June 10, 2019

As convenience stores have continued to experience significant market disruption, Landmark Industries IT Director Jim Gallery has sought out strategic vendors to help the company stay ahead of the competition. For Gallery that meant finding a new network provider to solve the complex infrastructure and ongoing technical issues that had been impacting the company’s 250 convenience stores.

Gallery explained, “When working with vendors, I value good sales, support, and billing. You can work through an issue with one of those items, but if all three are problematic, you have to make a change. In this case, the change meant replacing the incumbent network provider with the Cybera Network Managed Services Platform. “Moving everything under the Cybera umbrella just made a lot of sense on a lot of levels,” Gallery stated.

A Modern Network for a Distributed Enterprise

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Landmark Industries owns 225 stores and manages another 25 under various major fuel brands. The company is a leading wholesale petroleum distributor of Shell, Chevron, Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, and Valero-branded products to independent operators throughout Texas.

Landmark’s highly distributed business enterprise aligned well with the modern, cloud-based networking approach of the Cybera Network Managed Services Platform. In particular, Gallery cites the advanced capabilities of the Cybera Network Managed Services Platform SCA-315 and 325 edge devices that reside at each of the stores. The devices have fundamentally changed the way Landmark rolls out new services and applications across multiple stores.

Immediate Cost Savings

One of the greatest benefits of the Cybera-based network has been Landmark’s ability to simplify its IT infrastructure while significantly reducing hardware costs, annual maintenance fees, remote technician expenses, and downtime. Key savings have included:

  • Hardware displacement: Saved $135,000 in annual fees by removing in-store devices from the previous ISP.
  • Deletion of encryption layers: Saved $50,000by eliminating an unnecessary layer of encryption and reducing network complexity.
  • Removal of T1 lines: Saved $850 per line each month.

Gallery said, “When you decide to make a change, it’s not always just about the money. But we’ve seen a tremendous amount of cost savings with Cybera.”

Faster Transaction Processing

The simplified infrastructure has also paid significant dividends in terms of performance and management. While the previous network had been slowing down transaction processing, that issue disappeared after Landmark removed the extraneous piece of hardware and additional layer of encryption. The network is now much simpler, troubleshooting is faster, and customers are experiencing faster transactions.

Gallery noted that the Cybera edge devices are easier to understand, troubleshoot, and manage—delivering a variety of functions. “Some vendors try to push separate devices for functions such as PCI compliance, but we don’t want more devices,” he says. “Cybera is PCI-certified, so there’s no need for another solution.”

Reliable 4G Wireless Backup

With convenience stores relying on fast, reliable transaction processing for both debit and credit cards, the Cybera 4G wireless backup capability has greatly increased uptime. If the primary Internet connection fails at a store, the 4G wireless backup automatically takes over without customers or store personnel ever noticing.

Gallery explained, “If your Internet connection goes down and you tell customers you can’t take their debit cards or you limit them to $50 per transaction to avoid risk, you’re going to lose those customers.”

He added, “After Hurricane Harvey, Internet circuits were expected to be down for three weeks, so we switched out networks to use the Cybera 4G wireless as the primary Internet connection. We were up and running within an hour. That function easily paid for itself.”

Streamlined Monitoring through SPA

As Landmark rolls out the latest Cybera SCA-325 devices, the goal has been continued simplification and faster troubleshooting. When Landmark needed greater visibility into the dealer-owned stores it manages, Cybera set up a secure public address (SPA) to provide direct network access.

“That was a game-changer,” Gallery explained. “We can remotely monitor stores via the SPA, so we’ve seen huge time and cost savings. If we had to send a technician to a remote site, that would cost about $200 per hour. When a store is five hours away, that money piles up quickly.”

A Proven, Trusted Relationship

With the simplified support structure in place, Landmark has avoided the second- guessing that had previously plagued the company. “Both the IT team and in-store personnel find support much easier, because we can now resolve so many issues remotely,” Gallery noted.

He highlighted the fact that Cybera has differentiated itself by taking ownership and accountability as part of a proven relationship built on trust: “We challenge Cybera to come up with innovations, and they always understand our vision. They’re really great at looking out for both Landmark and our customers.”

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

CHALLENGES

– IT infrastructure complexity with unnecessary equipment
– Ongoing technical support and billing issues
– No direct troubleshooting access to dealer-owned stores

GOALS

– Simplify the networking infrastructure
– Minimize support issues and onsite technician visits
– Establish a more strategic vendor relationship

RESULTS

– Sped up transaction processing to improve customer experience
– Increased network uptime through 4G wireless backups
–  Significantly reduced hardware, management, and support costs

Learn more: www.cybera.com/petrol/