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Getting your retail network ready for cloud computing

Last week at the Interop conference in Las Vegas  Cisco announced the  2012 Global Cloud Networking Survey  where more than 1300 IT professionals in 13 countries were polled to find out the top priorities and challenges they face when moving applications and services to the cloud. The survey was commissioned by Cisco and distributed by Insight Express and addressed a range of questions from what are the top applications considered for migration (Storage, ERP) and the role of the network in supporting a Cloud strategy.

Retailers today are considering cloud computing to support business agility and innovation.  This include reducing the number of servers in the store and moving them to the cloud, optimizing data center computing resources and virtualizing desktop applications. 

Some of the recent inquries to Cisco retail team have led to development of the following content that we hope will help you in your road to the cloud:

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Retailers and the Supply Chain in the omnichannel world

In previous blog I wrote about the impact of omnichannel on retailers and how some retailers are coping with the new realities succesfully, and some are not.  In our next conversation with Brian Kilcourse, managing director of Retail Systems Research we talked about the impact of omnichannel on the  retail supply chain.

Some of the points we discussed are:

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In Between the Numbers: Self-Service That Works

April 5, 2012 at 7:32 am PST

  I happened to pause last week at a pile of newspapers in my father’s house in Atlanta.

 The reason: A feature article about Cisco on the front page of the March 25th business section of the Journal-Constitution.

 The article was interesting. But best of all, it jumped from the front page to the inside pages of the section… which is why, on page D2, I stumbled across one of the best, common sense advisory articles on retail technology I’ve read in a long time.

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Challenges facing retailers in the omnichannel world

My colleagues Jon Stine and Lisa Fretwell with Cisco IBSG recently published research about consumers that are constantly channel hopping in their shopping journey.  We all have personal experiences shopping on the web, in the store and on mobile devices. 

I recently in the middle of a conversation during lunch, made a reservation on Open Table app, purchased a case for my phone on amazon app and bought a music album on iTunes  (Doctor Who Series 6), and pulled up directions to the local home improvement store, all in 10 minutes.  Obviously the consumer trend is shopping across multiple channels, and some retailers are succeeding in this new world, and some are not.

I sat down with Brian Kilcourse, managing partner of Retail Systems Research and this was one of the topics we talked about.

Some of the areas we discussed are:

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Are You Taking Care of Your Customers’ Wireless Experience in Your Branches?

Traditionally, customer satisfaction is driven by product availability and the ability of the staff to assist the shopper and complete the transaction. This model today is being broken by the modern consumer who is playing by different rules.

In a recent New York Times article on younger shoppers who prefer technology to staff assistance, retailers like Nordstrom are discovering that customers are using mobile applications not just in remote locations, but right in the store requiring them to improve their store’s Wi-Fi experience.

In addition,

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