Digital transformation, and the emerging technologies that have developed as a result, have created a number of exciting opportunities for retail businesses today, elevating the in-store shopping experience for customers, augmenting the functions of the business, and creating a more “connected,” engaging store. Digital transformation has also placed new and added challenges on retail organizations to ensure day-to-day operations are smoothly and securely run.
One area of the business that is directly impacted? The IT team and the network.
With the advent of IoT, the rapid adoption of mobile, and increase in the number of ways a user can access the network, the traditional confines of the network has evolved and grown significantly. The network edge is now a cornerstone of every business, especially brick & mortar retail stores, where a significant portion of their network users are guests visiting their stores. It’s the point where an organization and its customers meet; it’s where users engage, mobile transactions occur, and IoT devices connect and are managed.
The network edge is also the first line of defense for cybersecurity threats and where a large majority of breaches occur. With the retail industry adopting a greater variety of on premise and cloud-based deployments, network management and security becomes more challenging. Furthermore, as more retail organizations rely on the network (Wi-Fi especially) to transfer payment transactions and personal, confidential information, ensuring this data is secure from hackers and misuse is a mission critical goal. It’s also where all in-store connectivity technologies are available – whether this is Wi-Fi, Ethernet, BLE, or LTE – oftentimes for retail brands this includes multiple stores distributed across large geographies – all managed by the same IT team.
Furthermore, retail IT teams tasked to support these large, complex environments usually lack the adequate resources and time. To continue to deliver value to their customer base as well as meet the needs of today’s digitized society, retail businesses need a solution that simplifies the edge network; alleviating the burden of day-to-day network management, tailored to the unique requirements of the retail industry and evolving with the business moving forward.
With new product releases, Extreme AI and ExtremeCloud Appliance, Extreme Smart OmniEdge delivers on all of the requirements articulated above with a network edge solution that is intelligent, adaptive, and secure – enabling retail businesses with a customer-driven experience for their users and the network capabilities to achieve their digital transformation goals faster.
Smart OmniEdge comprises of a secure, unified wired/wireless infrastructure complemented by a broad portfolio of applications and services, all augmented by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Managed from a single pane of glass, Smart OmniEdge is the only solution in the industry that leverages the same unified network products across cloud and on-premises deployments.
For retail businesses, the inherent benefits are compelling, specifically brick & mortar stores:
Extreme Smart OmniEdge network architecture and supporting components for retail.
To learn more about Extreme Smart OmniEdge, visit our solution resource page; for more insights around machine learning and its applications in the network today, read the Farpoint Group’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
For more commentary on the digital trends impacting retail today, explore the resources below!