IBM and SAP Expand Global Strategic Alliance to Drive Efficiency and Innovation in the Retail Industry

Sydney, AustraliaIBM and SAP AG have announced an expansion of their global strategic alliance aimed at enabling leading retailers to strategically transform their businesses to meet rapidly changing consumer demands and global competition. SAP and IBM jointly agreed to promote the end-to-end retail solution comprised of the portfolio of SAP and IBM retail solutions and technologies, leveraging in particular, IBM store capabilities and SAP retail business. This alliance is designed to help retailers maximise business efficiency and create distinctive customer experiences.

The IBM and SAP joint offering will allow retailers to leverage existing applications and align their IT infrastructure to reduce costs and support new technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID).

“Retailers are at a strategic crossroads in their business. The retailers who will thrive are those who choose to become an on demand business by integrating technology and new business processes to maximise growth, operational efficiency and customer service,” said Andrew Baker, Director, Global Business Partners, IBM Australia/New Zealand. “As a result of this alliance, SAP and IBM will be combining leading solutions, technology, services, innovation and best practices and infrastructure to provide retail businesses with a unique advantage across their entire enterprise.”

The joint IBM and SAP products, platforms and services can help customers reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) for retail IT solutions and increase revenue. Customers can deploy in stages depending on their specific needs and organisational capabilities. SAP and IBM will leverage their combined assets and infrastructure (e.g. SAP Retail Store, SAP for Retail, SAP NetWeaver, IBM Store Integration Framework and IBM WebSphere) according to the needs of their joint customers in the retail industy. The effort also includes solutions and services for merchandise management, POS data management, Web-based workforce deployment, merchandise and assortment planning and advanced forecast and replenishment. IBM and SAP will also help customers improve store performance by migrating to state-of-the-art, open software solutions for master data management and RFID integration.

“Consumers today expect superb quality, selection and service, therefore retailers must strategically align business processes and enabling technology to efficiently deliver on these demands,” said Steve Watts, Sales Operations and Alliances Director, SAP Australia. “As two of the strongest, most experienced vendors in the retail market, SAP and IBM will best equip companies with the technology, best practices and business processes they need to manage the end-to-end value chain effectively and profitably, surpass customer expectations and evolve with future market changes.”

In addition to combining the two IT leaders’ innovation and integration capabilities for retail, IBM and SAP will collaborate in the new agreement to share consulting knowledge and enhance offerings in areas of business process analysis and best practices. Retailers will also benefit from capabilities in supply chain, human resources, store operations, customer relationship management, finance and evolving technologies.