With increasing competition from e-commerce, bricks and mortar retail stores are seeking new ways to attract customers, combining experiential offerings and the personal touch with new technologies in the omnichannel environment.
This can be achieved through increased digitisation of the retail venue itself, offering digital versions of signage, point of sale and changing rooms, WiFi hotspots, and leveraging virtual reality. But as shopping centres up the ante in terms of the experiences they offer customers, the pressure mounts on their network providers to provide far greater levels of security, capability, and cost efficiencies.
Automated network provisioning can help businesses become more resilient, increase efficiency, and control these growing demands on their network. For the venue management team, automation can also enable them to speed up the provisioning of value-added services and applications responsively.
With NetOS®, businesses can connect their head office with their stores with automated network slicing by delivering software defined networking (SDN). This provides a centralised view of the network to control and automate data traffic, improving the implementation of high quality services for users. The costs of software and administration are reduced through centralising control, while existing hardware from a variety of manufacturers can be optimised through the NetOS® interface.
Working together, automation and centralised control help venue management teams shorten the cycle to implementing – and monetising – new services which will add value for their customers. With customer provisioning, network owners often have to wait until the client is satisfied before receiving payment. With NetOS®, our platform closes the gap between a customer booking the event space and then that event space being available and fully automated, and therefore billable.
How does this play out in practice? Let’s take the example of a shopping mall with a seasonal popup space to sell. The venue management team want to make this retail spot accessible and flexible, offering the customer not just the branded space, but preparing the entire infrastructure. It’s a shop in a box: digital signage, barcode scanners, and IT provisioning are all ready to go. This means happy customers, as all the retailer has to do is bring in their stock and sales team. With automated networking, a mobile cash register could be made smart and instantly enable an on-demand point of sale solution. NetOS® offers the flexibility to provision a multitude of services very quickly to this retail popup via a slice of the network.
Venue management teams across sectors, from retailers to entertainment arenas or sports stadiums, can gain competitive advantage and value from this form of network automation. The venue can monetise their space more fully while also allowing non-technical staff to offer added value services to their events at the point of booking.
Is your venue smart enough? Contact us for a chat about how network automation could help your business.