Microsofts Smarter Retailing Initiative Embraced By Leading Companies in the Food Retailing and Supe

Monday 1 March 2004 18:39 CET | News

Microsoft comprehensive solutions framework for enabling the next generation of retail innovation, is being embraced by leading companies in the food retailing and supermarket industries.

Microsoft also announced that both A&P and Smart & Final have deployed Microsoft-based, real-time retailing solutions to improve the flow of information and respond more quickly to changing business conditions. The Smarter Retailing Initiative was launched in January 2004 with the support of more than 20 companies committed to delivering solutions and services that align with the Smarter Retailing vision and using the Microsoft .NET Framework, the programming model for building XML Web services and applications. The momentum generated by the launch is now extending into the supermarket, convenience store and drug industries. AccessVia, Eatec Corp., OPENFIELD Solutions, Retalix Ltd., Sweda Corp. and Wincor Nixdorf Inc. have joined Accenture, Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc., HP, JDA Software Group Inc., Manhattan Associates Inc., NCR Corp. and Trax Retail Solutions Inc. in supplying solutions that enable retailers to take full advantage of their legacy investments, while reducing the challenges and risks associated with deploying and integrating future technologies to adapt to changes in the market. A&P and Smart & Final are deploying Microsoft technology-based solutions that address real-time retailing. A&P Deploys GAPcom Store Portal A&P, one of the nations first supermarket chains and among the largest in North America, has rolled out the next phase of its communications and collaboration system based on Microsoft technology. Initially launched in 2002, the GAPcom Store Portal provides A&P with the ability to electronically publish and instantly update merchandising bulletins, pricing, store signage, operations manuals, and other store updates and applications that previously were disseminated on paper. GAPcom also opens the path for two-way communications between headquarters and the stores, enabling faster responsiveness to customer demands and other business opportunities. GAPcom is based on Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft Active Directory. Smart & Final Deploys Point-of-Sale (POS) Data Repository Smart & Final, an operator of nonmembership warehouse stores for food, supplies and culinary equipment, is deploying the next phase of its point-of-sale (POS) data repository. This real-time retailing solution is highly automated and delivers data anytime, anywhere. It was designed to improve processes, deliver value and, most of all, make it easier for customers and vendors to do business with Smart & Final. The POS data repository is based on Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Windows XP Embedded. Industry Standards Are a Priority Based on open industry standards such as Web services and Extensible Markup Language (XML), and retail-specific standards such as the Association of Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) IX Retail, OPOS, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), UCCnet and Microsofts Smarter Retailing solutions framework, these deployments will serve as the foundation for information technology projects in the future. Microsoft also recently ramped up its commitment to food retailers by becoming a member of CIES, The Food Business Forum, the independent global food business network that is addressing the highly complex and sensitive area of traceability. Addressing the Looming Need to Upgrade One of the challenges facing food retailers is that their current, proprietary systems are nearing the end of their life. Rather than urging users to rip and replace, Microsoft and its partners are developing a variety of solutions to ease the migration to upgraded systems. For example, HP has expanded its portfolio of strategic offerings for the retail industry with the introduction of DeviceConnect-485, a comprehensive, new PCI card that enables retailers with legacy POS hardware (e.g., IBM 4683, 4684,

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
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