Magazine Article | June 1, 2003

For Eyes Builds Thin-Client POS Network

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, June 2003

For Eyes Optical Company is in the process of transferring its entire 120-store point-of-sale system to a Web-based thin client architecture, which will enable real-time optical orders and service. To facilitate the Web-based in-house created application usage, For Eyes needs to have every store nationwide connected to the corporate headquarters by a broadband network with a specialized VPN (virtual private network) connection. The Web-based platform will allow For Eyes to cut costs enough to be able to double the number of store locations within one year.

When soliciting proposals from major broadband access providers, For Eyes found that most of the companies could only supply access to 60 stores, others to only 30. Shuiab Khan, CIO at For Eyes, hired MegaPath Networks, which was able to provide connectivity to 90% to 95% of the national branch store locations. Seventy-five of those stores are now using DSL (digital subscriber line).

For Eyes wanted redundancy in service. Within each region, MegaPath has several carrier deals enabling it to guarantee several different connections. Though many stores have this safety net, For Eyes requested that it receive two T1 lines to service its corporate headquarters, each from a different original service provider. The lines are managed, monitored and serviced by MegaPath, but the separate connections enable For Eyes to have guaranteed broadband connectivity should one supplier experience performance problems.

For Eyes also desired a centralized support department. The retailer found that if it purchased broadband from regional carriers, it would have had to deal with technical support departments from up to six different providers. And, many times those support departments are a sales-oriented customer care line, rather than a technical help center. If that weren't problematic enough, those customer care centers have rotating representatives on each account. For Eyes has one dedicated account representative with MegaPath who is familiar with the technical aspects of the account and needs of For Eyes. The retailer also has a managed VPN for secure remote access through MegaPath.