If you're free Jan 14 and in the bay area, I will be speaking about Retail to the SD Forum, one of the oldest professional meetup groups in the Silicon Valley area. See below for the details.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP2475 Hanover StreetPalo Alto, California 94304Category: EducationWebsite: http://www.sdforum.orgEmerging Technologies in Physical Retail presented by Albert Wong, IT Architect, IBM, and ACM Distinguished Speaker
Abstract:Two major themes are driving the invention and adoption of technologies in physical, bricks-and-mortar retail: (1) the need to make the physical retail experience as trackable, analysable and steerable as the online experience, and (2) the redesign of retail environments by customer type. In this talk, Albert Wong of IBM will survey the leading new retail technologies (including ecash, guided selling, radio frequency identification, and near field communications), and explain how they are being deployed by major retailers such as Best Buy, Walgreens, 7-Eleven, McDonalds, Marks and Spencer, and Virgin. Mr. Wong will also cover the software and hardware infrastructure developed to support those emerging technologies.
Bio: Mr. Wong is an IT Architect with IBM Retail On Demand Emerging Business Opportunities (EBO), an IBM skunkworks charged with increasing IBM's business and technical solutions within the retail industry. He was formerly with the IBM Global Services Linux and Grid EBO, building IBM's initial entry into the Linux and Grid Computing market, and with IBM Global Services Application Services and IBM Sales and Distribution Technical Sales Support. Mr. Wong's experience spans the spectrum of IT business and technical development, including technical pre-sales, solution design and implementation, offering development, and ecosystem enablement. He also co-leads the IGS Open Source Community of Practice, an IBM internal grassroots knowledge network with 7,100+ members.
Free to SDForum & ACM members, $15.00 for non-members.
Pragmatic viewpoints of Open Computing
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Who knew that botnets make so little money? No wonder they have to have such huge networks.
Study: Storm botnet brought in daily profits of up to $9,500The investigation of spam and the malware payloads that accompany it is a major focus of companies and organizations, from the federal government down to the small-business part-time IT director. Most of this work, however, is devoted to detecting and filtering spam infected or otherwise, as well as to predicting what delivery vectors the industry might favor in the future. Actual data on the spam industry's economic model is much harder to come by—at least it used to be. Earlier this year, a group of researchers led by University of California-San Diego computer scientist Stefan Savage conducted research on the market fundamentals of the spam industry, from within the industry itself.
In order to conduct their research, Savage's team took partial control of part of the Storm Worm's massive botnet. A certain subset of the botnet's traffic was then rerouted, and delivered interested potential buyers to a web site under white hat control. Savage's websites mimicked those set up by the creators of Storm, but were specifically designed to return error messages if a visitor attempted to transmit any sensitive information or conduct a transaction. The team discovered three separate campaigns through the duration of their tests and analyzed some 469 million e-mails. Full details on the investigation, including a discussion of how the researchers infiltrated Storm and a very specific breakdown of what they found, is available here PDF.[Read More]
Understanding and becoming Service Oriented Architecture Certified - IBM Certified SOA Solution Designer
People generally agree what is Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). However everyone slightly disagrees with the scope (depth and breath) of how much SOA can play inside an enterprise.
With that said, if you're looking for one of the most comprehensive SOA stories in the market, there is a great class that you can take that really goes into detail about IBM's SOA vision (free for students and business partners). Once you complete the class, you can get certified as an IBM SOA Solution Designer. Below is more details about the class and the certification you can take.
----------------------------------Test 667 - Architectural Design of SOA Solutions (https://www-03.ibm.com/partnerworld/vic/wps/myportal/mypoc?uri=service:deep_link&courseid=1908)
The SOA Test 667 Certification preparation course is designed to aid in the successful completion of the SOA 667 Certification exam. This course provides an overview of the objectives in the exam. You will learn about applying the SOA approach to solution Architecture, the position and benefits of SOA with respect to business and IT strategy, be able to define the role that standards play in an SOA solution, apply the IBM SOA Reference Architecture and leverage the IBM SOA Foundation and apply proper design guidelines for an SOA solution. Along with this you will review the application of the SOA infrastructure, implementation of selected patterns, services enablement for existing assets, user interaction implementation, Business Process Management implementation, security implementation, service management implementation, information management implementation, quality assurance and ensure that governance is properly applied to the SOA realization. This course will provide an overview of the objectives, but is not meant to be solely used for the preparation of the SOA 667 exam.
----------------------------------IBM Certified SOA Solution Designer (http://www-03.ibm.com/certify/certs/45000102.shtml)
This intermediate level certification is intended for solution designers, or consultants and architects with previous experience designing SOA application components and business integration solutions. They are part of project teams responsible for designing SOA solutions.
