Business Intelligence Vendors Woo Retailers with Analytics

Paul Ferrill

Updated · Jan 12, 2011

Business intelligence and analytics vendors were out in force at this week's National Retail Federation conference in New York City showcasing products to help retailers with everything from promotions and pricing to space management.

IBM, SAP, Oracle, SAS and QlikTech were among the BI and analytics vendors unveiling products and case studies for the retail industry this week.

IBM's consumer products framework

IBM (NYSE: IBM) unveiled a new Consumer Products Industry Framework that Big Blue says can help clients reduce costs and increase revenue through improved customer relationships, supply chain analytics and e-commerce capabilities. IBM cited Crocs and Pepsi Beverages Company as customers.

IBM has added a number of analytics capabilities to the framework from the acquisitions of Coremetrics, Sterling Commerce, Unica and Netezza. The new features allow for real-time product recommendations, precision marketing and improved distribution, transportation and inventory planning, IBM said.

For more on IBM's retail solutions, see

Oracle retail apps power retailer

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) announced that Japan-based Fast Retailing is using the Oracle Retail Merchandising System suite of applications and the Oracle Exadata Database Machine to centrally manage its global business of 2,200 stores.

The seven-year Oracle customer will be using the Oracle Retail Merchandising System, Retail Invoice Matching, Retail Sales Audit, Retail Price Management, Active Retail Intelligence, Retail Data Warehouse and Oracle Retail Allocation to coordinate merchandise operations and maintain consistent and accurate data across the business, Oracle said.

SAP unveils promotion management app

SAP (NYSE: SAP) unveiled the latest version of its SAP Promotion Management for Retail application, which the company said “aims to make promotions management a precise science.”

New features help retailers streamline marketing and merchandising promotional processes, create multichannel promotions and forecast offers to help make better and more profitable decisions.

SAP Promotion Management for Retail 7.1 helps promotional teams by automating and managing the complexities of localized promotions for flyers, printed ads, store promotions, email, web and mobile tactics. “This allows retailers to reach segmented consumers shopping across multiple channels and localized regions and thereby improve their financial performance,” SAP said.

SAP also announced OfficeMax as a retail, CRM, ERP, business intelligence and supply chain management customer.

SAS manages retail space, markdowns

SAS took the wraps off SAS Retail Space Management, which the business analytics leader said improves the use of selling space, enhances inventory productivity and improves space planning by helping store managers collaborate with category managers and vendors.

The new suite of retail solutions encompasses Space Optimization, Space Planning, Collaborative Planogramming and SAS StoreCAD Plus.

SAS also said its High-Performance Markdown Optimization program is getting an in-memory analytics boost with help from the HP Converged Infrastructure.

SAS also announced a number of retail customers, including Winn-Dixie Stores, Swedish home and leisure products retailer Rusta AB, Gander Mountain Company and Chico's FAS.

QlikTech highlights retail intelligence

QlikTech (NASDAQ: QLIK) used the conference to highlight its QlikView business intelligence platform, which the company said is streamlining operations, boosting productivity and enabling real-time decision-making at more than 1,000 global retailers and wholesalers.

The company said QlikView for Apple's iPad is also helping retailers get faster answers to critical business questions.

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  • Paul Ferrill
    Paul Ferrill

    Paul Ferrill has been writing for over 15 years about computers and network technology. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering as well as a MS in Electrical Engineering. He is a regular contributor to the computer trade press. He has a specialization in complex data analysis and storage. He has written hundreds of articles and two books for various outlets over the years. His articles have appeared in Enterprise Apps Today and InfoWorld, Network World, PC Magazine, Forbes, and many other publications.

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