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Industry News - May 21th 2010



Marks & Spencer Launches Mobile Web Store

Marks & Spencer (M&S) announces the launch of its new mobile store, which lets customers browse more than 24,000 products. Customers on the move can now shop on the m-commerce site which enables them to search, browse and buy from any Web-enabled mobile phone or device. The site is in sync with the main M&S Web site so that customers can log into their regular Web account and manage their shopping basket from their mobile. 

“This is a major step forward in mobile retailing. Mobile optimized shopping sites have been done before by specialist retailers, but M&S entering the market with 21 million customers, one of the UK’s most recognized brands and a well-known range of products changes the mobile retail landscape, said Dave Hughes, director of M&S Direct.

“Even before the site has launched, hundreds of thousands of customers are already shopping with us on their mobile phones and market data is telling us that this will soon be millions. The new site allows these customers to browse and buy from their mobile device without the frustrations that come with trying to do the same on a traditional Web site. We expect customers to buy a wide range of products on their mobile, from suits and dresses right through to technology and can see gifting-on-the-go, flowers and hampers for example, becoming extremely popular.”


eBay, Teradata Co-Develop Deep Data Analytic Solutions

eBay teams up with Teradata to develop a new analytic solution designed to help deliver better customer experiences online. The focus of the joint effort is on deep storage and analytical data volumes, up to multiple petabytes.

The project focuses on site analytics through Web logs, a layer deeper than clickstream data. The collaboration began with eBay's implementation of the Teradata Extreme Data Appliance. Starting at six petabytes in size, the Teradata appliance will analyze and store 30 terabytes of data each day.

eBay began using Teradata solutions in 2002 with a single 14-terabyte system and now processes 50 petabytes of information each day while adding 40 terabytes of data each day as millions buy and sell items across 50,000 categories.

"eBay continues to operate at the forefront of data warehousing architecture and vision, and this collaboration with Teradata helps ensure eBay.com processes data quickly and efficiently with new breakthrough analytical capabilities. eBay is leveraging advanced analytics technologies at a massive scale in providing the best experience possible for our users," said James Barrese, vice president of technology at eBay.


Kohl's Implements In-Store Kiosks, Digital Signage

Kohl's announces plans to rollout in-store kiosks, a size optimization solution and digital signage across its store base. 

"We've been very focused on implementing technology to improve the customer experience and address opportunities that we see in providing better customer service," Kevin Mansell, Chairman, CEO, President and Member of Executive Committee, Kohl's. "Our supply chain initiative, size optimization and our new kiosk are just a few examples. These initiatives also improve our performance and productivity metrics." 

The department store has been testing new electronic signs across the entire store for the first time. The retailer plans to expand the signs into a 100 store pilot this fall. 

"Although it will be significant capital investment, we believe we'll see a good return on that investment through elimination of ad set payroll hours, as well as paper signs, which support our desire to be a leader in green initiatives," adds Mansell. "Assuming success in our 100 store pilot, we would expect to rollout electronic signs to all stores by holiday 2011."


Cash N Go Deploys Real-Time Transaction Monitoring Software

Cash N Go deploys transaction monitoring software from INETCO Insight to provide real-time performance monitoring for its Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Network. Cash N Go currently operates an ATM Network of more than 1,100 ATMs across Canada. 

Cash N Go uses the software to help:
-Improve dial-up ATM uptime and customer service compliancy 

-Reduce average mean time to repair and in-bound call rates Improve the identification and prioritization process for trouble tickets related to payment transaction slowdowns, potential fraud anomalies, and failures 

-Reduce the reliance on field tech reports and customer complaints to determine when service disruptions were occurring Match ATM connection time data to monthly telecom billing statements to verify billing accuracy 

"Investing in leading-edge transaction monitoring technology such as INETCO Insight plays a big role in our ability to decrease transaction failure rates and respond to the needs of our customers in a timely manner," says Angie Mercier, CFO for Cash N Go. "Our IT and line of business teams now have the ability to quickly navigate large volumes of payment transaction data, proactively identify where a problem lies, and achieve full consensus on whose job it is to fix it."


Levi Strauss & Co. Sees Private Cloud Benefits

Levi Strauss & Co. accelerates its business and technology objectives by teaming up with SAP, Cisco, EMC, VMware and an integration team from Accenture to explore the potential benefits of running SAP software in a private cloud environment. 

The famous jeans maker uses the Vblock Infrastructure Packages, an integrated IT offering that includes virtualization, compute, storage security and management technologies. These include the Unified Computing System and Multilayer Director Switches (MDS) from Cisco, EMC Symmetrix V-Max and EMC CLARiiON CX4 Storage Systems (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform. 

"From both a business and IT perspective, the results are significant and highly compelling, clearly showing how a private cloud environment could help us better manage our SAP landscape and contain costs at the same time," said Tom Peck, SVP and CIO, Levi Strauss & Co. "We also saw how we could achieve greater agility in our business applications to rapidly meet our internal customer business needs. And all of this was achievable through better utilization of our infrastructure assets, without sacrificing performance, security or availability -- a really big plus."

Running SAP software on the Vblock architecture can help: 

· Reduce capital expenses for hardware and software due to use of scalable servers and proprietary virtualization management tools 

· Minimize implementation costs due to reduced planning and design requirements, simple setup and reconfiguration of virtual machines and the use of pre-configured templates 

· Save project costs due to increased business agility achieved through reduced system management efforts and the ability to add or remove virtual machines based on demand 

· Reduce upgrade expenditures due to quick and easy provisioning of test- and training systems on demand and fallback scenarios right out of the box.


$15M Social Media Campaign Launched by Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore announces plans to launch a $15 million dollar advertising campaign that will include print advertisements and social media. The campaign will be promoted by eight top design and paint industry experts.

According to Nick Harris, Benjamin Moore's Senior Manager of Marketing Communications, 76 percent of Benjamin Moore's total $15 million ad budget for 2010 is being dedicated to new media. 

"We're creating a Facebook on steroids program that potentially will stir consumer fans to meet up with paint and style experts and aficionados for an online cocktail party of conversation about decorating with paint and color," said Harris. 

The eight design and paint experts featured in the Benjamin Moore campaign include Jamie Drake, Darryl Carter, Celerie Kemble, Amy Lau, Brian Gluckstein and architect Vladimir Topouzanov. Rounding out the list are two professional contractors, Jeff Hester and Ralph Rossi.


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