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Getting to the Root of Networks at Whole Foods Market

When you shop at Whole Foods Market, you experience the benefits of VMware Edge Network Intelligence™. Read the full customer story to find out how Whole Foods runs efficiently and ultimately delights customers using this VMware solution.

Better insight into wireless networks

Retailers rely on wireless networks to run both customer-facing and back-of-the-store operations. Whole Foods uses their wireless networks to manage everything from picking products in-store to fulfill online grocery orders, to guest Wi-Fi, to scanning pallets of products in distribution centers. When connectivity is slow or down, the costs can include lost sales, problems with the flow of goods from warehouse to store, and unhappy customers.

“The data we get from VMware Edge Network Intelligence reflects the actual experience that people are having, the packets flowing to and from devices. We not only can look at network health in aggregate at a high level, but breaking data out per client and being able to drill down to individual clients has been pretty excellent.”

Paul Jorgenson, Senior Network Development Engineer, Whole Foods

To keep wireless networks in stores and warehouses running smoothly, Whole Foods relies on data. VMware Edge Network Intelligence, part of VMware SASE™, gives them data that they were not able to extract from other siloed products. VMware Edge Network Intelligence is a vendor-agnostic artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) solution focused on the enterprise edge. It ensures end user and internet of things (IoT) client performance, security, and self-healing through wireless and wired LAN, SD-WAN and SASE.

The proof is in the organic pudding (and the numbers)

“VMware Edge Network Intelligence has saved me and my team at least 200 hours over the last year, because we’re not chasing problems that we have no data about.”

Paul Jorgenson, Senior Network Development Engineer, Whole Foods

Paul Jorgenson, a senior network development engineer at Whole Foods, discussed examples of how VMware Edge Network Intelligence has saved time and cost for Whole Foods. The company had an issue with unresponsive wireless scanners that was affecting almost every North American location. IT staff began to troubleshoot using a highly manual process involving cables and span ports, but they lacked the data to truly understand — and therefore fix — the problem.

With the right data from VMware Edge Network Intelligence, including mapping spikes in TCP round-trip times, Jorgenson and his team were able to pinpoint the problem: Poor circuit utilization and low bandwidth. Whole Foods used the data to justify a faster process for circuit upgrades at the affected stores, and normal operations were restored.

VMware Edge Network Intelligence is now running on the network at 90 percent of all Whole Foods stores and six out of 10 distribution centers, with plans to implement the software at all stores and distribution centers.

“I definitely would recommend VMware Edge Network Intelligence to other retailers,” Jorgenson said. “It’s excellent. I don’t know of any other tools that can tell you how your apps and your endpoint devices are doing from an outside perspective. With other tools, you can set metrics inside your app and your infrastructure, but sometimes that doesn’t tell you the real information that you need.”

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