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SD-WAN and the single-site retailer

Retailers with multiple sites and remote operations aren’t the only ones that benefit from advanced applications such as voice and video conferencing. The single-site retailer also relies on hosted voice and collaboration tools to improve customer service. For many of these retailers, every phone call and customer interaction is a revenue opportunity.

Read our Case Study: SD-WAN Improves Voice Quality, Access, Connectivity and Support for Single-Site Businesses.

The single-site retailer has traditionally used broadband MPLS or LTE connections to support mission-critical applications. However, these technologies are expensive to provision and maintain, and can deliver poor quality that ultimately diminishes the user experience. And while a single-site retailer needs reliable connectivity to support services such as video conferencing, instant message, and remote presence, that business often lacks dedicated IT resources to manage this technology.

SD-WAN from VeloCloud enhances access to voice, collaboration, and other Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, which gives even the smallest single-site retailer access to world-class infrastructure and services without the burden of a significant upfront capital expenditure.

SD-WAN improves voice quality for revenue-generating calls

SD-WAN powered by VeloCloud offers a number of advantages to a single-site retailer that depends on cloud-based, hosted voice, and SaaS applications. Voice quality, for example, is vastly improved because the platform can tolerate severe changes in service while maintaining top-quality support for real-time applications. Real-time voice and video are delivered reliably, even when packet loss approaches 40 percent.

SD-WAN powered by VeloCloud also delivers a single-site retailer reliable connectivity through its ability to make dynamic decisions in real time regarding which Wide Area Network path to use for voice and video traffic. It performs these dynamic path changes without breaking the connection, and with minimal degradation.

This is critical when navigating blackouts and brownouts. And even under normal conditions, this functionality allows a single-site retailer to maintain a continuously optimized cost structure by constantly recalibrating to the most efficient consumption of network resources.

SD-WAN gives single-site retailer cutting-edge technology

VeloCloud’s SD-WAN technology is within easy reach of a single-site retailer. CBTS has over 800 highly certified engineers who take on the burden of IT management and maintenance for your retail business. As a result, single-site retailer clients receive higher Quality of Service (QoS), reliable access to real-time voice and video services, and the luxury of focusing on their core business operations instead of overseeing complex networking infrastructure.

With SD-WAN powered by VeloCloud, every business can have all the tools of a Fortune 500 company at their disposal.

NaaS offers single-site retailers flexibility

CBTS is helping many single-site retailers including restaurants, salons, and other establishments overcome connectivity issues with standard ISP (Internet Service Provider) service. The CBTS Network as a Service (NaaS) solution mitigates many of the most common problems these retailers face, and provides useful amenities that add value to the broadband connection.

Single-site business challenges

Broadband connectivity offers single-site retailers a more affordable solution than an MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) connection. However, broadband doesn’t always cover all of these retailers’ needs. For example:

  • Most broadband providers do not offer Service Level Agreements. Instead, their contracts include “best effort” language that limits their responsibility in the event of a service interruption, and requires only that they make a good-faith effort to restore connectivity as soon as possible. Retailers know that every minute counts, and that connectivity issues can create negative customer experiences that ultimately impact the bottom line.
  • Many single-site retailers provide free Wi-Fi to customers. Standard network configurations that allow for unrestricted customer access can slow down the overall network, and cause problems for the retailers’ mission-critical operations such as Point of Sales (POS) applications.
  • Most broadband providers offer only a stateful firewall that doesn’t scan adequately – or at all – for malware and other hacker intrusions, which means the Wi-Fi connection these retailers offer to customers may not be secure.
  • These retailers need actionable analytics to better serve customers. Standard ISPs don’t offer this service, and don’t support push notifications over the Wi-Fi connection that are useful for targeting customers with special offers.

CBTS Network as a Service solution

The CBTS NaaS solution is built on Cisco Meraki technology, and is a cost-efficient way to deliver the broadband connectivity services that single-site retailers require.

  • The CBTS network architecture offers a second, failover broadband connection to ensure that mission-critical operations never go offline.
  • NaaS allows retailers to regulate guest Wi-Fi usage, limiting access to more bandwidth-intensive content like video. This helps smooth usage over the network and gives customers a speedy connection that won’t adversely impact POS and other vital business operations.
  • NaaS Unified Threat Management (UTM), which includes malware protection, anti-virus, intrusion detection and prevention, and application or content filtering addresses security issues under a fully managed service offering. ISP firewalls simply don’t provide this level of protection.
  • Finally, the CBTS NaaS solution turns Wi-Fi networks into a powerful tool that retailers can leverage to enhance customer offerings and provide a stronger, more personalized customer experience.

Conclusion

The CBTS NaaS solution offers a significant improvement over basic broadband services from standard broadband providers. The NaaS solution allows single-site retail customers to leverage these lower-cost connections and still benefit from a fully-managed service with strong network security protocols, redundant connections for zero downtime, and actionable analytics to improve the customer experience and drive business outcomes.

