JCPenney Concludes Digital Upgrade of Legacy Phone and Alarm Systems

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JCPenney’s plan to convert all outdated phone and alarm systems is complete.

More than 5000 telephone and alarm lines at all 660 U.S. JCPenney stores have now been updated — and they did it without replacing any existing systems. 

Working with DX solutions provider MetTel, the retailer was able to get ahead of the eventual retirement of copper networks and upgrade their POTS communications service in all locations across 50 states. The goal was to reduce costs, improve connectivity, and digitally revamp the stores’ large number of specialty systems, such as alarms and elevator lines. The hope is to scale these critical technologies, making them more resistant to disruptions such as loss of power or network outages.  

How Does it Work? 

MetTel’s POTS Transformation provides a more unified telecom service, connecting analog systems to either broadband, Wi-Fi or 4G LTE SIM via endpoint connections. In this way, the company says, cellular services can provide connectivity if WiFi and broadband fails or other primary circuits become unavailable. Connections to these endpoints are through IoT solutions company, DataRemote, and MetTel also provides access to all the major LTE/5G providers within customer areas.  

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“For more than 120 years, JCPenney has successfully adapted to a broad variety of business challenges through innovation and planning,” said Colby Gueber, senior director, technology enterprise services at JCPenney.  “We sought to improve the efficiency of our communications for the productivity and safety of our employees and customers while also reducing unnecessary costs. The MetTel POTS Transformation solution helped us achieve those goals.”

Increased Connectivity in a Digital-First World 

It goes without saying that reliable network access is a must-have for modern retailers. Whether in brick-and-mortar stores or e-commerce, strong connectivity cannot be discounted. JCPenney themselves are currently preparing for a nationwide, in-store rollout in partnership with e-commerce experience group thirteen lune. Elsewhere, other retailers are ramping up their investment in IoT and store-wide digital transformation. In an effort to optimize operations, Lowes recently unveiled a new digital twin. Through the use of AR, workers will have the opportunity to communicate, interact and check inventory in a completely virtual copy of the physical store.