JCPenney Completes Digital Transition of Legacy Phone System

JCPenney and MetTel announced the digital transformation of the JCPenney store’s legacy telephone (POTS) service using MetTel’s POTS Transformation solution. The project converted more than 5,000 telephone and alarm lines at all 660 JCPenney stores across all 50 U.S. states without the need for replacing existing systems.

Beyond the avoided infrastructure costs, the project will save millions of dollars annually in recurring telecommunications costs while providing greater network intelligence and more resilient external links for critical systems like alarm and elevator lines to operate throughout the loss of power, network and other potential disruptions.

JCPenney set out to modernize its retail environment to address rising costs for telephone service and business continuity during widely anticipated carrier copper retirement. Like all large retailers, JCPenney has a large number of specialty lines (e.g., alarm and burglar) that were designed to use traditional telephony and are generally incompatible with next-generation VoIP systems. As the conversion of the systems would entail a significant capital expenditure, the JCPenney team identified a small number of alternatives and after thorough testing selected MetTel POTS Transformation.

POTS Transformation is a fully managed service that connects analog systems to cloud-based data and voice services, making VoIP conversion possible for legacy equipment. The MetTel solution connects to the internet via broadband, Wi-Fi or 4G LTE SIM using endpoint connections provided by DataRemote Inc., the leading network interface for POTS line replacement. Wireless backup provides business continuity during network outages and dual SIMs provide added fail-over protection for emergency line assurance. MetTel provides access to all three major cellular carriers with the prequalification of LTE/5G coverage in the customer’s area. Cellular can serve as the primary connectivity if Wi-Fi or broadband are not available, or as a backup in the event of primary circuit failure.

MetTel introduced its POTS Transformation solution in 2019, using DataRemote technology for the reliable replacement of specialty lines to meet customer safety and compliance needs and deliver cost savings. The service was an immediate success and has been used by customers across all major industries. Forward-thinking customers like JCPenney have gone beyond emergency communications and replaced their store POTS lines with POTS Transformation to take advantage of the resiliency, network insight and significant cost savings while positioning the company to lead, rather than be forced to react, when copper lines are retired.

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