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January 10, 2013
3 Min Read
10 Big Tech Ideas For Retailers
10 Big Tech Ideas For Retailers (click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Cloud-based ERP vendor NetSuite announced Thursday that it has acquired point-of-sale (POS) and retail management system vendor Retail Anywhere. The deal fills out NetSuite's commerce capabilities, bringing visibility into store activity to a multi-channel offering that currently addresses websites, call centers, social media networks and mobile devices.
Retail Anywhere, a 28-year-old Paso Robles, Calif., company, is a NetSuite partner that reachitected its software last year to run on NetSuite's cloud-based ERP suite. The company's in-store software runs on traditional POS hardware and on Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch mobile devices. This client software is designed to queue transactions and synchronize with central retail systems so stores can keep running even if networks go down. Retail Anywhere's cloud services, which are now based on NetSuite, consolidate transactions from across multiple stores, integrate with back-end systems and support business intelligence querying and reporting.
With last year's redesign, all of these capabilities are now directly tied in with NetSuite's inventory management, storefront, order-management and customer support capabilities. The integration has solved challenges many retailers are now struggling to overcome to do business across multiple customer contact points, according to NetSuite.
"Customers want to be able to shop online and pick up merchandise in stores, and when they're at a store and something isn't in stock, they want to know if it's available nearby or can be ordered online," said Andy Lloyd, NetSuite's General Manager of Commerce Products in a phone interview with InformationWeek.
[ Want more on NetSuite? Watch the video interview NetSuite CEO: What's Next For ERP In Cloud. ]
NetSuite has other POS partners, but it was drawn closer to Retail Anywhere when it moved its centralized services onto NetSuite, Lloyd said. The partners already have more than 30 joint customers, including bike retailer Transition BMX, military garb retailer Patriot Outfitters and hair care products supplier DC Labs.
The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The POS vendor's employees will join NetSuite's eTail/Retail Products business, and Retail Anywhere CEO, Branden Jenkins, has been named general manager of that unit. NetSuite will support Retail Anywhere products even if they're used in conjunction with rival financial, retail and ERP systems such as Microsoft Dynamics, Quickbooks and Epicor, Jenkins said.
Retail Anywhere's POS and retail-management competitors include Celerant, Micros, Retail Pro, Syncronics and Tomax. Such systems are increasingly showing up as modules of larger retail and ERP systems. Microsoft Dynamics and Epicor, for example, both have their own POS systems.
NetSuite will continue to work with third-party POS partners like Onsite, Lloyd said, but he noted that customers are increasingly demanding tightly integrated systems covering all customer touch points.
"Our customers have been happy with our e-commerce offerings, but many of them do the majority of their business through stores, so POS is crucial," Lloyd said.
About the Author(s)
Executive Editor, Enterprise Apps
Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of Transform Magazine, and Executive Editor at DM News. He has covered IT and data-driven marketing for more than 15 years.
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