In a bid to prepare for the future of smart retail, South African mobile network operator Vodacom, through its enterprise-focused ICT subsidiary Vodacom Business, is rolling out Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) technology at various retailers in the country to allow 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. According to Vodacom, retailers using the scalable Vodacom Business SD-WAN solution can enjoy improved network connectivity and security, cost savings, and better business visibility enabling increased efficiency.
Vodacom goes on to claim that the technology will allow retailers to have a single-pane view of all data across multiple assets, locations, and resources as it will streamline networks across multiple locations locally and internationally.
In a statement seen by TechCabal, managing executive for retail and logistics at Vodacom Business, Lerato Motsoeneng, mentioned that the infrastructure will not only enable the creation of a retailer’s online presence and ecommerce platform but will also power in-store activity such as payments.
The SD-WAN technology deployment joins Trading Bridge, which Vodacom claims is able to drive operational efficiency between trading partners by connecting retailers to their preferred suppliers, as another investment the company is making in digitising the retail industry.
According to Vodacom, Trading Bridge enables the management of information flow between trading partners to improve supply chain efficiencies and business service levels. It currently supports over 3,000 corporates and SME trading partners.
With South Africa’s online retail sector projected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% by 2025, translating to revenues of about $5.3 billion, it seems like Vodacom’s bet on digitising the retail industry is well timed.