This certification validates the candidate-s ability to assess and translate client requirements for business process flexibility and agility into a service-focused software solution, using Service Oriented Architecture principles.
Under the direction of the SOA Solution Architect, this SOA Solution Designer:
* Articulates the value of SOA solution in the context of the business strategy * Validates customer business requirements, identifying and documenting current processes and infrastructure related to the business requirements * Assesses the client-s readiness for SOA organizationally and technically * Defines an appropriate roadmap for SOA adoption and governance * Determines services and tasks based on the business process model * Establishes service definitions that satisfy both functional and non-functional requirements * Designs the service integration environment and incorporates IBM SOA Foundation and Reference Architectures * Articulates architectural/design decisions * Applies existing best practices and technology standards for SOA and services design in the solution implementation * Provides guidance and review for SOA implementation, deployment and management
This SOA Solution Designer is generally self-sufficient and is able to perform most of the tasks involved in the role with limited assistance from peers, product documentation and vendor support services.[Read More]
Wouldn't this be great in a retail store or better yet, allow people to shop at home!
Clips: Dreamoc 3D Display Turns Any Phone Into Hologram MachineWe don't know the last time that a demo kiosk has actually caused us to look twice, but if a place like Best Buy or Fry's were filled with Dreamoc 3D displays, we'd probably be more interested in the sales pitch than the product. Because not only can the system display 3D video—it can display 3D video that mixes with real world objects.
Sound bites: With economic is turmoil, online commerce is benefiting. Niche online retailer is expanding. More suppliers are jumping into the market. Online shopping experience varies country by country and there are movements to make a standard.
5 Trends for European online retail | Shop.org BlogEurope: Growth market
This morning I went more indepth on EMOTA’s key figures. In 2007, the EMOTA members saw a 14% increase in distance selling (online and offline sales, including sales from big books, telephone, etc). Sales went up to 110.3 billion euro’s for Europe. Per capita, excluding Russia, European consumers spent € 186 per capita in 2007, compared to € 165 in 2006, a growth of 13%.
Impact financial crises uncertain
The impact of the financial crises is uncertain, but like Michel Lieffering, CEO of Conrad Electronic explained to me: every crises has a winner and maybe online will be the winner this time. It’s the ‘battle of the channels’. Recent research from the UK shows that consumers are changing online behaviour, doing more price comparison and doing more shopping online. Maybe it’s like Scott Silvemann of Shop.org said yesterday: we not immune for the financial crises, yet we are resilient.
Long tail is alive and kicking
Chris Anderson’s long tail is definitely alive and kicking in Europe. In Holland, a little over 7,000 webshops are registered at the Chambers of Commerce, yet we as an association believe the actual number of webshops probably reaches close to 20,000. This is an European trend, having a distinguished impact on the market. Question of course is whether the financial crises is also the announcement of an upcoming shake-out, like we saw at the internet bubble. My prediction is that a shake out is inevitable.
Manufacturers are entering the online market
It has been great to see so many manufacturers attending the Summit in Amsterdam and of course this is for a reason. The manufacturers are entering the online retail arena and this will have impact on how the retail ballgame will be played in the future. In the US already 5% of consumers online sales are purchased at the webshops of manufacturers. And over 50% of consumers look for information at the manufacturers website before purchasing goods online.
Consumer protection is hot!
There is vast trend of consumer protection flowing over Europe. Consumer Authorities, national bodies that look after the interests of consumers, are popping up in most European countries. New legislation is being drawn up at the European commission level which will be translated into national legislation in the upcoming years. These new guidelines will have impact on the business of European retailers!
Harmonizing European markets
One of the top priorities of the European Commission is to harmonize the markets of 27 participating countries in the European Union to open up the market, to create an internal market without borders. I pointed out to the withdrawal period for returning goods various between 7 days in some countries to even some weeks in other countries. Some countries prohibit partly or full payment in advance. Harmonizing European markets is good for consumers and online retailers, as long as it is well balanced.[Read More]
Here are the sound bites: Online retailing only set to grow. Free shipping is here to stay. Privacy is on consumer's minds. Commentary from other shopper are influencing spending.
Global Summit Update | Shop.org BlogScott Silverman, executive director of co-organiser Shop.org and chairman of the first day, also showed staggering figures and predictions for the US market: 117 billion USD in 2007, 334 billion USD in 2012. But what are some of the US trends that are shaping US online retail?
Growth of the market
Scott talked about 5 trends that are shaping US online retail. He talked about the growth of the US market and pointed out to a 21% growth in 2007, 17% in 2008, 15.2% in 2009 and ultimately a 11.2% growth in 2012. By now the online penetration is significant in many categories: 8 retail categories like computers, books, dvd’s, consumer electronics, baby products show an online penetration of 20% or higher!
