“Good clothing and textiles don’t have to be expensive…”

How Does Zeeman Benefit?
  • Agility – Zeeman’s IT team can remain abreast with the business’ aggressive store opening & refurbishment program as well as access new business opportunities in international export markets and supply chains, thanks to GCX’s agile approach.
  • Transparency – Zeeman can meet its sustainability targets through transparent systems & processes; many of which are delivered over the GCX network
  • Value for money – cost-effective infrastructure and a proactive approach to network development helps Zeeman live up to its founder’s ambition to become Europe’s leader in affordable fashion and textiles
GCX Product & Services
  • Managed Hybrid VPN
    • Fully-integrated GCX & 3rd party MPLS
    • Cost-effective low-cost Hybrid Internet
  • WAN Xtra
    • Rapid network deployment service
  • X-Shield Managed Security
    • Firewall, Intrusion Detection, Web Filtering, Anti-Virus
  • Expert Managed Service
    • Multi-function dedicated customer service team
    • Global End-to-end accountability & SLAs

Jan Zeeman, the founder of fashion and textiles retailer Zeeman Textielsupers, didn’t just develop this sharp vision; he also built his business on it. Good-quality fashion and household textiles for a low, fair price became Zeeman’s specialty.

The Netherlands-headquartered company sells quality products at competitive prices through a combination of a highly efficient organization and large-scale purchasing power. Established in 1967, Zeeman today operates more than 1,300 stores and serves 70 million satisfied customers in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Austria and Spain.

With a motto like this, it’s clear Zeeman’s success is no coincidence; Zeeman is “always sharp” across every facet of the business, every day. Sharp on prices. Sharp on trends. Sharp on details. Sharp on opportunities for improvement. This sharpness can be seen through its product. Zeeman believes that making an expensive product is something that can be done by anyone, but for to make a product that costs just a few Euros and still exudes quality, special creativity, focus and ambition is required.

Always Sharp Across Every Facet of the Business

Zeeman’s Challenges

Zeeman’s ambition is to be Europe’s market leader in affordable fashion and household textiles; with agility, cost effectiveness and accountability anchoring its success. To achieve this, Zeeman relies on low-cost, secure, high-speed infrastructure that gives the necessary agility to succeed on the high streets of Western Europe without compromisingon the company’s quality standards or its stakeholders’ sustainability expectations.

In 2010, Zeeman turned to GCX to provide a seamless managed network matched to the exact requirements of every site in every country. Up to then, Zeeman had run its network internally, managing different infrastructure providers with unclear responsibility and limited international experience.

Network Agility to Succeed in Today’s Highly Competitive Retail Markets

As Zeeman grows, they rely on GCX to support their international expansion and adapt as quickly to change as Zeeman does.

The GCX Managed Hybrid VPN combines best-of-breed broadband from local ISPs with GCX’s own global MPLS network, underpinning Zeeman’s fast-paced business and enabling Zeeman to easily scale up or down, based on its needs

  • The network carries business-critical voice and data traffic connecting its Head Office, > 1,300 retail stores and Third-Party providers to key areas like purchasing and logistics departments, as well as Zeeman’s Central Payment Solution
  • Zeeman can track sales and stock levels, verify customer payments in real-time; all with a customer-friendly service
  • In the event of an outage, a GCX-provided 4G Hybrid VPN solution ensures the location remains fully functional

With stores opening and re-locating regularly every week across Europe, meeting challenging schedules is high on Zeeman’s IT agenda. The retailer’s IT team often faces store opening or fit-out times of one week or less, which is significantly shorter than the average telecom installation time; typically ranging from weeks to months.

