Vodacom South Africa’s business unit, Vodacom Business, says that it has plans to digitise the retail industry by connecting retailers to suppliers. It has started deploying Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) technology to retailers.
“Meeting these customer needs requires a connected, digitised supply chain,” says Lerato Motsoeneng, Managing Executive for Retail and Logistics at Vodacom Business.
“Without the right digital infrastructure in place, retailers can’t evolve their user experience,” Motsoeneng says.
Vodacom Business says its infrastructure enables the creation of a retailer’s online presence and the e-commerce platform and also powers in-store activity such as payments. Connectivity enables a retailer to offer in-store Wi-Fi to customers as well, and, from this, insights can be gleaned from usage data to drive more personalised marketing efforts.
It says connectivity also enables door-to-door delivery, which has been particularly pertinent in supporting a fast-growing online retail sector: groceries.
“Two years on, customers no longer think twice about purchasing their groceries online, knowing that it’s secure and they’ll quickly be delivered right to their door,” adds Motsoeneng.
This means that retailers also need to be connected to their suppliers more than ever before to enable them to keep up with the online shopping demand brought about by the pandemic.
Vodacom boasts a platform, the Trading Bridge, which drives operational efficiency between trading partners, connecting retailers to their preferred suppliers. One of the benefits of the Trading Bridge platform is the ability to manage the information flow between trading partners to improve supply chain efficiencies and business service levels, the company says.
The platform currently supports over 3000 Corporates and SME trading partners.
Vodacom Business has introduced and is deploying Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) technology at various retailers, allowing its customers to have a digital future-ready network.
SD-WAN is a technology that enables agility by simplifying network management without sacrificing reliability or quality. Retailers using the Vodacom Business SD-WAN solution have access to improved network connectivity and security, cost savings, and better business visibility enabling increased efficiency.
“This solution streamlines networks across multiple locations locally and internationally. As a result, retailers are uniquely equipped with a single-pane view of all data across multiple assets, locations, and resources (such as the people involved, from staff to suppliers),” Vodacom says.
As supermarkets and hypermarket retailers have a lot of cost pressures, driving efficiency is key to survival in difficult economic trading conditions.
“Fortunately, many have unlocked this efficiency with Vodacom as their digital partner of choice,” Motsoeneng says.
Edited by Zintle Nkohla
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