IBM and Retalix, which provides retail and distribution systems, are partnering to offer combined solutions to convenience and petroleum retailers.
The two companies announced the agreement May 5 at the NACStech convenience industry conference in Dallas.
"Retalix has complementary set of tools and software that works well with IBM hardware, services and capabilities," said Juhi Jotwani, director of marketing strategy for retail store solutions for IBM. "We will work together on joint offerings for petroleum and convenience retailers."
Under the terms of the partnership, the companies will jointly market and implement technology solutions based on Retalix software and IBM hardware and services. Jotwani said convenience and petroleum retailers will be able to manage Retalix software and IBM hardware and systems management capabilities with same set of tools.
Ray Carlin, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Retalix, said the agreement is an expansion of a partnership that was initially launched in January and recently included a deal to sell the Retalix StoreNext solution for small grocery and convenience retailers on an IBM hardware platform.
"Because of our collaboration at the technical level, we can provide remote support at the hardware and software level," Carlin said. "For convenience retailers, who don't have a lot of resources at the store level, functionality at the central level becomes more important. IBM has an excellent shed of hardware products."
According to Rob Garf, an analyst with AMR Research, the partnership represents a few interesting happenings in the retail technology space.
"First, this deal will help IBM go further downmarket, where StoreNext is known and has a pretty broad distribution network," Garf said. "Second, it speaks more to IBM's continued focus on hardware, infrastructure and services, and less to its historical core market of point-of-sale software. And third, the combination gives convenience store operators, most of which are franchised or mom-and-pops, more choice in the marketplace."
Garf said the partnership may raise questions about the relationship between Retalix and Fujitsu, which have historically partnered on the software and hardware supporting the StoreNext solution.
"What does the future hold for these two?" he asked.
The joint solutions will include IBM POS hardware and convenience-industry-specific Retalix software applications to handle tasks such as POS and store back-office management, fuel and commercial fuel management, central price management, demand analytics, and loyalty and promotions optimization.
Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.