“aap3’s strong networking background and experience in providing stable and reliable Wi-Fi solutions made them our first choice for a partner. They have been extremely flexible and patient while working with us, the landlords, the client and site contractors. Overall its been a positive project that was completed ahead of schedule, Homebase are extremely pleased”
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer selling over 50,000 products for the home and garden. It has more than 340 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland serving around 64 million customers a year, and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2012, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 19,000 people across the business. Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.
Homebase wanted a full coverage, high density Wi-Fi solution to be rolled out across stores and office space spanning the UK and Ireland. The project was led by our undisclosed elecommunications partner with the intention of them providing ongoing monitoring and support. The main challanges were:
Integrating the new Wi-Fi into the existing network infrastructure
◦ Upgrading existing routers and firewalls to allow Wi-Fi traffic
◦ Pre-staging Access Points ready for installation
◦ Specific configuration adjustments once the Access Points were installed
◦ Implementation of new management network into existing network infrastructure
aap3, in association with an leading undisclosed telecommunications partner, worked closely on this task heavy and very dispersed project. Project tasks had to be ran in parallel, in dependancy order with very little scope for error to ensure the roll out had minimum disruptionto the stores operations.
Stage 1: Remotely upgrade each stores routers and firewalls to allow the new Wi-Fi network to function without disrupting current operations.
Stage 2: Build the template for the Access Points and assist in pre-staging 250x units ready for dispatch to the stores.
Stage 3: Provide field service support for the installation of the Access Points and their specific store configurations; Static IP, WLC pairing and connectivity checks.
Stage 4: Installation of new switching network to be used for remote monitoring and management.
Stage 5: Requested by Homebase, build predictive RF heat map models of each store.
Working closely with our partners, Homebase and utilising field services and support we was able to effectively roll out a 250x Access Point Wi-Fi network across many stores and install a new management switch network used to support the new system