Microsoft Announces Winners of Fourth Annual Retail Application Developer Awards

CHICAGO, June 7, 1999 — At the Retail Systems 1999 Conference and Exposition, Microsoft Corp. today announced the winners of the fourth annual Retail Application Developer (RAD) Awards, honoring the most innovative Microsoft-based software solutions for the retail and supply chain industries. The Microsoft® RAD Awards recognize application developers that demonstrate industry leadership by creating best-of-breed solutions built on the Windows® platform and which maximize retailer business benefits.

“The industry applications submitted for the RAD Awards are becoming more powerful and inventive each year,” said Tom Litchford, retail industry manager at Microsoft Corp. “The winning entries are a significant reflection of ways that advancements in retail and supply chain technologies continually spur new and improved ways to conduct business. It’s very gratifying to see these solutions being embraced by retailers and immediately affecting their businesses in positive ways.”

Almost 100 entries were received this year from the industry’s top retail and supply chain solution developers. Of those entered, 10 solutions were honored with a RAD Award:

JDA Software Group Inc. – Merchandising, Retail Headquarters

Solution: Retail IDEAS

JDA’s Retail IDEAS (Interactive Data Evaluation and Action Support) is a merchandising data warehouse designed to gather relevant data from many parts of the retail enterprise, from the point of sale to inventory-level databases at the distribution center, to help retailers make better merchandising decisions. It can be adapted to a company’s own organizational structure, presenting only relevant data to individual users, and allows for exception-based reporting, alerting the correct manager or executive only when data indicates a “dangerous” situation (such as a low inventory level for a key product).

R-Net EDI Corp. – Electronic Commerce, Retail Headquarters

Solution: Vendor System

R-Net EDI’s Vendor System links retailers to suppliers (especially smaller, boutique or mom-and-pop product vendors) via the company’s centralized electronic data interchange (EDI) routing and translation services. Use of the Internet as the communications medium and of EDI standards keeps costs low for both parties. Vendor System is aimed especially at allowing large retailers that may buy one or two unique products from a small vendor to use a low-cost electronic commerce solution with companies which may not be very tech-savvy.

Purchase Pro International Inc. – ERP, Retail Headquarters

Solution: E-Marketplace 4.0

Purchase Pro’s E-Marketplace 4.0 is the latest addition to the Purchase Pro Network, which connects buyers (in this case, hotel chains) with the myriad of vendors they use. The Network provides top-down control over approved vendors, products and prices, and shares that data with the appropriate buyers on the regional or property level. It can not only cut purchasing costs but also save a significant amount of buyers’ time. It attacks the problem of “maverick buying” at lower levels of large, expanding hospitality chains.

ICL – Marketing, Customer Profile, Retail Headquarters

Solution: Corema Express

ICL Retail Division’s Corema Express provides a database of information about a retailer’s customers, culled from frequent-shopper data collected at the retailer’s point of sale, as well as from transactions over the Internet (at home or the office) or via electronic kiosks in a store or mall location. Based on Microsoft SQL Server TM 7.0, it can be scaled up to provide sophisticated analysis tools for an entire chain; lower-cost versions can be used for small or even single-store operations.

STR Inc. – General Merchandise, Retail in Store

Solution: TradeWind

STR’s TradeWind is one of the first commercial applications utilizing the Microsoft ActiveStore TM retail technology architecture. It’s a point-of-sale (POS) system using the Component Object Model/Distributed Component Object Model (COM/DCOM) design that makes it easy for retailers to add different types of transactions or gather different types of data at the POS. It helps apparel retailers that want to increase sales to current customers by providing customer loyalty data, and it’s easy for sales associates to use, even if they have received only minimal training.

Compris Technologies Inc. – Food Service, Retail in Store

Solution: Restaurant Suite

The Compris Technologies Restaurant Suite links numerous data sources and operations within restaurants (both quick service restaurants and those offering table service). Its latest additions are an executive information system and a system for multisite maintenance. These help with headquarters-level analysis and control; the latter is important for companies with multiple restaurant concepts that nevertheless want consistent implementation, management and training. In addition to a simple-to-use point-of-sale module, the system also provides exception-based reporting on key variables, such as stock levels or overtime labor costs.

