Supporting the IBM Community, One Partnership at a Time
IBM Business Partners are forced to adapt and deal with new challenges from our retail customers. We are pressed to look beyond our offerings, into the channel, to provide an all-in-one solution. Acknowledging these demands, Retail Tech has spent the last 12 years working with others and Business Partners to create a total solution for our customers.
The current point of sale market environment contains a number of possibilities (mobile payments, traditional checkout, self-checkout, and customer service centers). It is the vendor’s responsibility to provide complete solutions for their customers. Most partners cannot provide every part of the solution when considering product sourcing, integration, delivery logistics, on-site requirements, and continuing support after the rollout is complete. Retail Tech, on the other hand, lives our mission, “Create Your Ideal POS Solution,” by recognizing that each retailer has different requirements when responding to their individual needs. As strategic partners, we must acknowledge and take advantage of each other’s services and value-adds.
Retail Tech has carefully constructed a business strategy to address all components of a complete solution delivery system. We expanded and extended our offerings not only to end users, but more importantly, we have found many IBM Business Partners that require our services to supplement their area of expertise. Aside from selling point of sale hardware, Retail Tech now offers a variety of services that range from depot and advanced repair programs, integration and staging, and asset disposal services within EPA guidelines. To facilitate the implementation of these offerings, Retail Tech has invested in major expansions over time. Our repair area has grown to 4 times the original size, with overall warehouse space reaching 120,000 sq. ft. In addition, our integration area has the capacity to produce 100 + systems per shift. With these upgrades, Retail Tech has facilitated the project management and space for large integration projects on behalf of others and their customers. We can custom-load any software onto IBM Hardware and dropship in one, check stand ready box. This offer is attractive for any ISV or Business Partner who requires additional assets, time, space and personnel to perform all of the end user requirements themselves.
In seeking to enhance our business by working with retailers and partners, Retail Tech continues to remain vigilant to the ever-changing retail environment and social demands. IRUG will help our company maintain that focus by continuing to help us solve these business challenges.
IRUG: Adapting Through the Ages
An IBM Retail User Group Member since 2003, with a representative on the board for the past 3 years, Retail Tech is extremely passionate about the IRUG Association. The IBM Retail User Group originally began as an assembly of retailers meeting to solve common technology implementation problems. While this is still a foundation today, IRUG also has brought in Associates Members (Vendors) to exhibit and provide solutions and alternatives while focusing on future needs of the retailer. Mobility, PCI compliance, EMV implementation, coupons, self-checkout and IBM futures are examples of IRUG leadership in the retail space. Beyond providing an exhaustive list of technology implementations, members support the organization through exhibiting, providing content for elective technical training sessions, and helping sponsor the annual conference and events. Similarly, the IRUG Association explores business opportunities with other partners and associations (NRF and ARTS).
This was the case with last year’s IRUG Innovation Award winner, selected by the retail members. While performing the project management duties for the retailer, the major business partner pulled together the hardware and software suppliers to build a full service team through Business Partner relations. The entire project was finished in record time, on schedule, and under budget. IRUG affords the medium to sort out applicable complementary partnerships as our reliance on these relationships continues to grow.
Business Partners are also recognizing a greater pressure from both the customer and IBM. While retailers want to minimize their points of contact to deliver the “complete solution,” IBM is looking to their channel for more support. Vendor management is now expected of a major supplier for sourcing, coordinating, and delivering all or most products required in the complete solution. IRUG membership supports this continued initiative on behalf of both IBM and retail customers.