Businesses today are operating in an increasingly digital world. To keep up, they need to adapt and innovate fast but, for many, their legacy networks are holding them back.
Despite the pandemic speeding up digitalisation, organisation’s networks have remained largely traditional. As hybrid working and technologies like the cloud, virtual reality and augmented reality become common place, the volume of data networks need to manage is increasing, which means that the infrastructure needs to change.
WAN-ting more from your network
A Wide Area Network (WAN) can connect offices, applications, cloud storage and data centres together across a large geographical area. While this is critical, it lacks the flexibility required for the digital age.
Relying on hardware, updates and management are often a slow, manual process and its reliable connectivity, even during peak periods, means that organisations could be paying for bandwidth capacity they only need once a year. For example, retailers could be paying for Black Friday capacity during summer.
Enter WAN’s cooler, younger sibling, Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN).
Bringing all the benefits of WAN, without the restrictions, this virtual network allows you to make changes in real-time from a single location. Viewing the traffic and adjusting accordingly, or even upgrading it and restarting it all remotely – there’s no need for engineers to visit and downtime is kept to a minimum.
SD-WAN can also leverage different types of connections automatically, keeping your business online and running, without sacrificing security or data privacy.
Working with McDonald’s in Italy, we’re using SD-WAN to improve its digital services.
McDonald’s digital future
For years, the global foodservice retailer has been digitising its services.
Self-order kiosks, table service, digital menus, promotions via the app and Wi-Fi access for visitors have all become standard practice.
In fact, channels such as McDrive, McDelivery, Take Away and the McDonald’s global mobile app, have entered the daily lives of Italian customers, a trend the company quickly noticed and continues to invest in.
To support the ongoing digitisation of the business, we designed a Software-Defined Wide Area Network for its 640 Italian restaurants using two types of connectivity: fibre and 4G/5G.
The super-fast response time and minimal lagging of 5G will enable new services, such as McDonald's new Mobile Order & Pay offering.
With this service, customers of Italian restaurants can order and pay directly from their smartphones, through the McDonald's global mobile app, picking up their order from the restaurant or receiving it at the car park.
Based on fibre and mobile connections, this new infrastructure is resilient and secure. Choosing the best performing network at any given time to run the digital services on, it guarantees the business continuity of all the restaurants and delivers a flawless customer experience.
For example, the wireless network allows McDonald's to activate its services even if fibre is not yet available. With 40 new locations expected to open by the end of 2022 alone, you can see why this is important.
Changing customer demands
As consumers continue to demand more immersive and convenient experiences, it is important that all organisations have the right infrastructure in place – one that will flex and grow with them.
New sales channels, digital experiences and connected restaurants and stores all require cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence, that demand increasing bandwidth.
Adopting a resilient and scalable network can future proof your business and support its need for rapid change and continuous development.
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