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While the UK high street may be struggling, there are still some great growth opportunities overseas. But how on earth can retailers open new stores abroad without betting the bank? One big piece of this challenge is replicating UK instore digital networks thousands of miles away quickly, securely and in a cost-effective manner.

Step up Poundland and their digital network partner Vodat International to show how it’s done. A recent Retail Gazette webinar is still available explaining how Vodat’s templated store network solution which harnesses SD WAN connectivity, helped the high street chain swiftly open 60 new stores in Poland.

Vodat championed the use of SD WAN connectivity because retailers need only a fibre internet connection to their store to enjoy a host of network benefits which include agility, baked-in end-to-end security and cloud scalability. Poundland also liked the fact that SD WAN networks provide remote access, so the retailer’s new stores could be monitored from the UK head office.

Templated store model

The solution was to adopt a templated store model that could be easily tested, evolved and speedily reiterated across all new store locations, anywhere with an internet connection, keeping cost at a minimum. Vodat’s templated store model also offers additional resilience for every store thanks to a back-up 4G router.

When compared to MPLS, SD WAN can be quick and relatively straightforward to set up overseas as it only requires an on-site internet connection. It also limits capital and ongoing expenditure thanks to the use of cloud connectivity.

Simplified network integration

If a business is growing as a result of a merger or acquisition, SD WAN can also help deliver simplified network integration. If, on the other hand, a new site in on a greenfield location, establishing a SD WAN network is just as fast and cost effective.

There are limitations to SD WAN, however, especially for businesses considering using it in the UK. For example, SD WAN is not currently cheaper to use in the UK, so it isn’t a realistic replacement for MPLS. There may also still be a need to spend on MPLS or dedicated firewall security.

Dean Bourne, Head of Service Delivery & IT Infrastructure at Poundland, commented: “We needed a nimble store network solution that would enable Poundland to make the most of the compelling opportunities to expand in Poland. We also needed to manage the Dealz stores from the UK without compromising on mission-critical requirements, such as security.”

Delivering on the brief

“Vodat delivered on the brief, and more.  At the heart of their solution sits SD-WAN connectivity, which has enabled the quick and cost-effective reiteration of this tried-and-tested store network model anywhere that has access to the internet.”

Digital networks are incredibly important when opening retail premises overseas – but achieving effective connectivity comes with significant challenges and risks. A weak go-to-market digital offering can spell disaster. SD WAN, however, presents retailers with a highly cost-effective way to tick all the important boxes; speed to market, network security, remote access and high levels of cloud agility and scalability.

Listen to Vodat’s SD WAN webinar now.

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