New Zealand’s leading fuel retailer turned to TNS’ SD-WAN managed services to bring new, more secure digital and zero-touch experiences to customers.

The Customer

Z Energy (Z) operates more than 200 service stations, about 160 truck stops and supports 130 owner-operated service stations with digital services.

The Challenge

Z’s 10-year-old legacy network was showing its age, right when customers’ tolerance for payment friction, network shutdowns and disruption was dwindling.

The Solution

Z chose TNS to implement a more resilient, robust and reliable SD-WAN infrastructure as a managed service.


Dramatic improvements in its network’s operational speed, reliability, and security have enabled Z to put new digital capabilities into production, such as automatic number plate recognition for payment and EV charging stations.

Z’s network troubles risked undoing years of innovation

Z’s legacy network infrastructure was already feeling the strain when pandemic shutdowns and related supply chain continuity problems came along.

The stakes were high: on the line was the trust Z had built with consumers over many years of relentlessly improving the customer experience. In particular, its network’s limitations risked undermining the company’s push toward modernizing payments, such as with value-add mobile applications that allowed customers to do more without needing to wait in a queue.

“We’re one of the largest retailers in the country, and payments are mission-critical to our operations,” said Andrew Stewart, Head of Site Systems. “We’ve operated in the same payments ecosystem for a decade, and our options were becoming more constrained.”

Secure SD-WAN supports frictionless CX

Z chose TNS to implement a secure, powerful SD-WAN infrastructure as a managed service, offering a more resilient, robust and reliable network that could support a next-generation frictionless customer experiences.

The network is centrally controlled and continuously monitored by TNS. It’s also backed up by TNS-partner Fortinet’s additional security protections and protocols, such as anti-virus controls with anti-malware and spyware, URL filtering and TLS packet inspection, dynamic policy management and regular firmware updates.

“Absolutely everything that needs to connect gets connected, when and where we need it, with failovers from primary to secondary at every site,” said Stewart. “Our mission-critical services can be maintained in a cyber-safe environment, while non-mission-critical can be de-prioritized which allows for more business options by avoiding additional strain on the comms and data usage.”

Faster, more reliable and more secure

Operational speed, reliability, and security have all been dramatically improved, meaning Z’s retail sites are now running smarter and faster.

A range of new capabilities have been unlocked, including monitoring and analyzing customer movement, electronic controls over in-store digital signage, connected ovens, CCTV, and automatic number plate recognition for payments, EV charging stations, and other touchpoints.

Dozens of on-site devices can plug in to a single switch with more precise and uniform configuration across several different site types, providing stark time-saving benefits compared to the old network. It’s also now a single button push to download security settings onto a new site, and the entire site setup time has been greatly reduced from six hours to 30 minutes.

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