Thus & Vodat Shop Around

650 retail stores linked via high speed broadband, enabling the fast transfer of sales data, EPOS support and voice over IP.

Thusplc and Vodat, the retail communications provider, today announced that they have signed a deal with Mosaic Fashions Ltd, the parent company of Coast, Karen Millen, Oasis and Whistles. Working together, Thusand Vodat have provided Mosaic Fashions Ltd with a communications network and high-speed internet, linking 650 sites across the UK, Ireland and Europe. This new network will ensure better customer service by enabling Mosaic Fashions’ retail stores to process sales transactions faster, stream high volumes of data between stores and improve the share of knowledge across the company.

Mosaic Fashions’ strategy has always been to develop strongly differentiated and independent brands leveraging shared skills and infrastructure backend systems such as distribution, property, IT and accounting. Mosaic Fashions Ltd chose the new communications network to support this strategy by opening up communication links between its different brands and sites. The broadband network it required had to support the evolution of its EPOS system, as well as carry large volumes of retail data being transferred between stores. In addition, the new network had to accommodate Voice over IP (VoIP), making a call over an internet connection, and any other future networking requirements such as e-learning. Vodat and Thuswere selected based on their experience in the retail sector and their ability to provide a next-generation communications network that will underpin Mosaic Fashions’ IT strategy of shared communication.

John Bovill, IT director at Mosaic Fashions Ltd, said: “We decided to take a fresh approach to our network and to streamline communication between stores. The speed of delivery of sales data, transactions and applications now means that each brand is more efficient in its working practices. Network installation started in September and we will start to see cost reductions on our VoIP calls in 2007. Throughout the relationship there has been a good marriage between Vodat and THUS, with both parties being highly professional in their management and delivery of the network. As the deployment matures we will extend to our stores in Ireland and Europe. The new network also provides us with the potential to offer video streaming, CCTV streaming and e-learning to our stores if we require this functionality in the future.”

Mike Bielinski, managing director at Vodat Ltd, said: “Vodat and Thusare providing a fully managed broadband solution that supports Mosaic Fashions’ voice and data requirements now and in the future. The solution allows Mosaic Fashions Ltd to reduce operational costs while increasing profitability and productivity. The flexibility of THUS’ network also supports connectivity for remote offices, backup & home workers.”

Phil Male, Chief Operating Officer at THUS, concluded: “Mosaic Fashions Ltd needed to ensure a highly resilient infrastructure due to the high number of stores dependent on accessing online sales information. By deploying a new broadband network, Mosaic Fashions Ltd can deal with today’s requirements as well as being scalable to meet those of the future. Vodat understands the challenges of the retail sector and by working together we are well positioned to provide solutions that meet our customers’ needs and provide them with that competitive edge.”

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