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The Digital Transformation of a North American Retailer Is Driving Expansion for Kandy and ConnX

By Arti Loftus December 09, 2021

When a national retailer with over 5,000 stores across the US and Canada needed to solve fundamental real-time communications and IT network obstacles to improve customer experience and employee productivity, two disruptive communications companies, Kandy (an American Virtual Cloud Technologies company) and ConnX (provider of voice, data, video, messaging, and embedded communications solutions), partnered to take on the challenge.

The retailer, one of the largest in North America, tapped ConnX to transform their enterprise with a high-quality, next-generation, cloud-based multi-site communications network, enhancing business processes and creating considerable cost savings and efficiency gains while boosting customer satisfaction.

"This retailer averages 240,000 calls per day," said Jeff Li, Sr. Director of Partner Service Assurance of ConnX. "To stay competitive, they needed to upgrade voice and data network reliability as well as improve the customer experience and employee productivity. We began this journey shortly before the global pandemic hit, making 'work from everywhere' a mandate. It was discovered that every poor customer experience correlated to real dollars lost. With several thousand separate network events that impacted their ability to service their customers – events, their IT team could no longer manage – we worked with Kandy and other partners to completely replace their on-premise telecommunications network, dozens of local phone line vendors, and hundreds of legacy PBXs. We also dramatically lowered their consistently high costs due to the many network complexities."

Last week, ConnX and Kandy celebrated the success of this transformation, announcing the expansion of their partnership heading into 2022, unveiling their full-stack real-time communications offering designed to meet the specific needs of retailers.

"We chose Kandy years ago as part of our foundation when we saw the move from legacy voice systems accelerating into pure cloud alternatives," said Indrajit Ghosh, founder, and CEO, ConnX. "We were there from the beginning and are proud to have been an early adopter of their as-a-service offerings and to have contributed to the advancement of their technology stack and capabilities. Our most recent large retail implementation was a huge success, and it is being further expanded to include new applications and more seats. We have all the data we need to validate the strength and stability of Kandy's platform and its global reach, together with the innovation and simplicity of our AI-powered SD-WAN, SIP-as-a-Service, and AI Analytics-as-a-Service offerings tailored for the retail industry."

"In a highly competitive market, customers have the luxury of calling the competition down the street," Li explained, "and staying connected has become more important than ever in 2020 and 2021. This retail leader realized it was time to make the transition to a modern and more efficient customer experience and grow customer loyalty through reliable engagement. They also wanted to reduce recurring costs and limit their dependency on disparate legacy tools and equipment."

Kandy and ConnX were engaged to digitally transform the customer's enterprise communications into a high-quality, next-generation, multi-site cloud-based communications network.

Working closely with the retailer, Kandy and ConnX worked to consolidate disparate technologies, normalize traffic, and integrate technology that increased overall customer experience. First, ConnX enabled dual SD-WAN connections and MPLS/LTE backup at each store to increase reliability and resilience, and which proved to be more cost-effective than legacy methods.

Next, ConnX Maestro Orchestrator, an AI-driven technology for automated and zero-touch provisioning for both voice communications and network equipment management, was used to match the needs of each site.

Then, Kandy Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions reinvented the customer communications and in-store experience and helped grow the number of customers through a speedy transformation of pro sales processes and customer engagement improvements.

"Kandy inspires creativity," said Chuck Canton, President, Kandy. "Our partners, developers, and customers are building world-class applications, supported by our team's ongoing commitment and support. ConnX has been a world-class partner from day one and one of the largest consumers of our software and cloud- communications platform. Their seamless implementations of increasingly large and distributed private enterprise networks continues to deepen our relationship. Today, by rolling out this exciting industry solution that retailers are looking for, we bring even greater value together as the retail sector continues their digital transformation journey. The ConnX/Kandy solution drives better customer experience, lower total cost of ownership, and opens the door for ongoing creative and competitive advantages."

ConnX and Kandy migrated over 5,000 stores and 100,000 subscriber lines in one of the largest enterprise unified communications and SD-WAN deployments ever. In addition, the project was completed ten months faster than originally contracted and eight months ahead of schedule. The retailer's CEO congratulated the partners by noting that their business would not have grown 11% over the course of the pandemic without the technology and the speed with which it was deployed.

In collaboration with ConnX, Kandy was able to:

  • Migrate to a fully cloud-based phone system to eliminate legacy on-site equipment
  • Provide web-based administration from anywhere
  • Save over $80,000 per month on communications costs
  • Enable a common and modern communication experience across all store sites
  • Ensure customers never hear a busy signal and reach the right person the first time
  • Improve employee productivity and reduce the IT burden
  • Offer value-added customer engagement services such as "Contact Center as a Service" with website click-to-call options

Kandy delivers a full suite of cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) capabilities to its cloud customers through its carrier-grade Kandy Business Solutions, including a fully featured Cloud PBX, Smart Office UC, and Collaboration Clients, Contact Center as a service, and SIP Trunking as a Service. Kandy makes these solutions available through leading channel partners, including ConnX and AT&T.

With a platform that delivers a comprehensive real-time communications solution to mid-size and large global enterprises, including unified voice, data, video, chat, messaging, collaboration, security, and AI-powered service assurance, ConnX currently serves customers in 120 countries with plans to expand services and global reach to meet the growing global demands of existing and new customers.

Download the case study here to learn more.

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Luke Bellos
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