Regis is a cut above the rest with global network from Vodat International

Hair salon chain Regis, with over 11,000 salons (including both company-owned and franchises), has chosen a fully managed network from Vodat International, the communications solutions provider to the retail industry, to connect all its UK salons, enabling them to communicate directly with Head Office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

All 400 UK salons, which includes brands such as; Regis, Supercuts, Trade Secret, Master Cuts, The Salon by Regis, Sassoon Studio, Sassoon Academies & Sassoon Salon, will adopt the new fully managed network. Vodat International is also managing all voice calls and lines and will host its servers at the Vodat data centre which connects to a global MPLS network in US.

Matthew Sparks, IT Manager at Regis, said, "Our existing network was struggling to cope with the increased demands of our growing business. We don't have the resources in place here in the UK to manage this ourselves. Vodat will take this off our hands and look after this for us which will be a big weight off our shoulders. With the new network in place we will be able to send promotions via the network, payroll information as well as health and safety manuals which previously were all sent via the post. When the system refreshes overnight, our head office in the US receives up-to-date information so management has an almost immediate view of how the business is performing. This has dramatically improved the efficiency of the business."

The business wanted to look at ways of reducing the amount of lines in each salon to help reduce costs. Vodat has completed a line rationalisation exercise and reduced the number of lines from two to one across the standard salons which can be used for both voice and data. Salons also now have a LLU (local loop unbundling) service which means phone calls made between salons are free.

Sparks continued, "The network will allow us to form better relationships with the salons and staff will see the benefit of this as we will be communicating with them more frequently. It will also help us to improve relationships with our clients as we are implementing a new EPoS system across the estate which will include a CRM system. We will be able to gather more information on our clients and get closer to them. Without the Vodat network in place we wouldn't be able to react immediately to our clients."

Mike Bielinski, CEO at Vodat International, said, "The new network will help Regis share information more effectively between the salons and the head office, while controlling costs."

The project is currently in the pilot stage with a view to roll out to 40 salons next month. The full rollout will take place during the first quarter of 2011.

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