack the flexibility that’s needed to respond fast to evolving consumer and operational needs. And that’s where SD-WAN for retail comes in.
Utilising retail SD-WAN platforms
According to IDC, now more than ever before, retailers should be looking to take advantage of retail SD-WAN platforms that will deliver truly agile enterprise-grade networking capabilities alongside more flexible licensing and consumption models.
SD-WAN supports the implementation of secure and consistent connectivity that delivers always-on experiences for consumers and makes it possible for store colleagues to instantly connect to a variety of systems (inventory, PoS, fulfilment) utilising mobile devices, SD-WAN enables retailers to take a unified approach to their connectivity needs in highly efficient and cost-effective way.
For example, SD-WANs make it easy to transition from expensive MPLS connections and instead utilise more flexible and affordable broadband with no bandwidth based limitations. Offering secure wireless access, next-generation firewalls and centralised management and orchestration, today’s SD-WAN solutions make it easy for retailers to initiate advanced connectivity without sacrificing enterprise-grade security.
With the right SD-WAN solution in place, retailers are able to spin up new retail locations and warehouses with a single click, quickly link retail locations and suppliers without impacting the performance of their applications or deploy additional bandwidth and capacity as and when needed.
Plus they can easily accommodate their rapidly evolving IT needs. Handling everything from cloud-based applications and services to in-store wireless and mobile services for customers and employees.
Simplifying configuration and deployment
Finally, alongside being able to optimise application traffic and increase the reliability of applications, today’s retail SD-WAN platforms simplify the deployment, management, configuration and automation of networking services to stores and other locations.
Eliminating the burden of managing networking services for store management teams, SD-WANs deliver all the adaptability and efficiency that today’s retailers need as they push ahead with the tactical technology investments that will be needed to ride out present-day economic conditions and proactively boost their business resilience.
The foundation for next gen retailing
To find out how SD-WAN could provide a foundation for your next-generation retailing vision, call 0330 024 2500 today and speak to an expert.