EdgeConnect Supports Retail Digital Strategy

EdgeConnect Supports Retail Strategy

Retail organizations today understand that they require a solid digital strategy to meet changing customer expectations, support distributed workforces and optimize supply chains. It’s why a majority of retailers have upped their technology spending despite the ongoing economic downturn. EdgeConnect supports an effective retail digital strategy.

Although the S&P Retail Index is down about 35 percent this year, more than 60 percent of retail organizations report they are increasing investments in technologies such as point-of-sales (POS) systems, inventory management, mobile apps and in-store analytics to remain competitive. Unfortunately, many are also finding that their legacy wide-area network (WAN) setups don’t effectively support some of these technologies.

Due to inherent design limitations, legacy WANs are ill-equipped to handle all the network traffic being generated by new applications, services and devices retailers are adopting. For example, the need to backhaul traffic from all stores to a central data center often creates intolerable latency issues.

Supporting Better Connectivity

A retail store with clothing display racks

Software-defined WAN solutions that enable direct connectivity among distributed operations, remote users, cloud resources and data centers are more efficient but still have critical shortcomings. Most still require manual intervention to onboard additional services and technologies, for example.

Aruba’s EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution resolves these challenges through increased automation, simplified management and bandwidth optimization capabilities. It enables you to deploy and connect a variety of network services at the edge. This pushes data processing closer to data sources in order to minimize latency and preserve bandwidth. The icing on the cake? It does this without additional space, power, hardware or equipment.

A critical benefit of EdgeConnect is its “tunnel bonding” feature. This aggregates multiple data transport links to ensure fast, reliable connectivity. In one recent survey, 75 percent of retailers reported that connectivity issues have a significant impact on application performance. While most SD-WAN solutions enable failover between transport types such as MPLS, broadband Internet, cellular and satellite communications, EdgeConnect is different. It combines multiple transport services to create a single, high-bandwidth logical link without the cost and complexity of expensive private lines such as MPLS.

Strategic Management and Security Benefits

EdgeConnect helps reduce equipment sprawl in retail stores with limited space. It combines router, firewall, and WAN optimization network functions within a single platform. Zero-touch provisioning also makes it simple to deploy in stores that don’t have experienced IT staff on hand.

Advanced security is another benefit. In addition to a firewall, EdgeConnect integrates an intrusion detection and prevention system, role-based access controls, ransomware protection, DDoS detection and more as part of a Zero Trust security framework. It recently became the first complete SD-WAN solution to receive the ICSA Labs Secure SD-WAN Certification.

Retailers are leveraging a variety of emerging technologies in efforts to improve efficiency and deliver a better customer experience. However, they must have a robust underlying network to support all of that technology. Contact us to learn more about using Aruba’s EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform to support your digital strategy.