The Co-operative Group has signed Allied Telesyn to provide the IT infrastructure required to authorise its credit card transactions and communicate with head office.
The network supports Internet protocol (IP), which most modern retail applications rely upon for communication. The network runs over ISDN and has sufficient headroom to cope with the extra bandwidth that IP applications require.
Co-op group information systems network deployment manager Mike Stansfield said ISDN meets present requirements, but said Co-op is considering other possibilities, including broadband, in the long-term.
Allied has provided networking equipment for almost 1,600 stores. The advantage of the Allied kit is that it supports a technology called Transaction Pad (T-PAD). The main bonus for Stansfield and his team is that the new network setup allows upgrades to be performed remotely.
The kit also feeds back volumes of information on the network, alerting Stansfield to any problems during a nightly health check.