VeriSign Buys Retail Solutions - InformationWeek

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VeriSign Buys Retail Solutions

The $24 million deal pushes VeriSign squarely into delivering point-of-sale data, which is gathered at cash registers when customers pay for merchandise at stores.

VeriSign Inc. on Wednesday said it acquired Retail Solutions Inc. for nearly $24 million in cash, confirming speculation about how the infrastructure services company will play in the $8 trillion worldwide supply chain space.

The deal pushes VeriSign squarely into delivering point-of-sale (POS) data, which is gathered at cash registers when customers pay for merchandise at stores, to retailers and consumer-goods and pharmaceutical companies, including Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline, respectively. "Companies want this data so they know exactly what's happening in a store at any given time," said Jeff Richards, vice president of VeriSign’s Intelligent Supply Chain Services business. "But when you provide this information, you're talking about a massive up-tick in the amount of data, billions and billions of records, you need to process."

The RSI platform provides about 130 customers with secure access to real-time POS data, such as price and quantity sold per store location, from more than 50 key retailers. VeriSign will retain RSI's 50 full-time employees and offices in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

VeriSign now has the tools to build on its infrastructure services in radio frequency identification (RFID) and electronic product code (EPC) technologies in which POS data increasingly is being combined. VeriSign in May shelled-out $15 million for R4 Global Solutions, a consulting-services vendor that assists companies using RFID, electronic product codes, and other data-related supply-chain technologies.

The goal is to combine services from both acquisitions -- tying POS with RFID/EPC data -- to provide real-time visibility and accurate inventory information on products in the supply chain to consumer goods companies, such as Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Gillette Co., which are working on RFID programs with retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., and Albertson's Inc.

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