Recently, at the National Retail Federation Retail's BIG Show, VMware, Inc. showcased solutions and technologies that enable IT to lead retail transformation in the mobile-cloud era. VMware End-User Computing solutions for retail power thousands of stores, including 19 of the 20 top U.S. retailers, to enhance customer engagements, modernize store operations, build highly trained and connected sales teams and improve security and compliance.

The last decade has brought incredible innovation to the retail industry. This provides great opportunity for IT leaders within retail organizations to bring about transformational change and improve business processes. Retailers are seeking technologies to improve customer interactions, leverage new devices and apps to modernize store operations, keep employees trained and informed with real-time information to support collaborative workflows and protect transactions, data and customer information through secure devices and applications.


Utilizing VMware to Enhance Customer Engagements and Modernize Store Operations

VMware End-User Computing solutions for retail, powered by VMware Workspace which includes VMware Horizon, VMware AirWatch® Enterprise Mobility Management, VMware AirWatch Content Locker and Socialcast, provide the complete package retailers need to manage a diverse mobile fleet and deploy specific retail use cases in today's digital world. Customers are using VMware solutions to empower retailers to improve store operations, increase customer engagement through multi-channel experiences and build a highly trained and connected sales team.

Luxottica, the manufacturer and distributor of luxury eyewear, said it is improving customer engagement through mobile experiences with VMware. With AirWatch-managed tablets, sales associates have access to endless aisle capabilities through the e-commerce channel to locate, sell and ship products directly to a customer's home or to the store, and store managers can access training content at the touch of a button. Shoppers visiting Sunglass Hut retail stores can 'try on' various styles of eyewear using the Social Sun app, then post photos of their potential purchases through a variety of social media platforms.

Belk, a department store company with its roots in the south, is also enhancing customer engagements with multi-channel experiences. According to the company, Belk deployed AirWatch-managed mobile devices to enhance customer engagements to offer digital shopping experiences across channels. Belk has deployed mobile point of sale (mPOS) handhelds to store associates enabling them to checkout customers more quickly to reduce wait times. Store associates can also access applications and websites with enhanced product information on handhelds and tablets so they are informed and never miss a sale. Belk has also deployed AirWatch-managed beacons in tests in multiple store locations to understand and enhance customer experiences and offer more personalized services.

Ascena Retail Group, which operates Justice, Maurices, Catherines, Dressbarn, Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, has transformed back of store operations by embracing the mobile cloud era. With VMware, Ascena said it can use iPads and iPod touches in lieu of back office PCs or paper operations. With custom-built applications, store associates manage administrative functions, customer interactions, inventory, training, onboarding and more through its mobile fleet powered by VMware.


Empowering IT to Innovate Quickly with Industry Templates for Retail

To give retailers the tools needed transform business processes quickly, VMware also announced Industry Templates for Retail, a part of the VMware AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management suite. In the journey toward retail transformation, deploying an EMM solution is just part of the puzzle. Retailers need the policies, restrictions and critical applications to enable use cases such as mobile point of sale, store management, customer engagement and self-service options. The wizard-like Industry Templates for Retail within AirWatch will enable retailers to simply deploy common industry mobile use cases with a few clicks. Industry Templates for Retail will be available within AirWatch next month.


This article was originally posted “VMware Modernizes And Secures Retail Opportunities In The Mobile-Cloud Era” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.