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IBM Expands Cloud Delivery of Smarter Commerce
New solutions and services help businesses respond in real time to shifting customer preferences.
Posted Sep 21, 2011
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IBM today announced new cloud and on-premise offerings that will help organizations respond automatically to shifting consumer and business trends. The new solutions, Commerce-as-a-Service and Social Media Marketing, combine technology from key acquisitions such as Unica, Coremetrics and Sterling Commerce with IBM research and development.

These new software solutions are designed to help companies automate supplier and trading partner interactions, automatically turn marketplace insights into marketing and sales actions, and connect online, mobile, and social channels to physical stores.

"Smarter Commerce allows customers to shop or buy easily regardless of medium, channel, or device," said Craig Hayman, general manager of IBM Industry Solutions. "Informed by deep customer insights, companies can provide a personalized customer experience that feels like a service to consumers."

The new offerings introduced today include:
The Commerce-as-a-Service, which accelerates and extends the delivery of Smarter Commerce capabilities with:

In addition, IBM has enhanced its cloud-based Digital Marketing Optimization offering by adding a digital data exchange for the tagging, collection, and syndication of customer data. IBM is also adding capabilities to more simply analyze multiple enterprise Web sites and speed the ability to optimize email communications and reporting from creation, to deployment, to social sharing.

IBM today also launched a new Global Center of Competence for Smarter Commerce. The new Center of Competence will be part of IBM Global Business Services and is composed of Smarter Commerce consulting experts who will help clients worldwide solve their most complex buying, marketing, selling, and servicing business problems. Additionally, IBM Global Business Services is introducing three new "quick-start" Smarter Commerce accelerator offerings. These new service offerings include rapid consulting engagements that help clients define measurable business outcomes they can achieve through Smarter Commerce and a roadmap to achieve them. They include the following:

  • Business Analytics and Optimization - Customer Analytics Diagnostics — which analyzes a company's approach to sales and marketing segmentation to provide recommendations on how to deliver the right message, at the right time to the right customer segment.
  • Smarter Commerce Enterprise Marketing Management Assessment, which assesses an enterprises' overall marketing approach and provides a specific roadmap for improving customer engagement, cross-channel integration and marketing operations.
  • Supply Chain Visibility Assessment, which develops a blueprint for improved supply chain visibility to shorten the time between order and fulfillment.

IBM has already scored range of customer wins. Industry leaders working with IBM to transform commerce in their industries include AutoTrader.com, DBS Bank, GuideWell, McKesson, PETCO, Sears Holdings Corporation, SMA Solar Technology AG, Target Corporation, True Value Co, Whirlpool Corporation and Winn-Dixie, among others.

Working with IBM, Staples reported an initial 55 percent improvement in customer experience. The company tapped IBM to realign the technology that powers its Web site, Staples.com. By deploying IBM Smarter Commerce solutions on POWER7 systems, Staples created an easier, more efficient online purchasing experience for its customers. This customer-friendly storefront is now better prepared for high volume transactions.

European retailer Carrefour installed a new IBM merchandise planning and supply chain re-order system to connect point of sales data to its customer loyalty coupons program. Carrefour used IBM technology to integrate more than 3,500 trading partners conducting 3,000 interactions per month. As a result, Carrerfour is improving customer satisfaction by ensuring suppliers efficiently deliver fresh product daily to its stores.

"IBM Smarter Commerce features a modular design with our solution that integrates more like interchangeable building blocks than jigsaw puzzle pieces," said Herve Thoumyre, chief information officer at Carrefour Group. "A puzzle piece can only be used once and fits in only one space, but Smarter Commerce and our solution reuse pieces that solve multiple business pain points."


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