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I’m Baptiste Janique, writing from Microsoft in France and I recently attended the NRF Annual 2009 tradeshow in New York. It was the 98th year of this conference and it continues to be an enormous show. I want to give you a report of some of what I heard about.clip_image004

The Connected Experience for Retail vision was launched and leverages new technologies like Surface, Virtual Earth and Windows 7, to provide best in class user experience. Our global partners like Epicor, ADP, Kronos and Cegid announced new business models and solutions to better serve customers and align with those critical pain points.

Adopting an "integrated" approach designed for global retailers, Cegid’s new retail management software suite boasts advanced capabilities in merchandise planning, forecasting and supply chain, as well as web-based merchandising management, hosted point of sale (POS) and customer relationship management (CRM). This new retail management suite leverages Microsoft's development tools and platforms, including WPF, 2007 Microsoft Office applications, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008.

To address the ongoing economic turmoil, Microsoft and its partners have teamed to deliver innovative solutions for our customers in retail, while decreasing costs. Looking at the Retail Survival Strategies for 2009, Sahir Anand from Aberdeen Group authored a very interesting research report in December 2008. I strongly encourage you to read it. This paper outlines how best-in-class CxO’s in retail are attaining success through re-prioritization and renewed focus on retail basics. The research reveals the industry is grappling with critical pain points such as declining topline sales, business value chain impact, and shifts in the information technology roadmap and priorities.

Microsoft and its partners will deliver their commitment to innovative solutions for the retail industry’s challenge and demonstrate these. You can read more about the conference by visiting the @ NRF Annual 2009 website.

For more information and resources designed for software companies to build, sell and succeed, visit www.microsoft.com/isv.

Cheers,

Baptiste Janique

Business Development Manager, Global ISV Team