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Constant Connectivity Drives Leading QSR's Uptime to 98.5%+

Hughes designed a network to deliver the uptime, failover options and security one major nationwide QSR chain needed.

Quick service restaurants have always lived or died based on an ability to sense and respond to consumers’ evolving tastes and preferences. That mandate impacts the entire organization, including IT and the network. Today, shifting customer expectations and next-gen IT demands require that QSRs offer options such as order-ahead, fast secure card processing and cloud-based POS.

However, one large, popular QSR’s existing network was achieving uptime rates hovering around 85%, which is insufficient to support those applications.

“We were struggling with the amount of downtime,” says the company’s director of retail. “Credit card payments, cloud POS, order ahead – all that has to go through the network. You have to make sure you can take care of the customer and the customer can connect to you. We had to rethink our network strategy.”

Stepping Up to a Next-Gen Network

The QSR engaged Hughes to help design a network that would deliver the uptime, failover options and security they needed. The result was a HughesON Managed SD-WAN, dual path high-speed network at many of the chain’s locations, and single path high-speed network capability with satellite backup in others, as well as a Next Gen Firewall (NGFW) and Unified Threat Management (UTM), whitelisting and network managed services.

The network supports both corporate and franchise stores, helping the chain standardize across the entire footprint to deliver a consistent, high quality guest experience. While the new network meant some expense, franchisees embraced the new platform, the director of retail says. With the solutions that Hughes provides, the managed network services, field services, NOC support and so on, it was a great selling point. It made it fairly easy for them just to jump on board.”

Because we're able to maintain such a high threshold of up-time, it definitely gives us an advantage over other QSRs that may not have that.

Cascading Benefits

Buy-in was easy because of the many benefits of the Hughes network to both the corporation and its franchise partners:

Much Higher Uptime: With the new HughesON network in place, uptime at the QSR has risen sharply, from the mid-80s to 98.5% or better.

Lower IT Costs: Maintaining that uptime actually requires fewer IT resources than the previous network, saving the company money. “When you start laying out the cost of what it was compared to what they're providing, it was a huge discount for us,” the executive says.

PCI Assistance: Hughes services such as the firewall, permissions and management services, all help the QSR maintain its PCI compliance.

Enabling EMV: The QSR is rolling out new card processing terminals to comply with EMV. The network’s high uptime is critical to ensure those EMV transactions flow quickly.

Heightened Security: Built-in security and the support of a security operations center ensure comprehensive protection. “Having just the security piece alone that they provide is a huge win,” the director of retail says.

Cloud Enablement: High uptime is key to allow the QSR’s cloud-based POS system to operate, as well as the electronic transactions supporting its order ahead offering.

Agility: Hughes’ active management and the automated tools built into the network mean the QSR can quickly add and alter applications on the network with little intervention. “We’re able to adapt and move fairly quickly,” the director of retail says.

Visibility: While Hughes manages the network, it also provides tools to allow the QSR full visibility at all times, notifications when anything exceeds certain parameters, and insight into how issues are being addressed.

The QSR’s director of retail says the Hughes network helps the company compete in a demanding marketplace, operating a modern platform with plenty of room to grow and adapt as customer expectations continue to change.

Because we're able to maintain such a high threshold of up-time, it definitely gives us an advantage over other QSRs that may not have that,” he says.

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