Just like retailers are striving to better connect and engage with shoppers, Epicor focuses on doing the same thing with its users. During the annual Insights conference, which was held May 18-21 in Nashville, Tenn., Epicor executives shared the company’s solution and service roadmap with more than 3,700 attendees.
“Our customers are the key,” said Joe Cowan, President and CEO of Epicor. “Everything we’re doing [at Epicor] is focused on you.”
Specifically, Cowan reported that the company would continue its focus on the ease of doing business, which not only includes initial solution deployment, but actually using solutions to drive business results. To meet this goal, Epicor is removing its own business silos and is evolving into a functional organization. The company also recently reported that it would pull its retail solutions group from the broader Epicor business.
“We want to ensure that we’re aligned in the best way possible to deliver value [to our customers],” Cowan told the audience. “The rest of the business has a lot of synergies so we can align through the functional organization. These moves and changes are going to pay dividends for our customers.”
Epicor, as a whole, also will be focusing more on the top five investments for CIOs today, according to Cowan: BI/analytics, infrastructure/data centers, cloud, ERP and mobile. The company’s acquisitions of QuantiSense and ShopVisible specifically, will help “fill sweet spots and strategic gaps in our products and services,” added Noel Goggin, EVP and General Manager at Epicor Retail. As Epicor’s standalone retail solutions division continues to evolve, it will focus on:
- Customer-obsessed service and support;
- Continuous technical innovation;
- Deep domain knowledge and vertical expertise; and
- Design around industry best practices.
During a session, titled: Where We Go From Here: 2015 And Beyond, Ian Rawlins, VP of Strategy and Business Development, shared the new business vision for the retail business, which consists of:
- Engaging with customers in a collaborative, vibrant partnership;
- Transforming fundamental business practices to meet and exceed customer expectations; and
- Inspiring customers by enabling and achieving customer success.
“We’re in a culture of transformation,” Rawlins said. “We feel it every day.”
With new developments in mobility, CRM, social media, globalization analytics and the cloud, Epicor’s retail division is positioned to help retailers be more proactive to shifting industry and consumer trends. Building on a series of partnerships and acquisitions, the company is going to market with Singular Commerce, a platform that touts speed, flexibility, integration and scale.
Spotlighting ‘Inspired Retailers’
In an effort to inspire and excite retail attendees, Epicor honored several organizations that have successfully delivered personalized, efficient and seamless customer experiences. The 2015 Inspired Retailer awards program spotlighted retailers in a number of categories, including omnichannel strategy, mobility and global expansion. Winners for this year’s program included:
- Omnichannel Retailing: True Religion
- Mobile Retailing: Plow & Hearth
- Customer Engagement: Orvis
- Cloud Computing: Charming Charlie
- Merchandise Insights: New Balance
- Data Analytics: Michael Kors
“Retailers are under tremendous pressure to meet shopper expectations, no matter when, where, or how they shop,” Goggin said. “This year’s winning retailers represent some of the most respected retail brands, which continue to be undaunted in the relentless pursuit of innovation in all areas of customer experience.”
Judges evaluated all nominees based on customer, employee and business impact, process improvements, innovation and positive transformations within the company, among other factors.
Charming Charlie Adopts Cloud-Based POS From Epicor
During the conference, Epicor also unveiled Epicor Retail Point of Sale (POS) in the Cloud, a new solution designed to improve efficiency, flexibility and overall speed-to-value for retailers of all sizes.
By moving all POS business logic to the cloud and leveraging the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Infrastructure as a Service platform, the solution can simplify day-to-day IT operations, software updates and integrations. Rather than having IT team members focus on making manual updates, they can spend their time and energy on more innovative projects that help move their business forward.
In addition to scaling with myriad POS devices and hardware, the Epicor Retail Store POS in the Cloud solution makes regular software updates, allowing retailers to comply with the latest payment security regulations.
Accessories retailer Charming Charlie is the first business to embrace the cloud-based POS solution in order to keep pace with international growth projections. With more than 350 U.S. stores and plans to break out internationally, Charming Charlie has moved to a cloud strategy that leverages the POS engine in the cloud, but provides offline capabilities should a store lose cloud connectivity. Once connectivity is restored, any transactions that are completed offline will sync back into the cloud.
“Epicor Retail Store POS in the Cloud will be a game changer for us,” said John Hnanicek, SVP and CIO of Charming Charlie. “We are gaining extensibility, faster time to market and speed to value, and support on a global scale without the need for extensive capital investments, as well as best-in-class disaster recovery, business continuity and site replication.”
Rue21 Taps Epicor QuantiSense To Ramp Up BI Efforts
Rue21, a specialty apparel retailer, has selected the Epicor QuantiSense Retail Business Intelligence Suite to improve business decision-making and support reporting and analytics across merchandising, store operations and digital retail.
With the 2014 launch of its plus size division, rue+, rue21 sought to capture a real-time view of the business across all product categories, including men’s and women’s apparel. By combining such a wide variety of source data systems, rue21 will acquire visibility into both the digital and physical retail business divisions.
“Epicor’s business intelligence expertise in the specialty apparel market segment and the measurable successes that other QuantiSense users shared made us feel extremely comfortable in selection of the Epicor QuantiSense Retail Business Intelligence suite,” said Judy Kucinski, vice president of Strategic Merchandising at rue21. “The speed and low-risk nature of the cloud deployment model made the value proposition even more compelling.”