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Retail Therapy For Techies


Weybridge, Surrey, 27 July 2006 – Sirocom, the UK’s fastest growing VNO, today announces the launch of their Retail Application Network (RAN), a dedicated and customised managed service offering for the retail sector.  Designed to complement the shift towards managed EPoS and credit card acquiring services by retailers, the RAN provides operators of multiples a resilient, much more simplified, and value-enhancing network fabric in order to reduce costs and improve bottom line profits.

The RAN fundamentally recognises the adoption of ‘thinner’ IT infrastructures by the sector in their endeavour to reduce operating costs while improving flexibility and agility in response to fast changing consumer tastes.  Simply stated, the RAN replaces the complex telecoms and data networking arrangements that currently exists with a more simplified network designed around broadband and a resilient core network and hosting centres.  It is from these hosting centres that critical operational and transactional applications will in future run, including EPOS, credit card acquiring, supply chain, IPCCTV and alarming.  The RAN provides both the core infrastructure and application aware architecture in order to provide application quality of service, continuity and consistency.

Barrie Desmond, Marketing Director of Sirocom explains, “Working alongside a number of retail customers, we realised that disruptive networking technologies like broadband with guaranteed Quality of Service were often overlooked.  Applications such as EPoS, CCTV, digital signage and in-store radio can be directed via the broadband pipe from within the ‘IP network’ cloud, reducing excess infrastructure and its associated costs and management issues.”

He continues, “In essence, we’ve built a pre-prepared network and resilient hosting fabric for a community of common interest. This drastically reduces cost of join for new members, while capacity and in-built robustness means it easily scales for new members and at times of peak traffic.”

Utilising partnerships with companies including Orange, Tiscali, Cisco, Logic Group, Torex Retail, Kaleidovision and Brightspace Media, Sirocom’s RAN has the benefit of being armed with all the necessary applications and services upon which the retail and leisure sector are reliant.  Direct benefits include:
• Lower cost managed acquiring service
• No upfront capital cost option
• Simplified IT infrastructure – lower operational costs
• Adapts quickly to change, with flexible contractual terms
• Faster resolution of EPoS problems and upgrades, minimising till outage
• Introduces revenue generating services

In addition to operational applications, the high performance network offers the opportunity to realise new managed media and digital signage services, offering retailers and merchants the opportunity to generate new ‘network’ based revenues from advertising and promotional campaigns. 

JD Sports is the first of Sirocom’s customers to adopt the RAN concept, and is currently trialling in-store media streaming.  Peter Atkinson, Operations Director for JD Sports says, “Adopting Sirocom’s RAN service for our next generation network was a simple decision – it allows us to streamline business processes and reduce costs, whilst investing in innovative technologies that will elevate us above the competition.”

Desmond adds, “The Retail Application Network enables the adoption of advancing technologies which crucially allows for greater interaction with the consumer.  These new media services are proven to boost sales from both existing brands and off-trade brands that target the same audience.  In the case of JD Sports, this is where the network changes from a cost centre to a revenue generator because, while we manage the network, the IT and marketing people within JD Sports can focus on developing these exciting new applications that add real value.”
Critically, whilst enabling these exciting new services, the core aim of Sirocom’s RAN is to reduce complexity, lower costs, improve productivity and generate revenue.  Concludes Desmond, “The VNO model encourages businesses to change, question their processes, assess new technologies and adapt them seamlessly.  Couple this with a volatile FMCG market and this is why the VNO proposition is such a successful strategy for the retail environment.”


About Sirocom
Sirocom is the converged Virtual Network Operator (VNO) with the mission of challenging and changing the way organisations acquire communication services. Sirocom build and manage national and international converged VPN’s and manage remote workforce solutions for a range of enterprises offering a better way to communicate with their branch offices, roaming users, home workers and business partners. 

Over 500 national, international and public sector organisations including JD Sports, BSkyB, Abbey and Cadbury Schweppes have entrusted their managed VPNs to Sirocom.

An array of industry awards and inclusion in the 2005 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Pan-European Network Service Providers stand as testimony to Sirocom’s specialist expertise in Managed VPN services.  These include the Sunday Times Tech Track 100, the Deloitte Indy 100 and the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50.