Technology/Services

Preparing for the Great Reconnect

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The “next normal” is beginning, and the convenience-store landscape continues to evolve. How are convenience chains keeping pace? The c-store’s secret weapon just might be partnering with a trusted Managed Services Provider (MSP). According to Research Dive, the global managed services market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of more than 11 percent through 2027.

The reasons are clear. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a seismic shift in consumer (and employee) behavior that has made it increasingly challenging for in-house staff to manage the extended IT, cybersecurity and digital environment. Pre-pandemic, the pace of technological change within the convenience industry was already substantial. The pandemic accelerated this pace, with many sectors seeing ten years’ transformation within as many months. Now, vaccinations hold the promise of quashing the pandemic. And the Great Reconnect begins, with renewed connections, new connections and stronger connections, technological and sociological.

Navigating this new landscape is a team effort, and an MSP can be one of c-store chains’ most important allies. The explosion of new devices, locations and services has made the c-store enterprise more complex and dynamic than ever. Many organizations are in uncharted territory and need the expertise of a trusted partner who can guide them through the design, implementation, security challenges and support of c-store-enabling technologies.

Defining “Managed Services”

The term “managed services” means different things to different people—from end-user support to fully outsourced IT infrastructure management and everything in between. For leading MSP SageNet, managed services means a turnkey solution that incorporates all the expertise needed to operate that solution throughout its lifecycle.

In the pandemic and post-pandemic context, that’s especially powerful. Organizations in a variety of industries are having to rapidly and repeatedly retool their operations to meet government mandates and satisfy consumer demand for a healthy, safe and engaging experience. Changes in consumer behavior are expected to persist long after the pandemic has abated, requiring long-term restructuring of operational models.

To adapt to this “next normal,” c-store operators must embrace technology to become even more agile and flexible. Best-in-class MSPs offer a suite of solutions that help meet today’s challenges and ensure that organizations are well-positioned for the post-pandemic rebound.

Untangling in the Great Reconnect

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of anticipated “future” technologies such as contactless check-out and curbside pick-up. However, times also called for bold experimentation and an “act now, figure it out later” mentality. With the Great Reconnect underway, the time to figure it out has arrived. What worked and what didn’t? What is secure and what isn’t? What could work better? And where will the market go from here?  

By wrapping expert services around a solution, an MSP specializing in multisite convenience store technology, such as SageNet, can work with retailers to review, reflect and refine as the market moves forward with new, renewed and stronger connections in the next normal.

To learn more about Thriving in The Great Reconnect, click here.

This post is sponsored by SageNet

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