To learn more about the CBTS NaaS solutions, read this case study.

Cloud computing in retail supports growth

Businesses must adopt cloud computing in retail technologies to grow. Cloud computing in retail  technology ensures employees and customers can quickly and easily access the information they need from anywhere, at any time. The benefits include:

  1. Faster customer information processing
  2. An enhanced customer experience
  3. Increased sales
  4. Reduced costs
  5. Improved network performance

Cloud computing in retail technology allows retailers to reduce the costs associated with software and hardware development, maintenance, and staffing. This technology also allows retailers to deliver products and services more quickly, and to monitor performance data in real time.

UCaaS improves retail’s omnichannel services

UCaaS (Unified Communication as a Service), a managed service for voice and collaboration, is an increasingly popular tool for retailers.

UCaaS replaces outdated voice-only systems and allows retailers to operate on-demand, real-time communications and applications, such as VoIP, room-based video, mobile solutions, chat, messaging, web conferencing, audio conferencing, social media, contact center solutions, and more, as a utility service. It is a scalable cloud computing in retail solution that improves the quality of voice calls while adding omnichannel features such as call reporting, video conferencing, and email.

With CBTS UCaaS solutions, retailers save time and money by increasing productivity and eliminating upfront costs. Cisco’s Context Service, which is included in all CBTS contact center solutions, collects and provides customer data from all channels, and then delivers it to employees, who can use it for marketing, sales, and other applications.


According to a recent report by Infiniti Research Ltd., the global UCaaS market will expand from $17.35 billion in 2017 to $28.293 billion in 2021.


NaaS unifies multiple store locations

NaaS (Network as a Service) is a Wi-Fi enabled network that provides centralized data services throughout stores. This allows retailers to share wireless connectivity, analytics, and other resources across various locations.

NaaS helps retailers:

  • Decrease costs. With NaaS, retailers no longer need to spend time and resources managing expensive and complex network resources such as LANs, appliances, switches, and application delivery controllers.
  • Boost sales. Customers expect retailers to provide Wi-Fi connectivity so they can access loyalty and rewards apps, and product information and reviews. According to a study conducted by IHL Group with NCR Corp., stores that offer Wi-Fi have 663 percent higher sales growth than stores that do not. Customers are also likely to spend more time at retailers that offer Wi-Fi and potentially purchase additional products.
  • Enhance customer relationships. Retailers can use Wi-Fi to obtain customer data, such as travel paths and product interaction, and send customers personalized, in-store promotions. Wireless access points in stores provide information on where the customer moves within the store, which can help retailers design store layouts that maximize foot traffic.

Like UCaaS, NaaS is also expected to grow in popularity, increasing from a $35.3 billion market in 2016 to $126 billion in 2022, according to Market Research Futures.


SD-WAN improves overall network quality

A Software Defined-Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is another cloud resource that retailers use to cost-effectively manage services among UCaaS, LANs, Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, security systems, and private and public clouds.

SD-WAN minimizes delays over long distances and improves overall network quality. This cloud computing in retail technology allows merchants to maximize their often costly multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) costs, or even replace MPLS entirely and switch to broadband since SD-WAN can be deployed over existing private WAN links such as MPLS and Ethernet, as well as broadband networks such as cable, fiber, DSL, Wi-Fi, and 4G cellular LTE.


SD-WAN is growing even faster than UCaaS or NaaS. The global SD-WAN market is expected to increase from $300 million in 2017 to $1.5 billion in 2022, according to Frost & Sullivan.


CBTS cloud computing in retail solutions ensure business longevity

UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN are all subscription-based cloud cloud computing in retail solutions with monthly payments based on usage. This means no CapEx investment, ongoing hardware and software licensing, or upgrade costs. The trio of services ensures retailers never miss an opportunity to connect with customers, and allows them to analyze and maximize data to develop the most beneficial business strategies. Retailers also reduce costs while improving both overall business performance and customer service.

CBTS monitors and manages the network 24x7x365 to resolve issues quickly and effectively. It can also integrate these services with an existing MPLS network and legacy data apps.

Learn more

To learn more about cloud computing and its role in retail, download our eBook “How Cloud Computing is Revolutionizing Retail.”

CRM in retail builds loyal relationships

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is critical in today’s competitive and technologically advanced retail environment. CRM in retail provides a unified sales, marketing, and customer service hub that both recruits and retains customers. The top benefits include:

  1. Increased customer satisfaction
  2. Reduced costs
  3. Improved sales
  4. Enhanced customer service

However, businesses must understand how CRM in retail works in order to select the appropriate software and ensure it has the features necessary to manage their specific business needs.

CRM in retail unifies the customer experience

An omnichannel experience is key for today’s retailers, who must seamlessly connect with consumers. Leveraging real-time customer data allows retailers to create relationships and drive loyalty by better targeting individual consumer needs.

