A Close Look at a Retailer’s Modern Network – and its ROI

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Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are grabbing headlines for good reasons. These technologies — which include intelligent automation, machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) — are delivering business value and easing the workloads of IT and network teams.

For example, an AI-driven network can reduce the need for IT staff to:

  • Travel to remote locations to provision network capabilities
  • Spend days pushing out updated network configurations to access points
  • Manually stitch together information to gain visibility into incidents
  • Spend hours or days troubleshooting network support tickets

AI-enabled network solutions can also help IT teams rapidly deliver network enhancements and get ahead of issues before they become problems. The combination of AI, ML, and data science enables automated event correlation, root cause identification, anomaly detection, and more. Together, these technologies optimize operations across wireless, wired, and SD-WAN networks.

Even better: The right solution can be rolled out flawlessly, with minimal to zero business disruption.

What a flawless launch looks like

Case in point: IT staff at a large clothing retailer recognized the need to optimize their network for improved performance and efficiencies.

“Wireless was a key infrastructure pillar that absolutely needed to be high performing and able to host the next generation of technology in our stores,” said the company’s senior director of networking and technology. “Stores need enough wireless capacity to support innovation, and the network operations team needs better visibility into issues when they arise.”

The retailer wanted scalability and resiliency, as well as access to rich APIs for an automated provisioning process. It also wanted to empower its tier-one support teams to quickly isolate and remediate any wireless issues.

The organization opted to deploy a proof-of-concept test of the Juniper Mist AI™ platform, which combines a cloud-native architecture with AI capabilities to optimize user experiences and simplify network operations. For example, a feature of Mist AI is Marvis, a virtual network assistant that uses NLP to contextualize user requests. It accelerates troubleshooting, answers network questions, finds devices, and learns from user feedback to improve experiences.

The pilot was a significant success. Mist AI provided rapid visibility into users’ Wi-Fi experiences for the IT team, as well as consistent, high-performing service. In fact, the proof-of-concept went so well that the company deployed Mist AI to all stores in North America.

“Before Juniper Mist, we spent a lot more time troubleshooting,” said the senior director of networking and technology. “Now, we can slice and dice the data and see very clearly that we’re having a problem at a specific store.”

The platform has helped the retailer identify and lean on key metrics — including from other vendors — to measure how Wi-Fi is performing and gain a holistic view of the network.

As a result of the Mist AI rollout, the organization has seen an 85% reduction in IT visits to stores, high levels of uptime and resiliency, and the ability to leverage self-healing capabilities to ensure simplified routing and network services.

Expect more and better for your network team

An AI-driven network provides better experiences not just for users and customers, but also network teams.

For example, in addition to reducing in-store IT visits, the Mist AI deployment has enabled the clothing retailer to gain competitive edge through innovation.

“One of our focus areas for operations was to leapfrog the competition,” said the director. “Not having to escalate tickets to the next tier enables the DevOps team to focus on core engineering tasks.”

Explore what Mist AI can do – watch a demo, take a tour of the platform in action, or listen to a webinar.

 

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.



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