Lowes optimise and secure connectivity across 200 stores.
Nexon Asia Pacific has just completed a major network upgrade and in-store technology replacement project for Australian menswear and school-wear retailer Lowes as part of a $4.5m managed services contract.
Lowes, a family-owned business since 1898 has grown from humble beginning to over 200 stores nationwide. Nexon has standardised on Cisco and Cisco Meraki for all routers, switches and access points in head office and across all stores nationally.
The project is one component of a $4.5m, multi-year managed services contract that Lowes signed with Nexon in July 2018, which will extend the partnership between Lowes and Nexon to 20 years. Four years ago, Nexon had migrated the majority of Lowes’ on-premises server infrastructure and services to Nexon’s Private Cloud.
The latest managed services agreement also encompasses the migration of more than 200 Lowes stores from ADSL to the nbn™ broadband access network as the service becomes available in each location, and 24/7 managed support for Lowes’ IT environment, including head office and store network, cloud telephony, centralised security and cloud infrastructure. The majority of Lowes’ stores have been migrated to nbn services already, with minimal or no disruption to operations.
“Like many of our peers in the retail sector, Lowes is facing the challenges of dealing with digital disruption. With Nexon’s help, we are now planning to introduce new technologies to improve the customer omni-channel experience and create analytics on consumer behaviour in-store, as well as upgrading and developing better integrations between our back-end systems,” said Geoff Paine, Lowes’ IT Manager.
After an audit of its IT environment, Lowes had identified significant security and business risks posed by its ageing hardware and heterogeneous network infrastructure. The network refresh started with a number of pilot sites in late 2018, with the full deployment recommencing in February 2019, after the Christmas and January sales trading period. The entire project was financed as part of Nexon’s managed services contract.
“By incorporating the network and hardware upgrade as an operational expense under the managed services agreement, Lowes was able to undertake a massive refresh project like this without any up-front capital outlay, which would have been close to $1M in hardware costs alone,” said Nexon’s client engagement lead, Nevien Badawi.
Leveraging Cisco technologies and nbn™ broadband access network services, Lowes now has a secure, scalable wired and wireless network ensuring operational stability, security in-store for switches and APs, and performance across all offices, warehouses and stores.
Unlike many managed service providers (MSPs) operating in Australia, Nexon has maintained 100% local support services.
“Having a responsive, agile local support team with Nexon as our single managed service provider has freed up our team and given us the peace of mind so that we can focus on digital transformation. In addition, Nexon’s Helpdesk Happiness model is providing real value with instant feedback and a closed loop process that gives my team insight and analytics on call resolutions and business outcomes,” said Geoff.
The extension to the partnership with Lowes further deepens Nexon’s expertise in the Australian retail sector. Nexon also recently announced a $5.6 million multi-year contract with Craveable Brands and a three year agreement with Toymate to transition its head office and stores to nbn, and manage its network and telephony services.
“Retailers are often challenged by multiple vendor partnerships and technologies as a result of organic growth and the lack of local availability of services and support for their stores. Nexon’s solutions provide retailers with consolidation of services and standardisation of technologies to improve security, reduce operational overheads and costs, and ultimately deliver a more stable, reliable I.T. platform for future transformation,” said Nevien.
Nexon is continuing to simplify the network and infrastructure management, by standardising in-store technology across Lowes’ stores and head office.
Lowes Australia have been a household name in the Australian retail clothing space for over 120 years. With over 200 stores nationwide and 100% Australian owned, Lowes’ lines of menswear and school uniforms have long been the staples of many Australian family wardrobes. The brand has always been at the forefront of the retail industry, adapting to the changing needs of Australians and implementing ethical sourcing and manufacturing standards. www.lowes.com.au