The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified demand across all industries for modern networking technology that enables seamless and user-friendly collaboration. Retail is no different, as local area network (LAN) infrastructure gives merchants and customers alike access to actionable information anytime from any location. Benefits include:
- Faster customer information processing.
- An enhanced customer experience.
- Increased sales and reduced costs.
- Improved network performance.
Cloud-managed security cameras—the latest addition to the Parallel partner CBTS’ Network as a Service (NaaS) product line—are equipped with advanced sensors and work seamlessly within the Internet of Things (IoT) to streamline store operations, improve public safety measures, and optimize revenue without an increase in licensing costs.
LAN infrastructure gives a boost to retailers.
LAN infrastructure and cloud computing solutions give a boost to retailers.
LAN infrastructure also allows retailers to reduce spending associated with software and hardware development, maintenance, and staffing. Retailers can now deliver products and services at speed while monitoring data performance in real time.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the many ways in which innovations in LAN infrastructure from CBTS empower retail clients nationwide.
Unifying multiple store locations with NaaS
NaaS is putting LAN infrastructure within reach for every enterprise, including retailers not currently equipped to meet high demand for reliable, full-spectrum communication. When combined with software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) and hosted unified communications (UC), NaaS is capable of reinventing any store’s networking architecture.
NaaS delivers a Wi-Fi-enabled network that boasts shared wireless connectivity and analytics across multiple locations. By harnessing NaaS, retailers can:
- Spend less time and money managing expensive, complex resources such as LANs, appliances, switches, and application delivery controllers.
- Provide customers with Wi-Fi connectivity for loyalty and award apps as well product information and reviews.
- Use Wi-Fi to obtain customer travel paths and additional data for dissemination of personalized in-store promotions—wireless access points provide information on where the customer moves in store, which can help retailers design layouts and maximize foot traffic.
Cisco Meraki MV cameras are the newest feature of the ever-expanding CBTS product portfolio offered by Parallel. By tapping into cloud-augmented edge storage, Meraki MV cameras eliminate the costs and complexities of traditional security camera systems.
Meraki MV cameras are managed centrally through the cloud, eliminating the need for in-house servers and enabling automatic firmware updates, bug fixes, and instant delivery of new features. Users with a retail cloud computing focus can stream and create video walls for monitoring critical locations without needing to configure IP or install plug-ins.
Product highlights include:
- Meraki dashboard for centralized management.
- Cloud-augmented edge storage.
- Easy scalability for multiple camera deployment.
- Intelligent motion indexing.
- Built-in video analytics tools.
- Encrypted control architecture supported by SAML integration.
- No special software or browser plug-in requirements.
Updating your retail operations with LAN infrastructure
Smart wireless networks are a treasure trove of customer information that offer retailers valuable insights into customer behavior—from foot traffic patterns to time spent in store. Retailers can further improve customer experience and brand loyalty via branded landing pages, integrated applications, and push notifications.
Secure access service edge (SASE) is a network architecture that rolls SD-WAN and security into a cloud service, delivering simplified WAN deployment, improved efficiency and security, and appropriate bandwidth per application.
As a cloud service, SASE can be readily scaled up or down based on usage, an attractive option for retailers looking for a viable cloud computing option. SASE’s designation as a single service cuts overall complexity and cost, thanks to a decrease in hardware and the number of vendors retailers must meet with.
SASE also supports zero-trust networking, which bases access on user, device, and application rather than location and IP address. End users can therefore gain access without worrying about security becoming a focal point for future cyberattacks.
Ultimately, SASE allows businesses to respond to crises faster, ideally minimizing their impact. Additionally, SASE better positions stores to employ new innovations such as edge computing, 5G, and mobile AI.
Crucial LAN infrastructure resources can replace outdated retail systems
UCaaS (unified communications as a service), a managed service for voice and collaboration, is an increasingly popular tool for retailers.
By implementing UCaaS, businesses can replace outmoded voice-only systems and operate VoIP, room-based video, chat, web conferencing, and other real-time applications. UCaaS is a scalable cloud computing solution that improves the quality of voice calls while adding omni-channel features such as call reporting, video conferencing, and e-mail.
With UCaaS solutions from Parallel and CBTS, retailers can increase productivity and eliminate upfront costs. Cisco’s Context Service, included in all contact center solutions, collects customer data from multiple channels and organizes it for use in marketing, sales, and other applications.
SD-WAN is another valuable cloud resource for retailers to manage services among UCaaS, LANs, software as a service (SaaS) applications, security systems, and private and public clouds.
Among its other benefits, SD-WAN minimizes delays over long distances and improves overall network quality. The technology allows cost-conscious merchants to maximize multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) costs, or even replace MPLS entirely and switch to broadband. SD-WAN can be deployed over MPLS and Ethernet as well as cable, fiber, DSL, Wi-Fi, and 4G cellular LTE.
LAN infrastructure in retail ensures business longevity
UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN are subscription-based cloud computing solutions with usage-based monthly payments, meaning retailers won’t be responsible for upgrade costs or ongoing hardware and software licensing. Merchants can now better connect with customers, maximizing visitor data to develop beneficial business strategies and perfect customer service.
Contact us to learn more about LAN infrastructure options for your enterprise.