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Retail Innovation Symposium 2012 – Innovate for the Future with SAP

Leading retailers joined SAP Retail experts for a day of Innovation in Palo Alto (April 10) and in New York City (April 17) to explore strategies to thrive in today’s and tomorrow’s demanding retail markets.  The event in Palo Alto provided a platform to share SAP’s leading technology and solution innovations to help retailers drive top line brand differentiation and enhance the customer experience while delivering bottom line results. The interactive day offered a business perspective to key areas in the retail solution roadmap such as mobility, in-memory computing, cloud technology and more.   The interactive nature of the session brought out good discussions and networking among the retail companies in attendance and with the SAP experts.   The session objectives were:

  1. To provide interesting and provocative points of view that challenge you to look at your own businesses differently
  2. To provide each of you with a clear understanding of SAP’s Retail Vision
  3. To introduce SAP’s newest innovations and provide ways for you to explore integrating them into your own businesses

After opening welcome by Matt Laukaitis, VP SAP Retail, our partners at Agilysys (Aaron Hagler and Kelly House) presented a success story about Sephora that leverages our own SAP POS to enable Sephora’s store associates to deliver higher levels of service through mobile POS.  They also challenged the audience to think in terms of applying in an evolutionary way available technologies to achieve true mobile Point of Service.   They also used real customer successes to advise on what constitutes a winning transformational project.

Over two separate sessions, Steve Townsend, VP SAP Retail, addressed two major trends transforming retail:  Mobility and Big Data.  Steve brought home the ways in which mobility is transforming the many operational processes.   It’s about delivering “the right information to the right people at the right time on the best device (corporate or employee owned), while ensuring security of data and access to the company network.”  And in the second session, Steve tackled Big Data with SAP In-memory technology and specific retail solutions running on HANA (Sales Analysis and Planning for Retail).  Kate Delimitros, Principal SAP Value Engineering followed up on each of the mobile and HANA themes from creating, capturing, and measuring business value perspective. She honed in on the importance of not only estimating benefits and ROI, but to actually measure, and monitor progress against expectations as well as being able to benchmark with the appropriate KPIs against one’s peers.  An interactive group exercise on HANA opportunities at each of the retailers in the audience got everyone involved and helped them to visualize HANA opportunities in their organizations.

A well-received session by NRF and senior executive and retail expert Vicki Cantrell (former COO at Tory Burch) offered a convincing and passionate view of an Integrated Retail future in which personalization, SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile), Globalization, and Organization form the four major trends retailers need to tackle.  And this world is becoming more and more one of OmniChannel – defined by how a customer experiences the brand regardless of point of interaction in time and place – physical or digital.  This was followed by Mark Ledbetter, Global VP and Head of Strategy for Retail IBU in which he covered innovation drivers in retail, the SAP Retail vision and Innovation Strategy along technology, solution, and delivery dimensions.  Mark capped his talk with a Groupe Casino video on how SAP helps that global retailer run better!

Tim Hood, VP SAP Retail and Chief Architect, helped the attendees to make sense of Cloud technology.  After defining what Cloud technology is (and is not), Tim shared several Cloud deployment models (private, public, hybrid, and variants on each) and importantly how the Cloud is forcing “new category of applications extending the reach of the enterprise.”  These are causing a paradigm shift not just in derived value, nature of costs, and risk mitigation, but also in a new relationship between SAP and our customers. 

A similar program is planned to repeat on the East Coast in the SAP New York offices on April 17th and will be hosted by Scott Flathers, VP SAP Retail.  Delivering the Retail Strategy and Innovation Agenda session will be Lori Mitchell-Keller, SVP and Head of Global Retail IBU.  Joe Skorupa (RIS News Group Editor in Chief) will provide the external industry view with an eye to future retail technology investments and strategic planning. Aditi Chhaaya, Senior Principal, Value Engineering SAP  will  cover the VE perspective for the day, and from our customer base, Shirley Alex, Manager at Colgate Palmolive will speak on Colgate’s journey with Big Data. 

You can still register for the NYC event scheduled for April 17th here

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