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Woolworths Group Teams with Cisco Customer Experience to Transform Operations Case Study

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Updated:July 7, 2020

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Updated:July 7, 2020

Table of Contents



Customer Name: Woolworths Group

Industry: Retail

Results: Woolworths teamed with Cisco Customer Experience team to transform the customer experience while optimizing its own processes.

Together, Woolworths and Cisco have achieved:

     Ability to scale Wi-Fi to more than 1000 stores per year through advanced automation and Cisco Business Critical Services that power agility

     Optimized shopping lane availability to 99%, up from approximately 80%, during the critical holiday season

     Increased software compliance of 45% through a simplified, consistent approach to infrastructure and software

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Consumer expectations have changed for retailers. Today, this industry is all about delivering a superior, personalized experience—however and wherever customers choose to shop. Woolworths Group understands the value of the customer experience and is focused on relentless innovation to engage and delight customers whether they are browsing in a store or shopping online. The company also wanted to improve efficiencies across its supply chain, to help its 200,000 employees be more effective and innovative as they serve 29 million customers each week.

Like every retailer, Woolworth relies on its network infrastructure to support its critical business processes. Ten years ago, a typical Woolworths store might have 40 connected devices. Now, some have more than 2,000 connected endpoints, including point-of-sale (POS) terminals, digital scales, electronic shelf labels, and in-store digital signage. While most organizations would consider this a major challenge, Woolworths saw an opportunity to transform.

Business challenge and results summary

An agile, scalable infrastructure is the springboard that’s needed for digital transformation. However, Woolworths was saddled with three legacy networks that made it challenging to move forward at the rate they required. This made it difficult for Woolworths to adapt to meet changing retail expectations. To realize its vision, the organization teamed with the Cisco Customer Experience organization to develop a joint strategic plan and move forward to design and build its architecture. Acting as a trusted customer advocate, Cisco collaborated closely with Woolworths and its other technology partners to deploy a software-defined infrastructure will enable secure access to any user or device, together with automation for maximum efficiency

A critical partner in development of the strategic plan, Cisco Customer Experience moved quickly to execute it, while assisting the retailer’s technology partner with accelerator workshops and delivery support. “Cisco didn’t talk about it; they just did it,” said Patrick Misciagna, General Manager IT, Service, Operations & Infrastructure at Woolworths Group. “We came to trust them.”

A Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) provides a programmable network infrastructure to support the retailer’s customer-facing and supply chain operations. Now Woolworths can support mass deployments of in-store Wi-Fi that is always available and easy to access. In this connected environment, store managers always have access to real time customer insight and information, so they can serve people more effectively.

“We’d traditionally seen our IT partners as there to fix problems. Cisco and their partner proved they could do it with an increase in software compliance of 45%. But we wanted them to go further, to create value. Suppliers just sell you stuff. Partners are invested in your business, and advise you. That’s Cisco.”

-          Patrick Misciagna, General Manager IT, Service, Operations & Infrastructure, Woolworths Group

To enhance operations, Cisco Business Critical Services give operations managers and engineers the insights they need to make operations more efficient and automate private cloud deployment for improved agility. Distribution center managers can utilize secure IoT devices that are easy to install and manage, and gain real-time access to operations information. If an issue does arise, such as a safety issue, they can rapidly identify the cause and fix it quickly. In the data center, network operations managers can work with an infrastructure and software that is simplified and consistent, providing completereal-time visibility into the state of their environment. Woolworths anticipates the result will enable the organization to respond faster to new customer demands and business challenges, and improved availability of services that drive revenue and support the customer experience. Together, Cisco Customer Experience and Woolworths have established a flexible, scalable foundation that will continue to support ongoing innovation for years to come.

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