"It's never too early to start planning your perfect Christmas," says Selfridges as it opens the doors to its Christmas shop 145 days before the big day, kicking off the Christmas sales push. In these times of austerity, retailers will face more competition than ever before in the lead up to Christmas, and will need to embrace a range of technologies such as mobile internet-friendly websites, branded mobile applications and ways to communicate offers and promotions directly to the customer via text, phone, email and social networking.
Last year, in December alone, UK shoppers spent 5.46 billion online. Without high-speed, high-capacity, secure networks providing the backbone of today's high street, many of the services consumers expect are simply not possible. A converged, high bandwidth next-generation network, such as C&W Worldwide's Multi-Service Platform, can improve efficiencies and allow businesses to implement multimedia networks to deliver seasonal in-store advertising and creative customer contact. Digital Signage, for instance, could enable a high street retailer to show case a look or product that was worn by a celebrity on the red carpet at a film premiere the night before offering a distinct sales advantage over those with a less flexible approach.
Furthermore, the ability to converge the many communications channels in use today onto one, manageable platform, such as STORM, gives retailers greater control over all interactions with customers. It allows customers to communicate and purchase whenever and however is most convenient for them whether that is via a mobile device, fixed-line internet, SMS or viral social networking. STORM also allows retailers to roll out promotions right up to the wire on Christmas Eve, targeting last minute shoppers. Taking the technology that will be needed to remain ahead of the game this festive season into account are retailers really prepared for the perfect Christmas?
STORM Interactive delivers multi-channel capability from the Cable&Wireless network, offering 30,000 channels of simultaneous connection. It is designed to work with almost any network or device (such as fixed and mobile lines and BlackBerrys) to integrate mobile communications with other channels for mass interaction at any time, anywhere. Powerful self-configuration and reporting puts organisations firmly in control, enabling rapid deployment of communication events and measurable outcome.
STORM is based on Europe's largest multi-media contact platform, and is fully integrated into Cable&Wireless Worldwide's next generation network (MSP). The platform is highly resilient and offers high capacity for flexible traffic volumes with full geographic redundancy.
Using the Cable&Wireles Worldwide's network, end users can be contacted using a variety of media from voice to video. Web-based interfaces enable simple campaign set-up & tracking through the management reporting capability.
The Multi-Service Platform (MSP) is not just about having a faster, more resilient network. The MSP also enables Cable&Wireless to provide enhanced support as well as predictable and seamless service delivery that customers desire. Further, the company has been able to evolve its solutions portfolio to be able to offer propositions such as:
Application Performance Management Solutions enable customers to gain visibility and control of their network usage allowing them to optimise, accelerate and manage the network. This 'application-aware' networking capability delivers the highest performance levels for customers' business critical applications.
Telecom Expense Management (TEM) solutions allow companies to gain control of their total telecom spends. TEM is a set of software suites that allow the IT and finance departments of companies to work efficiently together to better manage their telecom resources and reduce expenses. An efficiently implemented TEM solution also provides an organisation with greater operational efficiency, enhanced service levels and reduced telecoms expenses.
Information Security Consulting Services deliver practical recommendations and solutions to help organisations mitigate their information security risks while instituting various programmes to help improve the security of the organisations' information assets. In Cable&Wireless, we believe that a robust information security framework should consist of four aspects of management: Strategic, Operational, Compliance and Investigation.
Managed Video Conferencing Solutions from Cable&Wireless include a highly intelligent, next generation bridging application (Virtual Presence) that brings together multiple device types, conferencing end points (regardless of manufacturer) and media into a single user friendly service. Virtual presence allows the initiation and management of calls simply and seamlessly using the concept of virtual rooms. Conferences can therefore be set up at the touch of a button and new participants can be bought in at any time, wherever they are. In addition, for those highly important conferences that need to be carefully managed, Cable&Wireless can provide a concierge service for call set-up and support.
Managed IP-Voice Services allows customers to maximise the utilisation of their existing IP infrastructure by running Quality of Service (QOS) enabled voice traffic on it. The service offered by Cable&Wireless allows customers to control IP-Telephony migration, ensuring the existing assets are properly utilised. The service also provides outsourced management delivering lower cost of ownership and avoiding the need for skilled internal staff for detailed design and implementation as well as reducing costs of international calls using IP trunking.