Cisco Customer Experience transforms the in-store experience for shoppers.

Industry: Retail

Company size: 200,000 employees 

Location: Australia


Customer objectives

  • Replace legacy networks with a future-ready infrastructure.

  • Improve product availability by streamlining the supply chain.

  • Enhance the in-store shopper experience with real-time data.

Cisco solutions

  • A software-defined infrastructure with secure access for all users

  • Fast setup of in-store Wi-Fi with Cisco DNA

  • Ongoing operational support from Cisco Business Critical Services

Business outcomes

  • Store managers have real-time access to customer insights.

  • Shopping lane availability has risen from 80% to 99% in peak times.

  • The business has a flexible, scalable foundation for innovation.

Creating a more connected in-store shopping experience, while optimizing operations

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 2000 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.

Our customer's expectations are changing radically. We see connectivity as key to a rich in-store experience. Customer Free Wi-Fi is our next big step, and Cisco will help us roll it out. We're moving toward virtual assistants, store navigation, and a new way to shop for our customers. I'm obsessed with customers and so is Cisco. That's why it works.

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

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 complete real-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.

For more information

To find out more about Cisco Customer Experience and how we can accelerate your success, check out our e-book, Accelerate Your Journey to Intent-Based Networking With Cisco Customer Experience.

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