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Posted By Valerie OlagueAmericas Business Group Lead
As established retailers assess the rapidly changing retail landscape, many are investing heavily in employee empowerment to enhance the in-store experience and combat sales lost to online merchants. And while empowering employees to help customers is the bedrock on which many retailers build their business, what is genuinely new is the proliferation of mobile devices as the empowerment tool of choice for customer-facing employees. During my Christmas shopping this season, I encountered all kinds of mobile sales tools, some very easy for me to interact with and frankly, some quite clumsy.
That mobile devices are changing the way the most innovative retailers are engaging with customers is increasingly obvious. The benefits are many: Employees no longer need to leave a customer to check product details, availability or pricing on a PC located elsewhere in the store. The most innovative retailers are using real-time telemetry from the devices in their stores, gaining new insight into demand and customer behavior based on analysis of information being accessed and consumed on their employees’ devices. This is an exciting opportunity for retailers to take advantage of device and technology innovations to deliver the best value to customers through improved operations and sharp business insight. The key is to provide technologies that are not only easy for the retailers, but are also easy for the store associates and customers to interact with.
Comments Intelligent Systems
Posted By Barb EdsonGeneral Manager, Marketing and Business Development
With the holiday shopping season behind us and my upcoming travel to next week’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention & EXPO in New York, I’ve been thinking about the opportunity we frequently discuss with retailers and hospitality organizations to transform the customer experience with intelligent systems—perhaps none as tangible as a fresh, delicious, custom-brewed cup of Costa Coffee.
The story behind the iconic red Costa Express vending machines really underscores the power and flexibility of the Microsoft platform. The UK’s leading self-service espresso bar, Costa Coffee’s acquisition of Coffee Nation in 2011 resulted in the birth of Costa Express. There are now more than 2,500 machines in the UK since the launch of Costa Express 18 months ago. Moving forward, our consulting team worked with Costa to customize a solution that met their business goals—specifically capitalizing on actionable data to drive greater ROI for Costa and, soon, a better cup for coffee lovers.
When Costa decided to build a next-generation coffee-serving machine, they wanted a flexible, end-to-end solution, so they sought out the leader in platforms for intelligent systems, business analytics and cloud computing. Working with partner Bsquare, Costa created a scalable intelligent system that delivers on the company’s goal of bringing a smarter, more connected and richer experience to the customer.
Just as it takes more than a bean to make a good cup of coffee, it takes more than a chip to run an intelligent system. The flexibility of the Windows Embedded platform was key for Bsquare and Costa; with the power to support a range of architectures, Microsoft is able to help partners develop solutions that exactly meet their needs.
Comments Windows Embedded Standard
It’s an exciting week in New York for our Windows Embedded team, who are on hand at the National Retail Federation Convention & EXPO to announce a brand-new product release preview. Windows Embedded senior product manager David Wurster has details.
In October 2012, we announced our road map for the Windows Embedded 8 family of products by sharing availability dates for Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Embedded 8 Pro, and introducing you to Windows Embedded 8 Industry.
All Windows Embedded 8 products will be available in the first half of 2013 and will enable our OEM partners to create differentiated devises that will utilize the rich, immersive and multi-touch customer experience to delight users and help them extend the intelligence of their information technology systems.
Posted By The Embedded Ninja
My clan and I devote our lives to working with Windows Embedded customers to bring truth, justice and the Embedded Way in this technology-driven world. OK, maybe that should read ‘to bring Identity, Security, Connectivity, Manageability, UX, Analytics…and the Intelligent Systems Way’. After all, it is the implementation of a complete Intelligent System that we all strive to share with you, our loyal ninja followers. A description of one such example of an Intelligent System in action comes from our ninja in the U.K., Simon Francis. Simon is a Windows Embedded Solutions Specialist who wanted to share his story about a retail success in a rather challenging environment. Over to you, Simon.
The number is staggering.
Approximately 25,000 people in the retail industry attend the National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention & EXPO in New York. Countries from around the world are represented at this massive event taking place this week.
While many markets and regions will paint a picture of growth and prosperity in the sector, there are some spots on the globe that offer a more challenging retail scenario. One example is in the U.K.
Research from Deloitte this month shows that 194 U.K. retailers were forced into administration in 2012, compared with 183 in 2011 and 165 in 2010. Deloitte predicted further distress in the retail sector in 2013 as the U.K. high street continues to face economic and structural challenges – from muted consumer spending over Christmas to the increasing popularity of online retailers.
This week in New York, we’re rolling out the newest member of our Windows Embedded family, and it’s a complete re-imagining of what an enterprise mobile device should be. D’Arcy Salzmann, senior product manager for Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, has details.
At the end of 2011, Kevin Dallas, general manager of Windows Embedded, shared with our customers and partners that the next generation of Windows Embedded Handheld would be based on Windows 8 technology. This past October, we provided more details when we published our updated Windows Embedded road map, noting that the new platform is built on Windows Phone 8 and would be called Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, and we promised that more details would be available in January.
Today at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention & EXPO, our team is taking the covers off of Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, introducing our device hardware partners, and showcasing the next generation of mobile line-of-business application experiences with one of our launch customers, showing how Windows Embedded 8 Handheld devices help them deliver on the promise of intelligent systems.
Microsoft and mobile devices for industry have a long and successful history together. Starting with Windows CE, Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, Microsoft mobile platforms today power mobile devices in all industries, helping businesses and governments deliver secure mobile productivity in stores, warehouses, delivery fleets, ports, hospitals, and airplanes. Devices from Microsoft’s hardware partners ensure customers have durable, secure, and reliable connectivity to enterprise systems, allowing them focus on their business, whether inside their showrooms, on the road, at the jobsite or at their customers.