Hamleys rolls out business intelligence

London toy store Hamleys is rolling out Cognos business intelligence software across 38 outlets worldwide to allow store managers to check sales data.

London toy store Hamleys is rolling out Cognos business intelligence software across 38 outlets worldwide to allow store managers to check sales data.

Business intelligence software from companies such as Cognos and Business Objects provide line-of-business managers with sophisticated data analysis, allowing them to slice and dice information to identify trends.

The retailer has begun a pilot roll-out of Cognos and is planning to allow store managers to use the tool to check weekly key performance indicators.

Along with its Regent Street flagship store, the retailer also operates the Bear Factory stores and outlets at airports and shopping centres.

To support the roll-out, due to be completed in mid-October, Hamleys has updated its branch network with virtual private network and firewall appliances from network equipment manufacturer WatchGuard. Shops connect over DSL to the virtual private network.

Mark Caiger, IT support manager at Hamleys, said implementing the network was relatively straightforward.

"The challenge is getting broadband up and running. Shopping centres such as Bluewater use fibre to provide telephones but you require copper cables for DSL," he said.

The VPN uses two WatchGuard Firebox 700 appliances run in "cold standby" mode and two Firebox X2500 units configured with WatchGuard high-availability modules.

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