Magazine Article | July 1, 2005

Broadband WAN Eliminates Downtime For Troubleshooting

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, July 2005

Convenience store (c-store) Speedy Stop needed a faster, more reliable network to connect its 86 locations. The company had a dial-up network, but its slow speed couldn't support the accounting and financial systems Speedy Stop wanted to deploy in the future. Also, Speedy Stop found that troubleshooting network problems required disconnecting the shared phone line, which interrupted critical communication. The c-store was also concerned about compromising data security while dialing through a modem.

Speedy Stop sought the assistance of New Edge Networks to implement a WAN. New Edge installed an ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) over DSL (digital subscriber line), creating a private, non-Internet-based WAN. The WAN has broadband access, remote network management, and security certifications from multiple credit card companies.

With the new, private network, the c-store is able to troubleshoot network problems from headquarters instead of traveling to each site. This change resolves issues faster and provides more time for technicians to focus on their primary responsibilities. Plus, the reduction in technician travel time led to annual hard cost savings of $5,000 for the c-store.

The c-store has also been able to link digital video surveillance cameras into the network at certain sites. Through the video solution, those stores can be monitored from a central location to improve loss prevention. Speedy Stop has also implemented a check cashing service at 13 stores, and when headquarters captures information on bad checks, the data can be shared with all locations via the network.

Speedy Stop plans to add approximately 15 locations to the network within the next 12 months for a total of 101 networked locations. The company may also choose to implement revenue-generating applications such as Wi-Fi hotspots, networked cash machines, payment card processing, and customer loyalty programs. All of these add-ons are possible with the c-store's new WAN.