Microsoft Smarter Retailing Initiative Supported By More Than 20 Leading Companies

NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2004 — Today at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 93rd Annual Convention & Expo, more than 20 leading companies announced their support for Microsoft Corp.’s Smarter Retailing Initiative (SRI), a comprehensive solutions framework for enabling the next generation of retail innovation. The Smarter Retailing Initiative focuses on three critical areas, Smarter Shopping, Smarter Selling and Smarter Operations, reflecting Microsoft’s vision that business value will emerge at the boundaries of the retail enterprise, where retailers interact with customers and suppliers. With additional investment in core systems that support those innovations, retailers will be able to significantly transform and differentiate the customer experience.

A rich ecosystem of retail industry partners, including leading systems integrators (SIs), independent software vendors (ISVs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), are aligning their solutions with the Smarter Retailing Initiative, ensuring that retailers can choose the partners and solutions that best fit their needs over time. These solutions are based on open standards and use the Microsoft®
.NET Framework, the programming model for building Extensible Markup Language (XML) Web services and applications.

“We are truly impressed by the caliber of companies announcing their support for the Smarter Retailing Initiative,” said Brian Scott, general manager for the Retail & Hospitality Industry Solutions Group at Microsoft. “The enthusiastic adoption by partners offers retailers the freedom to maximize their unique strategic advantages while reducing the challenges and risks around deploying and integrating newer technologies.”

SIs and technology companies announcing their support for Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative include these:

  • Accenture. Accenture has designed several tools and radio frequency identification (RFID)-based technologies to help retailers improve store operations and selling to customers. One tool, the Shopping Cart Assistant, allows shoppers to scan and pay for items as they are selected, bypassing checkout lines. This technology can help a retailer increase sales and margin by predicting a customer’s shopping list and offering discounts tailored to individual shoppers. The Store Manager Workbench gives managers instant access to information on inventory, employee schedules and sales through a Tablet PC or personal digital assistant that leverages the Microsoft Office System and Microsoft Office SharePoint (TM) Portal Server 2003. This tool can increase manager and employee productivity and minimize out-of-stock items. To deploy these solutions quickly, retailers can use a new set of architectural and design frameworks developed through Avanade, a company created by Accenture and Microsoft. RFID applications imbedded throughout retailers’ operations can decrease errors in inventory handling and improve inventory and receiving accuracy and speed while reducing labor expense.

  • Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Intel Corporation and Cisco Systems Inc. CGE & Y, Intel and Cisco, which with Microsoft form the Extended Retail Solutions (ERS) initiative, are focused on improving the in-store shopping experience by combining their respective strengths to deliver an end-to-end, tailored technology solution for the retail market.

  • Infosys Technologies Ltd. Infosys offers a portfolio of Global Delivery Model-driven solutions, including Multi-channel retailing, Lead-time Optimization, RFID, Performance Reporting and Item Data Synchronization. To address current and emerging business trends, Infosys’ dedicated Retail Business Unit, which comprises 12 percent of Infosys’ revenues, serves clients in the grocery, apparel and consumer product sectors.

  • Wipro Technologies. A provider of end-to-end IT solutions to retailers through a global delivery model, aimed at improving efficiency and productivity, and reducing costs, Wipro has developed a new store managers’ WorkBench solution empowering store managers with predictive data analyses, leveraging Microsoft’s SharePoint Portal Server solution.

ISVs announcing their support for Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative to provide solutions for the retail industry include the following:

  • BlueCube Software. Launched at NRF, BlueCube Software, an affiliate of Radiant Systems, will demonstrate BlueCube Enterprise, a Web-based, performance management suite of applications based on Microsoft technology and showcasing Transaction, Merchandise, Learning and Workforce Management architected specifically for the retail industry.

  • CRS Retail Systems Inc. CRS RetailStore and CRS MobileStore, demonstrated in the Microsoft booth at NRF and based on Microsoft .NET technology, provide retailers with key capabilities to improve the customer shopping experience and drive profitability and efficiency into the stores.

  • JDA Software Group. JDA Portfolio, the industry’s first integrated suiteto manage and optimize demand chain processes, will be demonstrated at NRFto help retailers and their trading partners optimally plan and execute theprocurement, selection, quantification, assortment and placement of finishedgoods at the point of sale.

  • Manhattan Associates Inc. Warehouse Management for Windows®
    – and Microsoft-based RFID solutions enable retailers to reduce warehouse and logistics costs, increase supply chain execution (SCE) efficiency, and leverage state-of-the-art technologies such as RFID.

  • NSB Group. Demonstrated at NRF, NSB’s Connected Retailer is a comprehensive portfolio of advanced solutions trusted by more than 350 of the world’s leading retailers for planning, sourcing, merchandising, store, sales analytics and CRM. NSB is committed to using Microsoft technology such as .NET to deliver exceptional solutions that help retailers increase profits, lower costs, and improve performance across the enterprise.

  • ProClarity Corporation. New ProClarity Business Application Center (PBAC) and the application accelerator for category management will help enterprise retail customers rapidly deploy custom analytic applications.

  • Retalix. Providing integrated enterprisewide software solutions for the retail food industry worldwide, Retalix software solutions are designed to be modular, scalable to large transaction volumes, capable of handling rapid scanning with extreme reliability and integrating multiple store formats and hardware systems.

  • Sysrepublic. Specializing in the provision of software products and consultancy services to the Retail sector, Sysrepublic is an industry pioneer in the use of Microsoft technologies for the implementation of Real Time Retailing.

  • Trax Retail Solutions. The market leader in loss-prevention and profit-optimization solutions for the retail industry, Trax’s ShrinkTrax supports Microsoft Windows Server (TM) 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server (TM) 2000 Enterprise Edition.

OEMs offering services and/or hardware solutions to support Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative include these:

  • Fujitsu. GlobalSTORE point-of-sale (POS) software, SmartPoS peripherals and new Team PoS 2000 M terminal support an open Microsoft Windows environment and are all designed to reduce retailers’ costs and improve manageability over the life cycle of technology assets.

  • HP. HP is introducing a comprehensive, new POS migration service for the retail industry, based on Microsoft .NET and Windows XP technologies, to enable retailers to move to cost-effective POS platforms more rapidly, saving time, money and providing a more flexible, scalable and adaptable IT retail environment.

  • NCR. Debuting at NRF, NCR Advanced Store 5 is a high-performance software suite utilizing numerous Microsoft technologies, including Visual Studio®
    .NET, Windows XP Embedded, Windows Server 2003, Pocket PC software and SQL Server, and designed to enhance operations, drive incremental revenue, expedite return on investment and increase retail agility.

More details on the partners in the Microsoft Smarter Retailing ecosystem can be found at .

About the Microsoft Smarter Retailing Initiative

The Microsoft Smarter Retailing Initiative helps retailers win today by leveraging current investments, and win tomorrow by easing delivery of new retail experiences. Consisting of Smarter Shopping, Smarter Selling and Smarter Operations, the Smarter Retailing Initiative is designed to close the loop between the retailer’s strategy, the in-store execution and familiar technologies already in the consumer’s hands. More information can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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