Coffee franchisor Gloria Jean's will connect
its 340 Australian stores and its head office together with an
Internet Protocol-based (IP) virtual private network.
The network provided by business-focused telco Pacific
Internet is based on modern multi-protocol label switching (MPLS)
technology and will support a future move to IP telephony.
"Having a scalable and reliable IP data network with access to
our central applications is integral to our streamlined franchise
model and aggressive expansion plans," Gloria Jean's Australian
chief executive Mike Devlin said in a statement distributed by
Pacific this morning.
"We're buying the connections in bulk from Pacific Internet
for every franchise, making it part of our standard data
management fee," he added.
Devlin outlined "enormous efficiencies" coming from the
network, including "real-time business reporting, the ability to
distribute real-time marketing material to franchisees, online
banking for stores and fast access to suppliers".
"The solutions will also position Gloria Jean's Coffees on a
Quality of Service enabled IP platform to adopt VoIP and remote
IT support in the coming year," he said.
The statement said many of the stores didn't currently have Internet
access at all, with some surviving on dial-up connections and
others using broadband from a wide array of providers.
Pacific's statement claimed the Gloria project would take
three months to implement and would utilise a fibre-optic link to
Gloria Jean's data centre, with franchisees utilising ADSL
connections. A corporate antivirus, antispam and firewall
solution will also be in place.
ZDNet Australia is seeking further comment from the coffee
retailer as to which other providers competed in the tender
process that Pacific won.