You can say that the retail landscape is changing rapidly. Retail stores used to be stand-alone environments, but this is no longer the case. A retail store is now a complex IT environment, made up of a myriad of devices such as PC-based POS terminals, handhelds, RFID readers, manager works stations, local servers, tablets, smart phones, etc. This expanding array of devices plays a critical role in enhancing the customer experience, but it also delivers its own set of management challenges when using a retail IT solution to manage these challenges… including the fact that each store is merely an extension of the bigger IT space that comprises your retailer enterprise.
Retailers with numerous point-of-sale solutions, kiosks and digital signs have the challenge of keeping each system updated and running properly.
“Particularly with kiosks, they can’t be sending people to every single kiosk to update them to make sure they have the latest version of software and patching and security,” said Ray Barber of Kaseya, a company demonstrating its solution last week in Chicago at the Ramp conference. “They need to be able to do that remotely.”
Many retailers, including Redbox, use Kaseya to manage and secure all their devices wherever they are distributed. The Kaseya software allows them to manage their infrastructure from one place, Barber said.
Retail chains have multiple, geographically-dispersed outlets, and they are strongly dependent on the business continuity of all branches for profitability. The availability of point-of-sale (POS) equipment (including cash registers), the registration of purchases and sales numbers reporting are crucial for customer satisfaction, business operations, inventory control and company image.
Retail organization must focus on delivering positive customer experiences that build loyalty and drive share of wallet… while simultaneously controlling costs and improving margins. Savvy deployment of retail IT management technology is a primary contributor in delivering exceptional services to your customers and in efficiently adapting to their evolving shopping patterns.
Retail industry IT departments are the key to the successful adoption of new retail POS system technologies that help to control costs and deliver robust functionality to the business. Given the rapid pace of change within the retail ecosystem, it’s essential that all IT assets, whether in-store or at headquarters, are tracked, monitored and managed in a seamless manner. However, proactively managing a retail IT environment that is often distributed geographically creates some unique challenges:
A proactive retail IT management strategy can save store chains dozens of administrator hours per month by streamlining basic maintenance and eliminating repetitive administrative tasks. Using a remote retail IT management solution, an administrator at company headquarters can install updates locally in the background as people continue to work and then use a script to push a new software image out to all the systems in the network, remotely updating each system at the touch of a button. IT staff can then leverage this new-found time to work on innovative technology solutions that support the chain’s strategic business initiatives.
Retail organizations are faced with rapidly rising volumes of data. Efficient retail IT management of all that data is essential for optimizing staffing, planning retail promotions and ensuring that the right products are on the shelves when customers want them, but as retailers add capabilities and blur segments, IT problems can be even more demanding.