Mobile technology as the centerpiece, SAP introduced seven different “innovations” during the October Retail Forum in Las Vegas. While a number of the technologies have launched and are in use by retail customers, others are still in the research and testing stage.
Robert McFarland, SVP & General Manager, SAP for Retail, welcomed attendees to the event themed Mobilizing Your Business. Mark Ledbetter, National Vice President, SAP for Retail discussed SAP Retail future direction, to include more prepackaged offerings that can go live in 4-6 weeks; and a sustainability application released in July 2010. Kevin Nix, SVP, Mobility, SAP Labs, discussed SAP’s two-part mobile strategy: 1.0 = Extend the Enterprise and 2.0 = Transform the Enterprise.
The seven areas presented during in the Innovation Pods are as follows:
- The Future is Here – The Mobile Power Shopper and Always in Stock
This area featured a preview of SAP’s Sales Analytics for retail using the iPad. Fossil and Walgreens are two retailers testing this product.
- Consumer Mobile Solutions – Deliver a Personalized Shopping Experience
Designed to increase sales by delivering personalized information to the consumer, this solution is being co-developed along with SAP customers including Groupe Casino in Europe. When consumers first reach the store and they sign on to the application they will receive personalized promotions; the application also offers an optimized shopping list and has the ability to capture bar codes for quick checkout.
- Mobile Business Intelligence
The Mobile Business Intelligence platform provides remote access to BI reports, metrics and real-time data. Mobile Power Shopper, Always-In-Stock and a Retail Sales Analysis application are currently being tested.
- Mobile Solutions Powered by Sybase
Sybase mobile solutions, now part of SAP’s offerings as a result of the July 2010 acquisition, offer secure enterprise business solutions for the on-the-go workforce. Sybase Mobile allows connections to both SAP and non-SAP sources.
- SAP Promotion Management for Retail (PMR)
PMR is an integrated solution designed to allow collaboration among divisions including supply chain, loyalty and merchandising. A built-in forecasting engine analyzes unit movement, offering a breakdown of base demand, price, offers and different channel effectiveness.
- SAP Point of Sale/Mobile POS
Currently in use by SAP customers, this customizable POS system offers the ability to change pricing rules, apply new discounts, add promotions and apply tax changes. Store associates can use the handheld RF device to scan items, perform price checks and locate merchandise at other store locations
- Increasing Consumer Agility through Marketing, Loyalty & Innovation
The mobile loyalty and CRM app gives shoppers multi-channel service for managing loyalty rewards, order status, returns, warranties and communications including complaints.
Mobile Also Featured During Breakout Sessions
The SAP Retail Forum also featured speakers from a variety of retail companies, industry analysts and other industry executives. A Retail Executive Panel offered insights from REI, Best Buy, Brown Shoe, IBM and the National Retail Federation (NRF). Executives discussed the impact of smart phone use by consumers and how retailers must embrace mobile technology and provide consistency across all channels. Robyn Schwartz, Retail Industry Research Director from IBM said that a recent IBM study, to be released in January at the NRF annual convention, will reveal that there has been a 150% increase in consumers’ willingness to use the phone for shopping.
Highlights of the breakout sessions featured:
- Brian Kilcourse, RSR Research discussing putting mobile commerce in the hands of consumers, along with Dominik Feiden, VP, Product Management, Web Channel for SAP
- Tim Roat, Sr. Director, Walmart discussing the retailer’s financial system overhaul
- Executives from Fresh Direct, Sara Lee and Anna’s Linens talking about mobilizing with advanced analytics
- John Baldino, Senior Director, Business Transformation at WaWa, discussing improving efficiencies with SAP
- Finance executives from Target discussing business transformation with ERP