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Tractor Supply Builds Broadband Wireless Networks in 745 Stores Nationwide to Enhance Mobility, Improve Productivity, Achieve Better Inventory Management and Increase Store Profitability

6/12/08 - The Enterprise Mobility business of Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT ) and PartnerSelect Business Partner Quest Solution and PartnerSelect Premier Independent Software Vendor (ISV) StepOne Systems, announced that Tractor Supply, the largest retail farm and ranch chain in the United States, has deployed an end-to-end Motorola enterprise mobility solution that includes deployment of 802.11 wireless LAN (WLAN) across its 745 stores nationwide to improve productivity, inventory management and store profitability.

Tractor Supply also simplified its enterprise WLAN management by selecting Motorola's RF Management Suite for planning, deployment, 24x7 remote network monitoring and security.

Tractor Supply installed a Motorola WS2000 Wireless Switch and multiple AP300 802.11 a/b/g access ports in every store, providing full connectivity, visibility and management of all 745 stores at the corporate network level. Previously, Tractor Supply's receivers operated in batch mode and manually synchronized their data captured on mobile computers in a docking station and waited for nightly refreshes from corporate headquarters. The new system enables a higher level of efficiency and provides the ability for real-time merchandise inquiry and faster receiving of shipments.

Tractor Supply is also leveraging Motorola's RF Management Suite to provide locationing capabilities throughout its wireless enterprise network. The company's IT staff can remotely locate any of its newly deployed Motorola MC3090 mobile computers in any store from headquarters. This ensures that the mobile computers are fully utilized.

With StepOne Systems' retail application expertise, Tractor Supply created a next-generation store application that significantly increases business productivity and ROI of a mobility solution featuring Motorola's enterprise WLAN infrastructure. StepOne worked closely with the Tractor Supply team to develop in-store mobility applications in receiving, transfers, item inquiry and inventory management. The store application is built with the latest software technologies for mobile computing including .NET client using StepOne's snapRETAIL components and web services for store integration.

"We selected Motorola's mobility solution for high security and manageability with mobility applications such as locationing," said Alice McClellan, director of information technology, Tractor Supply. "The enterprise wireless LAN will help us better serve our customers with improved business processes like real-time merchandise inquiry and mobile warehousing."

Motorola's enterprise WLAN portfolio is PCI compliance capable out-of-the-box. The WS2000 WLAN switch provides an integrated stateful inspection firewall, VPN, wireless intrusion protection and supports the latest encryption and authentication standards available from IEEE, including Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA2.

"With nearly 20 years of wireless experience, Motorola has the most expertise in building enterprise wireless LANs having shipped more than 125,000 WLAN switches globally," said Sujai Hajela, vice president and general manager of Enterprise WLAN, Motorola Enterprise Mobility business. "Tractor Supply is a great example of how an enterprise can leverage wireless LAN technology from Motorola to improve their operations and ROI while greatly enhancing their ability to respond to customers' needs."

Quest Solution is managing the mobility project for Tractor Supply and is coordinating with other partners like StepOne that are involved with the enterprise WLAN installation at each location, as well as implementing the real-time inventory system on Motorola mobile computers. Additionally, Quest Solution will provide on-going training and support to ensure the success of the project.

"The ease of deployment and manageability of Motorola's enterprise wireless LAN allowed for a standardized, nationwide mobility infrastructure roll-out for Tractor Supply," said George Zicman, senior vice president of sales, Quest Solution. "Switching from a mobile synchronization platform to Motorola's enterprise mobility solution will increase business efficiencies such as real-time inventory tracking throughout all of its stores."

Enterprise WLAN is part of Motorola's portfolio of innovative wireless broadband solutions and services that complement and complete Internet Protocol (IP) networks. Delivering IP coverage to virtually all spaces both indoors and outdoors, the portfolio includes fixed broadband, mesh, broadband over powerline, WiMAX and Enterprise WLAN solutions for private and public networks.

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Keywords: independent software vendor, rf management, quest solution, retail application, retail farm, mobility applications, tractor supply, application expertise, business productivity, mobility solution, wireless enterprise, mobile computers, nyse, mesh networks

By Robert Hoskins

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