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Hughes and EKN Research Launch Online Tools to Benchmark Strategic Network Capabilities

Dec. 15, 2015

Hughes Network Systems, LLC  has partnered with EKN Research, a research and advisory firm focused on business-technology insights, to deliver new online tools for the retail, consumer goods, travel and hospitality industries. The new tools enable companies to benchmark their networks against peers and gain valuable insights on how to improve  infrastructures to deliver a better customer/guest experience, improve associate/team member effectiveness and streamline operations.

Research Results
While RFID, endless aisle and Bluetooth Beacons are among the network-based technologies most often talked about to influence customers' experiences and satisfaction, EKN's research found they are also the top three that most retailers cannot adequately support with their current networks. For restaurants, in particular, the research showed that nine out of 10 technology investments rely on the network and directly impact the customer experience and store/restaurant revenue.

"Retailers and restaurants are looking to offer a richer, more seamless in-branch customer experience to their digital-savvy consumers," said Ricardo Belmar, director product marketing, North America at Hughes. "Initiatives such as tabletop ordering, mobile-enabled sales associates and wait staffs, and in-store/restaurant smartphone apps—or cloud-based core applications, such as point-of-sale, ship-from-store, associate training, and workforce management—are all essential to compete and win. Hughes sponsored this research to highlight the performance and quality required of the underlying network to support these new initiatives at the outset. Otherwise, customer satisfaction and profitability are at risk."

Girijesh Agarwal, vice president of strategy at EKN, commented, "We are very excited to make these tools and the research behind them available to all retailers and restaurants interested in exploring the business-value impact of a smarter network. They are designed to help business and technology executives improve collaboration, and ultimately elevate the role of in-store network infrastructure to being an active ingredient in a brand's experience strategy."