Allsup's Convenience Store Networking Solution

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Allsup’s Convenience Stores

Lonnie and Barbara Allsup started with a small “drive-in” grocery in Roswell, New Mexico in 1956. Today Allsup’s is still owned and operated by Lonnie and Barbara. 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. The Allsup’s stores are located in a variety of locations with a varying range of local connection options. For their credit card processing the Allsup’s stores had been using satellite connections with wired telephone lines as the backup option. The evolution of telephone service away from POTS connections meant the Allsup’s locations needed a new secondary connection option.

Replace Telephone Line Backup

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 Peplink Partner AstrumSat’s Client Allsup’s, the telephone fallback for credit cards was no longer sensible. Allsup’s manages credit card terminals from a central location with the stores themselves spread across the country, many in remote locations. The satellite connection allowed one provider with one connection and hardware standard for all stores. Allsup’s wanted that same standardization for their back-up solution, and wanted to keep the reliability of the primary satellite connection. They needed a broadband failover option.

DSL or Cable connections would have required agreements and connection strategies with a number of different providers. There was no single wired technology available. Some of the locations had cable available, some DSL, and some had no wired broadband connection at all. Pricing would have varied from store to store depending on location and provider. Each technology would have required different hardware and connection protocols all of which would have exponentially increased support and cost.

Pepwave MAX-BR1 & Peplink InControl2 Software

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

Frontier Computer Corp’s technical manager, Taylor brought everyone together and created a proof of concept that tested the system and within two weeks, the full system was ready to roll out in blocks of 50 stores at a time. Each store was outfitted with a single Pepwave MAX-BR1. The BR1 managed the satellite connection with a built-in cellular back up. Using the InControl2 cloud management, all of the connections could be managed from one central location.

AstrumSat bundles and manages data from three cellular providers, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon to deliver a single blended cost to Allsup’s. The InControl2 software allows AstrumSat to monitor usage at each location. With InControl2, they can assure maximum usage of the primary satellite data with limited failover to cellular for a 100% connection and minimum cellular fees.

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