IBM Teams with Business Partners to Help Retailers Transform the Customer Experience

New IBM Offerings Support Mobile Shopping Devices, Self Checkout, Smart Shopping Carts

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NEW YORK - 12 Jan 2005: IBM announced today that more than 40 leading companies are supporting the IBM Store Integration Framework, a comprehensive solutions framework for enabling the next generation of retail solutions. Built specifically for the store, the Store Integration Framework connects information, processes and business logic both within the store and between the store and the enterprise.

A rich ecosystem of retail industry partners, including leading systems integrators (SIs), independent software vendors (ISVs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are aligning their solutions with the IBM Store Integration Framework, ensuring that retailers can choose the partners and solutions that best fit their needs over time.

Some of the retail industry partners in support of the IBM Store Integration Framework include: Active Decisions, 360Commerce, Cuesol, MeadWestvaco Intelligent Systems, PCMS International, Retek, Symbol Technologies, and Triversity.

IBM Business Partners provide industry specific business applications that run on IBM infrastructure. These include personalized applications for guided selling, faster checkout, dynamic digital merchandising, employee scheduling, employee task management and key performance indicators for store managers. These solutions are based on open standards, such as J2EE and Linux, allowing them to develop an interoperable and scalable IT infrastructure.

IBM Business partners can take advantage of the resources offered through IBM's PartnerWorld Industry Network for Retail initiative to develop, market and sell their retail solutions. The program is one of IBM's primary initiatives designed to help business partners in the retail sector more easily develop and go to market with customized solutions based on open IBM technology that meet customer requirements, industry by industry.

"The retail industry is an ever-changing, highly competitive market and adapting to market demands and in-store technology changes is key to helping retailers maintain customer satisfaction and customer loyalty," said Jan Jackman, General Manager, IBM Retail on Demand. "IBM has the vision, the solutions and a powerful business partner ecosystem to help retailers transform their store environments and improve the customer experience. This gives them the freedom to maximize their unique strategic advantages while reducing the challenges and risks around deploying and integrating newer technologies."

New Offering for Self Checkout, Mobile Shopping Devices, Smart Shopping Carts
A core component of the IBM Store Integration Framework and the on demand store environment is the IBM WebSphere Remote Server, which has been specifically designed to enable retailers -- even those with thousands of stores -- to better target and cater to local sales and promotional preferences. This open industry, standards-based offering was announced in December and is currently available.

The offering enables retailers to quickly and efficiently "snap-in" new applications and devices such as mobile shopping devices, self checkout and smart shopping carts, which can improve and enhance the customer shopping experience. Such devices are compatible with increasingly popular technologies such as digital media displays, consumer wireless devices and radio frequency identification (RFID) devices. A retailer who implements the Store Integration Framework will find the supporting infrastructure already in place, enabling them to achieve business benefits faster.

The IBM WebSphere Remote Server offering can be remotely deployed at the store from a centralized location, eliminating the need for IT skills at remote locations.

With IBM WebSphere Remote Server as a main component in the IBM Store Integration Framework, rigid application silos evaporate and retailers have flexible, interactive technology that helps them:

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