Microsoft SQL Server Offers Lower Total Cost of Ownership For Retail Industry

Microsoft SQL Server Offers Lower Total Cost of Ownership For Retail Industry

REDMOND, Wash., May 13, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Microsoft® SQL Server
is quickly becoming the database platform of choice for leading retail independent software vendors (ISVs). Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 and the upcoming Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 support wide-scale distributed retail sites from point-of-sale (POS) devices to back-end store systems with ease of management, price/performance advantage over major database competitors and lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

“Meeting the database needs of today’s retailers is an ongoing challenge for ISVs,”
said Judy Dulcich, retail industry marketing manager at Microsoft.
“Many retailers want easy access to their own data without having to hire a database administrator. They have multiple stores that employ task-based workers and require an easy-to-use, centrally managed database that can be deployed over multiple locations. Microsoft SQL Server reduces the overall complexity of developing, managing and maintaining a database.”

Many of the retail industry’s leading solution providers, Ibertech Inc., ICL Retail Systems, Innovax Concepts Corp., Kronos Inc., McKesson Corp., NCR Corp., Radiant Systems Inc., Radius Retail Inc., Companies Inc., Sykes Enterprises Inc. and Unlimited Solutions Inc., are adopting and extending Microsoft SQL Server to create a wide range of retail-specific solutions.

Ibertech Inc.

Founded in 1992, Ibertech provides a suite of point-of-sale solutions for the food service and hospitality industries. Ibertech’s Aloha product line, based on the Windows® operating system and Microsoft SQL Server, integrates POS with back-room restaurant functions and includes Aloha TableService for sit-down establishments and Aloha QuickService for fast-food restaurants. Madison Square Garden (MSG) recently installed Ibertech’s Microsoft SQL Server-based Aloha QuickService solution, creating the world’s largest single Microsoft SQL Server-based POS installation. The installation consists of more than 200 terminals residing on a single server and provides MSG with the ability to measure and consolidate data from all stores while operating simultaneous events, thereby providing better food and labor cost control.

“Microsoft SQL Server is important because it provides us with a high-end database solution for our larger customers at an affordable cost,”
said Manny Negreiro, president and CEO of Ibertech.
“The main benefit of Microsoft SQL Server is easy access to the data for custom reporting and executive decision-making.”

Innovax Concepts Corp.

Innovax Concepts Corp., a provider of hardware-independent POS systems in North America, recently announced Safari, its next-generation POS solution for supermarkets. Based on the Windows NT operating system, Microsoft SQL Server and the Microsoft Component Object Model (COM), Safari is a suite of POS software component objects and applications that allows users to upgrade their applications periodically in response to changing requirements. Because Microsoft SQL Server offers built-in Internet integration, Innovax’s Safari solution provides in-store Web site access, supplying valuable real-time information for the cashier and customer at the point of checkout.
“Seamless integration with other applications and services such as Microsoft BackOffice® is our mandate,”
said Bob Johnson, vice president of sales and marketing at Innovax.
“We see this as a distinct advantage for our customers.”

Radiant Systems Inc.

Radiant Systems provides integrated technology solutions spanning the retail enterprise for the petroleum and convenience store, entertainment, hospitality and automotive industries. At the site level, these solutions include consumer-activated stations, POS systems and back-end management systems. Within headquarters environments, these solutions include merchandise management and decisions support products. Radiant currently ships two Microsoft SQL Server-based gas and convenience products – Core-Tech Headquarters, a solution that provides corporate managers with consolidated reporting and control of retail operations, and Core-Tech DSS, a decision support and data warehouse solution. Several major petroleum refiners have installed Radiant’s Microsoft SQL Server-based products in an effort to control costs across multiple branches.

“Selecting a database platform is one of the most important decisions retailers have to make,”
said Dan Harrell, solutions engineer at Radiant Systems.
“Retailers need to be very conscious of the bottom line, and therefore, low TCO is extremely important. Microsoft SQL Server is a proven low-cost solution for complex business problems on the Windows NT® platform.”

Radius Retail Inc.

A leading supplier of enterprise retail management systems and services worldwide, Radius Retail utilizes Microsoft SQL Server because it allows the company’s products to scale to enterprise retailers, provides greater ease of use, which reduces complexity for medium-scale retailers, and runs in a more suitable environment for nontechnical staff. All Radius products support Microsoft SQL Server and, because of customer demand, the company plans to embrace Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 when it becomes available.

“There has been significant interest in Microsoft SQL Server from our customers,”
said Nigel Fenwick, vice president of sales and marketing at Radius.
“It’s too early to determine the impact on sales, but we are confident that Microsoft SQL Server will represent a major portion of our future business. We are in discussions with a number of prospects interested in our systems partly because it is available on Microsoft SQL Server.”

SQUiRREL Companies Inc.

Today SQUiRREL Companies is one of the largest suppliers of integrated POS solutions to the full-service restaurant segment. The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sulcus Hospitality Technologies Corp., is known for its innovative touch-screen technology and has developed POS, food and beverage, labor management and credit card authorization software application packages as well as easy-to-use software tools for moving data in or out of SQUiRREL applications. SQUiRREL utilizes Microsoft SQL Server as the standard database for its SQUiRREL 1.1 solution, an application based on human factors engineering, because of its cost-effectiveness, ease of maintenance and optimization for Windows NT.

Unlimited Solutions Inc.

Unlimited Solutions, a supplier of store automation systems for the retail industry, uses Microsoft technologies and products, including Microsoft SQL Server, in the development of its POS and enterprisewide back-office retail solutions. Microsoft SQL Server helps Unlimited Solutions develop, deploy, support and maintain technologically advanced and highly functional retail systems with its ease of use, scalability, reliability and inherent integration with other Microsoft products and technologies. The company utilizes Microsoft SQL Server in the deployment of mission-critical solutions across distributed systems encompassing 50 to more than 1,500 stores in an enterprise. Unlimited Solutions plans to migrate to Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 when it is released.

An End-to-End Effort

In addition to the success of Microsoft SQL Server, a wave of support is growing for Microsoft BackOffice in the retail sector because it enables companies to build modern, scalable, multitiered distributed computing solutions that can be delivered over any network. Microsoft also continues to drive and support COM-based initiatives that help define an end-to-end framework for product-related industries, from raw materials suppliers to consumer products companies. Components of this framework include the ActiveStore
retail technology architecture initiative for store-level applications and the Value Chain Initiative (VCI) for business-to-business electronic commerce. Combined, the ActiveStore and VCI efforts include more than 500 ISVs working toward a common architecture. For more information on Microsoft retail solutions and ActiveStore, visit the Microsoft Web site at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows, BackOffice, Windows NT and ActiveStore are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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