Clinton Cards drives efficiencies with Aruba Networks’ MOVE architecture

 

Aruba Networks announced that Clinton Cards, the
specialist retailer of greetings cards, plush merchandise (soft toys) and
related products in the UK, has deployed a wireless network based on the Aruba
Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture to ease and speed its stores
time-to-market and drive inventory control processes.

 

Clinton Cards has deployed the Aruba Virtual Branch
Networking (VBN) solution to all of its retail outlets, and has its
headquarters outfitted with an Aruba wireless network as well.

 

Clinton Cards is based in Loughton Essex UK, with between
8,000 and 10,000 employees (with seasonal variations). The stores range widely
in size, from a typical 1,900 square-foot shop to more than 50 stores that each
trade in approximately 4,000 square feet.

 

With about 650 Clinton Cards branded stores and more than
170 Birthdays branded stores, inventory control is a top priority. Moving away
from a manual to an automated stock management system has allowed the company
to reduce excess stock in its stores, ensure tighter control of stocking and
reduce the amount of time taken in stock checking.

 

The deployment of a wireless network at each of its
remote stores supporting the stock management system has given Clinton Cards
improved visibility into its business.

 

We find that the Aruba VBN solution is very easy to
install and use. With 810 stores, none of which have independent IT
departments, that simplicity of deployment is critical,” said Chris Hill, head
of IT Engineering, Clinton Cards.

 

It does not require extensive infrastructure at remote
retail stores, and is easy for shop fitters to install without any specific
technical skill. It gives us excellent coverage even at 2.4Ghz, with the signal
penetrating several floors even in the larger stores. Critically, should the
WAN fail, Aruba VBN provides automatic WPA2-PSK backup, which allows us to
continue local survivability.

 

Aruba VBN
leverages a family of compact and affordable Remote Access Points (RAPs) to
handle wide-area network (WAN) access, IPSec tunneling, firewall policy
enforcement, and other functions that have traditionally required expensive
appliances and costly WAN links.

 

Clinton Cards deploys products from the Aruba VBN
portfolio in each location, where a single access point connects a Psion
handheld scanner back to a local server. The server then uploads stock data
back to the corporate headquarters over an aDSL line. The corporate
headquarters hosts two Aruba 3000 series controllers in a master-local
configuration.

 

Innovative retailers like Clinton Cards are optimizing
their current process and laying a solid foundation for the advanced mobile
applications with voice and video that they will be using in the future,” said
Chris Kozup, senior director of marketing for Aruba Networks.

 

While inventory control is the current driver, the mobile
network that Clinton Cards has installed could serve as the basis for everything
from voice over IP to in-store customer engagement in the future.

 

By Telecomlead.com Team
editor@telecomlead.com

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