With the National Retail Federation in full swing, the Cisco booth is bustling with visitors. The team has deployed its Toy Box – a fully functional toy store featuring solutions for seamless experiences among shoppers, store associates, managers, and IT teams.

The Toy Box demonstrates how Cisco and our partners help make the entire retail tech stack possible. CMX beacons enable a “customer” to navigate to a particular item in the store on their mobile device. RFID tags automatically notify “store associates” of shelves that need to be restocked. Dynamic signage changes as “customers” engage with particular products. These are just a few of the more than 20 retail technology solutions highlighted in the booth.

This kind of digital transformation enables retailers to operate seamlessly with automated information communicated in real time – creating significant operational cost savings. For customers, convenient shopping is critical. With many shoppers buying online, seamless, digital, in-store experiences will keep bringing customers into brick and mortar spaces.

At the Big Ideas discussion panel, featuring Michael Wojicik (VP of Enterprise Technology Services for Panera), Rob Massie (Senior Director of Enterprise and Store Systems for Dollar General), Guillermo Diaz, Jr. (SVP and CIO of Cisco), and Kathryn Howe (Director for Retail and Hospitality in the US Digital Transformation), pannelists addressed the topic of retailers’ priorities when it comes to adopting retail technology solutions. The advice remained consistent across the board – focus on your technology foundation, because it really will serve as that.

During the panel, Guillermo explained the importance of a secure technology foundation guiding your retail transformation, comparing it to a house.

Retail operates similarly – retailers who jump to develop various web applications and deploy solutions such as mobile payments, connected inventory, or way finding solutions, might lose sight of their essential base platform. These solutions are game changers in bringing retailers greater ROI, as long as they operate on a network with a secure data center, cloud infrastructure, and collaboration platforms that integrate security through the tech stack.

The Toy Box brings solutions that enhance associate productivity and improve customer experiences to life, all with Cisco’s secure technology foundation. Retailers can have the confidence that these retail transformation solutions will help enable the greatest value to their organization today and prepare them for the future.

For additional details on our Cisco presence at NRF, visit our website.


Nicki Vereschagin

Global Retail Marketing Content Strategist

Global Industries Marketing