Sainsbury’s has signed a deal with BT to deploy network connections of 24Mbps to its 1,000 stores in a move which will enable real-time data sharing.
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Sainsbury’s connection to BT’s next-generation broadband service will provide a wide area network of up to four times more capacity for its stores and depots, said the company. The WAN handles sales and stock ordering details between stores, head office and supply chain centres.
Rob Fraser, Sainsbury’s IT director, said: “This significant investment drives greater efficiency and productivity now, but is also a key enabler for our ambitious growth plans.”
The investment also provides Sainsbury’s with a foundation on which to develop videoconferencing in the future, said Peter Lickiss, director of IT operations at the retailer.
“We will be able to integrate our voice networking, so we can follow the path of convergence, using one IP network to achieve everything. In the past we used multiple networks for different components,” he said.
The network will also provide the basis for the retailer's digital strategy, which it will release early next year. As part of the deal with BT, Sainsbury’s has been trialing free Wi-Fi in four of its largest stores.
BT is deploying a mix of products, including Ethernet and advanced copper broadband, to improve services to Sainsbury’s main depots, data centres and stores.
So far the network upgrade has been rolled out to 300 stores, with the remaining 700 due to be connected by August