Microsoft is working hard to meet the demands of retailers, from the largest global chains down to local retail stores and SMBs, offering a host of enterprise tools that equip businesses to implement effective customer -centric strategies. Indeed, Microsoft is promising that its enterprise solutions can help retailers increase their efficiency, empower their employees, optimize operations, and also take advantage of consumer insights.
While those are big promises, Microsoft says it has a unique perspective on retail solutions, given its own experience with various aspects of the supply chain. That perspective could pay off for retailers, and, for Microsoft's bottom line.
Tracy Issel, general manager of Microsoft's Worldwide Retail Sector, rightly points out: "With our position as a consumer goods company and a retailer, we are uniquely able to help retailers create a connected shopping experience for their customers across multiple channels and touch points, whether it's at home, in the store, or on the go."
Of course, many other technology developers could also claim similar expertise, but Microsoft remains steadfast in its position.
Optimizing Retail Operations
Simply put, Microsoft wants retailers to know that, "Microsoft gets retailers." And, Microsoft understands all too well that technology budgets are still tight. The software giant knows retailers need to keep costs down while also driving competitive differentiation up and meeting customer expectations. And, Microsoft sees it's getting tougher for retailers to attract and retain customers at a profit.
Part of Microsoft's answer to all these challenges is software that can handle Big Data. We're talking about large-scale enterprise applications that can help retailers turn metrics into meaningful insights that could drive efficiencies, boost revenue and increase customer loyalty.
In fact, Microsoft has several technology solutions, including its SQL Server, Windows Server, and Windows Azure platform. These technologies help retailers address Big Data questions by analyzing and delivering data to decision-makers so they can respond to customer demands more quickly.
Retail Customer Success
Microsoft points to Royal Caribbean International as an example of a company using its solutions in this way. Management for the international cruise line says it was was able to realize significant efficiencies with SQL Server, Windows Server and the Windows Embedded platform by optimizing and streamlining operations on its Oasis-class ships, the largest in the world. (continued...)