Founded in 2014, British online fashion retailer Oh Polly is one of the fastest-growing medium- size enterprises in the United Kingdom, generating over US$100 million in revenue annually. To help support its rapid growth, Oh Polly decided to build a new, highly sustainable 180,000-square meter distribution center and office in Wirral. Oh Polly engaged Cisco Meraki specialist Protos Networks to deploy network services at the new site. As managed network services and cybersecurity experts, Protos leveraged Cisco’s industry-leading technologies to meet Oh Polly’s needs.
Oh Polly had created an aggressive schedule to meet the anticipated Black Friday 2020 spike in demand. Then the pandemic struck, bringing the world to a standstill and significantly impacting construction. Simultaneously, Oh Polly experienced an economic boom as it adapted its business to sell an increased number of casual-in-style fashions suited to lockdown. This change in strategy meant that Oh Polly’s new distribution center—and the technology utilized—became even more critical to the success of its operations.
Fortunately for Oh Polly, Protos Networks’ use of Cisco Meraki got the site up and running with full network connectivity and wireless coverage on its three warehouse floors within weeks. As a result, stock pickers were able to use mobile devices to scan stock in and out of inventory, dramatically streamlining distribution and helping Oh Polly respond quickly to the Black Friday rush. In addition, as a managed service provider (MSP), Protos also maintains the health and security of Oh Polly’s network.
Leveraging a Cisco Premier Integrator partnership
As a Cisco Premiere Integrator, Protos Networks uses industry-leading technologies to effectively automate customer systems and protect them from cyberthreats. Protos offers managed network and security services, cybersecurity testing and certification, secure connectivity, identity and access management, and network security automation. Founded by network security engineers with years of experience in the corporate, public, and defense sectors, Protos now brings its expertise to SMB and commercial markets.
With so much pandemic-driven uncertainty around meeting construction deadlines, a flexible approach to building and deploying the network was critical. Oh Polly tasked Protos and its installation partner, Indigo Technology Services (ITS), with implementing data networking over three floors of the facility in time for the Black Friday rush. This task was made more challenging because these floors were still under construction—making a complete wireless survey almost impossible. In response, Protos and ITS created Meraki-based network architecture—including scalable deployment of cabling and active network equipment— that did not compromise performance.
Another example of this flexibility: Oh Polly needed its offices to be up and running before construction on the warehouse could begin. Given Meraki simplicity and scalability, Protos and ITS were able to deploy gigabit lines to the site while building out the office network—enabling staff to move into the building on time.
In addition to three floors of network connectivity and wireless coverage, the solution features Layer 2 and 3 switching that supports hundreds of endpoints, IoT devices, wireless access points, and Meraki MX security appliances at the edge. With Meraki plug-and-play technology, the solution also makes it possible for Oh Polly to scale the network easily as demand dictates.
This success at Oh Polly is a great example of a Cisco integrator partner leveraging the power of Cisco Meraki technology in a warehouse and distribution center. You can also learn more about the renewable energy technology installed at the facility here.
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