Juniper Networks, a leader in secure, AI-driven networks, today announced that Halfords, the UK’s leading provider of motoring and cycling products and services selected Juniper’s AI-driven wired and wireless access solutions in its stores, garages and offices to serve as a flexible foundation for its business growth and operational efficiency. The 125-year-old company has invested heavily to accelerate its digital transformation, leveraging the benefits of Mist AI and the cloud to create better commercial services and a unified, omnichannel retail experience for its customers. Halfords has reduced network-related trouble tickets by 100 percent and has seen a 35 percent improvement in uptime in the garages and stores where the deployment has been completed.
The Juniper AI-driven network provides an agile digital foundation for Halfords’ continued success and drives a more consistent and convenient customer experience across locations and channels. It can tailor communications to Halfords Motoring Club members when they come to the store. The new network provides employees details about products such as child seats, cycle racks and roof racks, so they can have informed conversations with customers and sell with greater confidence.
Halfords pivoted during the pandemic, with strong growth in online sales and the addition of contactless tactics such as click-and-collect in its parking lots. Its innovative mobile field service software was key to delivering 70,000 services safely and efficiently per week for more than four years at its auto centers and customers’ homes. Many pandemic-motivated shopping behaviors are now permanent, requiring an IT infrastructure that is flexible and scalable enough to support changing customer demands.
As shoppers return to stores to test drive an electric bike, get an oil change or replace worn tires, for example, reliable wired and wireless connectivity is essential for both workers and shoppers alike. Halfords had an aging in-store network that was increasingly a roadblock to sales and service due to inconsistent performance and difficult troubleshooting, which resulted in poor user and operator experiences. To address this, the retailer is now deploying a Juniper wired and wireless network across its retail stores, auto centers and offices. Mist AI works in conjunction with Juniper Access Points to deliver scalable and reliable Wi-Fi 6 and virtual Bluetooth® LE services to Halfords’ staff and customer smartphones, point-of-sale devices, in-store video displays and other connected devices. Juniper EX Series switches provide high-performance, secure access to wired devices with AI-driven automation and insights for easy provisioning, troubleshooting and operations. Marvis™, the industry’s only virtual network assistant driven by Mist AI, provides proactive actions for easy fault identification and self-driving network operations for fast and proactive correction. Juniper is a Leader in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Enterprise Wired and Wireless LAN Infrastructure for the 3rd year in a row, positioned highest on the ability to execute axis and furthest to the right on the completeness of vision axis.
Halfords plan to transform its network further with the modernization of its WAN, which connects its 1400+ stores, auto centers and mobile service vans. To achieve this, they are also planning to deploy Juniper’s AI-driven SD-WAN solution, which leverages the same cloud and Mist AI engine as their new wired and wireless network. By deploying a full-stack Juniper solution, Halfords can achieve superlative insight into end-to-end user experiences and the superior automation from client-to-cloud.
Halfords worked with ConnectedID, a Juniper partner, to create the optimal network architecture, working on the design, validation and testing to ensure that the Juniper solutions met Halfords’ strategic goals.