The real cost of downtime to retailers, and the importance of failover

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Retail IT teams are under increasing pressure to build and maintain a flexible, scalable network which can support the latest retail technologies – at the core of which is a reliable, secure and superfast connectivity solution.

In this brand new infographic, Westbase takes a look at the real cost of downtime and the importance of retail failover and Out-Of-Band Management to minimising this.

The retail store is still highly relevant to omnichannel strategies, and is a key driver for customer experience – in fact 90% of shoppers still prefer to purchase in a brick-and-mortar store (A.T.Kearney). In line with this, recent years have seen a surge in new retail technologies focused on enhancing customer service and streamlining in-store processes, for example the deployment of iBeacons for personalised shopping experiences.

Sacha Kakad, Managing Director of Westbase Technology, said:

“The adoption of omnichannel strategy in retail stores necessitates the implementation of new technologies such as the Internet of Things and Cloud, which has created a tipping point for the demands on retailer networks and, in particular, their connectivity.”

“This demand means that a flexible connectivity solution is now paramount to networking success – as the reliance on connectivity increases, the cost of downtime escalates also.”

Regardless of the fact that PoS downtime alone is estimated to cost retailers an average of $4,700 per minute, many retailers still lack an easy-to-use failover solution for their stores, meaning downtime continues to pose a problem with common causes ranging from human error to construction incidents and bad weather. It is not a question of whether connectivity will go down, but instead a question of when and how well prepared the retailer is for it.

Securing their connection is the only sensible option for retailers if they are to avoid the escalating costs of connection downtime. With multiple failover options available to them though, it is even more important that they select the right retail failover solution.

Secondary fixed line options such as MPLS, while offering some benefits, cannot always meet the requirements of today’s shifting retail networks. LTE mobile networking solutions however offer a more flexible, scalable and rapid deployment option for failover.

The advent of LTE has brought with it a new age of mobile networking. Five times faster than 3G, and offering increased capacity, 4G failover can now support the connectivity demands of even the most advanced applications. This enables the solution to keep the entire store online when the primary connection fails, and not just the business critical applications – minimising downtime impact across all areas and therefore losses.

Furthermore an LTE retail failover solution can be easily extended to deliver out-of-band management to help central IT teams to access the primary router and restore connectivity – without the infrastructure costs and complications associated with traditional OOBM solutions.

“Many retail IT teams across the UK and Europe are under increasing pressure to deliver a reliable and effective network. This infographic and its accompanying whitepaper are just two small pieces in helping to provide the context to this,” said Kakad.

“By helping retailers to better understand the options available to them, and the possibilities of LTE for retail failover, we hope to help them to achieve networking success and maximised uptime.”

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