  • Through the WAN Xtra rapid network deployment service, stores can be connected quickly and flexibly allowing Zeeman’s IT teams to keep abreast of the business
  • Thanks to their expertise in retail environments, GCX’s provisioning and implementation teams often deal directly with Third-Party Project Managers and other providers like store fitters or utility suppliers, giving Zeeman the confidence to continue with their aggressive store expansion program

Since Zeeman’s IT organization is flat and relatively small, a dedicated GCX team has been assigned, (including Installation, Assurance, Service and Project Managers), to mirror the company’s IT function, and enable Zeeman’s IT functions to meet ambitious deadlines

“Always Sharp” – Managing Margins Through Fit-For-Purpose Connectivity

Zeeman is price-competitive, but not at all costs. “Always sharp” means it manages expenses without compromising on quality and performance. GCX supports this approach, providing a network built on a mix of low-cost broadband hybrid connectivity for stores and premium enterprise-grade connectivity for sites like the Head Office, Data Center, and business-critical Thirdparty connections.

With prices in high street fashion retailing under constant pressure, Zeeman can access new export opportunities thanks to the flexibility offered by GCX, as well as extending its supply chain and exploring new markets, to manage and maintain healthy margins within the business. And by converging voice and data communications infrastructure and running a cost-effective VoIP service over the GCX-provided network, Zeeman has further reduced infrastructure duplication while leveraging fit-for-purpose technology.

Meeting Sustainability Targets Through Transparent Systems & Processes

Gone are the days when customers just look at the price and quality and as a result, transparency in meeting stakeholder, environmental and social sustainability expectations have become a key objective for Zeeman. The company has developed a range of strategic goals for every stage of the value creation process, from improving working conditions at manufacturing partners’ facilities, to reducing the environmental impact of stores, distribution centers and transport, – and ultimately enhancing quality and product safety.

The services provided by GCX plays an underpinning role in achieving greater transparency on internal and external systems and processes:

  • PoS systems, logistics data are delivered end-to-end across the network to key areas such as purchasing and logistics
  • 24×7 access to network parameters is provided through GCX’s real-time online service portal, O-Zone
  • Contract, billing & service management processes and data are provided through GCX; acting as a single point-of-contact end-to-end across the network
  • Real-time data is passed in real-time to the company’s Dutch cash registry system provider which monitors Zeeman’s cash registers over the GCX network

Since first providing service in 2010, GCX has become Zeeman’s trusted network partner, successfully underpinning the retailer’s business through unrivalled network agility, value for money and the optimum solution for its business needs, ultimately helping Zeeman to live up to its founder’s ambition to become Europe’s market leader in affordable fashion and household textiles.

“A truly consultative development process, completely consistent with our “always sharp” philosophy, give us the reliability and agility we require to continue to grow our business.”
What the Customer Says

“Global Cloud Xchange’s hybrid approach to infrastructure sourcing, combining GCX’s privately-own network with best of breed 3rd party infrastructure, and its deep understanding of the dynamics of different national telecom markets enable them to better identify our specific needs and future requirements, than any other provider we engaged with.

A truly consultative development process, completely consistent with our “ALWAYS SHARP” philosophy, give us the reliability and agility we require to continue to grow our business.”

Andre Unkel, Corporate IT Manager Zeeman


Features of GCX Solution
GCX provides Zeeman with a highly reliable communications platform to succeed on the high streets of Western Europe:

  • Managed Hybrid VPN
    • Connects >1,300 European retail stores to the company HQ
    • High-speed 3rd party broadband connectivity, fully integrated into the GCX global MPLS backbone, selected according to store needs
    • Network carries both voice and business-critical data traffic
    • 4G hybrid back-up solution
  • WAN Xtra
    • Rapid deployment service, to connect stores quickly & flexibly
  • X-Shield Managed Security
    • Best of breed service including Firewall, Intrusion Detection, Web Filtering, Anti-virus

The solution is backed by an expert managed service:

  • Single point of contact for all network and security related services regardless of the underlying carrier at each location
  • End-to-end SLA covering all services
  • Fully consolidated billing across the network irrespective of underlying carriers
  • Network performance transparency provided through O-zone, GCX’s real-time online service delivery performance and reporting portal
  • Active ongoing procurement process to continually identify most appropriate technologies and drive down cost