Consumers expect a consistent, compelling experience that transitions seamlessly from a retailer’s virtual presence to its brick-and-mortar stores. Meeting or exceeding this expectation demands that retailers deliver predictable, positive interactions at each of its branch locations whether across town or around the globe.
Traditionally, retailers have deployed and managed their IT infrastructure across branch networks by contracting with a patchwork of local or regional equipment and service providers. The retailer’s IT team must coordinate and manage multiple vendors each with its own contract, service-level agreement, and specific equipment. From system design and deployment to ongoing maintenance and updates, high-value IT resources are consumed with unnecessary, costly project management and administrative tasks. For businesses with hundreds or thousands of branches across the U.S., or even around the world, it can take years to complete a network roll-out.
The challenge for retailers today is to undertake digital transformation in a more cost-effective and efficient manner — to establish flexible, secure, future-ready digital infrastructure quickly and without interrupting or compromising existing business operations. The solution must deploy simply, offer the scalability to roll out IT networks quickly and provide uniformity across all sites.
Black Box’s SimplEdge™ — a managed branch network-in-a-box solution — makes it easy for organizations with hundreds or even thousands of sites to undertake the enterprise-wide digital transformation essential to providing compelling, customer-focused experiences.
Powered by Cisco® Meraki™ and deployed and managed as a service by Black Box engineers and technicians, the turnkey solution unites state-of-the-art technology with extensive managed services. SimplEdge includes everything required to build a modern branch network: structured cabling, switching, SD-WAN with carrier connectivity, security, Wi-Fi and analytics plus all design, deploy, and support services.
Working with key stakeholders within the retail organization, Black Box engineers ensure that critical business needs and IT values are reflected in the SimplEdge design. Through its global team of certified technicians, Black Box ensures that SimplEdge users benefit from network standardization without the burden of multisite system management.
Black Box technicians arrive on-site to run cable, install hardware, and make all SDWAN, Wi-Fi, and security connections. The rest of the integration and programming is performed in the cloud. This model enables Black Box to complete IT deployments across hundreds of sites in a matter of days or weeks and then to manage all sites and provide regular reports on usage and performance. Going forward, new features are delivered seamlessly from the cloud to guarantee future-ready performance. The solution is supported by 24/7 monitoring, SLA-driven Day 2 services, and a cloud-based help desk.
The Meraki technology built into SimplEdge offers advanced security — content filtering, intrusion detection and prevention, alongside advanced malware protection — that is continually updated to guard against inevitable attacks on the system. The solution also guarantees uniformity across sites, giving each branch the data needed to personalize customer service and offer points programs and other benefits.
Enabling smart IT deployment and management at the edge, SimplEdge empowers organizations to roll out, maintain, and scale technology with speed and consistency across all their remote locations. The turnkey solution from Black Box provides all of the IT resources needed to implement high-performing networks across hundreds or thousands of sites while reducing overall operations costs.
With SimplEdge deployed and managed across all sites, retailers are equipped to offer a better customer experience. From reduced load times on company websites to better Wi-Fi service, and POS options in-store, customers will notice a more pleasant and engaging environment. Employees at branch locations can take advantage of more sophisticated sales tools and incentives. Rather than monitor and maintain branch networks, the organization’s IT team can remain focused on addressing headquarters’ demand for software upgrades, network upgrades, and network maintenance.
As Black Box continues to enhance SimplEdge, established customers benefit from new tools and capabilities that make it even easier to deliver customer experiences that differentiate their business from the competition.