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Digital Retail in 5G Era: Intelligent SD-WAN as the basis

5G networks have been extensively deployed across industries since 2020, which signifies epoch-making opportunities for enterprises — “businesses occupy 20% of 5G applications while consumers account for the remaining 80%,” said the former Minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.  Adopting a reliable 5G private network with high efficiency and low latency can enhance business productivity, improve application performance and accelerate digital transformation. The value of 5G can be maximized mainly in enterprise applications. Before enjoying the benefits of 5G, it is vital for enterprises to manage the massive amounts of structured and unstructured data generated by 5G connected devices. To effectively manage data and networks, enterprises are expected to encounter unprecedented network traffic.

Digital Transformation in Retail Teams up with 5G

“Digital transformation is not a “Nice to have”, is a matter of survival for companies,” said Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon. One of the world’s largest retail chain groups, a prime example of retailers going digital, succeeded in keeping pace with market change; besides, it implemented flexible and potent measures to advance digital transformation. Surprisingly, the group has not been caught in the “too big to fail” rut even though it owns nearly 10,000 stores worldwide. It was also able to seize opportunities to swiftly enhance its business judging from its success in Mainland China. Even during COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, more than 400 stores in China remained open with stable selling prices and supply. In addition, it has successfully shifted its focus to e-commerce and integrated its home delivery and in-store pickup services to satisfy the bursting demand for staying-at-home. The group has constituted a new retail ecosystem combining online and offline services, built upon its widespread and traditional store business, which such flexible transformation is what every retailer seeks. In this era, the prevalence of 5G networks will take digital retail into acceleration and introduce a new landscape.

The new retail model incorporating innovative technologies such as big data is able to gain insight into consumption habits, allow precision selling, minimize inventory level, and adopt direct procurement, hence optimizing the supply chain and gaining cost advantages. Nevertheless, the transmission speed of data greatly increases with 5G, which is also the new challenge on data management. As for retailers, they have to analyze the consumers data as they are of crucial importance in meeting consumer needs in the digital transformation journey.

The new retail business model does not simply equate to the integration of “online” and “offline,” nor is it an online replacement for an offline alternative. In this digital age, consumers are bound to expect better experiences in physical stores. Technically, retail going digital suggests a digitalization of people, products, and physical stores. Tying these three elements together helps lay the foundation of big data applications, data analysis and data mining. Meanwhile, concerns on cybersecurity are raised, and we cannot help but wonder how can enterprises ensure their networks are agile, efficient, and secure, and able to maximize the value of data assets?

In the retail industry, the demands for bandwidth and security measures are stimulated by the introduction of innovative technologies and the increasing degree of informatization, evidently, retailers are looking for promising network infrastructure.

CITIC Telecom CPC, the  technology-driven digitalization enabler with decades of ICT practical experience, has dedicated to networking deployment in the retail industry. However, the cost of optimizing networks may be worrying as physical stores are everywhere. To cope with it, our customizable SD-WAN solutions enhance the security and reliability of the infrastructure; concurrently, they reduce the cost, improve operation and maintenance, and enable a highly stable and secure network at an ideal price/performance ratio.

CITIC Telecom CPC has deployed global infrastructure to map out more than 50 SD-WAN gateways worldwide, of which more than one-third are located in Mainland China, empowering retailers’ stores to easily gain access to the Internet.

Our SD-WAN solutions also encrypt every data transmission to curb data breach. TrustCSI™ Information Security Services provide comprehensive prevention, detection and correction to address multiple cyber threats, and keep being optimized despite the evolving cyberattacks. The innovative and intelligent information security platform with self-learning capabilities effectively detects, even predicts abnormal network behaviors and impedes unauthorized connections and intrusions.

ICT-MiiND: The Intelligent Technology-driven Digitalization Enabler

Real-time data collection and analytical capabilities are getting improved owing to the wide bandwidth and massive connections of 5G. In view of this, CITIC Telecom CPC has formulated the forward-looking ICT-MiiND strategy and embarked on innovation and intelligence with its inventive business philosophy of “Innovation Never Stops”, evolving from an ICT service provider to a digital transformation enabler driven by intelligent technologies.

ICT-MiiND has developed the company’s latest AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) platform, in which integrated with latest technologies. Unlike other AIOps, ICT-MiiND provides different innovative and intelligent modules that integrated tailor-made and customized industry service scenarios to bring enterprises a smarter IT service management platform.

The integration with SD-WAN will bring endless possibilities for the digital transformation journey of enterprises in the 5G era. In addition to enabling intelligent operations and maintenance, the solution can facilitate data and information management, and advise them on their businesses with its unprecedented algorithmic capability. In this case, enterprises can make full use of the massive amount of data, thus accelerating their business development.

Download the latest whitepaper to learn more about our SD-WAN solutions and experiences. (Chinese Only).

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