Busy consumers demand a fast, convenient shopping experience. CRM in retail is critical in order to organize and manage customer data so retailers can provide a tailored sales approach to every consumer at the right time and through the right channel.

This is advantageous for both retailers and consumers: Retailers communicate their information to the consumer, and the consumer receives the information through the channel(s) they desire.

Retailers can personalize the shopping experience through the following CRM in retail tools:

  • Social media. By interacting with customers via social media, merchants gain public exposure and create “brand ambassadors” who recruit potential new customers.
  • Artificial intelligence. New voice technologies such as Google Home and Apple HomePod allow consumers to investigate and make purchases without human interaction. Similar technologies, such as self-checkout lanes and virtual or augmented reality options, are increasingly popular with both consumers and retailers.
  • Blockchain. Blockchain is a digital ledger that maintains a record of a product’s lifecycle, including origin, manufacturing, transportation, and logistics data. This provides consumers with transparent product information and streamlines the record-keeping process for manufacturers, distributors, and merchants. (Click here to read more about Key Technologies for Retailers.)

CRM data enhances the entire sales approach

CRM in retail software gathers customer information such as preferences, demographics, and location. Merchants can then leverage this easily accessible data to segment their market and customize their sales approach. For example, if the demographic information indicates a significant number of young customers with children, retailers can focus on creating a more family-friendly store environment.

CRM in retail data also enables retailers to target individual customers. If a customer has visited a merchant website and viewed certain products, retailers can focus on driving advertising deals and promotions on these products to the customer, and encourage them to make a purchase. Retailers can also manage promotion effectiveness by eliminating products and promotions that do not interest a specific consumer.

A CRM in retail system maintains a structured record of customer purchases, service calls, and even warranties. With this data, retailers can manage several different digital marketing campaigns and disseminate special offers to customers when their warranties are about to expire. This low-cost strategy keeps products in front of the customer, and provides them with purchase information when they need it the most.

CRM technology retains customers by serving them in a focused and convenient way

The end goal of CRM in retail is to increase customer retention. Retailers can further this effect by using CRM software to implement customer loyalty campaigns. These programs and applications track purchases and issue rewards. Such programs are extremely valuable and cost-effective, as it costs less to maintain an existing customer than it does to recruit a new one.

CRM systems are vital tools that allow retailers to manage the entire sales process. By building long-lasting customer relationships, retailers ensure their relevance and success in the future.

CBTS helps retailers improve their businesses

CC-One, for example, is a unified contact center solution that provides omnichannel web, email, chat, and social customer interactions. This CRM in retail solution allows retailers to engage with customers in their preferred way while optimizing and managing the workforce to connect with consumers via phone, SMS, email, and even messaging apps.

Successful retailers are combining Wi-Fi with analytics to drive store sales and loyalty. Through CBTS Network as a Service (NaaS) solution’s single-pane of glass dashboard, business decisions can be made to improve the customer experience. Our solution provides instant access to real-time analytics of consumer behavior, and enables retailers to leverage their ability to send “sale” offers to shoppers’ smartphones. It also allows shoppers’ barcode readers to find product ratings, which can finalize a purchase that otherwise might not have taken place.

Cisco’s Meraki platform features Edge router appliances for top quality in-store Wi-Fi. The platform is easy to deploy across branch locations. Meraki’s auto VPN feature provides secure data connectivity between the central office and all branches, for real-time, company-wide communications.

Learn more

Contact CBTS today to learn how our solutions can benefit your retail environment.

Cloud technology for retail drives opportunities

Cloud networking is integral for today’s retailers. Cloud networking offers a more reliable and efficient alternative to traditional multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networks, enterprise WAN, expensive bandwidth, and costly infrastructure. Cloud technology for retail can help businesses facing challenges that include:

  • Limited budgets
  • Multiple locations
  • Continuous technological maintenance and upgrades

C-level executives require technology solutions that help them lower costs while providing maximum performance and scalability. Ultimately, the best strategy for these companies – especially those in the food service, retail, and restaurant sectors – is a cloud networking solution.

Executives are increasingly turning to CBTS to manage their cloud technology for retail solutions with a combination of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and managed cloud Network as a Service (NaaS) to triple their performance.

Cloud technology for retail saves costs and increases efficiencies

UCaaS is a managed service for voice and collaboration tools that allows retailers to operate on-demand communications and applications as a utility service. NaaS is a Wi-Fi enabled network that provides centralized data services throughout unlimited locations. This allows retailers to share wireless connectivity, analytics, and other resources.

