A LAN is an essential aspect of the business infrastructure, and vital to connecting the various ICT components within a digitized bricks-and-mortar store. For mission-critical applications and processes to work reliably, a LAN must combine high performance with stability. It is a prerequisite for smooth business operations at today’s retail enterprises.
A managed LAN saves time and money
Seamless connectivity within a store, and between stores and distribution centers, offers huge advantages. It supports the secure, reliable and simple exchange of data on goods and inventories, and enables efficient coordination and collaboration, for example for sales promotions – around the clock, and across the entire organization. Establishing a single point of information and centrally managing data can accelerate processes, save time, and pare back staff costs.
Leveraging their managed LAN infrastructure, all physical stores enjoy access to essential facts and figures – including delivery times for incoming goods, prices and discounts, special offers, and sales figures. The local area network helps them keep up to date and up to speed. Moreover, headquarters can provide all outlets and other sites with a single version of the truth, instantly and simultaneously. In particular, the retailer can exchange product master data, monitor inventories, and manage changes to the product assortment.
The uninterrupted availability of a LAN is business-critical
If a LAN goes down, it impacts processes throughout the entire organization. Establishing the root cause of an incident within a complex network environment, encompassing an entire business, from headquarters to each and every store, is typically a huge challenge and often extremely time-critical. It takes proven IT service experts to navigate the various switches, servers, appliances and network-attached storage systems, and to understand the intricacies of their configuration. It takes deep skills to identify the underlying problem, and reliably resolve it within a defined time period.
In many cases, it makes more business sense for retail organizations to outsource LAN implementation and operation to a service provider – than to employ their own specialists, train them, and dedicate their time and energy to this task. Managed LAN services reduce the workload on IT departments at wholesalers or retailers, allowing them to focus on their strategic objectives; LAN specialists provide an around-the-clock service, and help lower infrastructure and operations costs.