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-In the home renovation industry, keeping up with current redesign trends while also offering a realistic price point is essential. The Tile Shop, a leading retailer of ceramic tiles with 120 stores across the U.S., adopted secure networking technology from Citrix to bring an expanded digital shopping experience to each physical store.

Its IT team implemented Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN with Citrix XenDesktop to enable accelerated access to internal business applications from every store, increase bandwidth to create consistent access to apps needed daily at a lower cost and significantly reduce latency. The key objective for the Sales Associates of The Tile Shop today is to help customers understand the variety of products that are offered, assist in designing a customer’s dream space, and utilize technologies such as the new Design Studio software, which allows customers to create a virtual project space to see what their tile renovation would look like. With the addition of the Citrix solutions, The Tile Shop is able to achieve all of these goals.

Helping customers become more engaged and enabling employees to work better to improve productivity is the reason Citrix secure desktop and networking solutions were chosen. Emergent Networks, a Minneapolis-based IT advisory firm and Citrix Platinum channel partner, advised The Tile Shop IT team to adopt a solution that would improve network speed for all the branches, and offer ease-of-use and connection redundancy.

More than 90 stores have since been shifted to the digital networking architecture and virtualization solution to date with deployment averaging approximately 30 minutes per store. The Tile Shop expects a solid return on investment within 16-20 months of implementation. Though wholesale bandwidth prices continue to vary by geography and by carrier, an SD-WAN architecture is actually much less expensive versus traditional WAN approaches that rely on dedicated MPLS circuits.

The new architecture has also improved network uptime by moving branch traffic to the corporate data center which aggregates multiple different internet connections and helps route traffic much faster, while also safeguarding each location from being cut-off from the network entirely. Given the significant benefits The Tile Shop has seen, it’s not a surprise that Gartner estimates that by 2020, more than 50% of WAN edge infrastructure refresh initiatives will be based on SD-WAN versus traditional routers1.

Integrated Citrix solutions have enabled The Tile Shop to provide enhanced digital experiences for the sales associates and customers by facilitating quicker communication via email, more efficient use of other store applications, and being able to deliver an extraordinary in store Design Studio experience to all customers.