Corporate Cost Cutting 101: The Retail Networking Budget

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Fiscal budget responsibility for networking in retail has become fragmented. Under present day circumstances, ownership of the networking budget is commonly divided amongst many divisions within a retail organization. These divisions are rarely viewed holistically by the organization. For example, in many cases managing data, “plain old telephone service,” Private Branch exchange (PBX), fax machines, Wi-Fi, and burglar, smoke and fire alarms are delegated to various corporate departments, and are maintained on a decentralized basis.

12 ABC’s of the Network Roadmap

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When formulating a plan in support of a corporate network design, a network roadmap is one of the most essential tools that a retailer can utilize. Advances in networking have made it an exciting time to be in retail, as the range of opportunities to satisfy the customer with superior customer service has grown substantially in the last decade. At the same time, with access to such a plethora of technological options, navigating through all the available possibilities can be overwhelming. Use of a strategic roadmap in the planning stages can help a retailer focus in and ensure that all critical networking elements are included and work concurrently together and with other organizational objectives. The following list simplifies the process by stating 12 of the most elementary yet critical application considerations to make when preparing a network roadmap in a retail environment.

Why Move to Virtual POS?

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The opportunities available to retailers through the virtual POS model are exciting and the benefits are significant. By eliminating the need to install and run the POS application on a server at each store, a significant burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support is alleviated. Here are a few of the benefits of switching to a virtual POS system.

MICROS Acquisition Makes Oracle #1 in Retail POS – How will SAP Respond?

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Retail is a focus industry for both Oracle and SAP – Share your opinions on the impact of the Oracle acquisition and what you think will happen next. With the pending acquisition of MICROS, Oracle will become the new leader in retail POS software according to our 2014 POS/Customer Engagement Survey results. Oracle’s largest acquisition since it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 demonstrates the attractiveness of industries it considers to be ripe for technology transformation and growth.

Networking Upgrades: Critical Considerations before Jumping the Gun

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In the past decade, technological advances in networking capabilities have transformed the retail space. Consumers are now accustomed to having 24/7 network connectivity and real-time access to information everywhere across all channels of commerce. As a retailer looking to provide best-of-breed networking, the obstacles to upgrading can seem daunting. A lack of upfront planning and continual monitoring can lead to excessive long-term spending, missed opportunities to grow the business, or worse a failed disaster recovery plan due to networking issues.

Customer Engagement & Personalization are HOT Topics!

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A good barometer of what topics are hot is the media coverage a press release receives. A week and a half ago, we issued a press release on the results of our CRM/Unified Commerce Study and there have been 21 articles covering this topic. The key priorities identified by retailers in the Boston Retail Partners 1st Annual CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey focused on enhancing customer engagement, collecting and analyzing customer behavior and personalizing the experience.

Virtual POS is the new POS Paradigm

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In the past, Virtual POS would not have been an option due to the perceived risk of WAN failure. Today, due to massive investments in infrastructure, we now have robust network infrastructures available that are far more reliable and resilient than anything we have seen in the past. The reliability of today’s networks provides 99.999% up time.

NETWORKS – The Retail Enabler

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Significant advances in networks in the past decade are transforming retail, as we know it. However, the transformation isn’t pervasive yet, as the adoption of the latest network technologies requires planning and commitment. We are at a strategic inflection point where the network is truly transforming retail and the customer experience.