Time for retailers to get resilient against risks of downtime
5 September 2019 | 0
Bricks-and-mortar retailers are fighting back against online competitors by improving their in-store customer experience and making their backend processes more efficient, and they’re embracing technology to do it. Walk into many shops today and you’ll find electronic point of sale units and card payment systems; behind the scenes, they may rely on IT systems for stock control, food safety monitoring, time and attendance, payroll, invoicing, accounting or office productivity.
Like many businesses across all sectors, these applications are increasingly hosted in the cloud. This makes connectivity a critical part of any shop’s IT, and a risk they need to manage. Shops that rely on cloud applications need to stay connected at all times and avoid downtime at all costs.
Every retailer knows that a growing queue of impatient customers is the enemy of good service, but that’s the potential scenario facing retailers if the credit card machine can’t connect to the network. If the link is interrupted or the connection is unavailable, there’s an immediate impact to the bottom line because the shop can no longer take cashless payments from customers, they may not even be able to ring up a sale at the till.
As long as the business is offline, it leads to missed sales, unhappy customers, and lower employee productivity: the business is literally losing money.
To guard against this risk, Ripplecom developed Orion, our award-winning business continuity and autofailover technology. Simple, secure and quick to install, Orion helps retailers to stay resilient against potential interruptions to their connection.
Each Orion comes with two integrated connections; a primary and a secondary link. When the network is performing as it should, all online traffic uses the primary connection. If an outage occurs on the primary line, the secondary circuit instantly takes over, so any connected systems and devices are unaffected by the fault and they continue working as normal. When the main connection is restored, all systems automatically switch back to the primary source. Ripplecom engineers remotely monitor both primary and secondary connections, and the customers get a report whenever Orion has deployed.
“Every retailer knows that a growing queue of impatient customers is the enemy of good service, but that’s the potential scenario facing retailers if the credit card machine can’t connect to the network”
Orion’s unique functionality makes it invaluable for businesses that process payments. Most failover systems change IP address when a secondary connection comes online. However, a sudden change in IP can cause problems for card terminals or electronic fund transfers, potentially raising a fraud alert, with the possibility the transaction could be stopped. Orion fails over in the same IP range, which means tills, payment systems and internet telephony all keep working exactly as before. This also helps retailers to comply with the PCI standard, as do segregated connection ports.
Ripplecom recently joined Retail Excellence as a gold partner, and the timing is right as retailers serve a public embracing cashless transactions in growing numbers. Now retailers can face a cashless future knowing they no longer have to be vulnerable to downtime. They can ensure business continuity that enables them to keep serving customers as every store wants to do.
John McDonnell is managing director of Ripplecom