Market Trends

What is Old is New Again in Consumer Industries

The trend for companies in the Consumer Industries is to get more personalized using modern technology—to get a holistic view of the customer and offer unique recommendations that fit their needs. This is actually getting back to an older way of serving the customer face-to-face, says Steve Okun, Director at /N SPRO, who spoke on a Consumer Industries panel for SAP Game Changers radio recently.  

By | 2019-01-11T14:00:27+00:00 January 11th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Consumer Industries, Market Trends, Retail, Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

Data Conversion Validation: Simplification at Speed

On January 15, 2015, Target Canada shocked the business world by filing for bankruptcy protection. The retail giant’s Canadian stores had been open for less than two years, their operation marred by high profile failures: delayed openings, empty shelves, and annual losses that added up to 2.1 billion USD. Analysts, reporters, and Target’s own employees unanimously identified the culprit – bad data in SAP.Exclusive: Target Canada’s supply chain gridlock: how Barbie SUVs snarled traffic

This in and of itself was not a new story; the two largest food retailers in Canada – Loblaws and Sobeys – had both had significant issues with their SAP implementations. Target believed that flawed data conversions had caused these implementations to stumble. Target believed the problems other retailers faced were due to error in data conversion. To avoid this issue, Target decided to fill the Canada SAP systems with entirely new data rather than converting data from their US databases. Unfortunately for Target, this strategy did not pay off and led to many of the well-publicized failings that shuttered its Canadian stores for good.

Why was Target Canada so afraid of data conversion?

Done correctly, conversion allows for a smoother cutover between old and new systems – no telling customers they must remake their online order accounts, for example – and saves countless labor hours that would otherwise be spent populating data by hand. For many companies, especially in retail, conversion is the only sensible choice. But despite best laid plans, many implementations face uncertainty in the data conversion process. Late changes to functional requirements, large data volumes, and complicated data dependencies all present opportunities for data headaches leading up to and beyond go-live. And with the critical role data plays in modern business processes, a small conversion flaw can have a […]

By | 2018-04-23T10:32:36+00:00 July 20th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Market Trends, Retail, Retail Technology|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Sapphire & ASUG 2016 Conference Six Highlights – /N SPRO

Last week SAP & ASUG held their annual SAPPHIRE NOW & ASUG Conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG is the largest global business technology event where solution experts and the community that uses SAP software can connect all in one place. Attendees are able to learn how to enable their digital business strategy and get more from their technology investment.

This year’s /N SPRO’s top six highlights include:


  • Highest Attendance Ever! – SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG’s 2016 conference achieved record attendance of 30,000+ attendees and an additional 300,000 watching virtually from around the world. This year SAP & ASUG utilized Facebook‘s Live Streaming application which gave many of our colleagues a way to remotely experience SAPPHIRE & ASUG presentations.bill mcdermott sapphire
  • Awesome Kickoff Keynote – Bill McDermott, SAP CEO, provided the SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 kickoff Keynote illustrating the value of integrating people, technology, processes. Bill discussed the challenges and opportunities being faced by key SAP customers with live in person input from executive leadership from Microsoft, Under Armour, and others. During his Keynote he predicted that the next five to 10 years will be more disruptive than last five to 10 years. Due to machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality will fundamentally change the way we do work.
  • Exciting New Tools in the Works – The announcement of the ASUG Partner Assessment Tool – The go live is currently scheduled to happen during SuccessConnect in August. It will function like TripAdvisor except it will be used for clients on SI’s. It will be a great way for clients to research SI’s they are interested in and review SI’s they have been engaged […]
By | 2018-04-23T10:32:37+00:00 May 24th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Events, Market Trends, Retail, SuccessFactors|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Brian Cederborg on Industry Cloud Trends with Game-Changers Radio, presented by SAP

A New Outlook For The Retail CMO … working title Join host Bonnie D. Graham as she invites you to take an additional coffee break July 14th 12:00pm-1:00pm EST, with game-changers for a special series on how SAP is taking its unrivaled industry expertise into the cloud, on Industry Cloud Trends with Game-Changers Radio. Joining Bonnie for this discussion, is our very own Brian Cederborg, VP of Retail & Wholesale Consulting for /N SPRO, Dan Berthiaume, Chain Store Age & Nancy Casey from SAP.

The omni-channel migration within retail has had far-reaching implications. Consumers demand to shop when, where and how they want, while expecting a consistent experience across channels. This has not only impacted sales models but marketing strategies as well.

To keep up with consumers, the retail chief marketing officer job description has changed, and will likely continue to change for another three to five years. Once known for traditional sales enablement and advertising, the CMO role now requires an intimate knowledge of multiple (and emerging) communications channels, the ability to create and target customer personas, an understanding of big data, analytics and the tools required to uncover consumer insights, and an awareness of how all these variables apply to the customer journey.

This means that CMOs are now dealing with roles and responsibilities that overlap with the chief information officer and chief technology officer, overseeing complex data and product innovation platforms to predict, understand and align with consumer behavior. To justify new strategies and tools, and hone in on the right activities that will move the needle, measurement has become an even more critical element of the CMO role.

Click to Listen Live on July 14th, 12:00-1:00pm EST

By | 2018-04-23T10:32:50+00:00 July 9th, 2015|Categories: Leadership, Market Trends, Retail, Retail Technology|0 Comments

SAP CAR Providing Retailers with Better Tools to Target Customer Base

“Retailers that extract new and meaningful insights from their data (loyalty and/or transnational data) will be better equipped to reward and retain a more loyal shopper base.”  Tools like SAP CAR and consuming applications now provide retailers with tools that can efficiently mine and present actionable information from their vast pools of data to provide consistently better offers for their target customer base.

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

SAP Customer Activity Repository is a foundation that collects transactional data that was previously spread over multiple independent applications in diverse formats. The repository provides a common foundation and a harmonized multichannel transaction data model for all consuming applications.

Retailers can use SAP Customer Activity Repository to gradually transform their system landscapes from traditional database technology to the revolutionary, in-memory database technology.

SAP Customer Activity Repository includes the following features:

  • POS Data Transfer and Audit (POS Data Management)
  • Multichannel Sales Repository (MCSR)
  • Multichannel Sales Analytics
  • Inventory Visibility Analytics
  • On-Shelf Availability
  • Predictive capabilities, leveraging the Demand Data Foundation (DDF) and Unified Demand Forecast (UDF)

By | 2018-04-23T10:32:52+00:00 March 9th, 2015|Categories: In the News, Market Trends, NRF, Retail|0 Comments