SAP rolls out strategic initiative for the Indian Retail Industry

Opens a Retail Center of Excellence to enable Indian retailers harness the power of technology for growth in a highly competitive market SUN Microsystems to be the infrastructure partner for the Retail CoE

IndiaBuilding on its market leadership in providing business software to retailers in India and globally, SAP India today announced its latest initiative for the highly competitive Indian retail market – opening of a SAP Center of Excellence (CoE) for Retail. The SAP Retail CoE would function out of SAP’s Mumbai facility.

“Today, Indian and global retailers are vying to tap the high potential Indian market and as a result, majority of retailers are facing numerous market and internal pressures that impede their ability to foster growth and improve profitability”, said Alan Sedghi, President and CEO, SAP Indian Sub-continent, inaugurating the SAP Retail CoE.

“To succeed in this highly competitive and dynamic retail market, Indian retailers must adapt the best business practices and should develop agility and a customer centric approach focusing on delivering to customers what they want, when and how they want it. We have identified that Indian retailers are increasingly recognizing technology as a key enabler in helping them remain competitive and is looking for guidance in their technology initiatives”.

“Our Retail CoE initiative intends to address this market requirement. By consolidating and presenting learnings and best practices from working with retailers across the globe, a strong partner ecosystem and proven suite of retail software solutions under one roof, SAP Retail CoE would help Indian retailers choose the right technology solution and roadmap”, he further added.

Bhaskar Pramanik, President India GEM, Sun Microsystems India, added that, “SAP is Sun Microsystems’ global partner. Together, our solutions have provided greater business agility, better utilization of hardware resources and improved service levels. By working with Sun and SAP, retailers can shorten their development and deployment schedule by several months and ultimately save a lot of man-hours. We do feel that this initiative by SAP is timed well with major players Indian as well as global retail giants planning to invest across the country”.

“Globally, a number of fast-growing retailers are building their technology foundations on Sun Enterprise servers and Sun StorEdge arrays. Therefore our being chosen as infrastructure partner exhibits the technological prowess we have in scaling up to the demand at hand as well as in the future”, he further added.

SAP Retail CoE: presenting and end-to-end retail solution roadmap for large, medium and small retailers in India

The Retail CoE is an initiative to provide Indian retailers of all sizes insights into usage and application of frontier technologies in the retail industry and would showcase an end-to-end solution roadmap for the retail industry. The Retail CoE would demonstrate the strength of SAP retail offering, provide thought leadership on industry issues, evangelize usage of frontier technologies and become a center of learning for the SAP retail community.
Lead by SAP, the CoE would become a learning center for the eco-system of retailers, service providers and venders providing and would demonstrate how Indian retailers can leverage technology for sustained growth. Some of the initiatives undertaken at the CoE would include –

 Showcase vertical specific (e.g. Grocery, Drug, Fashion) scenarios across SAP Retail Solution offering
 Advise customers on IT Strategy, Solution Roadmap and bring in best practices from across the globe to help customers derive maximum benefits from SAP Solutions
 Conduct audits for ongoing SAP Retail Implementations
 Organize customer events to facilitate knowledge exchange and experience sharing
 Provide inputs to solution development teams on India localization aspects Organize trainings/ workshops for partner community on SAP Retail Solution offering
 Showcase/ certify partner solutions on SAP technology platform (SAP NetWeaver)

The CoE would be a key enabler of SAP partners to develop and showcase innovative retail applications on the SAP NetWeaver platform. The CoE would enable the partner ecosystem for product training, custom development and for integration for third party retail solutions to SAP solutions based on SAP NetWeaver Platform. Going forward, SAP will continue to partner with Industry leaders to roll out the Retail CoE Initiative.

The current partners for SAP Retail CoE include SUN Microsystems as the infrastructure partner offering hardware, network and data center management services, Seal Infotech as the channel partner providing dedicated resources to develop and implement demo scenarios and PoCs (Proof of Concepts) for customers and E-solutions Pvt. Ltd, a powered by SAP NetWeaver Certified partner, would provide the integrated POS (Point of Sale) application.

SAP – the leading provider of business software solutions for the Retail segment

With over 1130 customers in India, SAP is the leading provider of business software solution for Indian enterprises of all possible sizes, from a Multibillion dollar ONGC to Rajiv Plastics with a turnover of a couple of crores. In the first three quarters of 2006 alone, SAP has signed on over 280 new customers, already crossing the new wins in 2005 by over well 100 wins.

An outstanding feature of SAP’s leadership includes its outstanding leadership in the Indian retail segment. Key Indian retailers like Reliance, Pantaloons, RPG (Spencers), Trent, Hariyali Kissan Bazaar, Godrej, ITC-IBD, Barista and Vishal Megamart are few of the SAP customers in the Indian retail space.