When provided by CBTS, cloud technology for retail solutions:

  • Allow retail executives to focus on their core expertise rather than IT-related issues.
  • Reduce redundancies through management and monitoring via one company rather than multiple vendors.
  • Decrease the need for additional IT professionals and ongoing training.
  • Combine mobile solutions, web conferencing, VoIP, contact centers, and collaborative efforts so that they integrate and work together seamlessly.
  • Eliminate the need for costly equipment maintenance and upgrades.
  • Place the burden of implementing upgrades and enhancements on CBTS.
  • Scale and evolve as your business scales and evolves.
  • Provide usage-based monthly pricing models.
  • Offer effective and reliable 24x7x365 service.

UCaaS and NaaS provide retailers a single-pane-of-glass view

UCaaS and NaaS solutions encompass a wide range of communications services, including VoIP, phone, long distance, collaboration applications, contact centers, networking, firewalls, access points, and optical sensor cameras. With a real-time, web-based dashboard, retailers can view key metrics and performance indicators, and evaluate how they align with business goals and priorities. These cloud technology for retail solutions provide a more efficient and unified look at a retailer’s IT services, and offers a comprehensive analysis that would not be possible with solutions from multiple vendors.

CBTS solutions aid PCI compliance

Businesses that process credit card transactions face myriad security concerns. With CBTS NaaS solutions, retailers no longer need to worry about threats to customer information. The solution works with clients’ current payment card industry (PCI) compliance solutions, and adds state-of-the-art Intrusion Detection (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention (IPS) Systems. Anti-malware products protect against digital threats that could compromise data, and a network segmentation strategy limits hackers’ attack options.

Streamlined solutions allow for more in-depth analytics

CBTS analytics evaluate client data so retailers can identify their strengths and weaknesses, and adjust their business models accordingly. This information also helps forecast trends for the future, which is important for industries like retail that rely heavily on customer data. With the suite of CBTS cloud technology for retail solutions, retailers can identify customer demographics and shopping trends, track the effectiveness of customer loyalty programs, illustrate customer traffic patterns, and send promotions.

Learn more

CBTS UCaaS and NaaS solutions combine to maximize retailers’ cloud networking capabilities. Contact CBTS and read our White Paper, “10 Reasons Why UCaaS and Cloud Networking Work More Effectively Together to 3x Your Performance,” to find out more about how these services can triple retailers’ production.

Retail technologies bring businesses, consumers together

The retail marketplace is becoming increasingly digital, and retailers must adapt to remain competitive. With more merchants closing brick-and-mortar locations during the “retail apocalypse” of the past few years, it is critical that businesses adopt retail technologies to survive and thrive.

Data analytics, cloud, social media are powerful retail technologies

Let’s examine some of the key retail technologies that businesses can use to better engage with customers on a global level – both online and in physical locations.

Retailers must leverage data to enhance the customer experience

As retail technologies advance, personalization becomes more important. Merchants must leverage data and analytics to better understand customer demographics and shopping behaviors. Retailers should already have this customer data, as tracking customer contact information and shopping patterns are hardly new concepts.

However, many retailers do not know how to efficiently use this data. For example, retailers can:

  • Personalize the shopping experience. Merchants can tailor products, services, advertising, and promotional offers to meet consumer wants and needs. Sales teams can use the data to match each customer with the right agent for them, and ensure that the right offer is being made to the right customer based on analytics.
  • Remain competitive. Customer data identifies the products and services that customers want and the prices they are willing to pay.
  • Drive traffic to stores. With exclusive promotions at brick-and-mortar locations, retailers can ensure their physical locations remain in business.
  • Never miss a call. Centralized call routing from the cloud reduces the number of abandoned calls. Route customer calls to call center agents when a store is closed or the phone isn’t answered. With informative analytics, your business and your teams are better equipped to anticipate and meet customers’ needs.
  • Eliminate blind spots. Advanced call analytics and data reporting allow your business to identify road blocks in delivering superior customer service and an enhanced consumer experience. This provides new visibility to help your business identify staffing needs, network issues, and underlying reasons for system issues.

To ensure retailer data is always available and never compromised, CBTS offers professional data protection services. These include data storage, backup, and recovery.

Moving retail technologies to the cloud saves time and money

Cloud-based retail technologies include functions such as inventory tracking and management, ordering, and shipping. By migrating these activities to the cloud, retailers can reduce costs related to software development, maintenance, and staffing while quickly delivering products and services, and viewing real-time data.

Moving data and applications to the cloud also eliminates the costs of housing data in large storage centers. CBTS can assist businesses in migrating devices, infrastructure, and applications to the cloud. We provide expert support and identify retailer needs to develop innovative strategies, design targeted solutions, and implement game-changing technology.

Optical Sensor Cameras provide retailers with valuable insights about their environment

Sensor data is an increasingly popular retail technology. Retailers can place small Optical Sensor Cameras in key locations throughout their businesses. The technology enables retailers to track the number of people in their stores, as well as better understand their customers’ behaviors and movements. For example, merchants can see how much time the customer spent in the store, and what items they purchased or viewed.

