November #cloudchat: Retail analytics and the cloud

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It’s that time of year: The air is a bit more brisk, Halloween candy is half-off at your local grocery store, and retail displays now feature sparkles, bells, bows and lights. You know what that means: holiday shopping season is here.

With just a couple of weeks until brands unveil their Black Friday doorbuster deals, we decided to focus this month’s #cloudchat, which takes place on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. ET, on retail analytics and the cloud. Analytics is a hot topic as of late, and retail is a natural fit for some of the capabilities available when you marry analytics to the cloud (see here for some recent stats on this year’s holiday shopping trends). How are brands forecasting sales? What existing tools and investments are they now leveraging in the cloud? We’ll delve into some of these trends and topics with the guidance of our distinguished panelists:

Gregory Girard, IDC Retail Insights Merchandise Strategies Program Director

As Program Director, Merchandise Strategies, Greg Girard is responsible for setting and delivering IDC Retail Insights’ authoritative perspective on how retailers should use information technologies to achieve key operational, tactical, and strategic objectives in the sourcing, buying, planning, assortment, allocation, replenishment, and pricing of merchandise.   Mr. Girard has extensive experience in retail technology. He launched the AMR Research Retail Advisory Service and led it for several years. He was the first analyst to cover technologies that have become mainstays of today’s best practices in retail; e.g., price and revenue optimization, store execution and task management, as well as advanced assortment planning, multi-echelon replenishment, and constraint-based supply chain planning. Additionally, he has been responsible for directing and influencing various application strategies and roadmaps software vendors have brought to the retail marketplace, including store network design and advertising, marketing, and promotion (AMP) management.  

Mr. Girard is a frequent speaker at industry and technology vendor events and contributor to retail technology media outlets. He blogs in the IDC Retail Insights Community (  

John Squire Director, Product Management, Enterprise Marketing Management Group, IBM Industry Solutions

John Squire is Director of On Demand Digital Analytics and Marketing Optimization Products for IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management Group. In that capacity, he defines the vision and the product roadmap for the solutions and services that help companies swiftly adapt to rising customer demands in today’s digitally transformed marketplace. A Silicon Valley veteran with more than 15 years’ experience, John is a highly sought-after marketing expert whose comments have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, CNBC and NPR, among others.

As always, here’s the full rundown of how the #cloudchat works:

Add to your calendar via Eventbrite

  • What: A tweetchat is an online conversation held at a pre-arranged time following a specific hashtag, in this case #cloudchat. You will need a Twitter ID to take part.
  • When: Thursday, November 10, at 4 p.m. ET, repeating the 2nd Thursday of every month at 4 p.m. ET.
  • Where: The chat can be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #cloudchat. Alternatively, log on and access the chat on twebevent. A recap will be posted on this blog the following Friday.
  • Why: To facilitate additional industry dialogue and provide a forum for questions, idea sharing, and problem solving. We want your input on what you’d like to discuss during future chats, so please leave a comment on this post or tweet @ibmcloud with topic ideas.
  • Who: Anyone and everyone is welcome to join!
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