Impact of financial crises
On the impact of the financial crises on online retail, Scott’s comment was: the online market is not immune for the financial crises, but it is resilient.
Scott also talked about on old American tradition: free shipping to consumers! Amazon started this tradition back in 2004. Nowadays free shipping is offered to consumers by 8 out of 10 retailers and obviously, consumers love it. Research shows that consumers value free shipping as an unique selling point and three of the top 8 favorite online retail promotions involve ‘paying less for shipping’.
Social media is going to change the online landscape, Scott pointed out. Monica Luechtefeld, vice president of 5 billion corporation Office Depot, first key note speaker, talked about the upcoming challenges of social media. Back in 1994 we said: ‘The internet will change everything’. Social media is now about to change the online market, even though nobody nows for sure who and with what technology will ultimately will become the dominant players and the new Google. Social media is about social networking, where ages 17-25 are the target for now. . the past was about pull, the future will be about push. Social media will start at consumers, then small business and finally to corporate business.
Luechtefeld also talked about privacy as one of the 6 US online retail trends. While 7 out of 10 consumers express concern about privacy, only 4 out of 10 bother to read the privacy statements, according to Luechtefeld… It is a privacy dilemma: on the one hand there are privacy concerns, on the other hand consumers are willing to provide various forms of information in exchange for something as modest a $50 - $100 sweepstake entry.[Read More]
Personally speaking, I believe it's a good thing. Yes, compliance like security is a pain in the butt to implement and maintain but it's done with good reason. After all, do you want to report to your CEO that his IT systems been broken in and been a victim of credit card/payment and customer information theft?
StorefrontBacktalk - Techniques, Tools, and Tirades about Retail Technology and E-CommerceThe position that there are far-reaching implications of the Payment Applications Data Security Standards (PA DSS) for the merchant community is hardly new, as they affect thousands of payment, infrastructure and business management applications.[Read More]
Yikes! Can you imagine the impact of a more wide spread events like this affecting the brand? It could be as worse as a credit card break-in. Good thing we have a solution. Depending on the way you've implemented customer master data management, this could be mitigated through data monitoring solution.
StorefrontBacktalk - Techniques, Tools, and Tirades about Retail Technology and E-CommerceGenesco, which owns more than 2,000 stores operating as nine different chains including Johnston & Murphy, Dockers and Journeys, learned this week how POS receipt customization can be remarkably dangerous.
Seems that an associate programmed a series of options for a cashier to choose when identifying the customer. One of the choices programmed? “Dumb Nier.” Yes, the forbidden racial slur, and a 22-year-old Missouri man found it printed on his receipt at a Journeys. There’s a nice story about the incident on ABCNews.com and the video link shows much more detail. Doesn’t a manager check these things? And if it was approved, that store has a lot of explaining to do.[Read More]
Reliance Retail India: Challenges for Indian RetailersAt the BuildUp 2008 conference in Bangalore, Retailers discussed the various challenges ahead of them. The consensus was, Retail cannot develop unless infrastructure develops.
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Interested in working in a foreign country to help them address socio-economic challenges? Maybe IBM Corporate Peace Corps is a fit for you?
IBM The Greater IBM Connection | Connections eMagazine | First 100 Selected for IBM's 'Corporate Peace Corps'When IBM announced that more than 100 employees from 33 countries will take part in IBM's new Corporate Service Corps program, it kept up a drumbeat of change in the way the company is shaping careers of the future while maintaining the focus on new business areas
These new members of IBM's "Corporate Peace Corps" will be developing their leadership skills while they address socio-economic challenges in emerging markets.
Where they'll work
In the newly announced Corporate Service Corps program, twelve teams of employees will be split among Romania, Turkey, Vietnam, the Philippines, Ghana, and Tanzania this year. They'll use their skills to work on projects that encompass economic development and information technology.
"It's a corporate version of the Peace Corps," said Stanley S. Litow, vice-president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs, IBM. "What we as a company get is leaders with a broader range of skills that can function in a global context. What the individual participant gets is a unique set of leadership opportunities and development experiences. And what communities get are IBM's best problem solving skills. It's a triple benefit."[Read More]
Pretty cool article on one of the IBM Retail labs. I haven't been here yet. I've been at some of the other IBM Retail labs in Dallas, Boston and Shanghai.
Inside IBM's software lab: Blue-sky thinkingIBM has created an innovation centre at Hursley that houses retail and RFID labs, which all of IBM's retail solutions partners are invited to use. Since the beginning of the year, the centre has also hosted 30 retailers – including major grocery chains – that come to test technology and work on solutions to specific business problems.
