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Driving IT Success From Edge to Cloud to the Bottom Line

Edge computing is a allowing IT to deliver insight-enabled business benefits that drive new revenue streams, enhance customer engagement, accelerate innovation and make life easier and more efficient for employees, partners and others across their supply chains and ecosystems.

In this article, we look at how four digital game changers across different industries are leveraging insights, actions and intelligence from the edge to deliver unprecedented value at the bottom line.

Tractor Supply Company (TSC) is the largest operator of rural lifestyle stores in the U.S. with more than 1,600 retail outlets serving 150 million shoppers each year. TSC turned to edge computing powered by wireless networking to deliver a better, faster and more data-driven experience for customers and employees. A major factor in supporting the edge has been a high-speed Wi-Fi network powered by HPE Aruba solutions, including Aruba Instant Access Points (IAPs), AirWave Network Management, and the Piloting Aruba Beacons and Asset Tracking solution. With advanced Wi-Fi connectivity, the company was able to modernize its store network infrastructure within 10 weeks—averaging 160 stores per week. High-speed connectivity to the edge has empowered each store with a wide range of new business capabilities, including:

  • Mobile point of sale, with “buy online, pick up in store” applications.
  • Faster location of inventory, pickups and checkouts with enhanced customer engagement through real-time, data-driven experiences.
  • Contactless check-in experiences integrating precautions such as a temperature-check kiosk.
  • Improvements in process efficiencies with mobile and internet of things (IoT) technologies. 

Carestream, widely respected as a pioneer in medical imaging systems, is  developing a next-generation platform that uses machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline, transform and improve X-ray solutions and workflows for medical professionals and patients. The new platform is built on HPE GreenLake for Machine Learning Operations, an ML-optimized cloud service infrastructure powered by HPE Ezmeral and HPE Pointnext Services. AI algorithms are used to improve accuracy, automate radiology workflow processes and reduce cycle times. The AI-as-a-service healthcare solution will accelerate development, compliance and operational processes such as deploying updates of new ML and deep learning models. Hospitals will be able to leverage technologies from edge to cloud to meet patient needs where the patients are located. HPE’s collaboration with Carestream will impact medical imaging technology on a global scale: Carestream’s X-ray platforms are already in use across 140 countries, spanning more than 100,000 pieces of equipment and 35 different hardware configurations.

Stanley Black & Decker launched a major digital transformation initiative in 2017 with the goal of creating a standard deployment model using a Smart Factory architecture across 100 to 150 manufacturing plants around the globe. The architecture consists of four pillars: 

  1. An IoT platform as a foundational layer to connect people, processes and technology
  2. Automation and robotic technologies
  3. Analytics and insights
  4. Applications and enterprise excellence technologies

Stanley Black & Decker partnered with HPE on its Smart Factory initiative, leveraging HPE Edgeline 4000 systems as a consistent platform in all facilities. The solution met the key challenges the company needed to address, specifically: provide redundancy while keeping resource use to a minimum; deliver cost efficiencies; use a small form factor so the same solution can be located anywhere, from the factory floor to telecom closets; and maintain minimal moving parts, since many systems are deployed in environments that can become extremely dirty with metal shavings, oil droppings, and other substances. With the HPE Edgeline 4000, Stanley Black & Decker has been able to have a continuous rollout of the IoT platform across its factories, while also driving immediate returns in productivity, throughput, scrap reduction and other areas. Key benefits include:

  • Unprecedented edge computing, including the ability to run at the edge any software or accelerators that can be used in a data center, such as VMware, Red Hat OpenShift, Azure Stack and more.
  • Unique integration of operational technology for data acquisition and control system coordination.
  • Data center-class security, reliability and systems management, with the same Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) management embedded at all edge locations.
  • Solutions ruggedized for a harsh edge environment, including features for temperature extremes, shock and vibration, and various mounting options.

Tottenham Hotspur, one of the English Premier League’s top football clubs, set out to transform the game-day experience for fans, players and coaches, while providing the club with innovative new merchandising and commercial opportunities. The Spurs selected HPE’s intelligent venue solution with engineering and IoT capabilities, featuring Aruba’s wireless technologies to deliver high-speed, mobile-optimized stadium capabilities and beacons for wayfinding. Wi-Fi access points under the seats enable high-performance connectivity for all 62,062 fans. Edge and wireless technologies deliver an immersive fan experience, powering big-screen displays, audio, digital signage, data-driven retail outlets, turnstile access systems and simple navigation to bars, restaurants and merchandise. Operations staff can analyze fan data in real time, while also tracking historic data so staffing levels can be adjusted as necessary. In 2020, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was named the second best arena in the world, attracting critical acclaim for its state-of-the-art facilities, according to the Evening Standard

Taking the Next Step
The use cases discussed in this article represent both the future possibilities for edge computing as well as current realities that are empowering new opportunities, experiences and innovations. To learn more about how to leverage edge computing for your organization, please visit HPE at HPE.com/Edge.

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