FluidOne provides an Internet connection from each Revolution bar – each supporting up to three computers and 20 tills. All systems are run through a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) solution, which provides a private and secure connection between the bars, Revolution’s head office and its data centre. Leaver finds that the MPLS is a more effective solution than the VPN he used previously through a different supplier: “We had real problems with the VPN. It was hard to troubleshoot problems, and the connection speeds were slower. The MPLS is completely private, and has much better connection speeds. This is strategically very important to the Revolution business.”
All Revolution’s till systems are online via the MPLS, and hold information including sales information and bar promotions. All sales and promotion information runs over the MPLS. For example, promotions might run during week nights, and stop for the peak weekend opening hours. That information is sent from a central system over the connection to the till, to ‘tell’ the till what price a drink is or what promotion is applicable at any given time. In turn, the till relays information to the data centre in real time, so head office can see what sales are being taken to the nearest minute. That information can then inform new promotions, which can be sent back down the same line into the till.
The MPLS also connects Revolution’s online ordering system and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system. When a bar requires any stock, orders are placed using a MPLS based ordering system, and the EDI communicates that order to suppliers. All this is done over the FluidOne connection.
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