Cloud Network the Perfect Match for Sportmaster

With more than 100 stores nationwide, Sportmaster is the biggest sports retailer in Denmark. The retailer is experiencing growth and seeing a significant shift from store sales to combined store and web sales.

In order to reinforce the link between Sportmaster’s large web business and the stores, sales professionals are now making use of iPads. This allows for a customer in a physical store to get help quickly e.g. for home delivery of a product, that is not available in the store.

Making the online universe an integrated part of the shopping experience, poses new challenges to the wireless network. Just as the cash register simply has to work, it is equally vital that the network fully supports web based sales and customer counselling in the physical stores.

Simplicity and Quality Reduces Costs

When Process and IT Manager Christine Mohr and her team had to define the criteria for a new wireless network solution for the Sportmaster stores, it was with a special focus on ease of management: Opposite to many other business our size, a large retailer such as ours has to deal with some very special challenges, when it comes to rolling out the network. We have more than 100 locations across the country, so it is critical that it is both fast and easy to implement,” says Christine Mohr about the considerations behind the decision.

The simple administration also plays a part in another important aspect of why Meraki was chosen: “Ease of management also means less hours spent, which means that we reduce cost,” explains Christine Mohr. At the same time she points out that it was important to find a product with a sufficiently high quality in order to make the investment future-proof. “A product can seem cheap at first sight, but if that means that you are forced to do a hardware refresh just a couple of years later, a cheap product can quickly become a very expensive solution.”

Meraki Designed for Cloud

The Cisco Meraki solution is already up and running in 53 stores, and during 2016 it will be rolled out to all retail locations. The technology comes with an array of features that makes it especially suitable for a business such as Sportmaster. Firstly, Meraki is designed for the cloud. For instance, this means that Meraki’s web based dashboard can give a quick and simple overview of the entire network down to a single access point.

The cloud approach also makes it possible to e.g. define a template that can be applied to new access points instantaneously. That can be done even before the hardware has been taken out of the box, since you only need a serial number in order to configure a new access points via a template.

Thorough Considerations behind Simple Solution

Conscia worked together with Sportmaster on choosing the Cisco Meraki technology, and has helped with design, implementation and testing of the solution. For Sportmaster, the choice of Cisco Meraki has been heavily influenced by the fact that the supplier behind the solution has functioned as a partner on the entire project. “There are many design considerations and deep technical discussions behind the solution we have today. This is completely necessary in order to achieve such a successful rollout of wireless network to so many locations in such a brief period of time,” finishes Christine Mohr.

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