Posted on 06/03/2019
John McKindland, Head of Solution Sales, Nimans
What kind of challenges is the retail sector facing right now?
One of the biggest challenges is balancing the books especially around rent and rates which have put some companies out of business. Those that have a legacy PBX and telephony infrastructure, which needs to be maintained is a further on-going cost.
Is the Channel equipped to digitally transform this sector? How can the Channel protect retailers from digital disruption or even enable them to develop disruptive strategies themselves?
Retailers need to think ‘outside the box’ – moving away from a traditional PBX and even traditional cloud-based solutions. NEC’s 3C platform is a good example of a cloud-based product that can provide different types of UC connectivity and voice across multiple devices around a retail environment. This (a), increases productivity and (b), narrows the number of devices and licences they need to buy and reduces hardware whilst providing a scalable solution across all their sites.
Are resellers with traditional services like connectivity or EPOS services at risk from more digitally enabled partners with IoT or application offerings? How is the purchasing behaviour of this vertical changing?
In retail cost is king. So if a reseller has the ability to bundle lots of different services together this is often more cost effective and enables them to lock their competition out. Consolidation of services through one provider is becoming much more prevalent.
Which products and services are selling well?
Retail is now being treated like it always should have been which is a mobile workforce. It’s not just about someone sitting behind an EPOS, but being able to pull telephony and other applications onto one device so staff are able to move freely around a store. True collaboration.
What do you expect to see over the next 12 months from the vertical?
There will be further consolidation on the high street, that’s for sure. Costs will come under even more pressure and I think there will be a further ramp up of digital transformation. There will be more focus on collaboration and productivity and treating a retail environment as a true mobile workforce. The key is to get customers interacting and in touch with sales staff.
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