From specialty retailers to big-box retailers, the world of retail has experienced a massive shift in the last couple of decades due to the arrival of e-commerce. Because of the virtual nature of the market today, companies like Amazon and Alibaba continue to chip away at the revenue of traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Recent events have only accelerated the need for digital transformation.

To not only survive but thrive, retailers are investing to reimagine the customer experience, and to do that they must have a network they can rely on. Retailers like Gap Inc. have started to focus on the in-store experience by capitalizing on experiential shopping. After implementing Cisco SD-WAN, Gap was able to improve the guest wireless experience which increased customer conversions and allowed parents to shop peacefully while their kids can stream video in-store.

To fully understand some of the challenges retailers are facing today, I’d like to take you through a few examples of retailers partnering with Cisco and intent-based networking solutions for their digital transformation.

Lotte Group innovates network infrastructure with Cisco SD-WAN

Having over 50 affiliates and R&D centers in a variety of industries makes investments in WAN all the more critical for the Lotte Group. With the demands on WANs soaring through increasing traffic and networks becoming more complex with the introduction of multicloud environments, Lotte Group leadership knew they needed to make a change.

After a thorough examination of Lotte’s entire WAN infrastructure, they determined that replacing their WAN with Cisco SD-WAN would be the best way to implement a completely new system. The business began implementing the SD-WAN environment in the fall of 2019 and the process has been applied to multiple affiliates since. Here are the results:

Lotte Group results with Cisco SD-WAN
Figure 1. Lotte Group results with Cisco SD-WAN

REWE International improves operational efficiency & troubleshooting

Even large organizations with the best networks, like REWE International, have issues. Freeing up IT time is important when you have 5000 retail locations across Europe and only eight full-time employees on your networking team. After integrating Cisco DNA Center with Assurance, REWE gained the ability to simplify troubleshooting and leverage network insights.

Now, when a store manager calls up IT to discuss a network outage that occurred the day before, IT can use the client and network health overview to look at a single store’s 360 view. Identifying the root cause of the issue is significantly easier because out of all the available information, only the relevant data points are shown.

Hans Vasters, Senior Network Architect, REWE International AG
Figure 2. Quote from Hans Vasters, Senior Network Architect, REWE International AG

Using Cisco solutions, the networking team can proactively address issues before they become headaches, the Help Desk team can handle the minor issues while the networking team can solve the bigger ones, and field personal can handle rollout more easily with Plug-N-Play provisioning.

Phu Nhuan Jewelry lowers latency and improves system performance

Phu Nhuan Jewelry (PNJ), Vietnam’s leading jewelry manufacturer, releases over 220 new designs each month. Like many up-and-coming businesses, PNJ was experiencing some growing pains. With increasing online customer demand, they needed a digital solution that could keep pace with their growing business.

In addition to lowering latency for a faster user experience, they needed solid security to fend off cyber-attacks and ensure network safety. With this in mind, it was clear that using Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure would be the best solution.

After applying Cisco ACI, PNJ noticed some great outcomes:

PNJ results with Cisco ACI
Figure 3. PNJ results with Cisco ACI

Now, PNJ can continuously optimize its processes and deliver the same high-quality experience in-store and online.


Overall, the importance of digital transformation is more apparent now than ever before. In the world of retail, customers often have a hybrid experience, split between online and in-store activities, making the network even more critical. Partnering with Cisco and using the intent-based networking (IBN) platform makes digital transformation that much more achievable.

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Justin Barney

Vice President, Global Sales

Intent-Based Networking