Established in 1982, Waterstones is a British book retailer operating some 280 stores and employing around 3,500 staff in the UK and Europe.
CASE STUDY – WATERSTONES
With the digitisation of reading habits, Waterstones has been impacted more than most by the changes to consumer behaviour brought about by technology. Within those changes, the demand for WiFi access has become paramount in the reading, downloading and purchase of books. So, when Waterstones deployed WiFi across all its sites, involving a six month deployment project, it was particularly disappointing and worrying for retail operations that the system could not meet requirements.
A poorly specified multi site WiFi solution had been delivered by a provider that did not fully understand the performance characteristics of the different 802.11 WiFi services available. With a three-year contract in place, the options open to Waterstones were very limited.
Having worked with DoubleEdge on previous projects involving deployment of a new phone system and inbound call management, Matt Langner, Waterstones IT Manager, returned for advice.
With military precision, DoubleEdge was soon in action dismantling and packing the legacy equipment, logging all serial numbers and returning the hardware to the service provider responsible. In its place DoubleEdge planned and implemented a new cloud-based system and WiFi access points, supplied on a zero-capex arrangement and offering the highest specification 802.11ac WiFi performance. From start to finish, deployment was completed in just 6 weeks and fully managed by DoubleEdge across UK and European branches.
DoubleEdge Services Employed
Legacy system disposal
Implementation of new WiFi system and access points
Deployment in just 6 weeks
Complete project management
Monitoring and managed services
Integration with customer loyalty scheme
Opex pricing – no capital investment
Higher output, wider coverage, lower cost and better reporting with real-time statistics delivered exactly what Waterstones needed. In particular, the reporting gave new insights with tangible value to business operations:
- A ‘zero usage report’ that identifies where there is an absence of login and, therefore, a likely fault in the system.
- A full range of diagnostics to detect and resolve hardware issues.
- Proactive monitoring to detect failures.
Furthermore, the new system allows provision of intelligence on consumer behaviour in-store which, when integrated with the data from Waterstones’ customer loyalty scheme, provides a powerful means of promoting specific books to targeted individuals.
Matt Langner, Waterstones IT Manager, sums up:
“Using their many years of experience in this business, DoubleEdge saved us from a potentially very costly situation. The transformation in the quality of WiFi service is excellent and the fact that it has actually saved us money is a great bonus.”