This ultimately helps retailers develop an in-store experience and layout that best aligns with their typical volume of customers, and how those customers prefer to shop.

Social media isn’t just about “likes” or “shares”

Most retailers have used social media for years, but simply posting on these sites isn’t enough. Retailers must understand that they’re marketing to a global audience. Social media is a powerful retail technology for exposing your product or service to new consumers.

One of the best ways retailers can leverage social media is by encouraging existing customers to share their products and services. Retailers can offer incentives, such as discounts or swag, to users who share their promotions or sign up new customers.

Social media technology now allows consumers to purchase directly from these sites with “buy” buttons. The ability to purchase directly from social media will likely become more streamlined in the future, and consumers will expect retailers to implement a seamless process.

Digital marketing and omnichannel commerce enable retailers to remain competitive

Today’s consumers rely on mobile devices more than ever to engage with retailers. Retailers must increase their reliance on digital promotions, virtual storytelling, and email campaigns to communicate their brand to consumers.

Retailers often struggle to remain relevant in an omnichannel marketplace in which customers not only desire – but require – a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels. However, merchants can adapt by adopting retail technologies such as:

  • Order-by-text, which allows consumers to order products and services via text message.
  • Photo snapping, which allows consumers to take a photo of a product to learn more about it.

These Omnichannel experiences offer convenience for customers, and allow retailers to personalize the shopping experience by suggesting additional products and services the consumer might like. Additionally, consumers who buy items online and pick them up in a store are more likely to make additional purchases once they enter a brick-and-mortar location.

CBTS makes omnichannel management easier via contact centers. CBTS ensures retailers provide extraordinary customer care through a connected digital experience.

Consumers no longer need to interact with human staff

Some retailers have adopted retail technologies that eliminate cashiers and allow consumers to purchase exclusively at self-checkout stations. Additionally, with the advent of IoT devices such as Google Home and Apple HomePod, consumers want to use their voice to interact with retailers. Alexa and Siri help consumers search for and buy products and services online.

Other artificial intelligence technologies include both augmented and virtual reality, which allow customers to digitally try on clothes, test makeup, or use services.

Consumers use mobile wallets for fast and immediate payment

Digital retail technologies enable consumers to store their payment information on mobile devices instead of carrying cash and credit cards. The benefits of mobile wallets include:

  • Less risk of consumers forgetting their retailer discount or credit card.
  • Seamless integration with retailer apps.
  • Preferred payment options for consumers via bank, credit card, or online payment system.
  • Increased likelihood of consumers making spontaneous purchases because payment is quick and easy.

Retailers must leverage digital technology to meet new demands

The retail industry is learning how to adopt emerging retail technologies to meet customer demands. Retailers are using innovative tools from artificial technology to product analytics to provide personalization, customization, security, efficiency, and enhanced customer service both online and in stores. E-commerce has forced incumbent retail to adapt, but everybody wins when retailers use this digital disruption to benefit customers.

Learn more

Retail’s biggest conference, NRF, kicks off Jan. 13, and CBTS will be well-represented, leading with UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN solutions.

Network solution for retailers delivers sales

CBTS delivers the right network solution for retailers of all sizes. A bookseller with multiple locations recently worked with CBTS to find a more reliable voice and network solution. The retailer had a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS)-based network and believed this structure represented an unacceptable outage risk with respect to its centralized phone system.

Like many retailers, this bookseller views voice as a mission-critical application. Every call represents revenue. Customers routinely call stores to check on whether books are available, in-stock, or can be ordered. The bookseller’s small IT staff had been managing a centralized phone system located in a data center, and its individual locations and distribution center were connected via a 1.5 meg MPLS line.

The retailer worried that if the network went down, voice access to each location, as well as to the distribution center, would be impacted.

CBTS delivers network solution for retailer

CBTS helped the retailer replace its MPLS-based voice system with a redundant voice solution that supports multiple locations. CBTS recommended a multi-faceted network solution for this retailer.

  • Hosted Unified Communications (UC), which is a cloud-based, fully hosted-communications and collaboration solution. Hosted UC is scalable and flexible, so it can evolve and change as a business evolves and changes. Clients can easily view the solution via a web-based dashboard.
  • Software-Defined Wide-Area Network (SD-WAN) to support and enhance Hosted UC, plus Network as a Service. Cloud delivered SD-WAN is a revolutionary, agile platform to deploy, manage, and monitor hybrid public, private, wireline, and wireless networks. NaaS, meanwhile, eliminates the need for MPLS and has increased bandwidth at the retailers’ locations from 1.5 megs to a minimum of 50 megs.

This solution supports the retailer’s voice needs, and also provides value-added benefits such as faster network speeds and increased bandwidth at every location to support services such as Wi-Fi. The retailer’s small IT staff now has additional time to focus on new initiatives, and benefits from working with a single vendor.

