Business Case Part 2

Savings: no static IP address at stores

Another major source of savings comes to Quiznos from the fact that, unlike any other IP-based polling system, the HQ-ST Link does not need a static IP address at the store location. Even if the IP address of the store's router is changed by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) providing Internet connectivity, even if IP addresses on the store's LAN are dynamically allocated by a DHCP server, the ST Plus will still call home to the head office and re-establish connection. Once connected, the HQ Plus periodically issues a "keep alive" signal to the ST Plus, ensuring connections are maintained.

LAVA has achieved this capability by turning the headquarters-to-store connection front to back, in network terms. Most IP-based polling works on the principle that the head office is the client and that the polling software contacts the store. This requires the devices on a store's network to be open to the Internet.

The HQ-ST Link makes the store device the initiator of the connection, so it is unnecessary for the store to have a static IP address. All requirements for router configuration move to the head office.

The only other polling system out there that does not require a static IP address at the store is FTP, whereby a store sends sales information to an FTP server. This is not actually polling, however, and this method also lacks the ability for bi-directional communication. FTP will not work if a head office wants complete control in updating pricing or SKUs on remote cash registers or POS systems.

ISPs typically charge a premium for supplying a static IP address. Not having a static IP address at the store is a huge savings for Quiznos—hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, literally. A static IP address costs approximately $5 per month per store! You do the math for 12 months, and 5000 stores.