Kohl’s Drives Its Network with ICE
The computer network at Kohl’s Department Stores continues to expand and is comprised of many different servers and systems. With the ICE networking solution from ACI Worldwide, Kohl’s network communications run smoothly.
Kohl’s Department Stores, a U.S. retailer with corporate officies in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, offers name-brand merchandise at attractive prices.
-A $3 billion organization with 27,000 employee
-A U.S. chain of 214 department stores located in 26 East Coast and Midwest states with plans to open 45 more in 1999
-28 percent net sales growth in 1998
Kohl’s information technology department administers a computer network that runs in a Compaq NonStop Himalaya environment. It consists of a S70000 production system, a K20000 QA/Test/Development system and a S70000 development system. In this environment, Kohl’s required a communications solution that could address current requirements and network growth.
Kohl’s needed a software solution on the NonStop Himalaya platform that offered both high-speed Systems Network Architecture (SNA) connectivity to its IBM systems and the capability to integrate a combined SNA and Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) network.
ACI’s Intersystcm Communications Environment (ICE) networking software gave Kohl’s the flexible solution its information technology department was looking for.
ICE delivers communications services for NonStop Himalaya server applications on both K- and S-series systems. ICE offers networking flexibility, excellent performance and reliability, improved user access and advanced client/server support. Many of the features and benefits ICE offers are not otherwise available on NonStop Himalaya systems.
ICE operates in SNA, Advanced Peer-to-Peer Networking (APPN) and TCP/IP environments.
Kohl’s purchased ICE to provide high-speed Ethernet local-area network (LAN) connectivity. As Kohl’s network has grown to require increased high-speed connectivity, the company’s IT department has used ICE to upgrade the network to take advantage of SNA over Token Ring connectivity.
ICE supports Kohl’s communications between its point-of-sale kiosks and terminals to its Quick Credit software that processes new cardholder applications. Using ICE, Kohl’s is able to establish a private label customer account and credit line within 10 to 30 seconds.
“We average 2,500 new accounts a day with a peak of 23,000 during one grand opening. With ICE, we have a stable foundation for network growth as we add new stores, new customers and new functionality,” says Stacy England, the Tandem system manager for Kohl’s.
With the growth of TCP/IP use, organizations such as Kohl’s are faced with finding a cost-effective method to enable TCP/IP client access to existing SNA applications. ICE’S integrated TN3270 client/server support addresses this challenge by easing configuration and manageability issues and enabling an unlimited number of TN3270 users during each ICE process.
ICE’S dynamic configuration capabilities means operator intervention is not required when adding new TN3270 clients to the network. This helps reduce ongoing network maintenance, which is important when dealing with a large number of end users.
Kohl’s implemented ICE’S TN3270 client/server support to enable its call-center operators using TN3270 client terminals to access two business-critical applications: a NonStop Himalaya-based credit application and an RS6000-based collection application.
“ICE’S TN3270 support allows our TN3270 clients to access multiple applications when troubleshooting calls,” England says. “Because of ICE’S high availability and dynamic configuration, we routinely handle between 400 and 1,100 concurrent user sessions at any given point during the day.”
Who To Contact
If your company’s network runs on a NonStop Himalaya platform, ICE can provide the flexibility and multiple-protocol support needed to address a host of networking issues. Contact us for more information about ICE. If you are already an ACI Worldwide customer, contact your local sales representative to learn more.