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"With wherever SIM , we use a reliable LTE backup in each of our stores, which provides our checkout and alarm systems with a secure internet connection."

Julian Witschi

Purchasing network and mobile communications

Dirk Rossmann GmbH

M2M SIM cards for POS systems, alarm systems and points of sale

What should you do if the Internet connection in a store suddenly goes down? Without a connection, the operation of a sales outlet is only possible to a very limited extent. This is why Germany's second-largest drugstore chain ROSSMANN relies on SIM cards from wherever SIM: since 2016, the Hamburg-based company's SIM cards have been used as a backup solution in LTE routers in more than 2,230 German sales outlets.

No access to the merchandise management system and many other online services - without an Internet connection, a lot would come to a standstill in a ROSSMANN store. In the event of a failure of the main connection, the M2M SIM cards therefore restore the connection via mobile communications and maintain it as a cost-effective backup without any problems until the fault in the main connection has been rectified. The SIM cards are also used for commissioning new stores so that operations can be opened anyway, regardless of Internet providers and connection deadlines that are often not met.

Checkout systems in a ROSSMANN store that use mobile communications as a backup - Copyright: Dirk Rossmann GmbH

Best connection with multi-network SIM cards

"Our ROSSMANN stores are spread all over Germany - in the pedestrian zone in the middle of the city, as well as in rural regions or smaller towns. These different location conditions presented us with challenges when looking for a backup solution for our Internet connection," explains Julian Witschi, the buyer responsible for the project at Dirk Rossmann GmbH. He continues: "We knew that we could work with SIM cards in our routers to establish a connection in the event of a main line failure. But we also saw the problem that the same network operator does not offer the best reception at every location. If our branches have network coverage in an emergency, but the connection itself is too poor for the data to pass through sufficiently, that doesn't solve the problem." A solution was found in the M2M SIM cards from wherever SIM. "The multi-network SIMs enable our routers to connect to the strongest network at the respective location. That's perfect for us. We have one contractual partner, but can use all networks. That simplifies a lot of things for us."

Self-checkout in a Rossmann store - Copyright Dirk Rossmann GmbH

Backup & troubleshooting: M2M SIMs in LTE routers

"In our case, the M2M SIM is not only the fallback for data transmission, the SIM also helps us to find out what the problem is with DSL," Witschi continues. "Each of our sales outlets has a router that is equipped with both a DSL and an LTE modem. The DSL modem is usually used to maintain the Internet connection, while the LTE modem is used to establish an alternative connection for data transmission in the event of a DSL failure. If DSL fails, this should of course be rectified as quickly as possible. To do this, it helps the technician if he can connect directly to the router remotely, even without working DSL, to read out the error code or restart the router if necessary." For this remote access, wherever SIM provides static private IP addresses that can be accessed securely via a VPN tunnel. ROSSMAN can use this IP address to control a router from the head office without having to be on site at the branch. As these are private IP addresses, only ROSSMANN has access to the routers via its own VPN tunnel; the IP addresses remain inaccessible to other Internet users. "This procedure not only significantly speeds up troubleshooting and rectification, but also simplifies the procedure for our technicians," says Witschi.

The benefits of M2M SIM cards for retailers:

  • Always a reliable Internet connection regardless of location
  • Each point of sale near the border additionally benefits from networks of bordering countries
  • Static private IP addresses for remote maintenance and troubleshooting
  • Simple SIM management in the online portal or via API in your own systems
  • Flexible data pooling for all active M2M SIM cards
  • Early development of new locations, independent of the Internet provider
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