One of the most impactful technologies in 2022 for the retail and fast-food industries is edge computing and its role in pushing applications closer to the source of their data with the intent of harnessing real-time, actionable insights into customer behaviors. By decentralizing the compute infrastructures back into brick-and-mortar stores, retailers and quick service restaurants (QSR) are not only able to optimize their customer’s journey more tightly, but also take concepts like “instant retail” out of the science lab and make it a reality.
Hivecell’s edge platform is a proven tech-forward solution that enables companies of all sizes to survive, thrive, and remain relevant and competitive while meeting and exceeding today’s digital demands. By providing an edge solution that allows retailers and the quick serves to process, analyze, and store data at the edge, a plethora of services real-time insights, and revenue streams are readily available—such as operational efficiency, asset tracking, loss prevention, customer behaviors and trends, customer ID knowledge, inventory optimization, security and surveillance, and more—without the use of an IT team and at about 50 percent of the cost of traditional cloud providers.
First there was running applications and storing data locally on a machine and backing up on floppy disks. When the devices crashed, all was lost. Then came connecting devices to servers in a computer server, which required IT to get involved and costs for companies began to creep up. Backing up to the cloud came next, allowing a person and business access to their apps and data from anywhere at any time of the day.
Now, there is edge computing—the new massively distributed frontier that blends the physical and virtual worlds with a distributed computing paradigm and brings computation and data storage closer to the source of data. Edge computing complements cloud computing by processing the data cloud cannot. It is also estimated that there is three times more data storage capabilities at the edge than the cloud, needs very little to no IT support, lowers overhead costs, and provides a stream of other benefits to the end user and company such as enhanced bandwidth, better speed and latency, reliability, scalability, and stronger security.
From smart apps and smart shelves to automated purchase suggestions and automated checkout options, it’s become clear that retailers are constantly faced with finding better ways to keep up with streamlining store operations, optimizing shoppers’ experiences, and increasing their bottom line while trying while keeping up ever-growing and ever-changing technology needs. Not to mention the onset of countless IoT devices—barcode scanners, interactive displays, inventory software, security cameras, and more—which oftentimes weigh down and quickly max out cloud capacity and capability.
As a result of growing technology demands in the retail industry, more and more retailers are realizing the advantages of using edge computing to support their store modernization and growth efforts. With edge computing, retailers can easily boost their businesses’ operational efficiency, enhance their customers’ experiences, and identify trends while having the capacity to expand their use of IoT devices and power artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies.
Quick service restaurants are under an immense amount of pressure to innovate and differentiate their level of service. Consumer trends are always changing, and the COVID-19 pandemic has forced QSRs to reevaluate what is powering their smart kitchens and operations to see if it is providing the level of service needed to succeed. As QSRs look to keep up their competitive advantage, there are a few key components to keep in mind from both the back and front of house.
Edge computing can be a great ally in meeting this challenge for quick serves, by optimizing the QSR’s daily operations and becoming more productive and efficient at every customer endpoint. Edge allows restaurants using multiple IoT devices and ML to harness the power of business-relevant data, cut costs and manage their data remotely. And it is completely scalable for QSRs with everywhere from 100 to 10,000 locations.
Simply put, QSRs not processing data on location using the edge will eventually be left behind.
Technology today is growing rampantly and quickly outpacing a company’s ability to acquire the necessary skillset to manage and stay ahead. But technology should work for us, not bury us. It should be easy and not challenging. Since not everything can run in the cloud and running a business is already complicating enough, Hivecell—a cutting-edge technology provider who built the first, complete Edge-as-a-Service (EaaS) solution—developed an innovative click-stack-go edge devices programed with a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) to help struggling companies to stay ahead of innovation with an easy-to-deploy, agnostic solution that operates at 50 percent of the cost of traditional cloud providers. Just order, plug-in, and go. It’s that easy. No added capital expenses are needed. And as compute demands grow, simply add more.
Whether running smart machines and IoT devices or streaming and processing large amounts of data, Hivecell’s edge solution orchestrates, monitors, protects, and manages virtual machines (VMs) seamlessly at the edge while effortlessly deploying the most widely used platforms of today. The end result empowers business of all sizes to scale to infinitely while saving massive amounts of human and financial resources and reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO).