Retail at OpenWorld - Part 1
By David Dorf on Oct 13, 2009
As Joe Skorupa pointed out in his blog posting on OpenWorld, retail has finally received the spotlight. He's referring to Duncan Angove's presentation during the general session on Monday. Duncan explained how Oracle Retail used middleware to integrate existing products specifically for fashion retailers to support "fast fashion." While the Oracle Retail Integrated Fashion Planning solution has been around for a few months, the Oracle Retail Integrated Inventory Planning solution was just announced today. Both of these solutions have the same key ingredients: business process, analytics, and user experience.
Oracle's Retail Reference Model is a set of business process models that capture best practice processes validated by customers, analysts, and partners. It illustrates, at varying levels of detail, the automated and manual steps involved for item induction, assortment execution, replenishment, etc. They show which roles are involved, how applications interact, and where alerts occurs.
In retail, there are two sides to analytics. First, retailers must capture and process data so they can detect trends and measure key performance indicators. This is necessary to establish baselines and continuously build better plans. You know this as "business intelligence." Second, science in the form of statistical algorithms are applied to optimize the decisions made, such as promotions, markdowns, and replenishment.
No dinner is complete without the ambiance. The business processes are served up with pervasive analytics in a compelling Web 2.0 UI that includes role-based dashboards, application navigation, and collaboration. This is done via our retail specific extensions to Oracle WebCenter which we have branded Oracle Retail Workspace.
I love using the xobni plug-in for Outlook because as I read emails, xobni shows me information about the sender, a history of their conversations and attachments, and even provides me analytics about their email behavior. This information is provided in-context with no additional effort on my part and allows me to more quickly respond to emails. We're going for the same experience with Workspace, hoping to increase productivity for the retail industry. The Integrated Fashion Planning and Integrated Inventory Planning solutions are just the start.