Making our Retail customers’ digital ambitions a reality

Aruba and NSC working together to deliver a secure hybrid retail experience with significantly reduced carbon footprint

Retail is a broad industry – including anything from small multi-quick serve restaurants with a distributed footprint to large department stores with global chains. But evolving shopping methods are challenging all retailers, big and small, to seek new ways to not only attract customers, but retain them.

The world of post-pandemic retail is about customer experience. In the multi- channel world of retail, creating frictionless and convenient experiences has become paramount for retailers in both physical and digital spaces – the challenge for all retailers is to stay ahead of the customer need.

Customer experience, contactless services, store and warehouse logistics, security and real time data insights are all driving digital transformation in retail. However, to combat competitive pressures and wavering customer loyalty retailers need to have digital transformation initiatives that will allow stakeholders (store managers, marketing, facilities, etc.) to easily adopt new technology and digital business models for their stores, warehouses, and corporate offices to drive exceptional shopping experiences.

Laying the correct foundations for improved customer experience and business outcomes

As retailers transform their brick-and-mortar stores, they need a simple, smart, and secure solution that is flexible, scalable, secure and easy to deploy. Made up of three parts: Aruba’s Edge Service Platform (ESP), nsc} YouCPE, a fully managed flexible platform and NSC global services come together to help retailers improve shopper experience, associate engagement, and factory to store operations, while simplifying IT operations using a secure and experiences- oriented network.

Aruba’s ESP – Leveraging the network as more than a connectivity platform

Aruba helps retail create an edge-to-cloud network foundation, that can adapt over time, which is necessary to stay competitive and meet consumer expectations. Before retailers can truly deliver better customer experiences, a network that ensures security and seamlessly addresses the needs of employees, customers, store operations and payment card industry (PCI)- compliance auditors is needed.

Aruba’s ESP is the industry’s first AI powered, cloud-native platform designed to automate, unify, and protect retail locations into a single framework with open interfaces and APIs while optimising the shopping experience and improving business outcomes.

Aruba ESP is built on three key pillars including Unified Network infrastructure, AI Ops and Zero Trust Security. And, it’s been designed to deliver a cloud experience at the edge. Open interfaces and APIs allow third- party devices, applications, and services to use the open interfaces and APIs to plug vertical-specific systems into Aruba’s ESP without having to change the underlying infrastructure. This allows Aruba’s ESP customers to easily support changing IT, IoT, and OT requirements by plugging new systems into their existing Aruba infrastructure – no rip-and-replace needed.

Aruba’s is the industry’s first comprehensive edge services platform for managing Wired, Wireless and SD-WAN infrastructure across your entire retail store estate (corporate offices, stores, warehouses, factories) giving you complete confidence that everything across your retail estate is configured consistently and operating correctly

Using Aruba Central, the cloud-native single-pane-of-glass for Aruba ESP operations, IT managers can deploy networks faster and resolve problems quickly, freeing up resources for more meaningful work.

nsc} YouCPE – Reducing costs and carbon footprint

nsc} YouCPE is a flexible, multi-function platform for the Retail network edge – simplifying a retailers’ network by removing the need to buy, install and operate and maintain racks full of specialised, single-purpose network devices replacing it all with one single physical appliance running multiple virtualised services.

nsc} YouCPE underpins the SD-WAN element of Aruba’s ESP, meaning retailers can benefit from the Silver Peak EdgeConnect platform for intuitive ‘self-driving’ WAN that delivers tremendous business value and agility to power network and security transformation for a cloud-first enterprise as well as host additional applications and services that Retailers need in-store – immediately – such as network security, print services, IoT gateway.

By removing the need to buy, install, operate and maintain racks full of specialised, single-purpose network devices and replacing it all with one single physical appliance running multiple virtualised services – retailers can significantly reduce their carbon footprint.

For example, if a shop requires a Router, SD Wan, firewall and local print server etc., this would have traditionally meant retailers would require separate appliances for each. Each of those devices would have to be manufactured, shipped, sent to site, installed, and then each device would require power, rack space, cooling and maintenance. nsc} YouCPE means just one appliance with all four functions running virtually on top.

With nsc} YouCPE, retailers can change or remove services at a later stage, without the need to deploy IT staff to site – improving sustainability, reducing carbon footprint by using less hardware devices, lower power consumption and fewer site visits by IT staff all while saving staff time that can be better used on your other key business priorities.

Now retailers only need one appliance reducing shipping, logistics and maintenance. The result is an overall reduction in consumption of power & cooling, meaning lower electricity bills and a 75% reduction of carbon footprint in some cases

NSC global services – Distributed retail locations with limited IT support

Ensuring quality of service of applications that contributes to satisfied customers and improved revenue is a challenge for centrally located retail IT staff. They must be able to prevent issues before they happen. They must also be able to deploy new infrastructure and other tools quickly and adapt to new use cases as their organisation institutes new digital transformation initiatives

Retailers need to power many devices, but they also need to ensure payment data is kept separate from corporate data. However, many Retailers do not have dedicated IT staff for stores and may rely on store managers to perform IT functions. NSC can provide all the skills required and can supply, ship, design, install, operate, support and decommission.

NSC’s Transformational Services group coordinates and manages all the elements of the NSC delivery engine. From creating scheduling, requesting and managing resources, to governing delivery and providing the interface with the customer. NSC‘s skilled teams will transform your retail store estate, allowing you to focus on running your business.

The growing volumes of End-Of-Life (EOL) and near end-of-life equipment around the globe is also becoming a matter of concern. As software and hardware grows ever more entwined, the right to repair movement is gaining momentum and column inches. The Equipment-as-a-Service (EaaS) model not only enables EOL equipment to be refreshed, removing points of failure and risk from the network, it also helps decrease e-waste, a key priority for our customers.

NSC operates in 180 countries across multiple time zones, currencies and languages. With break-fix support, 24×7 service, 278 Local Rapid Fulfilment Depots and over $68 million of inventory we support retail IT Staff to ensure consistency across all the entire retail estate – NSC enables retailers to focus on offering the best customer experience and manage complex supply chains.

Working together to deliver results

Once the correct foundations are in place across your retail estate, you can continue to build with tailored use-cases and applications that are relevant for your business such as helping customers navigate a store, engage with personalised offers or services, and use analytics to integrate online shopping with in-store shopping and the provision of the data to inform a future retail strategy

NSC in partnership with Aruba, is recognised as a market leader for digital transformation, customer experience and frictionless shopping innovations. As an Aruba Gold Partner, NSC is an Aruba Networks expert, with experience in the architecture and support of complex, global environments, to provide retailers a frictionless experience.

Together with Aruba, NSC has helped deploy, supply and support services on Aruba Technologies, delivering fully managed service and upgrades for some of the world’s largest retail estates, including solutions to cover 80,000 employees and 9,100 retail sites in a variety of formats. As retailers explore ways to improve the customer shopping experience, we are able to help blend digital and instore retail with high-performance secure networks, with role-based access and consistent experience for staff, customers, service providers and IoT.

NSC and Aruba are working together to simplify IT operations using a secure and experiences -oriented network, that can adapt over time, allowing retail customers to stay competitive and meet changing consumer expectations.

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