Jackson-Hewitt

Jackson-Hewitt Franchisee Speeds In-Store Retail Kiosk Deployment with LTE Edge Network Solutions

SUMMARY

During tax season, Jackson-Hewitt of northern Georgia offers tax preparation services in retail locations like Walmart and K-Mart. They set up temporary kiosks in these retail locations that require Internet access and phone service.

CHALLENGE

Provisioning Internet connectivity and phone lines every tax season was costly, time consuming, and frustrating. Just ask Jackson-Hewitt franchise owner John Beazle.

“Have you ever tried to get a DSL line into a Walmart?” he asks with a laugh.

Beazle detailed some of the difficulties:

  • Because Beazle’s Jackson-Hewitt offices cover considerable territory in northern Georgia, he must coordinate with four different phone companies to provision the different store locations his kiosks are in.
  • There is a 5- to 10-day wait for the phone companies to send field technicians to the retail sites Beazle must coordinate with each store manager to ensure his operations don’t interfere with the store’s existing IT infrastructure.
  • On installation day, Beazle or one of his employees must be at the Walmart or K-Mart all morning or all afternoon because the phone companies can’t specify a time when they will be on-site.
  • Installation and setup costs run about $300 per site; then there are the monthly fees (usually higher since he’s on month-to-month contracts during tax season).
  • Each year, the new phone numbers of the sites must be communicated throughout his organization.
  • At the end of tax season, the Internet and phone service at each site must be cancelled and disconnected.

SOLUTION

John Beazle deployed Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Service for branch for the cellular-based connectivity his employees computers need — without the provisioning or installation hassles of DSL or cable.

This service includes routing, WAN link termination and traffic management, a firewall, and cloud configuration and troubleshooting, all delivered via a purpose-built router with embedded LTE, 24x7 support, and a limited lifetime warranty.

“I walk in with everything I need. With the Cradlepoint router, in less than an hour, the kiosk is up and running and ready to go. No waiting. No relying on anyone but me."

Beazle’s Jackson-Hewitt office is also implementing a new VoIP phone system. This allows the retail sites to become extensions of his main phone network. Their VoIP phones plug right into the Cradlepoint. This eliminates the need to pay for new phone lines or individual phone numbers.

More importantly, it gives his customers a better experience.

“Someone calls into the main number and they can get transferred to the retail site seamlessly. It’s much smoother and delivers better customer service,” Beazle said.

“I can’t believe Cradlepoint is so inexpensive and reliable, too. We’ve had zero downtime.”

BENEFITS

  • Just one broadband provider to deal with, which save managment and money with pooled data plans.
  • No reliance on third parties for installation, so retail kiosks can set up whenever it’s convenient.
  • Store managers no longer have to worry about the impact of foreign DSL lines and phone lines.
  • VoIP optimization capabilities provide the highest possible quality for phone calls
  • At the end of tax season, Beazle and his employees can use the routers to work remotely, providing more flexibility.
  • The flexibility to advantage of the latest wireless technology with just a simple swap of modems.

“It’s really user friendly. It’s so easy to set up; my 12-year old granddaughter could do it. I’m sharing my experiences with other Jackson-Hewitt franchisees. They face the same challenges as I do, and they’re really excited,” Beazle said.