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Secure your retail premises with new Cisco Video Surveillance Manager 7

In June 2012, National Retail Federation released its  National Retail Security Survey.  In that report it suggests retailers in 2011 lost $34.5 billion to retail theft, or shrink – the loss of inventory due to employee theft, shoplifting, paperwork errors, or supplier fraud. Overall that accounts for approximately 1.41 percent of retailers sales last year.

One of the areas which retailers have invested in to address the shrink and security issue in gereral is video survieillance.  This can cover areas including loading docks and the parking lot  at distribution centers, or along the aisles and checkout in the stores for theft or criminal activities. 

Cisco  recently announced a new Video Surveillance Manager 7 with Suite of Hyper-Scalable Connected Physical Security Solutions that can help retailers address their video surveillance needs in a scalable and flexible manner. Read More »

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Cisco® StyleMe™ Virtual Fashion Mirror Pilot a Success for John Lewis

This past spring, Cisco and John Lewis—the United Kingdom’s leading department store retailer—successfully completed their pilot of the Cisco StyleMe virtual fashion mirror. The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) ran the pilot, while partnering with C In-store and AITech.

During the six-week pilot (April and May), more than 1,000 customers tried StyleMe (an average of 40 a day)—far more than expected. In addition:

  • A staggering 34,000-plus garments were viewed in the outfit builder, and almost 2,500 garments were tried on virtually.
  • 67 percent of customers gave the mirror a positive assessment, and some great shopper stories emerged—including one from a delighted disabled lady, who was able to try on clothes for the first time in a store, thanks to Cisco StyleMe.

The John Lewis Partners (staff) also loved it. They found that StyleMe was a tool that created shop floor “theater” (crowds formed) while helping them provide great service sell even more effectively. They came up with lots of ideas on how to develop the experience even further.

We learned several key lessons.

Read More »

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The True ROI of Collaboration

August 27, 2012 at 7:16 am PST

As INSEAD and UC Berkeley Professor Morten Hansen says, “The goal of collaboration is not collaboration itself, but great results.”[1]  Working with many of our customers, we’ve developed a framework for assessing the true ROI of collaboration, and it falls into three distinct categories:

  • Operational ROI allows you to assess how collaboration eliminates or avoid costs associated with running your business. You might cut travel, reduce infrastructure needs, lower bandwidth or energy costs, save on office space and so on. Collaboration tools can replace or reduce the need for many of these types of costs.
  • Productivity ROI refers to savings generated from more efficient processes, accelerated decision-making and reduced cycle times. Collaboration can lead to significant productivity gains in any number of ways, such as optimizing within lines of business or matching your organization’s expertise to opportunities early on.
  • Strategic ROI can be the hardest to measure, but perhaps the most transformative. This kind of ROI occurs when collaboration enables your business to take a giant leap forward in areas like enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty, accelerating innovation, introducing new business models or entering new markets. These types of changes can also reshape an industry in fundamental ways.

These three types of ROI sometime manifest themselves differently across Read More »

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Summary: John Lewis Changes the Face of Shop Operations by Using Video

When John Lewis (JL), a leading U.K. retailer, faced challenges with running its new, geographically distributed at home shops, Cisco IBSG knew that the problems could be solved through the innovative use of video technology.

Working with John Lewis CIO Paul Coby, Cisco IBSG and JL picked two critical concepts to pilot for the core retail use cases:

  1.  High-definition, real-time video conferencing based in each store for communicating among the at home shops, and between the shops and head office
  2. A video portal for sharing and viewing videos on demand (via each shop’s PCs)

The pilot’s results proved the value and the business case for video in shops, including estimated annual savings of 28,000 man-hours across the eight shops, and estimated annual travel savings of 20 percent to date.

Read the full article John Lewis Changes the Face of Shop Operations by Using Video

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John Lewis Changes the Face of Shop Operations by Using Video

When John Lewis, a leading U.K. retailer, faced challenges with running its new, geographically distributed at home shops, Cisco IBSG knew that the problems could be solved through the innovative use of video technology. Within the retail industry, video collaboration has historically been regarded as a head-office capability, with the notion that video and mobile technology at the shop level were both too expensive to implement and too complex to use. This was an opportunity to prove otherwise and create a retail industry first.

 Maggie Porteous, head of at home for John Lewis, was challenged with helping the new teams get to know the new shop format and with bringing them together to share learnings and improve operations. And while she wanted the dispersed shop teams to be able to work together, frequent travel was time-consuming, costly, and, most important, meant time away from serving customers. 

 Working with John Lewis CIO Paul Coby, we chose two critical concepts to pilot for the core retail use cases:

Read More »

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