Retailer receives desired business outcomes

Hosted UC, SD-WAN, and NaaS are providing the right network solution for this retailer that is dependable, reliable, and cost-effective for all of its locations and distribution center. CBTS professionals monitor and manage the solution 24x7x365, providing the retailer with satisfaction and peace of mind.

Learn more

Retail’s biggest conference, NRF, kicks off Jan. 13, and CBTS will be well-represented, leading with UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN solutions.

Retail technology helps businesses generate wins

Retailers require advanced digital solutions to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced environment. These businesses face challenges including inadequate infrastructure and ever-evolving security concerns. Only those that diligently test and implement the most innovative retail technology solutions will succeed.

Retail technology must maximize data to be successful

Retailers collect a wide range of information from both internal and external sources. To remain relevant in today’s omnichannel retail marketplace, these merchants must adopt reliable, secure, and efficient data management solutions, such as backup storage, network monitoring, and infrastructure security. This will ensure retailers can collect, analyze, and optimize their data for retail technology initiatives both now and in the future.

Data protection is critical for retailers

In today’s ever-changing technology environment, retailers must leverage retail technology more than ever to protecting customer data. Across the country, retailers spend millions of dollars each year on data security, whether they are installing extensive firewalls or hiring cybersecurity experts.

The good news is that most retailers want to be proactive. The National Retail Federation recently reported that by the end of 2019, 80 percent of retailers expect to adopt point-to-point encryption, which protects credit card data during transmission. Additionally, 89 percent of retailers say they will adopt tokenization, which protects information stored in databases.

CBTS offers proven data protection services that ensure retailer data is neither lost nor compromised:

  • CBTS partners with leading security and technology manufacturers to identify vulnerabilities in retail systems. We perform penetration, social engineering, and phishing tests, as well as environment, application, architectural infrastructure, wireless, and technology-specific assessments. These evaluations locate problem areas and recommend ways to rectify them.
  • We also design, build, implement, document, and test disaster recovery preparedness programs to ensure retailers are covered 24x7x365. Our highly trained experts manage and monitor the system and react quickly and efficiently in the event of a threat.

Cloud computing for efficient Retail as a Service

More and more retail technologies are adopting cloud-based technology for inventory tracking and management, orders, shipping information, and more. By implementing cloud computing, retailers can reduce the costs of software development, maintenance, and staffing while delivering products and services at a much faster rate while monitoring data in real time. CBTS can assist businesses in migrating their infrastructure and applications to the cloud.

The benefits of moving retail technology to the cloud include:

  • Elimination or upgrade of older technology and equipment, which is costly to maintain as it ages. Outdated equipment poses a serious risk to retailers, which may be devastated in the event of a total system failure.
  • Immediate access to all resources with the click of a link.
  • Predictable, usage-based monthly fees rather than the high costs of constructing and maintaining a data center.

Consumers demand reliable, fast, and secure connectivity

With the advent of mobile shopping and widespread wireless connectivity, consumers expect friction-free retail technology. For example, shopping trends indicate that consumers desire a faster checkout experience and more digital payment options.

Therefore, to remain competitive, merchants need to both respond to customer demands and predict their future needs by having the most advanced systems and solutions. The success of retail businesses is directly related to their ability to successfully leverage emerging client-first technology.

Therefore, best-in-class retailers must ensure they have the proper architecture for their network infrastructure.

UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN are the future of retail

UCaaS (Unified Communication as a Service), Network as a Service (NaaS), and Software Defined-Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) enhance the connectivity and collaboration capabilities of retail technology:

  • UCaaS allows retailers to operate on-demand communications and applications as a utility service, providing business agility, scalability, informative analytics, and cost-effectiveness to encourage innovation and growth. Through a partnership with CBTS, retailers save both time and money by eliminating upfront costs. UCaaS solutions include VoIP, collaboration, mobile solutions, chat/presence, messaging, web, audio, and video conferencing, contact center solutions, third party integrations, and more.
  • NaaS is a managed cloud service that includes Auto VPN, security, switching, Optical Sensor Cameras, and Wi-Fi. Integrated throughout a merchant’s various retail locations, NaaS allows retailers to easily and cost-effectively share wireless connectivity, analytics, and other resources. It also eliminates the time-consuming management of complex and expensive network resources, such as wireless LANs, security appliances, switches, and application delivery controllers in a data center or network while providing the advanced analytics to set retailers apart.
  • SD-WAN minimizes delays over long distances and improves overall service quality. It reduces the costs of private Internet connections such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), and coordinates UCaaS, LANs, SaaS applications, security systems, and private and public clouds. The benefits are cost savings, voice and video communication improvements, always on access to business-critical applications, and more efficient use of private and public networks.

