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Colruyt takes Extreme step to optimise business operations and customer experience

Global retailer migrates to a more resilient, robust, reliable cloud-managed network to handle increased capacity and create more operational visibility and intelligence

Aiming to create a more reliable, efficient and modern mobile experience for its customers and employees, Colruyt Group, one of the largest retail companies in Belgium, Luxembourg, France and India, has deployed an advanced, cloud-based network to connect supermarket retail stores, warehouses and corporate offices.

Colruyt Group operates more than 600 stores and supplies food and other goods to over 580 independent shops in western Europe. It also has a significant e-commerce presence across Europe. The company’s subsidiaries include more than 40 consumer and business brands, such as OKay, Bio-Planet, DATS 24, DreamLand and DreamBaby.

As a result of its impressive business growth, Colruyt began facing a network capacity crunch. Its previous networking infrastructure was not equipped to support the rise of connected devices or the physical expansion of the business, nor did it offer valuable usage insights and location services within shops to help inform sales strategies. 

In response, Colruyt chose to migrate to a more resilient, robust, reliable cloud-managed network to help it handle the increased capacity and create more operational visibility and intelligence.

The implementation, based on Extreme Networks’ ExtremeCloud IQ cloud management solution, is designed to enable Colruyt to obtain insights and analytics that can optimise its business operations and manage its entire network through a single dashboard.

The network offers wireless connectivity for both employees and customers, helping to enhance the overall user experience, mobile experience across its shops, offices and warehouses for every user, from shop employees with handheld devices to customers with smartphones.

As a result of the deployment of its technology, with more than 10,000 Wi-Fi 6 access points, Extreme claimed Colruyt would see a number of key benefits, including “seamless” and reliable connectivity; unrivalled network insights; smart and proactive troubleshooting; and “comprehensive” technical, strategic and financial support.

A unified management platform supplies insights and analytics into the use of Colruyt’s wireless networks, enabling the company to evaluate how to improve and optimise operations and the customer experience, in warehouses or stores. Colruyt can also proactively detect network anomalies, suggest potential solutions and pre-emptively address minor issues, helping to avoid major outages and guarantee the best, most reliable user experience. 

“We have been making use of Extreme’s technology for many years,” noted Colruyt Group’s head of IT infrastructure, Wim Pletinckx. “The intuitive cloud platform will support our experts in managing our wireless environment and provide a stable and performant wireless solution for our business.”

Markus Nispel, vice-president of international markets – office of the CTO, at Extreme Networks, pointed out that the retail industry was in a constant state of innovation and transition and that had been even more prevalent during the pandemic.

“Success in retail is often predicated on premium customer experiences and continuous operational advancements,” he said. “We’re proud Colruyt has chosen Extreme to help drive this transformation… create unique customer experiences and make impactful and transformational business decisions.”

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