IT partnership keeps footwear retailer schuh on the move

From left - Caroline Robertson of schuh with Michael Thomson, technical director at Opal
From left - Caroline Robertson of schuh with Michael Thomson, technical director at Opal

Edinburgh-based IT specialist Opal has clinched a six-figure contract to help one of the UK’s largest footwear retailers manage more than 2,000 mobile Apple iOS point-of-sale (POS) devices across its 132 stores.

schuh, which started life in the early 1980s with a single outlet in Edinburgh and sells products from brands such as Kickers, Vans and Dr Martens, invested in Apple iOS devices including iScan app and mobile payment devices to make it easier for customers to browse available stock and pay for items across its stores without queuing or having to use a single payment terminal. The firm was seeking a more efficient way to manage these devices to access information about their location, automatically apply security patches and enable customers to get updates on the schuh app, so enlisted the support of Opal to meet this challenge.

Caroline Robertson, head of store systems at schuh, said: “We’re trying to move away from physical cash desks so we can create space for additional products in our stores and deliver a more personal service for the customer. These devices are therefore really important to us so it’s vital we’re able to monitor and manage them effectively. 

“We needed a robust software management tool which allows us to track the movement of these devices and how they’re being used. If someone has lost a device, for example, we need an effective way of checking what time it was last used and who entered the data.

“We also wanted a way of linking our devices to Apple so they could regularly receive software updates to make them more secure and efficient. Opal has first-hand experience of helping businesses get the most out of Apple technology and managing multiple mobile devices effectively, so they were the ideal choice for us.”

A Jamf Gold Partner and Integrator, Opal used JAMF Pro, the leading Apple enterprise endpoint management tool, to integrate schuh’s Apple iOS devices across the business. This has enabled devices to be deployed in minutes to any store across the UK and Republic of Ireland quickly and easily, with device settings locked to schuh’s specification. It has also provided a platform which protects confidential company data and ensures that staff can remotely access information on each device when needed – making the business much more efficient and positioning the company for future expansion.

Andy Metcalfe, managing director of Opal, said: “Companies that operate across multiple sites in different locations need a solution that will enable them to manage all of their mobile devices – and in schuh’s case, this amounts to rather a lot! Our JAMF Gold accreditation – the highest possible level a company can achieve – and our status as an approved JAMF Integrator means that Caroline and her team can focus on driving forward the business while we take care of the underlying technology.”

The latest stories