The goal - Exceed customer expectations
To successfully compete, today's retailers must boost productivity, enhance the customer shopping experience, and cost-effectively improve communication. You need technologies that facilitate effective collaboration and provide new ways to share information in a secure manner. The collaborative communications solution from IBM and Cisco can help break down the distance barriers.
The advantage - Enable effective collaboration
The collaborative communications solution from IBM and Cisco is designed to help improve operational efficiencies, increase organizational productivity and provide a consistent experience across the store and chain. By transparently blending multiple communications channels, we can help your business:
- Improve customer satisfaction by enhancing the shopping experience.
- Boost productivity by connecting people, places and information.
- Increase revenue by improving decision making through the utilization and delivery of data.
- Reduce costs by leveraging information to enable correct staffing and inventory requirements.
The benefits - Quickly adapt to changing business needs
The collaborative communications solution from IBM and Cisco can help you create a compelling store environment while securely and reliably protecting brand image and assets.
- Offer customers the choice of interaction through telephone, Internet, voice over IP (VoIP), text chat or e-mail.
- Improve employee productivity and management with innovative applications like time clock and scheduling, HR and payroll to allow personnel to spend less time on routine tasks and more time with customers.
- Enable near immediate access to inventory and product information through IP phone, providing virtual real-time service to customers.
- Use IP phone solutions to provide employee training and management, increase operational efficiencies and help lower costs.
- Develop new methods for increasing sales—IP contact centers for taking and transmitting "drive-through" orders, and virtual conferences and training for large workforces.
- Unite personal productivity management tools to increase organizational productivity and enhance customer care.
- Use rich-media conferencing to maximize productivity.
- Share information with suppliers, devices and applications in a security-rich environment.
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The goal - Maximize the retail environment
Successful retailers must provide a consistent customer experience across their store, catalog and e-commerce channels. Leveraging technologies that facilitate effective collaboration. You need to share information with more suppliers, devices and applications while securely and reliably protecting brand image and assets. The collaborative communications solution from IBM and Cisco can provide a single network that is centrally managed to integrate information across business functions and channels.
The advantage - A single, proven resource
Together, IBM and Cisco offer a shared strategy of integrated solutions, technologies and products to help our retail clients create value and competitive advantage through innovation. We can help solve your most complex business problems with our combined industry expertise.
- IBM is a leader in point-of-sale (POS) and store-based systems, serving 61 of the top 100 global retailers, with over 1.9 million installed units.
- Cisco is a market leader in multiple areas, such as routing and switching, unified communications, wireless and security.
- IBM employs over 6,000 people with specific retail knowledge and service delivery skills.
- Cisco received the 2006 Best in VoiceCon award1 for its Cisco Unified Communications system.
- IBM and the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) have published a radio frequency identification (RFID) adoption roadmap for companies in the consumer products and retail industries.
The benefits - Break down distance barriers
The collaborative communications solution from IBM and Cisco can help you facilitate effective collaborations and develop new methods for increasing sales.
- Transparently blend multiple communications channels, offering customers the choice of interaction through telephone, Internet, voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP), text chat or e-mail.
- Improve operational efficiencies and increase organizational productivity by supporting the convergence and integration of retail applications.
- Set up IP contact centers for taking and transmitting "drive-through" orders, or for virtual conferences and training for large workforces.
- Enable personnel to spend less time on routine tasks and more time with customers with applications like time clock and scheduling, HR, payroll and other business applications, delivered by wired and wireless phones.
- Empower employees with immediate inventory and product information access through IP phone, to provide virtual real-time service to customers.
- Extend your service capabilities across the entire organization.
- Profile and segment customers to deliver contacts to the most appropriate destination and provide a better overall experience.
- Use in-store kiosks to enhance the shopping experience—instead of waiting in line to speak with a sales rep, customers can find product information, do side-by-side product comparisons, sign up for a gift registry, or purchase items that are out of stock in the store.
The approach - An empowered retail environment
One retailer required a rich-media conferencing solution since more than 80 percent of their retail workers were located at remote sites away from headquarters. Using the collaborative communications solution from IBM and Cisco, the retailer was able to increase competitiveness by involving these associates and store management personnel into day-to-day activities. Decisions can now be made more quickly and associates trained more effectively. The retailer is also able to establish and maintain closer relationships with customers and business partners.
