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Like the rest of the retail world, I made my way to New York City in mid-January to attend the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, themed Retail’s New Rules. Everywhere you can feel the energy with more than 25,500 attendees from 78 countries coming together to listen, share, and connect with other retail colleagues. Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was the place to be and I hope you were able to experience this first hand. You can get a sense of the mood on the convention floor in this NRF YouTube video. The excitement was magnified as I shared SAP Retail’s vision of Retail Without Boundaries, our innovations and successes with numerous customers, analysts, and journalists.

There was a general consensus that retail has new rules and they’re about the customer: they’re core to a retailer’s success and have unprecedented power. This massive shopper-centered shift is challenging yet is brimming with opportunities. I heard many retail executives express concerns over the incessant pace of growth in retail data granularity and how this was challenging their ability to make sense of all the data. Yet, with this shift, the issue of retail data granularity will only get worse. I came away with confirmed appreciation of the challenges you face in leveraging the right technology in the right manner to maximize people and inventory service levels. We are keenly focused on helping you get your shoppers to say ‘yes’ faster and more often. We are building out our solutions on SAP HANA™ platform technology so you can capture “Big Data” and make sense of it in the retail moment. So you can use it to personalize assortments and customer offers, whenever and wherever they are shopping: in the store, online, or on their favorite mobile device. Core to our Retail Strategy is a vision of a customer-centric retail world. Our current solutions and investment portfolio are geared to deliver customer insight, customer personalization, customer driven supply network, and customer interaction along with corporate operations. Our mission is to help you transform your business with unified and simplified processes across channels, business models and customers.

One of my personal highlights was the keynote for Tuesday’s Super Session. I had the pleasure to introduce David Lauren of the iconic Ralph Lauren Corporation who offered the audience a brilliant story on how the company integrated the physical store presence with digital innovations to effectively and creatively engage the customer in a personalized, one-one-one conversation that protected the brand’s iconic heritage yet elevated its relevance in the digital age; Ralph Lauren is a truly amazing company. In my conversation with David Lauren, I was struck with the similarities in how successful teams get things done. Great teams work diligently to bring vision to life through teamwork. As the teams at Ralph Lauren work out all the details in order to bring their cinematic vision of the runway show to reality, at SAP, we do so as well as we bring our vision to life in every interaction we have with you as part of the SAP Retail ecosystem – our customers and partners. I welcome you to explore the opportunities ahead and together we can see how we can make Retail Without Boundaries a reality and a cornerstone of your success.

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