Cloud Infrastructure has changed the way organizations advance towards technology. It is a key enabler of digital transformation for any retailer. The retail world changes fast, with emergent technologies like the Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and augmented Reality (AR) in their ascendancy, retailers across the globe are adopting Oracle Retail Cloud Services. With this retailer can maintain a consistent and modern merchandising platform that delivers greater productivity & enhanced customer experience.
In this article we will discuss about those factors which will help a Retailer to make the right decision of moving to Cloud services and make the best use of technology.
Before we proceed with exploring the Cloud benefits, let us see some facts related to Cloud as below.
Retail industry is copiously moving towards cloud adoption.
Gartner predicts that by end of 2026, ~75% of organizations will move to a digital model with cloud as the underlying platform.
Nucleus Research, the average company achieves about 3.2 times greater ROI from cloud technology compared to an on-premises solution. According to that same report, the payback period for cloud deployment is 2.2 times faster than on-premises solutions.
Fortune Business Insights, Retail cloud market size stood at USD 11.89 Billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 39.63 Billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 16.3% during 2019-2026
Challenges with Obsolete Technology & Aged Systems
The legacy systems pose the below challenges for the retailers:
o Inefficiency & Inability to achieve new business model
o Incompatibility with Digital Technology
o Increased security risk
o Costs more to maintain (hardware cost)
o No longer product support from vendor
o Inability to provide outstanding customer experience.
Cloud Drives Retailer’s Success
With above facts of Cloud & short comings of legacy systems, it is clear that Cloud technology plays a key role in organization’s growth, overcome inventory & other business challenges, and thus helps to maximize the profits and be competitive in the market. Let us see few segments in retailers world wherein Cloud leads to business success:
o Envision the benefits of AI – Competing in retail often means competing in retail analytics, retail artificial intelligence, (AI) and machine learning (ML). It is imperative that retail AI and ML is ubiquitous in retail decision making, be those decisions are related to assortments, inventory placement, forecasting, planning, pricing, etc.
o Enduring Innovation – Retailers are constantly seeking new ways to make the customer experience more engaging and mesmerizing. By working in a cloud environment, retailers can accelerate deployment timelines and deliver digital innovations faster.
o Omnichannel Integrations – A cloud native environment enables retailers to easily integrate the online and in-store experience. It can enable new experiences to customers. With modern integration methods enabled in Cloud, integrations with 3rd party & external systems have become easily achievable in a safely manner.
o Easier Scaling in Cloud Native Environments – A cloud native platform enables retailers to handle heavy spikes in demand even when they occur suddenly and unexpectedly — and they can scale down again just as easily.
o Building Better Apps – A cloud native environment accelerates a retailer’s path from idea to production.
Benefits of Being On-Cloud
Ø Cost Effectiveness
Being on Cloud Infrastructure, International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates 5-year cost savings of almost 40%. An organization saving $5M annually will see the saving distribution as below:
o IT staff productivity gains [41%]
o Risk mitigation — user productivity [29%]
o Business productivity gains [21%]
o IT infrastructure cost reductions [9%]
Ø Consistently fast
o The applications hosted on the Cloud environment are comparatively faster and light weight as compared to their on-prem versions. Predictable, fast performance for serious workloads, backed by performance SLAs (Service level agreement).
Ø Simple & Flexible Pricing
o Oracle Cloud works on Pay/Usage model.
o For e.g., in case of Oracle Merchandising Foundation Cloud Service (MFCS), Oracle proposes the price based upon the number of active item-location combinations in the Retailer’s environment.
o Similarly, in case of Oracle Store Inventory Operations Cloud Services (SIOCS), price is proposed by number of active store-users in the Retailer’s environment.
Ø Environment Management
o Oracle provides additional Non-Prod Environments (NPE’s) to the Retailer as per their needs along with Stage, Test & Production boxes.
Ø Advanced Data conversion techniques
o Handling Retailers data and moving it to a new platform is always a challenge and concern for any retailer. With Oracle’s own Retail Data Conversion Tool retailer’s data can now be converted to cloud, easily and efficiently.
Ø Advanced Integration Methods
o Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) architecture is robust enough to support any type of integration with any Legacy or non-Oracle applications
o Real-time / Batch Scheduled / Event based integration, Retail Integration Cloud Service (RICS) includes Retail Integration Bus (RIB), Bulk Data Integrator (BDI), Retail Financial Integration (RFI)
o API-Driven Integrations – Application Programming Interface (API)-driven integrations are the most elegant way to adopt modern technology and enable seamless integrations and adoption of solutions as they emerge.
Ø Advance Capability
o Oracle Retail Data Store (RDS) – Oracle Retail SaaS to support the Retail Analytics and other downstream application needs. It includes tools to leverage the data including Oracle Retail Home, Oracle Analytics, Oracle Application Express and Oracle REST Data Services
Ø Identity Cloud Service and Anywhere access
o Secured access, synced with Retailers Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to enable Single Sign On (SSO)
o Oracle Cloud applications can be accessed from anywhere over the Internet.
Ø Customer Support
o My Oracle Support (MOS) provides technical support via a global support structure.
o Available 24/7/365 days online via MOS portal or by phone
o Ability to self-search, access to a robust set of documented, known solutions.
o Essential service updates & new releases
o Defined Global Service Request (SR) escalation process.
Infosys – Oracle Partnership
Infosys & Oracle are committed to help retailer move to a cloud connected environment by delivering consulting, and implementation services utilizing its Oracle Cloud solutions and services, part of Infosys Cobalt.
Infosys has won many awards at Oracle CloudWorld and other conferences, reflecting the company’s deep relationship with Oracle and the value and expertise it delivers for its clients undergoing digital transformation.
Infosys positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, 2022 for Oracle Cloud Applications Services, Worldwide
Infosys positioned as a Leader in the IDC Market Scape for Asia Pacific Oracle Implementation Services 2021
Infosys positioned as a LEADER in Everest Group’s Oracle Cloud Applications Services PEAK Matrix Assessment 2022
Infosys Value Adds
Infosys stepped into Oracle Retail Cloud Implementation since 2016. With its rich experience on Cloud platform, Infosys is able to build its own unique set of tools that can be used during and after the product implementation. Below are few of the additional offering from Infosys that comes along with the Implementation package:
Data extractor Tool:
o The data extraction tool used for data migration.
o It extracts, validates & transforms data in v19 (& higher version) format for easy loading.
Retail Test Automation Tool:
o Anyone Can Automate Testing Tool is used for regression testing during the implementation [50% reduction in regression testing efforts]
o Pre-recorded Test cases for Oracle Retail, 600+ Test cases for Fashion Retail – Based on Open source [Selenium, TestNG, Java]
o Tool enables process automation, helps eliminate manual effort
Retail Batch Scheduler:
o Standard solution to integrate Retailer’s enterprise scheduler (Automic, Control-M etc.) with Oracle Retail Process Orchestration and Monitoring (POaM)
o Customized dashboards for monitoring the applications, critical integration touch points etc., provides a consolidated view of system health during the peak season
Based on above points it is evident that Cloud is the future for retailers who want to digitalize their IT landscape. Moving onto Cloud not only provides enriched customer experience at an optimal cost but also enables a retailer to focus on business process innovation. Cloud adoption thus helps elevate the retail enterprise by increasing business agility, enhancing business continuity, cutting costs, and improving ROI.