The financial advantage - Reduce cost and complexity while improving collaboration
The collaborative communications solution from IBM and Cisco is designed to provide significant cost savings and a measurable return on investment. We can help you:
- Leverage your current systems and other devices to improve employee access to critical systems.
- Reduce the cost and complexity typically associated with managing multiple and remote sites.
- Reduce mobile phone charges—calls traverse the internal IP network.
- Lower costs by enabling self-service applications to limit interactions with a live agent.
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The issues - Deploy the applications you need, when you need them
Traditional store infrastructures tend to be complex and contribute to store inefficiencies. Over time, your operation may have implemented different networks to support point of sale systems, telephony systems with separate PBXs and wireless systems with their own proprietary network. Video and media may be delivered over a non-integrated satellite infrastructure. This complexity limits your ability to bring new products and services to market. IBM and Cisco provide a comprehensive suite of applications that can help.
The benchmark - Extensive industry knowledge and expertise
IBM and Cisco offer solutions based on industry standards, working with other leaders in information security to develop solutions that deliver the greatest possible interoperability between organizations.
- IBM is a leader in retail technology with unmatched retail expertise and global reach with over 30 years in the retail industry.
- Cisco received the "2006 Best in VoiceCon1" award for its Cisco Unified Communications system, a next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) Communications system for voice, video and collaboration.
- IBM research laboratories are actively involved in RFID technology development; their innovations include more than 60 technology patents.
- Our solutions are packaged and proven for retail environments, engineered to deliver long life and stable platforms, with rigorous manufacturing and testing processes designed for real-world environments.
The components - A comprehensive suite of applications
Our standards-based, open platform solution enables retailers to capitalize on converged IP communications. Components can include:
- IBM Store Integration Framework—a retail-optimized, open integration platform that creates a flexible, scalable IT environment.
- Cisco Systems for an IP Communications (IPC)—deliver converged voice, video and data applications to the entire work force, regardless of time or location.
- IBM Lotus® software—leverage enterprise-wide instant messaging and presence awareness, Web conferencing and customizable team spaces.
- IBM WebSphere® Application Server—implement a security-rich, scalable, resilient application infrastructure.
- Cisco IP Security (IPSec) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPNs to help increase security for WANs and LANs.
- Cisco Unity application—provide powerful unified messaging, including e-mail, voice and fax messages managed from a single inbox, and intelligent voice messaging.
- Cisco MeetingPlace, Cisco Conference Connection and Cisco IP/VC videoconferencing—deliver feature-rich voice, Internet and video.
- IBM Anyplace Kiosk—high-powered multimedia kiosk family of offerings creates new opportunities to revolutionize the in-store experience.
- IBM Self Checkout systems—offer faster, more reliable and more flexible self checkout, while continuing to provide the easy-to-use, speedy checkout shoppers crave.
- IBM SurePOS™ 700 Series—the most powerful POS solution in the IBM portfolio, and the first of its kind with 64-bit enabled processors running at speeds up to 3GHz.
The implementation - Enhanced connections
IBM and Cisco have helped many retailers enhance communications between their stores, headquarters, suppliers and customers. One large retailer was operating numerous phone lines out of each store using a traditional private branch exchange (PBX) system. The trunk lines were costly to upgrade. With the collaborative communications solution from IBM and Cisco, the retailer was able to significantly reduce their costs. The solution's inherently scalable, flexible and resilient network architecture is built on an open, standards-based platform, making voice services and applications easy and inexpensive to implement. It can be built just once and then distributed simultaneously through the network to the retail store or chain.
The cost of ownership - Facilitate improvements while reducing costs
The collaborative communications solution from IBM and can help you significantly reduce the costs associated with networking your retail environment.
- Leverage a scalable, flexible and resilient network architecture, built on an open, standards-based platform.
- Protect existing videoconferencing investments—the Cisco IP/VC product family integrates legacy H.320 systems.
- Provide staff with IP mobile handsets for ease of movement throughout organization.
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