Greggs bakes SD-WAN into shops of the future

Food retailer deploys software-defined wide area network to drive the increased use of in-shop devices and ensure consistent, high-quality bandwidth to fulfil growing demand

One of the UK’s most loved food brands, Greggs, has signed a deal with long-standing technology partner Daisy Corporate Services, a provider of secure IT, communications and cloud services, to deliver a future-proof, security-centred software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution powered by Meraki.

Newcastle-headquartered Greggs started out as a bakery over 80 years ago, but undertook a transformation in 2013 to become a food-on-the-go operation. The company is two years away from completing the creation of a centralised, fully integrated business capable of supporting 2,500 shops. While this has required a once-in-a-generation level of capital investment and business change, Greggs said it has already delivered results and helped its customers realise that it is “so much more than sausage rolls”.

The Daisy “Store of the Future” solution is designed to consolidate legacy systems, provide greater insight into network performance, support the transition to cloud-based services and increase resilience across the entire network.

Daisy said the Meraki SD-WAN will offer the business improved agility via a network that evolves in line with specific current and future needs, as well as offering a zero-risk approach to security. With the SD-WAN solution in place, it added that Greggs would benefit from faster in-shop connectivity that will drive increased use of in-shop devices, as well as ensure that shops that partner with the likes of food delivery firm JustEat have the consistent, high-quality bandwidth required to fulfil growing demand.

In addition to the SD-WAN design, Daisy is providing LAN switching, Wi-Fi and 4G/5G connectivity. These are all delivered via a software Meraki Enterprise Agreement.

“Daisy has been working with Greggs since 2008, delivering a variety of connectivity and managed services,” commented Tony Taylor, IT and business change director at Greggs. “As Greggs moves towards building a ‘Store of The Future’, we are working with Daisy to deliver a secure, agile and scalable software-defined network. Daisy’s SD-WAN will allow for faster, more usable connectivity to more than 2,100 shops, with better reliability and resiliency.”

As one of a small number of accredited Meraki managed service providers (MSPs) in the UK, and as Greggs’ incumbent supplier of WAN network infrastructure, Daisy regards itself as “perfectly positioned” to help design and build the network shop of the future based on an SD-WAN-ready network that provides Greggs with a security-oriented infrastructure and tech enhancement that will support future growth.

Chris London, data sales specialist for Daisy Corporate Services, added: “The new Daisy SD-WAN will deliver a security-focused network with enhanced application control and performance. Easy access to cloud applications and services through direct internet connectivity at all sites will support the digital transformation to Store of the Future.”