A Year-End Look at Retail - Page 3

By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2004-11-25 Print this article Print

Although the specific numbers run the gamut from eight to 20 or more years, many of todays largest retailers started the year with very old POS systems, or at least very old operating systems behind those POS systems. For much of that time, though, the old legacy systems were not in critical need of replacement. They did their job and did it admirably. It wasnt until this year and the imminence of RFID, contactless payment systems and sophisticated CRM applications that retailers saw the profitable things they would miss out on if they didnt upgrade. In 2004, retail IT execs suddenly had no choice but to at least seriously evaluate replacing their reliable legacy systems. This was a trend that certainly didnt go unnoticed in Redmond, with Microsoft making a serious play for the small retailer. Microsoft was still pushing to have POS mean point of service rather than point of sale. I put this right up there with the people at Digital who, after many decades of the industry calling them DEC, decided they didnt want to be called DEC anymore. They wanted to be called Digital Equipment or even Digital. A watch can be digital. They were just DEC. If Microsoft wants to change what the POS acronym stands for, theyre a couple of decades too late. Heres a short list of stories on how POS technology influenced the retail scene:
  • Convenience Chain CIO: Payment Systems Bleeding Stores Dry
  • Retail Group to Help Integrate Worker Attedance
  • Microsoft Has Its Eye On Small Retailers
  • Device Lets POS Units Handle Wireless Transactions
  • At Wal-Mart, Worlds Largest Retail Data Warehouse Gets Even Larger
  • Teradata, SeeCommerce Alliance Promises Retail Out-of-Stock Help
  • Microsofts POS Move May Make It a Viable Retail Option
  • JDA, PeopleSoft Team Up To Help Retailers
  • Curbing Retail Shrinkage With The Help of a Shrink
  • Survey: Linux Has Long Way to Go in Retail
  • Will Cell Phones, PDAs Become Retailers Promo Tools?
  • Is Retail IT Being Killed By Complacency?
  • Discover CIO: Retail Technology Ready For Major Changes
  • Discover to Use Biometric To Combat Rivals
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    Evan Schuman is the editor of CIOInsight.com's Retail industry center. He has covered retail technology issues since 1988 for Ziff-Davis, CMP Media, IDG, Penton, Lebhar-Friedman, VNU, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and United Press International, among others. He can be reached by e-mail at Evan.Schuman@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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