How to Ensure Network Connectivity

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How to Ensure Network Connectivity

By Tom Butts - 05/04/2018

With 77 percent of businesses relying on technology for success and growth, experiencing network outages can be detrimental and can lead to financial issues and loss of customers. As shoppers come bustling through the entrances of retail stores, retailers need to ensure their network connection is reliable and strong to power everything from POS systems to digital signs, tablets and more.

Here are a few tools readily available allowing retailers to proactively prepare for, or prevent cellular downtime to ensure business continuity.

Separate Connectivity Networks

Not only do retailers’ own business operations require cellular networks, but so do external third-parties, such as shoppers or partners. Ninety percent of U.S. shoppers say they use their smartphones in stores while shopping, making free and secure in-store Wi-Fi a critical offering. What’s more, partners setting up kiosks, signage or even ATMs in retailers’ stores also require reliable cellular connections.

If a retailer’s business operations, shoppers and partners are all on the same network, an outage will take everyone down. Instead, retailers should look to offer various diverse networks to keep everything separate and secure. That way, there is a reduced risk for hacks and, if outages occur, they stay siloed.

Cellular Failover Solutions

A retailer that doesn’t implement a cellular failover solution, in addition to their primary connection, is exposed to increased downtime. With a failover solution, retailers have an assured secondary mode of connection that automatically kicks in when the primary goes out. When cellular failover solutions are provided through wireless routers, they are also able to connect to multiple carriers in case one network is down, while another is running smoothly. 

Additionally – cellular data plans are less costly than wirelines, creating an annual cost-saving benefit for retailers.

Bring-Your-Own-Network Practices

Between competing organizations and the growing popularity of online shopping, retailers are constantly trying to grab shoppers’ attention and time through kiosks and digital signs. Bring-your-own-network (BYON) is the simplest way to set up retailers’ partners, who are providing the kiosks or signs, on a separate modem. Each can be assigned separate cellular modems, either as a single connection or aggregation connection point, along with Wi-Fi.

This means retailers can not only manage each individual sign or kiosk from a centralized system to ensure constant connectivity, but they’ll also be able to move each depending on changing seasonal layouts. 

Retailers shouldn’t take chances with their network connections and business continuity. The good news is, there are plenty of options to prevent downtime that are simple and quick to install before shoppers come charging through the doors in the coming weeks – it’s not too late! A strong in-store customer experience will not only keep registers ringing, but allows retailers to avoid losing loyal and potential customers.

-Tom Butts, CEO of Accelerated Concepts