There are two hours' worth of demonstrations to see in the retail lab, but this is no store of the future – it is designed to show how today's leading-edge technology can assist retailers with the issues they face. For instance, on display is PCMS' IBM-based BeanStore EPoS system – being implemented by Marks & Spencer at present – as well as ZBD's electronic shelf edge labels, which have been tested by Tesco among others.
The centre's retail laboratory is set up to look like a store. And while it can be used to show quick demonstrations of how different suppliers' technology can be integrated, the computing power and data storage facilities at the centre's disposal mean that it can handle the actual volumes of data that a retail system would process. For example, Retail Week was shown a demonstration of electronic paper that can be used as price labels, with prices changed remotely throughout the day. Where IBM's retail lab comes in is in demonstrating how a price change in one system can be communicated instantly to all the other systems that need to know about the change, such as the ticketing system and EPoS system.[Read More]
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IBM is big on certifications. In fact, to get above a certain pay grade, you have to be Open Group Certified. I'm on the path to get my Open Group Master Certified IT Architect and ITIL v3 Foundations Certification.
Certifications That PayAccording to Foote Partners, "Of the list of eighteen certifications displaying the most growth in pay over the past twelve months, nine (or 50 percent) are IT security certifications". At the top of the list, with a 34.5% rise in pay over the last twelve months is the GIAC Security Expert (GSE). Other notables are the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Cisco security certifications (CCSP, CISSP, & CCNP), Planet3 certifications (CWNA, CWAP, & CWSP), and the Certified Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI).
The only other area of pay growth was in Architecture and Project Management certifications. The two standout certifications in this group are The Open Group's IT Certified Architect at the master level and the popular Project Management Professional (PMP).
Highest Paying Certifications - List of the Highest Paying CertificationsAccording to recent salary surveys by ZDNET's Tech Republic organization, the following are the highest paying certifications to have in the technology industry.
Following each certification is the average annual salary being paid to individual responders that hold the certification. I have also listed training resources to learn more information about how to acquire each of the highest paying certifications.
1. PMI Project Management Professional (PMP)With an average annual salary of $101,695, the PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) organization tops the list of highest paying certifications for the current year.
2. PMI Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)Next highest on the list of highest paying certifications is PMI's Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). The average annual salary for CAPM holders that were surveyed is $101,103.
3. ITIL v2 - FoundationsWith an annual average salary of $95,415 the ITIL v2 Foundations certification came up third on the list of highest paying certifications. ITIL stands for the IT Infrastructure Library. The ITIL certification is designed to show expertise in ITIL service support and service delivery.
4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)Coming in at a close 4th on the list of highest paying certifications is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional or CISSP certification from (ISC)2. The average annual reported salary was $94,018.[Read More]
Just spreading the word. If you write/have applications that uses a payment card, you better be aware of the compliance issues you may be facing in the near term.
StorefrontBacktalk - Techniques, Tools, and Tirades about Retail Technology and E-CommerceMost merchants and application vendors seriously underestimate both the scope and the force of the Payment Applications Data Security Standard (PA DSS). If so, it’s only because they haven’t read the standard or don’t immediately grasp what’s involved.
Essentially, this standard could cause merchants of all sizes in all industries to have to switch payment application vendors, argues GuestView Columnist David Taylor.[Read More]
Very interesting question. Can Open Source Application software meet the needs of a Retail Point of Sales System? Depending on your requirements and needs, for a certain segment of retailers, it may be "good enough". At this point, with the customer I work with, open source retail point of sales software still has a ways to go.
Nevertheless, if you're in the market and selecting a point of sales system, here are some things to keep in mind:
- stable, growing platform with marketshare and ecosystem of partners (reduce operational risk, reduce operational costs)- aligns with Retail Industry Standards and IT Industry Standards and built with IT industry best practices (enhance operational flexibility, reduce operational costs)- complies to Retail Security mandates (conform to compliance)- open for integration (enhance operational flexibility)
Open Source Point-of-Sale Systems: Worth A Look? | The VAR GuyCha-ching. That’s the noise open source companies hope to hear as they launch new point-of-sale solutions for VARs and retail customers. But can open source POS systems compete with traditional, popular options from Dell, Microsoft, IBM, NCR and others?
The VAR Guy can’t say for sure, but he’s seeing progress on the open source front. Here’s the update.
Openbravo has launched Openbravo POS 2.0. The new platform has an improved user interface, more reporting features, global localization features, and some other bells and whistles. Openbravo acquired the base POS technology when it snapped up Librepos in 2007. (In its early days, the software was known as TinaPOS.)
Meanwhile, Novell continues to push forward with various point-of-sale software partnerships. One of which, with 360 Commerce (now owned by Oracle), promotes POS technology on SuSE Linux. Novell also has a specialized operating system, called SuSE Linux Point of Service, that’s back by IBM, NCR and SAP.[Read More]