By David Dorf-Oracle on Jan 08, 2014
On January 6th, Oracle Retail announced Release 14 of its enterprise suite of software. This release represents our largest R&D investment to date, and it addresses the major goal of most retailers: Commerce Anywhere. While there has been much said about the front-end experience for customers, that's just the tip of the iceberg. As all retailers know, there are many systems behind the scenes that make delivering the Commerce Anywhere experience possible. It might be really valuable to deploy iPads for store employees, and provide cool consumer-facing mobile apps, but none of that flash works without the back-office systems that gauge demand, plan the buys, source the products, distribute the inventory, and record the sales.
The market long ago identified the need for cross-channel, omni-channel, or whatever you want to call it. But its such a difficult problem that many retailers have struggled to provide the supporting systems. I don't think there's another vendor that offers the breadth of retail products that Oracle Retail owns, so the spotlight has really been on us to deliver. This release provides the opportunity to transform a retailer's business to truly deliver Commerce Anywhere.
In a recent article, Mike Webster describes the release in terms of providing consumer journeys, targeted assortment offerings, inventory alignment & transparency, and integrations. These are the principle components of the Commerce Anywhere recipe for retailers. Additionally, we provide detailed business process flows and architecture diagrams that prescribe a Commerce Anywhere implementation. Retailers can pick and chose the processes they need for their business and can mix the Oracle assets with existing ones as necessary because the answer can't be "replace everything and start over."
Additionally, there's new science, revamped user interfaces, deeper analytics, performance improvements, and lots of new features that help retailers plan and execute better. One of my favorite things is our new Retail Integration Console -- a dashboard that not only monitors the performance of integrations, but allows drill-down for research and immediate corrections. This supports both proactive and reactive troubleshooting that should help IT perform better.
So don't let the Amazon Octocopter distract you. The retailers that execute on Commerce Anywhere will grow their business, regardless of what's happening in Seattle.