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Retail & Wholesale Sector Overview

Real time transactions and information keeping cash and stock flowing

Retail businesses on the outside appear so diverse but that is just the different items that are sold, the ethos and requirements are largely the same and just scaled differently. IC understand that downtime literally costs money and prevents transactions taking place and information flow is crucial in keeping stock moving.

Driving forces / major requirements

  • Boundary, Inter-site and Cross network security for payment protection
  • Fully interconnected sites
  • Scalable and quickly expandable design
  • 3rd Party network integration (supplier ordering and information)
  • Specifically timed maintenance windows
  • Remote computing resources
  • Maximum uptime

Case Studies

Car Retail

TG Holdcroft

What did they need

Holdcroft are a £400M+ family owned group that has grown to be one of the largest motor vehicle retailing groups in the UK. They needed a secure wide area network capable of carrying all the services and functions of the business. The network had to be scalable and reliable. Access was required for both internal staff, inter group, intranet / 3rd party suppliers and general public with security maintained for all.

What did we do

Designed and implemented an MPLS layer 2 private network with dynamic routing protocols and logical numbering systems to allow for changes and additions in real time. We also implemented at each location UTM technologies to enforce security and keep network segregation. We provided consultancy and technical services to help them re-build their network and deploy IP addressing schemes that were future proof and flexible.

Technologies deployed
  • MPLS any-to-any meshed dynamic network (private)
  • UTM including (Anti-virus, Malware Detection, Intrusion Protection, Web Filtering and site protection)
  • Fibre Ethernet Internet Access, Broadband Services and Microwave Internet
  • Private site-site links (Fibre and Microwave)
  • IP addressing schema design and dynamic routing protocol implementation
  • Total cross network security and scanning (protecting them both externally and internally)
  • Private Hybrid Hosted Telephony Platform (IC-talk)
  • SIP Trunks for replacing the ISDN circuits
  • Data Centre hosting and VMWare servers
  • Cross Data Centre connects for getting to motor vendors systems
Results and additional benefits

Prior to our work the group had mismatched connectivity, duplication of connections into third parties from each location and a generally unstable collection of individual sites. They now have a unified solution with central resources and shared infrastructures working as one, quickly and reliably and with built in DR functions. The additional benefits have been in being able to easily merge new businesses into the network as the business has expanded.

How do they feel

"The Holdcroft Motor Group has evolved from a fragmented, disjointed ad hoc IT infrastructure to a modern, modular, secure & flexible infrastructure that has enabled the company to grow year on year from 12 dealerships in 2010 with a turnover of £200+ Million to a group with 23 dealerships & a turnover of £400+ million located across Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester & Warwickshire.

Internet Central have been a key strategic partner on this IT transformation which hasn’t been easy at times; but Internet Central’s professionalism, forward thinking & dedication to the Holdcroft Motor Group has enabled us to complete projects successfully & thus underpin the substantial growth witnessed year on year.

We now have the right infrastructure to accommodate our progression as one of the premier privately owned Motor Groups in the UK"

Retail, Wholesale & Distribution

NWF Fuels & NWF Agriculture

What did they need

These two arms of the NWF group needed a backbone network that was available and remote site connectivity across the country. NWF Fuels delivers 500 million litres of fuel to 58,000 customers across the UK. NWF Agriculture deliver animal feeds to over 4,750 farmers and feeds one in six cows in Britain. The emphasis was on having resilience in their communications especially telephony so they never missed a call which would mean a lost order.

What did we do

Implemented Fibre connections to the major locations and UTM security on the edge to keep them secure, then we provide all the remote depots lines and Broadband connections. The telephony is integrated into their internal systems and provided as a cloud offering with instant failover to mobiles or other offices in the event of failures (which being rural locations is not uncommon).

Technologies deployed
  • Fibre Ethernet Internet Access, Broadband Services and Microwave Internet
  • UTM including (Anti-virus, Malware Detection, Intrusion Protection, Web Filtering and site protection)
  • Cloud Hosted Telephony Platform & CRM Integration
  • AD to Microsoft 365 Cloud Integration and Migration
  • Office 365 Enterprise licencing
Results and additional benefits

Following our migrations and taking over the management of the connections for all the sites, the sites are now on uniform repair plans and one call for any service. The network is more stable and in the event of a failure the mobiles at the depots start to ring as the system switches to divert instantly. Downtime and missed calls are dramatically reduced. The additional works of moving to 365 has reduced the burden on local infrastructure and further increased resilience and availability.

How do they feel

"Our internet connection and phone system are crucial to the continued success of our business.  Internet Central have been a key partner for us since 2011.  Through their excellent Support and Account Management we have developed a resilient system with an effective disaster recovery solution.  The solution has been tailored to keep our business running so we never miss a call"

Other examples of customers using IC in this sector;

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