IBM Introduces New Solution for Retailers

Armonk, N.Y.—Sept. 16, 2011—IBM today introduced an optimized hardware and software solution designed to help retailers quickly turn  customer insight into action and increase sales revenues.

The Smarter Commerce on Power Systems solution is the latest edition of IBM’s growing portfolio of solutions  for  Smarter  Commerce.  This solution focuses on tightly  integrating  systems based on IBM POWER7 processor technology and WebSphere  Commerce  software  to  provide  high-volume retailers with the ability to personalize their customers’ online shopping experiences, handle online   sales   surges  during  peak  shopping  seasons  without  loss  of performance  and  integrate  customer  buying  information across all sales channels, including online, mobile, in-store, POS and kiosks.

In an effort to meet growing competitive demands of the online marketplace, Staples, the world’s largest office products company, tapped IBM to realign the technology that powers its website, Staples.com, to create an easier, more efficient online purchasing experience for its customers. By deploying IBM  WebSphere  Commerce  7  e-commerce  software on Power Systems, Staples gained  a  website  optimized  for  high volume transactions to support its customer-centric  business  model. According to Internet Retailer, in 2010, Staples had the second-largest Internet retail revenue in the world, making up 42 percent of the company’s total revenue.

“From  a  performance  perspective,  we  saw  customer  experience and page download times improve anywhere from 25 percent to 55 percent with the move to  IBM  POWER7 Systems,” said Ken Moore, vice president, IT, Staples North American  Delivery. “That’s substantial especially when you consider mobile computing over a 3G and 4G connection delivering the same great experience that our desktop users get — that is very important for us. We expect to see the new Staples.com  platform  help  us  better  meet our customer’s changing needs and drive growth in our e-commerce sales.”

Power  Systems  are  built  to  manage  demanding applications that rely on processing  an  enormous  number  of concurrent transactions and data while analyzing  information  in  real  time.  Retailers  can quickly scale their systems to  handle  large volumes of online shoppers during times like the back-to-school  shopping  season,  Cyber  Monday  or  Black Friday, without impacting  performance.  It also raises the quality of customer service by boosting data availability and analysis so retailers can easily personalize a customer’s  shopping  experience  –  leading to fewer abandoned shopping carts.  Power  Systems  enable  faster  building  and deployment of Smarter Commerce  solutions  than  on competitive platforms by reducing development time  from  months  to weeks. As a result, retailers can deliver technology services faster, with higher quality and with superior economics.

IBM’s pre-integrated solution optimizes the cross-channel selling capabilities of Smarter Commerce, accelerates  implementation  and  reduces total cost of ownership. The key component is WebSphere Commerce 7 e-commerce software that integrates marketing and shopping across all channels and runs on IBM WebSphere Application Server and utilizes IBM DB2® database software. The IBM WebSphere MQ reliably transports messages internally to enable fast responses to transaction demands.

The solution allows clients to choose the appropriately-sized Power Systems server as the base of their high-performance IT environment with the AIX, IBM  i  or Linux operating systems. Clients also have the option to add IBM XIV  Storage  System,  a high-end disk storage designed for growth, or IBM Storwize  V7000,   a  midrange  disk  storage  alternative,  for  maximum flexibility.

For more information on IBM Power Systems, visit www.ibm.com/systems/power.

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