January 20, 2009, 12:00 AM

Vendors promote cross-channel technology at NRF show

Many vendors promoted the cross-channel capabilities of their applications at last week’s National Retail Federation annual convention and trade show in New York.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Many vendors promoted the cross-channel capabilities of their applications at last week’s National Retail Federation annual convention and trade show in New York.

In several interviews with Internet Retailer, they also indicated they were making their platforms more flexible in the way retailers can deploy them. Many of the vendors promoted their multiple offerings of platform types, including licensed, hosted/managed services and software-as-a-service-the latter helping them serve a broader range of retailers, including smaller ones.

Cisco Systems Inc. noted it was getting more into e-commerce applications to go beyond its core router business, working with partners in areas like POS, workforce management, network security, in-store traffic monitoring and inventory management.

I2 Technologies Inc. is offering a software-as-a-service version for the first time of its inventory forecasting/replenishment application, which it figures will help it serve companies smaller than its traditional base of companies doing more than $500 million annually.

RedPrairie Corp., a provider of enterprise applications including supply chain, warehouse, transportation and workforce management, said it is making applications available in a SaaS environment on an a la carte basis. It noted that more multi-channel retailers are showing a need for managing fulfillment across channels, particularly as more online orders are returned by customers to stores.

Manhattan Associates Inc. said it was still offering mostly web-enabled licensed software for supply chain management applications, but considering working with SaaS e-commerce platform vendors to integrate with their platforms.

AlData Solution, a provider of enterprise software for retailers and wholesalers, said it’s having a particularly good year, thanks to strength among grocery retailers.

JDA Software Group Inc. said its entire software suite, except for its enterprise merchandising, is fully web based, and that it serves companies with total revenue of $100 million or more.

Microsoft Corp. is testing new technology with several retailers that lets their in-store customers use web-enabled mobile phones that include cameras to scan a new type of colored tag, like a bar code, that calls up a web page on a phone to get product details and make an online purchase.

Microsoft’s new Commerce Server 09 comes with built-in functionality to support buy online/pick up in store-a feature that several other vendors at the NRF show were promoting.

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