As more business systems are moving to the Internet or “cloud,” quality and reliable Internet connections are becoming essential pieces to every organization. Every business relies on e-mail, online bank access or ordering supplies, but even when those systems aren’t available, the impact to the business isn’t detrimental nor does it impact revenue.
As more POS (Point of Sales) and online order taking systems are going to the cloud, it is extremely critical for there to be zero Internet down time. If a business cannot take an order, that order is lost and you cannot get it back. But even worse, the customer’s negative experience will rarely be forgotten, and could have a bigger negative impact than just that one sale. Consumers take negative complaints to Yelp and Google, and then other potentials sales are lost. Bottom line is that if you have a POS that is Internet-based and have an outage for even 30 minutes during primetime, then there are significant soft and hard sales lost.
About three months ago, Jet’s Pizza – www.jetspizza.com – reached out to Bandwidth Simplified for a solution that would help with their loss of sales while their Comcast Internet connection went out. Jet’s Pizza is a very successful and expanding pizza take out with many locations throughout the Midwest. When Jet’s Pizza Internet connection went down, it impacted their POS and most importantly their online order taking systems such as Grubhub and Takeout Taxi. With a large portion of their sales coming through those online ordering, the downtime was directly impacting sales and that needed to stop.
Over the last few years, we’ve had a huge success deploying inexpensive and secondary Internet connections to be used a failover connections, but we learned that some POS systems have additional security features that do not allow the traditional failovers. For Jet’s Pizza, their POS requires the connections to only come from a single static IP address, so that the system verifies who the financial transactions are originating from.
Bandwidth Simplified found that the best solution for Jet’s Pizza would be to implement an SD-WAN (software-defined networking in a wide area network) by Bigleaf Networks. A SD-WAN is a piece of hardware that brings two independent (and in most cases inexpensive) Internet connections together and will constantly monitor connection uptimes and most importantly will monitor the quality of the two connections. It will then real-time and constantly switch the traffic to the best Internet connection possible, so that there is zero downtime and no interruption with Internet connectivity. What is really great with Bigleaf is that they provide you with a static IP address, so that regardless of which Internet connection you are using at the time, your external IP address to your POS is always the same.
SD-WANs are becoming very popular solutions because of organizations requiring zero Internet outages. Not only are they very effective solutions, but they are also inexpensive. The solution that we provided to Jet’s Pizza was around $150/month, which they will easily recoup that investment with just a few sales. Gartner recently published an article stating that by the end of 2019, 30% of enterprises will have a SD-WAN solution at their locations, and believe that will definitely be the case – http://blogs.gartner.com/andrew-lerner/2015/12/15/predicting-sd-wan-adoption
For more information on SD-WANs or other solutions that can improve your organization’s data or voice connectivity, please give us a call at 312-361-3800.