Client Case Study: Hudson Group Selects Industry Retail Group (now Vector Security Networks) for WAN Design, Implementation, and Support

February 7, 2012

Written by John Centofanti

John’s background spans the creative side of business, including content writing, branding, graphic design, and more. In 2006, John founded Creative Stream Marketing, serving national retailers, tech companies, and B2B companies across the US.

Hudson Group is a privately held corporation that operates more than 750 premier newsstands, bookstores and specialty retail stores in 67 airports and transportation terminals throughout North America. The company’s flagship concept, Hudson News, is North America’s only national newsstand brand.

Under the familiar blue sign can be found the most complete selection of magazines in the transportation industry, along with books, newspapers, and a wide variety of travelers’ necessities, snacks and bottled soft drinks.

Hudson Group specialty retail shops include such proprietary brands as Hudson Booksellers, Kids Works, Euro Cafe, $10/$15 Boutique, and more. National brands partnering with Hudson Group include Discovery Channel, CNN, Crabtree & Evelyn, Roots, House of Blues, Sunglass Hut, Life Is Good and Quiznos.

Hudson’s Executive Management team is committed to driving revenue for airport partners and maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. They looked to Industry Retail Group (IRG) to provide them with a turnkey, PCI-Compliance assisting, Wide-Area-Network (WAN).

CIO Challenges

Similar to so many retailers today, The Hudson Group (Hudson) found themselves managing network-related responsibilities on a daily basis. This effort, at times, interfered with core business processes. Service prequalification, provisioning, installation, and invoice management alone were forcing highly-skilled associates to perform daily tasks that took them away from the business of running the stores.

According to Gary MacRae, Hudson’s Chief Information Officer, “When we first decided to move away from dial-up, we implemented a network on our own. We found the best carrier for each site, placed the order and tried to make sure the commitments were met. It quickly became apparent that this solution was impractical.”

“IRG took a very different approach. They recognized that bandwidth is a commodity, and showed us how a broadband-based WAN can simplify processes, while driving revenue.”

IRG Solution

IRG’s Project Management and Engineering teams worked in lock-step with Hudson’s team to determine that a VPN was the best fit for Hudson. By the time the rollout to Hudson’s facilities began, a carefully designed implementation plan was drafted and approved by all parties to maximize project efficiencies. IRG’s Project Management team owned the process of circuit provisioning and activation, carefully coordinating with Hudson’s sites to insure a smooth turn-up. IRG RetaiLANSM integration services were made available at a moment’s notice to complete demarc extensions, PC reconfigurations, or additional CAT5e drops. Project status was communicated in an easy-to-read format, and at an interval chosen by Hudson. As each site was activated, IRG Pro-Active Network Monitoring was initiated to give Hudson real-time up/down notification of each location.

IRG Delivered

  • Provisioning, coordination, and installation of broadband services to accommodate a new hardware-based VPN spanning 22 states
  • Utilization of a variety of access methods including: xDSL, Cable, Ethernet, EVDO/3G and T1
  • Assisted with in-store cable infrastructure improvements to accommodate the new WAN (IRG|RetaiLAN)
  • Pro-active network monitoring (IRG|TruManage)
  • Consulting Services for IP-based video security & PCI compliance
  • One comprehensive, easy-to-read invoice

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