JCT600

Founded in 1946 as ‘Brooklands Garage’, JCT600 remains a proud family business with three generations of the Tordoff family now involved in the operation.  From humble beginnings, the business has grown into one of the UK’s largest and most highly respected motor retailers with 45 sites throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East.
With 2,500 employees across the UK, JCT600 dealerships operate at the high end of the market retailing the most luxurious car brands from Aston Martin, Porsche and Bentley to, Audi, BMW and Mercedes.  Despite now being a business with an annual turnover in excess of £1bn, the vision remains the same as it’s always been – ‘We don’t want to be the biggest, just the best!’

With digital marketing being a clear strategy amongst the leading motor manufacturers, JCT600 quickly recognised the role WiFi would play in improving its operational efficiency and unlocking their vision to be the best in the market.  With only 9 people in the IT team, responsible for every element within the communications infrastructure, this was going to be a challenge.

The challenges

The wireless infrastructure at JCT600 was initially very basic and wasn’t conducive to remote working or rich media content. Chris Gensmantel, Group IT Manager at JCT600 explains:

“We had mostly a desktop environment with about 70-80% of users tied to their desks.  We had one access point on a coffee table offering very limited coverage, not to mention throughput and were getting complaints from customers and staff daily.  It was clear we were in dire need of an upgrade.”

One of the significant challenges in the JCT600 environment was the variety of building architectures across their 45 locations.  They have buildings that date back from the 1960s and some newly-constructed.  Some of the newer dealerships, constructed from glass and steel and of various size and shapes, presented many challenges, especially technical challenges when deploying WiFi.

“Traditionally, some sites don’t mind if you put WiFi points on the front door and others do.  For example, our new Porsche site is a very prestigious building and they won’t allow any aesthetic changes to it.  In this instance, we really needed to create a high powered WiFi solution without any visible hardware.  Finding a WiFi solution that was adaptable to our diverse environment was really important to us.”

Buildings aside; throughput, analytics, coverage, and a group SSID for seamless roaming of staff, presented a further challenge.

 

Seamless WiFi experience and continuous innovation

In searching for a suitable WiFi solution, Gensmantel looked online at Gartner reports and discovered Mojo Networks were an up-and-coming wireless vendor that were shaking up the industry with their innovation and evolution:

“Proper cloud-managed WiFi based solutions were few and far between.  We discounted a lot of them because of the cost vs. benefit.  As far as I could tell, when you compared Mojo Networks to other big names on the market, it was ahead of the competition in terms of its cloud platform, speed, and pricing structure.  It was quite an easy decision.”

Express Data was recommended by Mojo Networks as their partner of choice for the project.  Gensmantel explains:

“Express Data were very knowledgeable on WiFi and were the first people that demonstrated a good understanding of enterprise wireless deployment. They asked us practical questions that were relevant for our business and the goals we wanted to achieve which we appreciated. We spoke to other Express Data / Mojo Networks customers and received glowing responses. We were confident they could deliver what we wanted.”

Mojo Network’s Cloud-Managed WiFi solution (802.11ac ) was deployed at JCT600 with approximately 10 access points across each of its 45 sites.  Mojo’s cloud architecture brought clear benefits over a controller based platform, providing a much more controlled migration of their infrastructure to the cloud.  The Mojo access point is equipped with the industry’s only fully-integrated wireless intrusion prevention capabilities and can be converted to a dedicated security sensor with a single click for maximum wireless protection.

After careful technical design, Express Data deployed the cloud configuration and assisted the JCT600 technical team with IP traffic routing and VLAN configuration at local sites.  Once complete, with WiFi propagation plans prepared, the roll-out was simply a matter of installing the cabling and plugging the Mojo device into JCT600’s local area network.  Once online, the devices automatically connect to the Mojo server over the Internet where JCT600 and Express Data can manage all of their settings and security policies using the cloud-based Mojo Wireless Manager.

“With Mojo’s cloud services, we no longer have to invest in controllers or servers and we can manage the entire system remotely from anywhere using a laptop.  This is a significant benefit to us because it eliminates the need to travel across the UK to each of our 45 sites.”

Express Data have deployed thousands of access points from a range of wireless vendors, however Mojo Networks have come to be their product of choice for all their clients’ WiFi needs.  Simon Wilson, Managing Director at Express Data explained, “If we have a choice, we prefer to lead with Mojo.  The product is robust and it just works.  There is a lot of functionality and new features are rolling out all the time.”

Express Data recognise how dynamic the JCT600 environment is and exercised a great deal of care in installing the solution across all of their dealerships, being mindful of the various buildings and structures.

“New showrooms pop up really quickly and Express Data work hard to make their contribution as painless as possible.  They respect our showrooms.  The real testament to me was when our properties department said they had never seen cabling so tidy in their life.”

JCT600 have been able to enjoy the sophisticated social engagement benefits of the product, which has assisted with their marketing and sales strategy.  “Another reason I chose Mojo is the social media component.  We have set up authentication plugins using social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.  We have a customisable web form and have captured a lot of valuable data about our customers’ behaviour, demographics, and how many times they have been to visit.” added Gensmantel.

 

Reaping the benefits of secure cloud WiFi

Simplicity, scalability, reliability, performance, and security are just some of the benefits JCT600 are experiencing since the installation of Mojo Networks Cloud-Managed WiFi.  They have seen a significant reduction of time spent on network management since they are now able to quickly deploy, manage, and analyse every part of the WiFi network through one centralised platform.

“I no longer get complaints from staff and customers about our WiFi not working – it demonstrates that Mojo’s solutions does what it says on the tin.  Our desktop environment has transformed into a mobile workforce with 70% of staff using mobile devices.  It has actually created new burdens for our team as our users have higher expectations – I now have to improve other elements of the network!”

  • Mojo Networks’ Cloud-Managed WiFi solution (802.11ac ) was deployed at JCT600 with approximately 10 access points across each of its 45 sites.
  • Mojo’s cloud architecture replaced their old controllers and simplified the migration of their infrastructure to the cloud.
  • JCT600 can easily manage all of their settings and security policies using the cloud-based Mojo Wireless Manager.
  • JCT600 has seen a significant reduction of time spent on network management since they are now able to quickly deploy, manage, and analyse every part of the WiFi network through one centralised platform.

Proper cloud WiFi based solutions were few and far between. We discounted a lot of them because of the cost vs. benefit. As far as I could tell, when you compared Mojo Networks to other big names on the market, it was ahead of the competition in terms of its cloud platform, speed and pricing structure. It was quite an easy decision.

Chris GensmantelGroup IT Manager, JCT

With Mojo’s cloud services, we no longer have to invest in controllers or servers, and we can manage the entire system remotely from anywhere using a laptop. This is a significant benefit to us because it eliminates the need to travel across the UK to each of our 45 sites.

Chris GensmantelGroup IT Manager, JCT