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Retail Customer Spotlight

Take a look at two recently featured retail customers, Brookstone and Orchard Supply Hardware, who are both using Meraki APs and Switches to improve the shopping experiences they provide.

Here in Northern California, two names that are known in every household are Brookstone and Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH). What may be less widely known is the networking solution that helps power these organizations – you guessed it, these are both Meraki customers. Read below for a glimpse behind the scenes of these networking stories, or check out the full case studies here.

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Brookstone

Specializing in innovative and useful consumer goods, the Brookstone team is dedicated to consistently improving the shopping experience for their customers. They are able to focus their efforts on this high-level mission with the reliable, no-nonsense network that Meraki cloud managed wireless and switching solutions provide.

Rock-solid WiFi coverage became increasingly important to the Brookstone store experience, where associates and customers required access to detailed information about the company’s thousands of products. Brookstone’s former WiFi network proved unable keep up with this increased need for reliability and traffic capacity. The team did a proof of concept with the Meraki cloud managed solution, and “fell in love with the Meraki technology, especially the ease of use, accessibility, and how simple it was to set up,” shared Doug Reczko, Operational VP of IT at Brookstone.

In each Brookstone store, there is now one MS 8-port Switch with a MR32 802.11ac Access Point wired into it. From there, depending on the size of the store, several other MR32 APs connect via wireless mesh to provide fast and seamless connectivity for all business users, without having to cable the entire store.

With nearly 225 stores across the United States, the simple, scalable mass-management inherent to the Meraki platform is a necessity for Brookstone. The team is able to log into their Meraki management dashboard and instantly see all of their locations, learn which sites are running smoothly and which need attention, and drill down into specific devices for further insight and troubleshooting.

“My goal as an executive is to bring our services to a higher level and do it better, faster, and for less; the Meraki tools allow us to do that,” said Doug.

Read the full case study here.

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Orchard Supply Hardware

OSH is a successful home improvement retailer with over 70 stores throughout California and Oregon. With a lean IT team managing the network for all locations, Meraki cloud managed access points and switches enable the retailer to focus on its customers and high­ priority projects, rather than routine network maintenance.

Challenged by limited IT resources and tired of traditional on­-premise controller models, Moon Son, Senior Director of IT Infrastructure at OSH, initiated a proof of concept with Meraki wireless access points. OSH needed a reliable wireless network for inventory scanning, price look-­up, and other critical retail functions. Moon and the team soon developed a close relationship with their Meraki sales team as they worked together to figure out the best setup for their unique environment and business initiatives. “Meraki was very attentive to our needs and provided great customer service, setting them apart from other vendors we were looking at back then,” Moon said.

Today, all OSH locations still boast the same MR16 802.11n APs that they purchased following that initial meeting. “The investment is still working for us, and I’m happy to say that all the features we have wished for have also been developed over the years,” Moon expanded.

The visibility and ease of management inherent to Meraki hardware and the cloud based management dashboard have been valuable assets for the OSH IT team. “Being able to schedule firmware and feature updates and not having to plan maintenance activities has been a huge benefit for my team, and a big cost saver in terms of resource allocation and time,” Moon shared.

However, Meraki proved most useful this past summer when the team set out to construct a new IP schema across their entire network for a new point of sale initiative, while also integrating new switches. “We touched every single network device, every single endpoint, put in new switches, re­-did our routers to recognize the new IP scheme, everything,” Moon said. “This was a monstrous effort, and Meraki was a huge, huge help.”

Get more details on the ins and outs of this giant project in the full case study here.

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We hope you enjoyed learning about these featured customers! Check out our Meraki for Retail guide to see how we can help businesses of any size leverage their networks in a scalable and flexible manner.

We’ll also be hosting a live webinar where a Meraki product specialist will give a tour of our cloud managed dashboard and tailor the capabilities of Meraki specifically to retail. Sign up for the webinar here.