Retailers are increasingly using in-store local area wireless networks for a variety of key functions, including staying in close touch with sales personnel who are serving customers. But all too often, these networks are vulnerable to a variety of security threats such as attacks by hackers and the use of unauthorised devices.
To address this growing problem, Verizon Business, in conjunction with Motorola Inc., has unveiled a managed wireless security service that will be offered via Verizons Framework for Retail, a new technology platform that Verizon Business is designing to help retailers improve their IT performance and enhance their business processes. The new managed service and framework, are a key part of Verizon Business initiative to increase its support for retailers, an important segment of the enterprise market. Verizon Business also recently created Verizon Retail, a retail practice group serving retailers and their specific needs.
Interoperability is a huge issue for retailers, said Ravi Bagal, vice president and global managing director retail, Verizon Business. Unfortunately, retailers are plagued with a mishmash of applications that often do not integrate with each other and can be disruptive to their business. The new Verizon Framework for Retail solves the interoperability challenge by seamlessly connecting disparate applications and allowing retailers to put technology to work for them.
Verizon Business managed security offering consists of a range of solutions employing Motorola AirDefense wireless security products, which are specifically designed to protect 802.11 wireless local area networks (LANs) the most common wireless LANS against a wide range of threats and unauthorized devices. The offering, which Verizon Business can monitor or fully manage, will also help retailers comply with PCI (Payment Card Industry) Data Security Standard requirements and more effectively monitor performance and troubleshoot problems.
Adoption of wireless LAN technologies, fueled by the recent ratification of the 802.11n standard and the performance benefits it offers, continues to rapidly expand in the retail sector and along with it targeted security threats, said Mark Kroh, vice president of North America Channels, Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions. By leveraging Motorola AirDefenses industry-leading wireless security technologies, Verizon is providing retailers a safe, mobile in-store experience with 24-by-7 management of their wireless networks.
Verizon Framework for Retail Underpins New Wireless Managed Service
The Verizon Framework for Retail is a set of solutions based upon industry and technology standards that support IT simplification and standardisation within retail. It will integrate the Verizon global IP network and the companys data centers to host and securely connect disparate applications and technology platforms both internally and across vendors and partners.
Verizon plans to deliver the retail framework in three phases. The first phase focuses on selling and managing hosted applications and devices from technology partners such as Motorola, allowing Verizon to seamlessly integrate them across the platform. In phase two, the framework will become available as a service, integrating various solutions using the Verizon network. In the final phase, the framework services will be delivered in the cloud (via the Internet), enabling retailers to turn up or turn down service as needed.