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November #cloudchat: Cloud to the retail rescue

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Can cloud help breathe new life into the brick-and-mortar store?

The future of retail doesn’t just lie in e-commerce. Cloud computing is dramatically altering the way retailers are engaging with customers—and the future is bright for those companies that leverage the possibilities.

Retailers are beginning to tap into virtualization and cloud computing models that eliminate wasted capacity and meet the ever-evolving infrastructure needs. Location-based offers and customized shopping opportunities are just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s changing the game for marketers, too. Cloud is fundamentally shifting the way people collaborate, sell, shop, bank, enjoy music, pay their bills. The list goes on. But for marketers, it’s more than just new capabilities—it’s changing the very definition of their job roles while bridging the gap between the CMO and CIO.

With cloud computing, marketers have direct access to the newest, most advanced marketing technology in a self-service model: just turn it on and it quickly delivers powerful resources and results. In fact, the pendulum has swung so dramatically that Gartner predicts that marketing will spend more on IT by 2017 than the IT department itself.

In the end, for any retailer, it’s about customer experience. Deliver a seamless, positive experience for your customer, and they will return. By enabling this, cloud is a true retail game changer.

In anticipation of the year’s busiest time for retailers (Black Friday, holiday shopping, etc.), our November #cloudchat will focus on the ways cloud is transforming the industry.

Join us Nov. 14 from 4-5 p.m. ET by following the #cloudchat hashtag on Twitter.

Meet our panelists:

Courtney Reagan


Courtney Reagan is CNBC’s Retail Reporter. In 2011, Reagan was named general assignment reporter for CNBC’s Business Day programming. She also contributes to NBC’s “TODAY,” NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” and “Nightly Business Report” on public television. In addition to her television reporting, Reagan also anchors a daily digital show “Big Data Download,” produced by CNBC Digital Workshop in partnership with Yahoo! Finance, and contributes regularly to CNBC.com’s “Consumer Nation” blog.

Leslie Hand


As Research Director for IDC Retail Insights, Leslie Hand provides fact-based research and analysis for IDC Retail Insights Supply Chain, Merchandising and Demand Management service. She also provides thought leadership on Sustainability, IT for Green and RFID. In her 25+ years in retail information technology she has guided strategy, development and implementation efforts in supply chain, demand planning, merchandising, point-of-sale (POS), integration and retail back-office applications in a variety of retail segments including grocery, drug store, and specialty. She leverages this experience to provide relevant advice to retailers and technologists on technology, technology strategy, and business processes. 

Jay Henderson


Jay leads product strategy for IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management group. His team is responsible for market analysis, customer insight, and product innovation functions.  He came to IBM through its acquisition of Unica.  Henderson has over fifteen years’ experience in cross-channel marketing and customer analytics.  Prior to joining Unica, Jay ran marketing at text mining innovator ClearForest (acquired by Thomson Reuters). Previously, he served in various marketing roles at predictive analytics leader SPSS (also part of IBM), web analytics pioneer NetGenesis, and management consulting firm Cambridge Technology Group.  Jay holds degrees from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the Sorbonne (Paris IV).

  • What: A Twitter chat 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, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m. ET, repeating the second 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 Twubs. 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!

IBM Cloud

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