7-Eleven is the largest convenience and independent retailer in Australia with close to 700 stores stretching along the east and west coast. Serving an average of six customers each second, the performance and reliability of their network is a key business enabler. Historically, 7-Eleven could only obtain visibility of their network by raising a ticket with their communications service provider and waiting up to 24 hours for a response. After installing Sinefa’s traffic insights platform, 7-Eleven has real-time visibility of their entire network and the ability to shape bandwidth instantly in response to business requirements.
Historically, 7-Eleven had very limited visibility of performance across their network – including stores, regional offices, data centres and corporate head office.
7-Eleven has a lean IT structure and want to take an agile approach to ensuring the reliability of business as usual (BAU) services while supporting the rollout of digital projects. Investment in technology is strongly linked to the realisation of core business objectives, particularly in supporting the organisation to achieve its digital transformation ambitions.
A lack of visibility regarding overall network performance meant that 7-Eleven were reliant on their provider for insight into any network performance issues.
“In the past, if a store or device was not transmitting data, we didn’t have the ability to quickly see what the issue was,” says Thoshan Ruberu, Head of Architecture, Security and Governance. “To get this insight, we needed to raise a ticket and wait up to 24 hours for a detailed response. Once this reporting was received, it provided us with a point-in-time snapshot of network performance, but not an ongoing view of what was happening in our network.”
“From a BAU perspective, we couldn’t easily assess the health of the network in a timely manner. We didn’t have insight into important measures like jitter and packet loss – so if users complained about network performance, we didn’t know with confidence whether it was an isolated issue or something broader.”
“As a business function, our goal is to deliver projects quicker. Our digital architecture needs to support traditional technical requirements like POS, ERP and reporting systems while enabling new digital channels – improved visibility is key to achieving this,” says Thoshan.
“We became aware of Sinefa’s technology via our communication service provider. They understood our challenges with a lack of network visibility and suggested Sinefa as an effective solution that would meet our requirements. In addition to delivering real-time insights into network performance, Sinefa’s tools would allow us to shape traffic and proactively manage bandwidth consumption by application and location,” says Thoshan.
Three Sinefa data sources were installed during the proof of concept - two at corporate offices and one at 7-Eleven's primary data centre. The probes were deployed during a short after-hours outage window at each site; traffic was only disrupted for a few seconds and the total install time for each probe was about 10 minutes.
“Detailed insights were available instantly following installation; we immediately liked what we saw. The Sinefa product gave us network visibility and value, allowing us to answer queries from the business quickly and confidently,” says Thoshan.
“The proof of concept was successful, demonstrating that the product met our benchmarks. We were interested to see what the key transaction flows looked like in the reporting – would it be meaningful or too technical to be of value? Pleasingly, we found that the Sinefa user interface was so intuitive that most users didn’t even need to read a manual. The results spoke for themselves and made it simple to get our business stakeholders over the line with regards to adding Sinefa to our technology stack.”
7-Eleven rolled out physical probes at key locations including data centres and regional offices, and virtual probes throughout their retail network. This gave their IT team complete oversight into network traffic and performance – from both a store and corporate network perspective.
Since installing Sinefa’s solution, 7-Eleven has real-time visibility of their entire network and the capability to monitor and manage the traffic flowing into and out of their stores, corporate offices and data centres at any time. This includes core systems supporting POS transactions, third-party in-store kiosk services, and back office functions such as ERP and email & collaboration. Sinefa is providing the network performance platform supporting a network service that is ready for digital engagement.
“We now have access to network performance data in real-time, giving us clarity regarding the size and scope of any incidents and the ability to make fast, informed decisions. Sinefa’s tools help us to engage vendors from a troubleshooting perspective, and support us in being proactive around network health and seeking to avoid potential issues and incidents,” says Thoshan.
7-Eleven has found Sinefa’s dashboard reporting so valuable, key dashboards are displayed on large TV screens in the IT Service Delivery team’s NOC to provide them with constant real-time information about the health of the network.
“Sinefa’s solution is incredibly easy to install and easy to use,” says Thoshan. “Reporting that used to take up to 24 hours to obtain is now at our fingertips in a matter of minutes. We can proactively monitor network performance, shape bandwidth where required, and make fast, informed decisions to support the business.”
“Reporting that used to take up to 24 hours to obtain is now at our fingertips in a matter of minutes. We can proactively monitor network performance, shape bandwidth where required, and make fast, informed decisions to support the business.”
Head of Architecture, Security and Governance at 7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd