Retail Solutions Overview

Retailers recognize that satisfied customers are their most valuable assets or even their reason to exist. To improve the customer experience at every interaction, they are sharing real-time data about customers, sales, and inventory between data centers and retail outlets. When they handle sensitive customer information, though, they need uncompromising security to preserve customer goodwill and protect their reputation.

Vanguard Networks' products securely link all your geographically dispersed stores via virtual private networks to speed business operations and improve productivity.

In a fast-changing business environment such as the Retail industry, the ability to rapidly respond to customers’ needs is imperative. Other critical business objectives include cost effectiveness and business continuity. Technology acts as a great facilitator in this regard. Vanguard Networks has designed products to perfectly fit the requirements of retailers looking for cost savings by consolidating any type of enterprise application traffic such as data, voice and fax over any transport service such as IPVPN, IP Broadband, and Frame Relay.

The company has served comprehensive business solutions to some of the most recognized companies in retail industry, including 7-Eleven and Talbots.

Vanguard Networks' products and services for the retail industry offer the following business advantages:

  • Single device per store offering online networking connectivity for:
    • POS Systems (IP and non-IP)
    • Inventory control application servers and barcode scanning systems (IP based and non-IP based)
    • Web access (online ordering)
    • Key system/ PBX (VoIP, analog, or digital)
    • Ethernet, serial, analog, or ISDN
  • Optimized to minimize communication/carrier costs
  • Remote control/configuration function eliminating the need for IT-skilled personnel on-site.
    The following example illustrates one real business deployment of Vanguard Networks' products, which resulted in increased efficiency, high uptime and reduced costs, helping the retail customer grow profitably into the future.

Application: A Large Convenience Store Chain Deployment

This retailer is the largest fuel and convenience store operation in North America. Their retail locations are expanding to sell more than just fuel to the traveling public. New stores now include staples such as bread and milk, cigarettes, and pre-made sandwiches.

What this really translates into is multiple SKU numbers and inventory scattered throughout the locations. Having to keep track of 100 Twinkie packages in all locations can turn into quite a task when it has to be done manually or by using a slow communications network such as dial-up access. They quickly realized that by using new networking technologies, they could control the huge amount of inventory that was contained at their locations. Taking advantage of the fact that a new network would also allow them to process data transactions such as credit cards and new scanning technologies the customer cleverly figured out how to use this information to improve customer service and target customers more appropriately, based on their buying patterns. This information would not only be valuable for them when they decide to implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application, but also for vendors like the Twinkies supplier. Can you imagine what a vendor would pay for the type of information that would tell them exactly where they sell the most products and the demographic that buys it? I’m sure Ford would like to know that 60% of the people, who purchase fuel at this customer’s locations, drive their brand of cars and develop a marketing campaign around that.
The network we designed and implemented gives this retailer a scalable and high-powered solution to run these applications that will pay for the network in a short time.

This customer has many remote locations processing multiple transactions including credit cards and daily sales activity. They required a network that would have the power and speed to process the transactions that were being created by multiple applications such as POS and be able to process voice calls in an effort to lower the telephone connectivity charges that their business was faced with.
The Vanguard 3410 series was the logical choice, never was price the challenge, the true test for our products was whether or not they could stand up under the stress of thousands of transactions daily, 24x7 at each remote location.

After an extensive evaluation using the Vanguard 3410, the customer was assured that the device was the correct choice to upgrade their network with and had the pure horsepower to not only get the new network up and running but to keep up with their business as it grows in the future.

The Following requirements were necessary for this specific application:

  • Hybrid Frame Relay and MPLS connectivity in the same device.
  • Processing of over 100,00 transactions an hour in the central site
  • Integration of Vanguard Networks' and 3rd party products in one network
  • BSC 3270 based ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) connectivity and protocol conversion
  • Integral T1 or Fractional T1 DSU
  • Credit Card Authorization from a central database.
  • Integrated Radius Server
  • PBX Integration
  • Fully Managed Network supplied by a Top Tier carrier

The Solution

This Retailer wanted the assurance that they would purchase a network that would solve their business challenges for years to come. Vanguard Networks was able to implement multiple technologies including MPLS into a solid retail solution that would run today’s new retail applications flawlessly.

Each remote site utilizes a Vanguard 3410.  The Vanguard 3410 provides the access technology to transport the thousands of daily transactions at each remote store.  The 3410 has integrated VoIP-aware QOS capability which gives them the ability to implement Voice over IP services when they are ready to do so without the need for fork-lift upgrades at each store.

Back at the central location, this customer is accessing data from a centralized database as well as processing credit card transactions. By processing this data at the central site they save an enormous amount of money because they do not have to pay the typical service charge at each location that the credit card company would normally charge. The central site required a heavy-duty design that would allow multiple high-speed links to be terminated with a large number of data packets coming in every second. The use of Vanguard Networks' Bisync-to-IP protocol conversion at the remote sites eliminated the need for racks of serial termination equipment, specialized software and maintenance. Everything runs IP now at the data center adding to the substantial savings which made this project economically attractive.


  • Support today’s needs and is ready to evolve to handle new applications and technologies in the future.
  • Highly reliable infrastructure able to support an always-on 7x24 type of operations.
  • Reduce telecommunications costs and improve performance with a gradual migration from Frame Relay to MPLS services.
  • Advanced QoS features make the infrastructure VoIP ready
  • BSC to IP protocol conversion eliminates specialized software, equipment, and maintenance at the data center providing substantial cost savings.