Allsup’s Convenience Stores, USA

Retail | Internet Connectivity

Lonnie and Barbara Allsup started with a small “drive-in” grocery in Roswell, New Mexico in 1956. Today, Lonnie and Barbara still own and operate Allsup’s. Now they have over 300 stores in 160 towns and cities but the basic formula of convenience, new products, and good systems has not changed. Because of this, Allsup’s stores are located in a variety of locations with a varying range of local connection options. In order to process credit cards, Allsup’s stores used satellite connections with wired telephone lines as backup. Due to the evolution of telephone service away from POTS connections meant that Allsup’s locations needed a new secondary connection option.

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Requirements

In January 2014, AT&T began to replace the copper-wired networks connecting telephones with Voice over IP (VoIP). Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) was going away for good. As a result, Allsup’s telephone fallback for credit card processing was no longer an option. Because of this, Peplink partner AstrumSat needed to find a solution for their client, Allsup’s. Allsup’s was already managing credit card terminals from a central location while their stores themselves were spread across the country, many in remote locations. They could do this because of their satellite connection and their hardware standard for all stores. Due to this, they wanted that same standardization for their back-up solution while keeping the reliability of the primary satellite connection. They were searching for a broadband option that had failover for more reliability.

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Challenge

The only problem was that there was no single wired technology available to all of their stores. Some had cable, others had DSL, and some did not have any wired broadband connection at all. In addition, DSL or cable connections would have required agreements and connection strategies with a number of different providers. This would result in pricing to vary from store to store due to location and provider. Costs and required support would increase as well as each technology required different hardware and connection protocols.

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Solution

Matthew Gerken at AstrumSat knew that the Peplink MAX routers would be the solution for his client. Working with Frontier, AstrumSat were able to provide an identical turnkey setup for each store. Allsup’s service team was then able to install them with a single set of instructions and protocols.

Each store deployed a Pepwave MAX-BR1 to manage the satellite connection and provide a built-in cellular back up. The connections were then managed from a central location with Peplink’s InControl2 cloud management system. Frontier Computer Corp’s technical manager, Taylor, brought everyone together and created a proof of concept to test the system. As a result, within two weeks, they were ready to roll out the entire system in blocks of 50 stores at a time.

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Result

AstrumSat bundles and manages data from three cellular providers, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon to deliver a single blended cost to Allsup’s. In addition, AstrumSat can monitor usage at each location from a central site thanks to InControl2. Due to this, they can ensure maximum usage of the primary satellite data with limited failover to cellular for 100% connection and minimal cellular fees.

Deployment

Peplink InControl 2. Cloud Based SD-WAN Network Management.

InControl 2

Save configuration time, minimize truck rolls, stay on top of the status of your network, and proactively resolve any emerging problems with speed and precision.

Pepwave MAX BR1 Classic. Industrial Grade 4G LTE/3G Router.

MAX BR1 Classic

Industrial – Grade 4G LTE/3G Router