Rapid Branch deployment with JT Smart Retail , Cisco Meraki and LTE mobile data

If you are in retail and are looking to deploy new stores, implement pop-up stores or optimise the location of your stores, one of the major obstacles can be the availability of a “last mile” connectivity to the new location. Lead times for getting a circuit in place can range anywhere from 3 or 4 weeks to many months. For businesses looking to optimize the performance of their stores through data analytics, this long delay can represent significant lost revenue opportunity. Some of this can be avoided by good project management, but it still represents a significant barrier to businesses wanting to react quickly to the rapidly changing business environment.

One way to counteract this is to deploy SD-WAN solutions in conjunction with 3G/4G mobile data solutions. This allows a business to be up and running immediately using the mobile data for the data connectivity, and then, as additional connectivity options such as xDSL and MPLS become available, to dynamically migrate traffic to the most cost-effective route. The mobile data is then left as a fallback/failover component to maximise availability in the store. For a pop-up store there may never be a need to deploy a fixed line. It can transact all its business over mobile data.

However, when looking at mobile data, not all providers can offer the same level of flexibility. JT’s roaming solutions aren’t constrained to working with a particular Mobile Network Provider so they ensure that you are always connected to the strongest network signal in a given geographic location. You aren’t affected by network coverage issues either. In the event of a base station failure the SIM automatically roams to another Network Provider minimising outages and offering superior availability to a single Network provider solution. Looking further abroad for multi-national businesses the JT SIMS remove the need to build relationships with local network providers. We’ve already done that work, with more than 750 roaming partners worldwide, more than any other telco. Simply fit the SIM and it will connect automatically.

For the SD-WAN device to support the SIM card, Cisco Meraki’s latest MX 67C and MX68CW appliances represent a significant simplification of the deployment process through the inclusion of LTE modems. These new cellular MX models have a Nano SIM card slot for connecting to a carrier’s LTE network.

Getting LTE on older models required companies to plug in a carrier-provided USB stick that contained the 4G modem. Because the modem wasn’t integrated with the device, no data was captured for tracking performance. A big advantage of the new models with the built-in modem is that it makes it possible track the usage and performance of the LTE connection directly from the Meraki Dashboard. Statistics captured from the LTE connection include signal strength, the provider’s name and how much data is traveling over the link.
Taken together, the combination of SD-WAN appliances, integrated LTE modems, and roaming SIMs creates a quick to deploy, reproducible model that minimises costs and maximises revenue opportunities. Definitely a Win-Win for retail businesses!

To get the competitive edge our other successful customers gain through using our Smart Retail solutions visit https://www.jtglobalenterprise.co.uk/solutions/smart-retail/ for more information on our Smart Retail vision.

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