NCR Corp. – Food and Drug, Retail in Store

Solution: Self-Checkout Express Terminal

NCR’s Self-Checkout Express Terminal is designed so that customers can scan, bag and pay for their order without the intervention of any store associate. Benefits include shorter checkout lines because customers using the self-checkout lane reduce other queues. The system uses OLE Point of sale (OPOS) open standards to allow all the point-of-sale peripherals to operate with an OPOS interface layer, providing advanced integration capabilities with other OPOS-based systems and significant choice and flexibility for retailers. It also uses the retailer’s own POS business logic so that any changes to the “regular” POS, such as pricing or a new loyalty program, are automatically picked up by the self-scanning technology.

Stores Automated Systems Inc. (SASI) – Convenience Store, Retail in Store

Solution: Vision

SASI’s Vision point-of-sale solution links virtually all areas of convenience-store sales, including gas sold in the forecourt, groceries and packaged goods inside, prepared foods, money orders and lottery tickets. It employs an object-oriented design linked to a graphics-oriented touch screen that changes based on the time of day or type of transaction. The system’s flexibility makes it easier for convenience stores to add new product lines as well as to train employees, since the touch screen can be put into a training mode to “talk” to the user.

The Pinnacle Corp . – Supply Chain Execution, Retail Supply Chain

Solution: FuelSmart

Pinnacle’s FuelSmart system is a logistics package designed for convenience stores’ fuel-buying activities. It handles managing inventory, dispatching loads and buying fuel and incorporates a fuel accounting system. It brings much-needed sophistication to fuel-buying efforts, which have grown more complicated as convenience stores sell more fuel and other competitors get into this market. Logistical benefits include reducing fuel run-outs (individual stores running out of gas to sell) as well as curbing the opposite problem – deliveries that have to be turned away or rerouted because the store’s tanks are too full.

Ipex Group – Supply Chain Integration, Retail Supply Chain

Solution: Paragon

Ipex’s Paragon retail merchandising and supply chain solution is designed for loosely organized retail entities (buying groups, cooperatives and multidivision or recently merged retailers). To help these retailers buy products more efficiently, it uses electronic commerce tools and the Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 database to give retailers a consistent search engine even when they are picking products from numerous vendors, each with its own specifications for sizes, styles and colors. Within the retail organization itself, the network can apply different business rules for different divisions while still giving everyone access to the same data.

The judges awarded honorable mentions to Cost Plus Computer Services, IPNet Solutions Inc., STS Systems Inc., DataCard Corp., Radiant Systems Inc., Unlimited Solutions Inc., InfoGenesis, Kyrus Corp., Extricity Software Inc. and EXE Technologies Inc.

Judging criteria included quantifiable business benefits, best use of the Microsoft Windows operating system-based technology and Microsoft BackOffice® family of server applications, ease of use and adoption, and integration and exploitation of Internet and intranet technology. Applicants were judged on several factors aimed at rewarding solution developers that meet business objectives and satisfy customer needs. This year’s judges were Robert Grimes, chairman and CEO, CynterCorp, Gaithersburg, Md.; Dennis Hadley, president, Enterprise Information Systems Inc., Seattle; James R. Poll, architecture program manager, Meijer Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.; Tia Potter, publisher, Executive Technology and editor-publisher, Newsletter Group, Fairchild Publications, New York; Dan Roddy, senior vice president of operations, Rare Medium Inc., Los Angeles; John Stiehler, senior manager, Kurt Salmon Associates, San Bruno, Calif.; David M. Szymanski, Ph.D, associate director, Center for Retailing Studies, and Al and Marion Withers, faculty research fellows, College of Business Administration, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas; Barry L. Wise, president, Wise Retail Consultants, Flower Mound, Texas.

More information on Windows-based solutions in retail is available on the Microsoft Web site at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.

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