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Customers expect ease and convenience when it's time to fuel up at the local gas station. They want to pump their gas, perhaps pick up a gallon of milk or a cup of coffee, and hit the road. If they have trouble swiping a credit or debit card, there's a good chance those customers won't come back. Businesses like gas stations that depend on volume can't afford to take that chance.
According to Murphy USA network engineers David Conner and Micah Rogers, nine out of ten times a card swipe fails, it's related to a network connectivity problem. The terminal can't reach the customer's bank for authorization and the transaction hangs up. Even 30 seconds of downtime is enough to cost the company business.
Guarding against connectivity failures is why Murphy USA selected a comprehenseive HughesONTM High-Availability Networking solution at its nearly 1,200 locations in 29 states throughout the U.S. A fully managed solution, HughesON High-Availability combines broadband terrestrial connectivity (DSL and 4G) and satellite backup at each Murphy USA location. If the terrestrial network fails or is knocked out by a disaster, the satellite system kicks in.
Beyond credit and debit card transactions, the company is taking advantage of the solution's diverse capabilities for a range of business functions, including inventory control, employee clocking, security cameras, back-office support, software upgrades, and tank level monitoring. In addition, the network's high speed and capacity enable Murphy's corporate offices to access sales and fuel data constantly throughout the day.
Meeting the stringent Payment Card Industry (PCI) information security standards is a major requirement for Murphy USA, and is fully satisfied by the HughesON High-Availability solution. This includes firewall, rogue wireless access point detection, and virus scanning services at each Murphy location, giving the company what Roger calls "a depth of defense strategy" against information theft.
As an added bonus to its operational efficiencies, HughesON High-Availability is helping Murphy USA's IT department generate revenue by sharing bandwidth with outside vendors and offering services to internal business units. These include promotional and point-of-sale services that can increase customer purchases or just create a more attractive environment.
"We have a vendor who sells drinks at the pump—customers can just add the price to their purchase and select a drink from a cooler," added Rogers. "If a site wants that service and they need a new server to support it, we can add it easily. It's the same thing if they want to add a music server to play MP3s in the store. Hughes makes it very simple to add and maintain additional services."
A Winning Team
According to Conner, the excellent relationship between Murphy USA and Hughes is one of the keys to the success of the solution.
"Hughes is very good at solving problems," said Conner. "They are very open and honest about what's going on. They invite us inside to see what's going on and how they're troubleshooting. Hughes focuses on the problem, opens up, and works with us."
Today, backed by the HughesON High-Availability Networking Solution, that winning team is making sure every swipe counts for Murphy USA customers.