SAP, Dell Collaborate on Retail Offering

Dell and SAP are collaborating to offer retailers an easier way to buy computer hardware and SAP for Retail. It is offering hardware certified to be used on SAP for Retail, specifically, Dell’s Retail OptiPlex 745 POS systems and Dell PowerEdge servers.

The end result is that a customer can order a complete POS (point of sale) retail system through a distributor without having to worry about integration or implementation issues, explained Jim Mattecheck, an SAP senior vice president.

SAP for Retail includes enhanced POS features, such as customer demand data, real-time inventory visibility and integrated returns processing as well as support for core merchandising and supply chain processes. The application also offers back end office and human resource functionality.

Patchwork Environment

It is not quite the one-stop shop that many retailers no doubt would prefer. Currently, they still have to acquire the system components from Dell and software license separately from SAP.

Still, said Mattecheck, the additional collaboration means retailers do not have to worry about whether a new purchase or upgrade will be able to be integrated into a complex system developed over the years that could include any number of interface devices with financial services for check clearance, for instance, or communications or loyalty applications. With the certification, he said, they know that it will.

“There are many factors that go into the refresh of a retailer’s IT environment,” added Terry Klein, vice president of Dell’s Advanced Systems Group.

“This partnership will enable retailers to focus on evaluating complete solutions that help them better serve their customers, rather than making separate hardware and software decisions.”

Further Collaboration

Further collaboration between the partners might well tighten the buying process even more, Mattecheck added.

“We are working on developing packages where the software is preloaded into the hardware,” he said. Another goal is a single point of order for retailers. The duo could roll out such offerings in less than six months, and possibly as soon as three, he noted.

POS environment and applications being integrated are part of our CRM offering. We view the store really as a foundation of CRM, although not the only mechanism for communication and support of a customer.

Retail is the only industry for which SAP collaborates so closely with a hardware vendor, Mattecheck said. This offering, though, can be used in almost any retail environment from oil and gas to consumer goods.

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