For the benefit of our global community, here is an editorial view on the presentations from Oracle OpenWorld 2015. We have had a fantastic week in San Francisco.
strategies retailers choose, they have to have access to what’s in stock.
Oracle OpenWorld’s retail sessions launched Monday, Oct 26, with a General Session discussing Commerce
Anywhere strategies, including a case study examining how international
wireless carrier and retailer Vodafone streamlined its enterprise solutions to
cut integration costs and improve inventory control.
“The term omnichannel is overused and ill-defined but it
captures what happens from a holistic brand perspective,” said Jill Puleri,
senior vice president and general manager of Oracle’s retail global business. “All
it means is how a customer can interact with your brand.”
Each brand must define omnichannel or ‘Commerce Anywhere” on
its own terms, she said, by personalizing the customer experience, offering convenient
options for delivery, and accepting new types of payments. But most of all, Commerce
Anywhere depends on real-time visibility of inventory. “The battleground is
going to be around inventory,” Puleri said.
Review the Oracle Retail Keynote from Oracle OpenWorld from the Oracle Retail RACK: Oracle Retail State of Union & General Session
Across Channels, Across
Commerce Anywhere isn’t only about shopping, agreed Mukesh Nakra, associate vice president
of the tech consulting company and Oracle partner Infosys Limited—it’s
about mastering company data and the supply chain. And businesses are eager to
adopt real-time inventory systems to expand worldwide. “Everyone wants to grow
global,” he said.
For example, Infosys recently helped a university bookstore
chain with 1,100 outlets manage the sale, rental and exchange of textbooks,
using Oracle solutions to furnish the chain with a common view of inventory and
tools to forecast demand.
But integrating the solutions necessary to handle inventory
and meet customers where they want to be is an ongoing challenge, Nakra said. Even
a point-of-sale system can be difficult to overhaul, he said—and so, too, is
winning acceptance from stakeholders accustomed to legacy systems.
Here is the link to the Infosys presentation: Infosys: The Future of Retail
Vodafone: Building a
U.K.-based wireless company Vodafone knows these challenges all
too well. With 12,852 owned and franchised shops in Europe, Australia, Africa
and Asia, the company was spending as much as 70 percent of its IT budget on
software integration three years ago. “Moving the needle” just a bit with an “agile”
software deployment could save millions, said Paul Booth, the company’s global
technology head of Terminal Logistics.
The company launched a plan to streamline its system
functions, and deployed it quickly in South Africa. But in the second year,
deployment to other territories stalled, and stores were clamoring for new product.
“It was like a bear pit—there was the product itself, and all these dogs just yapping
at it all of the time,” Booth said. “Nobody could get anything done.”
With Infosys, he launched a “9-6-1” plan to speed Oracle solution
deployment in Vodafone markets worldwide in just nine months. Since introducing
the plan, Vodafone has been able to streamline the delivery of inventory and
improve demand forecasting for stores in South Africa, Greece, Spain and the
U.K., where it delivers an average of 37,000 handsets per day.
The solution ultimately helped Vodafone slash inventories by
15 percent worldwide, and the company expects a 1 percent increase in sales this
year thanks its enhanced promotion and pricing capabilities—and that’s a lot
for a company with £42.2 billion ($64.7 billion) in revenues for
fiscal 2015. Selling stakeholders was the biggest hurdle in the process, Booth
said: “It boiled down to trust.”
Emphasizing Oracle’s built-in best practices can also help retail
IT leaders to embrace a new deployment and move their companies forward, Puleri
added. “This is how retailers are doing it,’” she said. “Here’s how it works
now, and here’s how you can do it a different way.”
Download the full presentation for Vodafone: Vodafone: The Future of Retail “TAPaS”