Food retailer Southern Co-operatives has signed a three-year deal with virtual network operator Sirocom for its Retail Application Network (RAN) service.
The service is designed to allow the centralisation and prioritisation of applications, including e-mail, stock management, electronic delivery notes, price promotional control, IP CCTV, Chip and Pin authorisations and Pay Point transactions, using a single broadband IP network. It will replace Southern Co-operatives’ current ISDN system, which is managed in-house.
Southern Co-operatives IT manager Paul Sargeant said, “Competing in the retail sector, we need a modern infrastructure that can adapt according to customer demand, and free resource to explore exciting new applications that add value to our organisation.”
Sargeant said that Southern Co-operatives had decided on a virtual network operator because it offered more commercial and technical flexibility.
“We wanted the reliability of a managed service but with the flexibility of an in-house solution. The virtual network operator model commits us to no single carrier or technology, meaning the network can flex and change with our business needs, enabling our in-house team to introduce new and exciting services that add value.”
The RAN service is expected to improve processing times for credit card authorisations and Pay Point transactions.
“With real-time information available we’ll be able to improve stock management within the business. This will not only improve customer service and satisfaction, but also increase profitability,” Sargeant said.
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