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Creative Applications for Managed Network Services

Perhaps the restaurant sector doesn't immediately come to mind when you think of creative applications of current business technology. But, that's exactly why it can provide a distinctive competitive advantage for a savvy forward-looking company.

Popeyes quick-service restaurant was founded in 1972 and has expanded to over 1000 franchised locations globally. A Popeyes franchise owner of multiple U.S. east coast locations became interested in using the latest communications technology to reduce his operational costs and streamline back-office functions at each site.

This upgrade included installing a new voice and data network that could manage secure credit card transactions. The decision was made to research a solution to update communication capabilities with a private Internet Protocol (IP) network.

A network using Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology was procured, replacing the cumbersome and outdated analog communication lines. Once the private voice, data, and video network was in place, the next logical step was to determine how to further gain cost advantages by leveraging this advanced infrastructure.

Built on a Solid Foundation
After carefully evaluating several telephone system solutions, the decision was made to use a hosted Voice over IP (VoIP) service from Geckotech, layered over the new backbone network. As a hosted service provider, Geckotech manages an off-premise voice solution that has built-in disaster recovery and very high reliability.

The Popeyes franchises are now able to fully realize the advantages of an outsourced VoIP phone system without having to purchase, maintain, or manage separate phone systems at each location.

All restaurant sites can easily reach each other using simple 4-digit extension dialing. They also benefit from one consolidated monthly telecom bill -- which includes unlimited local and long distance, advanced features like Auto-Attendant, eFax, Conferencing, and Unified Messaging.

Moreover, all of the outdated phone systems were replaced with one advanced VoIP solution, using Cisco Systems hardware end-to-end. As a result, Geckotech enabled the franchise owner to prepare for future business needs, based on a solid communications foundation.

The multiple locations benefit from a built-in disaster recovery plan, which reroutes all calls to a different office location should any site experience a disturbance or natural disaster. The new voice system has reduced overall operational costs by almost 40 percent at each site.

The Power of Strategic Foresight
In reality, there are few enterprises in the 21st century that are inherently low-tech. Every industry has its early-adopters of business technology that assess all the options, survey the competitive landscape, and then take decisive action.

The rewards clearly go to those business leaders who keep and open mind, and willingly embrace change –- especially when it equates to a quantum leap in progress.