How is SD-WAN helping expand retail organizations?
A poor network connection can significantly impact sales and customer experience and ruin your brand’s name. Just take a hypothetical situation where the server crashes right when the customer tries to check out from the shopping cart. For retailers with numerous shopping outlets, setting up a strong network configuration is as important as maintaining an efficient POS system, as frequent server crashes would lead to potential customers abandoning the cart altogether.
Based on store requirements, retailers have started adapting to newer and better technologies. Sometimes a little tweaking of the internet speed would be enough to keep work running smooth but in more complex cases, adjusting the speed alone wouldn’t suffice.
How to solve this problem?
Traditional Wide Area Network (WAN) is the most commonly used network that helps connect multiple LANs and smaller networks. The major drawback in using it is that WAN requires installing complex infrastructures to run efficiently. Even a minor glitch in the router or the WAN optimizer would need a professional IT Technician to fix it manually; this could cost you a lot. Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) helps resolve these problems. If used in combination with WANs, SD-WAN can help connect networks across large geographic distances.
Benefits of Using SD-WAN in Retail Organizations
The significant advantage of using SD-WAN is its security features and easy-to-use software-controlled WAN connection. It allows you to control multiple networks from one distant location. Here are a few other benefits of using SD-WAN:
- You can add a new store without worrying about building new WAN infrastructure. Since SD-WAN allows operation from a centralized remote location, you can open up any number of new stores without worrying about rebuilding your WAN.
- If one of your stores requires extra bandwidth from the network, SD-WAN can help make the distribution process easy. You can prioritize workloads based on the store’s requirements.
- Frequent Manual Maintenance is not required. Since the network connection and its syndication are handled from one remote location, frequent visits to individual stores for maintenance purposes will not be required.
- Integrated Network Access is made possible. Your store and your website would require integrating information over an application that your employees find easy to use and learn. SD-WAN helps connect applications to data over a network interface, thus, allowing access from any connected device.
So, if you can utilize the benefits of SD-WAN, you can deliver better service and experience to your customers.
Four Essential Elements to Build Better SD-WAN
You will know your store as well as customer requirements better than others. Hence, before building a branch network, understand the network demands and incorporate the best features for your retail organization. Numerous elements constitute a better branch network, but for now, understanding and utilizing four essential SD-WAN elements would be more than enough:
Suppose your business relies on numerous hardware applications, software devices, and complex help desk structures. In that case, you need to focus on reducing the complexity and making your network more agile to analyze, delegate and configure traffic effectively from remote space. You can accomplish this by deploying Universal on-premise Equipment (uCPE) at all your retail branches and coupling them with a multi-tenanted cloud-based orchestrator and a service gateway.
Building a resilient network with an appropriate “cellular failover solution” will help deliver uninterrupted in-store service to customers but will also help save your brand’s reputation.
The SD-WAN solution that you choose must be highly secure. Many vendors might claim their solution to be the best with the most secure point-of-sale solution, but that may not hold good for all enterprises.
Another significant element that an SD-WAN solution must include is compliance readiness tools. It is mandatory if you want to ensure that your business is protected from external and internal threats.
SMOAD SD-WAN for retail
The high bandwidth demands of modern retail business can be met by SMOAD SD-WAN. The SD-WAN solutions involve over-the-counter components such as network devices. The networking features are defined at the software level as a network overlay. With SMOAD, you can enable centralized network management and updates at a lesser cost. SMOAD aggregates bandwidth across multiple mobile uplinks as a network overlay with control functions facilitating redundancy, smoother traffic, and higher bandwidth.
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