Advanced applications for retail

Advanced call reporting and analytics are examples of retail technology that give retailers the ability to make business decisions based on call volumes. Imagine how much potential business could be lost due to inadequate staffing. Missed calls mean missed chances at making sales; however, knowing about that problem gives you the opportunity to reverse those losses. If your phone system goes down or if hold times are high because of unknown issues, your business will be dependent on how quickly your IT staff can troubleshoot the problems. With CBTS, your mission-critical phone systems are always on and our IT staff is there for you 24x7x365.

Informative reporting and analytics

Retailers can access real-time call reporting and analytics data to make instantaneous business decisions based on call volumes. These decisions include increased or decreased staffing, transferring business from phone to in-person or online channels, and investigating IT issues that might cause higher wait times.

Call reporting and analytical tools take the guesswork out of call center management and alleviate worries of missed calls and lost customers. Retailers can use this retail technology to monitor calls across multiple locations and run customized reports on a wide variety of key metrics.

Unified engagement and consumer experience

Customer satisfaction requires a connected, digital experience that incorporates voice, video, and written communications. To succeed, retailers must deliver a contact center that delivers a reliable and continuous customer experience.

CBTS provides contact center as-a-service solutions that scale, reduce complexity, and free IT departments from daily maintenance. The benefits of this retail technology include:

  • A consistent customer experience across the entire business.
  • Cost savings due to smaller monthly operating costs vs. large capital investments.
  • The ability to quickly deploy new users, launch new features, and make changes.
  • Integration with existing mobile, social, visual, and virtual technologies.

For any size business, contact center as a service provides a seamless omnichannel customer experience whether it’s through web, email, chat, or social customer interactions.

Why CBTS?

A partnership with CBTS ensures merchants can deploy world-class retail technology that will enable them to thrive in the years to come. These offerings include:

Learn more

Check out our eBook on the retail industry: How Cloud Computing is Revolutionizing Retail

CBTS drives communications solutions for retailers

Future-facing companies understand communication and collaboration solutions are imperative in today’s work environment, even as they face challenges such as an increasingly mobile customer base and aging infrastructure. When it comes to effective communications solutions for retailers, the key is to connect all customer entry points and create a seamless experience across your entire company.

This benefits customers, who desire a consistent experience across different platforms, and businesses looking to collect and utilize customer data for merchandising. Retailers learn more about their targeted customers, and their demographic and purchasing data, through information from a variety of communications platforms. They also learn how customers behave online and the best ways to engage with targeted groups or individuals.

What retailers can do with a unified communications solution

With a unified communications solution, retailers can:

  1. Continue to grow and evolve. Communications solutions can scale and change.
    • Integrate contact centers. Deliver a seamless multi-channel customer experience no matter how your customers want to reach you.
    • Advanced routing features. Route calls to other sites during times of peak volume. This is also a necessary feature for retail chains that have locations operating in different time zones.
    • Informative store analytics. Analyze the data collected to recognize call volumes as well as the amount of missed calls your business is experiencing. By analyzing the call data, your business is able to better understand staffing needs and customer experience issues that may be occurring.
  2. Reduce costs. Retailers spend less money on buying and maintaining aging infrastructure and pay only for the technology they use.
  3. Implement new products and features faster and more efficiently. Integrated communications solutions allow businesses to roll out new updates and applications almost instantaneously.
  4. Enhance visibility. Retailers are able to view their personalized suite of solutions 24x7x365.
  5. Maintain agility. Modern businesses must be able to adapt to changes instantaneously.

UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN enhance communication capabilities

UCaaS (Unified Communication as a Service), Network as a Service (NaaS), and Software Defined-Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) are important pieces in creating communications solutions for retailers, and enhance the connectivity and collaboration capabilities of communication technology:

  • UCaaS allows retailers to operate on-demand communications and applications as a utility service, providing business agility, scalability, informative analytics, and cost-effectiveness to encourage innovation and growth. Through a partnership with CBTS, retailers save both time and money by eliminating upfront costs. UCaaS solutions include VoIP, collaboration, mobile solutions, chat/presence, messaging, web conferencing, audio conferencing, contact center solutions, third party integrations, and more.
  • NaaS is a managed cloud service that includes Auto VPN, security, switching, and Wi-Fi. It can be integrated throughout various locations, allowing retailers to share a variety of resources, such as wireless connectivity. It also eliminates the need for expensive network resources, such as appliances, switches, and application delivery controllers. NaaS enables easy and cost-effective sharing of wireless connectivity, powerful analytics, and countless other network resources among all branches.
  • SD-WAN is a purpose-built enterprise solution that implements and maintains a high-performance WAN. With SD-WAN, merchandisers can maximize the use of costly MPLS connections or even replace MPLS entirely in favor of broadband. This minimizes delays over long distances and improves overall service quality, which is essential for businesses that need to constantly maintain their connection to customers via multiple platforms. It reduces the costs of private Internet connections such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and coordinates UCaaS, LANs, SaaS applications, security systems, and private and public clouds, saving costs, improving voice and video communication, and regulating private and public networks.

Communications solutions for retailers require strong network backbone

For unified communication solutions to work, and benefit both companies and customers, retailers need a strong and reliable network. Oftentimes, when companies add functions such as cloud computing, social media, and mobile technology, they strain their network capacity, slowing performance.

CBTS offers Ethernet services, dedicated network access, managed Wi-Fi, and SIP/IP Trunking Services to ensure companies stay connected to customers at all times, maintaining customer loyalty and enhancing merchandising capabilities. With 24x7x365 monitoring and management, users can feel confident knowing their network remains operational and their data stays protected. Retailers also minimize downtime, increase productivity, and enhance mobility. The network is available anywhere and everywhere with instant upload potential.

Constant customer contact key to customer-centric merchandising

Retailers require a digital contact experience that includes voice, video, and written communications. To manage these contact points, retailers must provide a contact center that delivers an easy and reliable customer experience. These solutions include omnichannel web, email, chat, and social customer interactions and integrate with existing communications technologies.

Because CBTS understands that contact solutions often change, it offers contact center as-a-service solutions that scale but still meet the necessary demands without any hiccups.

Communications solutions critical in modern business environment

If retailers want to remain competitive in today’s marketplace, they must provide customer-centric merchandising. To do this, they require strong and reliable communication and collaboration solutions that are scalable, yet easy to implement and use.

CBTS communication solutions provide management and monitoring services as well as the communication services themselves, ensuring businesses receive excellent service without oversight or interruption.

Learn more

Retail’s biggest conference, NRF, kicks off Jan. 13, and CBTS will be well-represented, leading with UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN solutions.

Mass-notification solution benefits manufacturing facilities

Manufacturing facilities are active, busy settings. In addition to challenges such as streamlining operations and updating equipment and technology, these businesses also require reliable and effective mass-notification solutions. These technologies keep employees both safe and knowledgeable while maintaining operations and minimizing downtime.

CBTS provides a reliable, cloud-based solution

CBTS offers manufacturing facilities an innovative collaboration solution called Hosted Enterprise UC. CBTS Hosted Enterprise UC is a cloud-based, fully hosted unified communications (UC) solution.

The InformaCast Fusion mass-alert technology is a new component of our Hosted Enterprise UC solution. The cloud-based mass-alert system from Singlewire Software is fully integrated into Hosted Enterprise UC. It can also be integrated into existing systems, eliminating the need for costly upgrades. This solution is ideal for manufacturing facilities, where challenges such as connecting multiple buildings and communicating in noisy environments are common.

Mass notification technology reaches all employees across all locations, delivering both audio and visual messages clearly and immediately. These messages can be used for:

  • Severe weather and natural disasters. In the event of hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, and other weather-related natural disasters, the solution allows manufacturing facilities to inform employees on-site and at home about evacuation procedures and shift protocols.
  • Accidents. Despite numerous safety precautions, manufacturing facilities are dangerous places. Many locations handle hazardous materials, as well as complex machinery. Should an accident occur, mass notifications inform all employees and communicate the actions that personnel must take immediately.
  • Safety alerts. Manufacturing facilities may need to mass message employees in the event of other safety emergencies, such as hacking attacks, active shootings, or fires.

Long-lasting benefits

Mass-notification technologies are vital for manufacturing facilities. They provide innumerable benefits, including:

  • Easier access for first responders. A mass-notification solution allows manufacturers to communicate with employees immediately, redirecting people away from the scene and mobilizing the necessary emergency personnel. Geolocation services can focus on a specific area, limiting unnecessary access. This makes it easier for first responders arriving on the scene to deal with the emergency.
  • Multiple delivery points. Hosted Enterprise UC sends notifications to a variety of on- and off-premises devices, including office phones, computer desktops, digital signage, public announcement systems, panic buttons, texts, emails, mobile calls, push notifications, and more. These notifications can be sent to a variety of recipients, including employees, vendors, and suppliers.
  • Real-time updates. System administrators can send notifications through a mobile app or web console and view who has received the message. The solution also includes a “please respond” feature so management can learn who is safe and who needs assistance. Additionally, administrators can configure the system so that it immediately alerts leadership to a conference call.

A reliable, full-service solution

Hosted Enterprise UC provides CBTS clients with premier mass-messaging capabilities. CBTS supplies this technology to hospitals and school systems, where mass notifications can help save lives and alert entire campuses in the event of an emergency. This technology is also critical for manufacturing facilities, which need to quickly, efficiently, and successfully reach a large number of employees in the event of a crisis.

If your manufacturing facility needs advanced mass-messaging capability, talk to the experts at CBTS.

 

Learn More

Check out our three-part series on creating a roadmap for Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS):

Part I: Start with a deep assessment

Part II: Creating a process analysis

Part III: Rallying support from stakeholders