By Rose Spicer-Oracle on May 20, 2016
Big and Small, Global and Local, Enterprise and Best of Breed. Oracle Retail supports agility at scale for retailers. The "And" Approach.
In the opening retail general session for Oracle Industry Connect 2016, Mike Webster, Senior vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail and Oracle Hospitality, took a broad look at the retail industry and Oracle’s relationship to it, both in terms of providing solutions and of understanding—and articulating—the shape and direction of an industry in the throes of rapid and fundamental change.
The primary force driving that change, Webster noted, is the transformation of customer expectations that has resulted from the explosive growth of ecommerce over the past 15 to 20 years. Today’s consumer expects to be able to buy what she wants, when and how she wants it, and to have her order processed and delivered as rapidly as possible. What this means, he said, is that there really is no more multichannel or even omnichannel retail. Today’s paradigm is commerce anywhere.
This raises the stakes for retailers in two ways. One is the need to integrate, upgrade, and restructure systems and operational procedures in order to actually be able to provide commerce anywhere. The other is that constantly escalating consumer expectations, and the scramble to meet them, has exacerbated the competitiveness of what was already a brutally competitive business.
To help retailers deal with these new realities, said Webster, a company like Oracle delivers the power of "And"
and offers choice. We have the scale and resources to deliver it all.
In terms of the markets we address, there’s no more small retailers or
large ones. It’s small and large. There’s no more cloud or enterprise or
hybrid approach; it’s small and large, cloud and enterprise and hybrid.
That’s our vision of retail, and that’s how we envision ourselves
serving the industry needs.
In presentations later in the day, two Oracle Retail customers, one giant and one midmarket, talked about ways they are leveraging Oracle’s mastery of the word “and” to help them meet the challenges Webster outlined. Bob Krohn, Director of Merchandise Information Systems, The Walt Disney company, described the steps Disney has taken to corral its vast retail product offering in what it has named Simba, for Single Integrated Merchandise Business Application. Simba is one part of an Oracle-based business integration that has united Disney’s California and Florida operations and is rapidly pulling it together, system-wise, as a global enterprise.
Rikke Alderson, Senior Digital Marketing Executive, Big 5 Sporting Goods, explained how she has managed to move a highly traditional (all-print marketing and promotional literature, no ecommerce) company into the 21st century. Her basis for choosing Oracle as a primary partner in the endeavor was stability—the CEO wanted a company that will still be around in 20 years—that provided the option of owning its data and technology, and offered a pathway to the cloud. Another triumph for the word “and.”