As Matt Douglass sees it, leveraging UCaaS and SD-WAN technology to meet retail business challenges is a lot like using your athletic skills wisely in competitive sports. Every player has strengths and limitations, and you can’t control what the competition does. However, you can control your own effort, and if you do that, you can win, says Douglass, who is a senior director of solutions engineering for Parallel Technologies vendor partner, CBTS.
Matt’s been with CBTS for the past ten years, designing voice and data systems that help restaurants and other businesses of different sizes gain ground over their rivals by getting ahead of the technology curve. Over the past year, he’s focused on SD-WAN as an alternative to the much more costly and less efficient MPLS.
To get a solid leg up on the competition, says Matt, C-Suite executives need to take advantage of technology as a tool for fostering better interactions with their customers as well as for improving communications among employees. Here are more of Matt’s thoughts on how technology can help retailers overcome business challenges.
What kinds of issues do restaurants face today?
In their advertising, restaurants have always highlighted their own competitive advantages, whether that’s being the best, the biggest, or the fastest. Now, however, there’s an increasing push among restaurants to emphasize their mobile apps and other aspects of the online experience. I call this the Amazon effect, or ‘Keeping up with the Joneses.’
For example, Starbucks a few years back came out with a pioneering mobile app. Dunkin’ Donuts recently followed suit with a huge, six-month advertising blitz for its own new mobile app.
Today, even a small pizza shop needs an online presence. Restaurants use their web pages to play up promotions like, “buy one pizza, get one free.” Companies like Grubhub work with restaurants of all sizes to provide web-enabled meal delivery.
How can technology like UCaaS and SD-WAN help restaurants?
With the right call center technology in place, for instance, a small restaurant can look like a Fortune 500 corporation, providing an omnichannel experience to customers.
Through Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) systems, a restaurant can receive a fully managed, company-wide network that might include Internet access as well as services such as call centers, VoIP, instant messaging, email, videoconferencing, and data.
This is all without any upfront capital expense. Restaurants pay only for the services they need, on a monthly OpEx basis.
UCaaS architectures are also highly scalable, enabling companies to quickly add or drop branch locations and apps in keeping with the business climate.
SD-WAN technology permits easy and affordable any-to-any routing among headquarters and far-flung branch offices, while also letting businesses give priority to any apps they want.
Why should retailers choose Parallel Technologies?
On the whole, restaurants don’t want to be technology nerds. They don’t want to be spending their time counting how many packets are crossing the wires. What they do want is to attract customers who’ll spend money on their goods and services.
Parallel Technologies is not a chef. We don’t know how to whip up delicious meals for hundreds or thousands of guests a night. What we do know is how to support a restaurant’s business challenges and brand messaging with technology.
We have several years of experience as a technology innovator, and as a UCaaS provider. Parallel Technologies allows restaurants to keep up with — and even to far surpass — the “Joneses,” by offloading the IT portion of the competitive equation and letting retailers concentrate on what they do best — their core businesses.
To learn more about how Parallel is helping restaurants leverage technology, attend our session at the Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit.