VoicePlus Blog

IoT solution delivers 40% ICT savings to 900 retail stores

12 February 2016 by Michelle Lewis 0 Comments

VoicePlus has project managed one of the largest Netcomm retail deployments in Australia, rolling out a WAN wireless store environment to 900+ Speciality Fashion Group stores in the first months of 2016.

router in Katies store

VoicePlus was primarily responsible for solution design, router staging, deployment design and management, and production of training manuals.

The Results:

Katies

  • a 40% saving on the ICT connection costs of each store
  • a data pool shared across the stores eliminating charges for excess data use
  • a more reliable and faster internet connection
  • a failsafe response to keep the stores online if WiFi is compromised
  • increased security of devices 
  • increased security of intellectual property content
  • flexibility and speed commissioning and decommissioning stores

The Challenge

City Chic

The core challenges faced were:

  • business continuity issues with point of sale connection
  • excessive mobile data costs
  • long lead times for store commissioning/de-commissioning due to a reliance on ADSL lines
  • security and remote management of each store's iPad
  • disaster recovery

Each store was connecting to SFG's WAN network using an ADSL tail. Link quality and reliability were low and speeds could not be effectively forecasted. 

The Solution

To disconnect ADSL lines and move the entire store infrastructure to Jasper-based connectivity.

The Netcomm 4G LTE router is a MPLS tail over a Wireless WAN link. A simple 8-port unmanaged switch connects to the router and provides the port capacity needed for Point of Sale (PoS) machines as well as thin Wireless Access Points (WAP). 

Automatic WAN access provisioning and routing is now being easily managed through the Jasper platform and the Self-Service Telstra Managed RADIUS (TMR-Advanced) platform. This allows SFG to rollout and de-commission stores with virtually no lead time. 

SFG utilises iPad's as a productivity enhancement tool in the stores. iPad's in the store were previously utilising active data SIM's and there was no easy way to enforce the iPad's to only use the Wireless LAN network. Through the use of Jasper SIMs pre-set in a deactivated state, SFG is able to easily manage mobile data usage on the iPad's and instantly activate the iPad SIM in a Disaster Recovery scenario.

Alternative to unreliable slow fixed internet

VoicePlus has also created and is managing a brand-new hierarchy on SFG's TMDM (Telstra Mobile Device Management) platform. This has provided the ability to manage and deploy applications and settings on the mobile devices in a much more granular manner than ever before.

VoicePlus supplied SFG with pre-staged Netcomm 4G LTE routers, SIM cards and Jasper pre-configured. Staging of the routers is performed through an automated script, developed in-house by VoicePlus, which greatly reduces the probability of human error and misconfiguration. It also reduced staging time from 24 minutes per device to just over 4 minutes per device.

Each SFG Regional Manager was provided with an in-depth roll-out guide, specifically written by VoicePlus. SFG and VoicePlus then collaborated on a customised testing protocol to ensure each upgraded store had been upgraded and was operating correctly.

"This is one of the biggest Netcomm M2M retail deployments ever. I am impressed by how VoicePlus is managing it." 

Andrew Kerr, Wireless M2M BDM

Netcomm Wireless logo
 
 
 
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