Restoring Convenience to Ascona Group – Managed Network Solution

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Evolve puts the pedal to the metal for forecourt operator Ascona Group. Fast-Growing Ascona Group was challenged by chaotic network infrastructure until it appointed Evolve.

Here, it reveals the success it has enjoyed following the implementation of our pioneering 24/7 managed network solution. Roadside retail specialist Ascona Group, which has a
network of 61 fuel forecourts across the UK, needed a dedicated partner capable of keeping up the pace when it underwent a period of rapid expansion. As Ascona Group Reached new heights, its network was letting it down.

That’s when Evolve stepped in, a team with decades of experience in supporting multi-site operators and franchisees unleash their potential through network

The Challenge.

Ascona Group has grown rapidly in recent years following a simple formula: to identify ‘forecourt assets’ in the mid-market space. These are typically under independent or family ownership, and develop these forecourts into world class roadside retail destinations. 

This growth meant Ascona Group acquired a mix of telephony systems, network providers and technologies across the estate. It also experienced difficulties in the management and maintenance , from both a billing point of view and in terms of troubleshooting downtime.

Working swiftly, our team designed and installed a secure network that supports fuel and shop sales, and provides guest Wi-Fi and third party services. We linked the Ascona Group estate via secure Wi-Fi to a secure high-speed internet connection with cellular failover, which allows devices to switch between different wireless carriers for improved redundancy, while keeping costs under control. As part of the rapid setup, Ascona Group was then connected to Evolve’s in-house 24/7 manned helpdesk that takes the time to understand the setup of the estate and proactively monitor the network.

Evolve’s team doesn’t wait for the problem to occur – it works to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.

Results : A platform that supports growth.

Steve Townley, ICT Manager at Ascona Group, said, “For example, guests at our Firehouse Restaurant experienced poor internet speeds and problems with payment process. We were losing revenue. We found that customer satisfaction was dwindling. We pride ourselves on our relentless focus on improving the experience for everyone that visits us, so we urgently needed a specialist partner.

In 2012, we began deploying the Mako Networks system, which has end-to-end PCI certification – and we are the sole Platinum Partner of Mako Networks. Then, in 2013, Directors Alan Stephenson-Brown and Ryan Stephenson-Brown, father, and son, joined the team. This propelled our evolution to new heights. With a great team at the helm and industry-leading solutions to offer, between 2013 and 2017 we turned our focus to developing our enhanced customer support offering.

By taking a complex and disorderly network and streamlining it into a managed solution with customer service at its heart, Evolve has transformed Ascona Group’s greatest tech headache into an opportunity for solidifying and maximising its growth.

Any modern business absolutely requires an intense amount of connectivity and security. Evolve makes a complex solution simple. Its ease of use, exceptional service wrap and great people have allowed us to not only stay current but go above and beyond what our customers expect to see at our forecourts. It’s also allowed us to remain secure while taking payments and help give our customers a fantastic experience of visiting us via our free guest WI-FI.”  Ascona Spokesperson

Thanks to Evolve’s world-leading network technologies and dedicated services, Ascona Group has enjoyed significant success.

Customer service, the Evolve way

It was vital for Ascona Group to benefit from our best-in-class customer service. Evolve has undergone a five-year period of transformation in our own business – ensuring we can provide exactly that. Today, we offer a 24x7x365 manned support desk. This means our customers can always speak to a human, no matter what the time or day, and never have to deal with the frustration of ‘chatting’ to a robot.

Here at Evolve, we are eager to solve any challenges through our innovation network technologies.

"Since the introduction of Evolve's 24/7 managed network solution, we have been able to enjoy a standard network design across our estate - not only have our guests enjoyed 100% internet uptime, but Evolve's knowledge of fuel brands and food-to-go has helped accelerate deployment.

Many sites are cutover in just a day without distruption to fuel, shops or food sales. An additional benefit of moving services to the network is the cost reduction associated with the cancellation of many unused telephone lines."
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Steve Townley
ICT Manager at Ascona Group
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