National Department Store Chain

Network Refresh and Install

Executive Summary

Industry: Retail
Technology: Cisco Wireless, Network Equipment, Cable Management, MOH Devices, Energy Management, Accumulators, People Counters, Printers, POS Devices
Location: Plano, TX
Number of Employees: 116,000
Locations: 301
Business Challenge: In need of a strong wireless network to support mobile technology, this retailer needed to complete a vast project in a small amount of time. Initially this retailer used a company who over-promised and under-delivered, leaving them in a bad situation. With a nationwide project of network refreshes, this top retailer needed to find a way to meet its deadline.
Business Result: The retailer has a wireless network that can support all their mobile traffic in the deadline they had internally set.

Background Information

Known for apparel and home furnishings, this company is one of the nation’s largest retailers. Since 1902 this retailer has grown to over 1,100 department stores in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. They were seeking a technology partner to refresh its wireless network, Comm-Works completed the proposal with full confidence in its ability to provide the products, resources and support for a successful installation. The retailer required a wireless network that would allow it to be more flexible and resilient in its store planning, such as with the placement of point-of-sale (POS) systems and the evolution of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).

Business Challenge

Although Comm-Works was among the final choices for this large project of network refreshes, this retailer decided to pursue the project with a different IT Integrator based on a lower price. By over-promising and under-delivering, the initial IT Integrator was eventually given a diminishing role with only a small portion of the project complete. This left the retailer with 800 nationwide locations, unfinished and with a time-frame of only 100 days.

The Comm-Works Solution

With short notice, Comm-Works was asked to join the effort where the previous partner left off, to help get the project back on track and on-time. Comm-Works jumped in by correcting the work that had been completed by the previous company in 19 locations. Comm-Works was so effective in their performance that the scope increased to an additional 301 locations nationwide. The remaining 499 locations were divided amongst four additional companies.

The four-phase project included the installation of:


  • Wireless systems at stores of varying sizes and environments, from suburban and metropolitan outlets to those in small, remote locations
• A total of 3,707 Cisco access points
  • 
3,000 Cisco switches, routers and firewalls, patch panels, battery backup power units and cabinets
  • 1,000 music-on-hold devices, energy management accumulators, people counters, printers and POS devices

The service Comm-Works provided in completing the four phases of the installation were:

  • Staging and configuration
  • Deployment
  • Installation
  • Project Management
  • Site Surveys
  • Infrastructure

Comm-Works came in to pick up the pieces left by the previous partner as well as coordinated with four additional partners that the client enlisted to handle other aspects of the project. These elements presented delayed equipment, resources and schedules. Site surveys and infrastructure changes were also not initially part of the project. Due to the great distances between access points many of the locations current cabling systems were unable to support their desired network.

Comm-Works worked around the clock to ensure the project was completed on schedule. Because various IT integrations were involved, Comm-Works utilized exceptional project management skills, constant communication, and technology expertise to promote exceptional collaboration. In order to stay on schedule, Comm-Works provided a 24–hour on site presence at the retailer’s headquarters. In times of need, Comm-Works had 30 full-time employees focused on just this project alone.

Results & Value

As a result, the retailer learned that quality should always come first, especially when handling the complexities of a large-scale technology deployment project. Despite the project’s initial setbacks, Comm-Works was able to ensure the retailer’s internal deadlines were met, by utilizing flexibility, human capital, exceptional project management skills, constant communication and technology expertise to promote collaboration between the partners, resulting in thorough discussion and a thoughtfully devised plan.

The improved wireless network enables the retailer to meet the mobile technology expectations of the customers and employees. They are now able to be more flexible and resilient regarding store planning, such as with placement and mobility of point-of-sale systems.

“Collaboration played a significant role in the success of this project,” states the retailer. “With twice daily calls to our offices, as well as a daily call between all five partners, Comm-Works made sure that all gaps were identified while on site.”

When the original partner was not able to complete the work, Comm-Works came through and picked up the pieces, ensuring that the retailer’s internal deadlines were met. Through this deployment, Comm-Works was able to prove to the client that they have both the human capital and internal project management resources to complete large-scale projects. In turn, the retailer has continued to reach out to Comm-Works to review additional deployments.

About Comm-Works

Comm-Works operates in a manner that removes the burden from the end customer. By offering all-encompassing services on a multi-site basis, the need to coordinate multiple services and projects at once is eliminated. With Comm-Works’ scalable and repeatable processes for all locations and expertise in project management, no project falls behind schedule or exceeds the budget. With 20,000+ Service Partner technicians worldwide Comm-Works has 24/7/365 support and on site capabilities in 4 hours or less.