Oracle Retail Suite—Almost Everything Global Retailers Might Need?

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  • Published: March 24 2014
This report describes how Oracle's series of acquisitions since the mid-80s have enabled the software giant to offer an integrated suite of business applications, systems, and storage solutions that provide retailers with all the necessary tools to address nearly all their business needs in a “commerce anywhere” manner.

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Although Oracle has been developing and deploying software solutions for retailers since 1986, the giant’s forays into the retail industry were spearheaded by a series of retail software acquisitions starting in mid-2000s. This report describes how those acquisitions have enabled Oracle to offer an integrated suite of business applications, systems, and storage solutions that provide retailers with all the necessary tools to address nearly all their business needs in a “commerce anywhere” manner.
In 2005, Oracle first acquired Retek, a leading provider of retail merchandising, planning, and supply chain solutions, and then ProfitLogic for its markdown price optimization and Temposoft workforce management (which came via PeopleSoft). The Oracle Retail solutions portfolio was enriched with the acquisitions of 360Commerce point-of-sales (POS) solution in 2006 and Advanced Visual Technology (AVT) for retail space planning in 2008.
More recent retail-related acquisitions were the renowned e-commerce provider Art Technology Group (ATG) in 2010 and the e-commerce and business intelligence (BI)/search-based data discovery provider Endeca in 2011. Surely, the call center and customer service software provider RightNow, acquired in 2011, FatWire Web content management, as well as a slew of marketing automation and social software acquisitions of late (e.g., Eloqua, Responsys, Involver, Vitrue, etc.) will likely have bearing on the evolving Oracle Retail suite. For example, Oracle’s social media strategy centers around helping businesses use social concepts to increase productivity including the use of enterprise social network (ESN) products such as Oracle WebCenter on premises (part of Oracle Fusion Middleware) and cloud-based Oracle Social Network (OSN).
The company’s social strategy also includes providing an integrated suite of social marketing products, as well as integrating social information throughout business applications. The Oracle Social Relationship Management suite consists of assets from acquired companies such as Collective Intellect, Involver, and Vitrue, as well as some internal development. These products can help retailers better connect with customers and manage social marketing campaigns. Oracle’s Social Relationship Management suite allows retailers to collect relevant social data that can be analyzed for sentiment, scored against competitors, and correlated to promotions. This data can be used for better targeting offers, detecting market trends, and engaging customers in conversations.

In-house Product Development

There has been of course a major research and development (R&D) work at Oracle after all these retail software acquisitions. It is perhaps too long a list, so here is a partial list of major new Oracle Retail products:
  • Regular Price Optimization
  • Replenishment Optimization—it was offered as a service at Retek, but productized within Oracle Retail
  • Size Profile Optimization
  • Retail Analytics—first two generally available modules are Merchandise Analytics and Customer Analytics
  • Mobile POS
 Key areas of retail R&D in the last year or so have been in the following areas:
  • Planning & Supply Chain—usability, simplification, science-based forecast
  • Merchandising—user experience for allocation, support for Commerce Anywhere customer journeys, franchise enhancements, integration, upgrade toolkits
  • Stores—commerce/stores accelerators, mobile POS
  • Commerce—ATG/Endeca integration, mobile, business empowerment, customer targeting
  • Other—Oracle Retail Reference Library, a retail intellectual property about implementations that is available free to Oracle Retail customers (see video)

Read the full report >>

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