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					14 / M-BANKING                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           RETAIL 15
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       VERTICAL / 01

         transactions is higher and managing cash flows assumes          MOBILE IS HERE FOR KEEPS
         higher priority than the retail segment. Bank of Montreal       With the evolution of mobile devices and explosion of
         has just announced the expansion of         desk top video      wide variety of smart phones and tablets, banks are
         conferencing facility from 16 to 51 of its branches across      realizing the need for the aligning of mobile banking
         US and Canada to provide remote advisory services               services in line with the changing consumer demographics.
         to its customers in retail, commercial, small business          The retail, corporate, small business or the wealth
         and wealth management segments. BMO could have                  management customers are expecting the same level of
         achieved nirvana in innovation by offering remote advisory      convenience and service from the bank independently of
         services leveraging mobile video conferencing on the go         the end device being used to contact the bank. To address
         and addressed the convenience aspect by removing the            the customer needs, banks will need to have a holistic
         need of the advisor coming to a branch for advisory services.   mobile vision with a concrete list of innovative products
                                                                         and services. The vision will have to be supported by
         ECOMMERCE                                                       a cohesive multichannel strategy which addresses the
         Mobile payments & transfers have been long viewed as a          question of offering the right product to customer on the
         clear path for banks to monetize the mobile channel. As         right channel. Mobile governance will also play a pivotal
         per industry research, the winners and losers in this space     role in determining the success of the mobile vision of a
         are yet to emerge and hence banks can reap benefits by          financial institution to ensure end to end efficiency and
         taking a leading position in transforming this landscape.       coordination in organization and processes.
         Mobile payments can hugely help enhance consumer’s
         shopping experiences with dynamic and location based
         couponing, discounts, rebates and other incentives.
                                                                              TO ADDRESS THE CUSTOMER NEEDS,
                                                                                                                                     WIRELESS INCREASES SHOPPERS’
         According to research banks are also currently incubating
         the idea of leveraging mobile to generate leads for request
         for purchase financing based on the geo location capability.
                                                                            BANKS WILL NEED TO HAVE A HOLISTIC                       HAPPINESS INDEX
                                                                               MOBILE VISION WITH A CONCRETE

         DISRUPTING NEW MARKETS                                               LIST OF INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS AND
         Mobile will be an obvious choice in driving financial
                                                                               SERVICES. THE VISION WILL HAVE
         inclusion programs as the key objective of the program is
         to be cost effective without compromising the customer                 TO BE SUPPORTED BY A COHESIVE                        Retail organizations are uniquely positioned to benefit from an aggressive
         experience in developing economies. This can help banks
         increase the size of the banking market with a proposition
                                                                              MULTICHANNEL STR ATEGY WHICH                           wireless strategy; a service-provider partner can help make it happen.
         to serve the un and under banked segment with an access                 ADDRESSES THE QUESTION OF
         to transaction banking, and savings and credit products.
                                                                              OFFERING THE RIGHT PRODUCT TO
         M-Pesa in Kenya has the led the way, making possible for
         the first time person-to person transfers and facilitating          CUSTOMER ON THE RIGHT CHANNEL.
         international remittances. According to research a striking                                                                 BY SRINI PALLIA,
         51 % of Kenyan adults use this system, making it the most                                                                   SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & GLOBAL HEAD – RETAIL, CPG, TRANSPORTATION & GOVERNMENT
         successful mobile money deployment worldwide.
                                                                                                                                     WIPRO TECHNOLOGIES

                                                                                                                                     An upcoming holiday season means the retail experience     That means retailers have to be able to adapt quickly, to
                                                                                                                                     is on everyone’s minds—especially retailers. Margins       change at a moment’s notice based on market conditions
                                                                                                                                     are razor thin, and customers are fickle. The difference   or shopper behavior. They have to provide service in the
                                                                                                                                     between the right products in the right places, prompt     ways their customers want services provided. Yet retailers
                                                                                                                                     service, quick checkout and a poor shopping experience     also have to plan for the future in terms of expansion or
                                                                                                                                     may mean the difference between reaping holiday            relocation to address a global marketplace.
                                                                                                                                     goodwill and winding up with a lump of coal in your
                                                                                                                                     point-of-sale system.
16 / RETAIL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               RETAIL / 17

              There is one rapidly developing technology that can                      early-adopting consumers plan to use smartphones                 may be a regrettable afterthought. On the other hand,            LOOK FOR WIRELESS EXPERTISE
              support those goals: wireless. Wireless technology can                   for their Cyber Monday and holiday shopping, and 12%             a comprehensive wireless strategy that supports all              So, while retailers should be looking to leverage the
              be used to address specific retail business problems,                    intend to use tablet devices. So wireless technology             aspects of the retail organization, from mobile shopping,        advantages of mobile technology to match customers’
              such as long lines or quick price changes. Increasingly,                 is already an integral part of many consumers’ retail            to in-store customer experience, to store operations, to         expectations, they should adopt a strategic approach to
              the wireless paradigm is the way customers view the                      experience. Mobile commerce, multi-channel shopping,             warehouse or distribution centers, to corporate offices,         this technology
              shopping experience. Also, mobile technology has the                     and online coupons are familiar features of today’s tech-        can provide advantages for and across all those areas.
              ability to enable the entire retail organization enhance                 driven retail environment.                                                                                                        Wireless technology is increasing in sophistication,
                                                                                                                                                        Wireless technology addresses buyer’s frustrations               business application, and security requirements. A retailer’s
              engagement with customers and improve efficiency and                     That wireless tech-savvy experience includes in-store            through reduced wait times for sales, service, and
              effectiveness. And wireless infrastructure makes for a                                                                                                                                                     in-house IT department may not have the experience and
                                                                                       shopping as well as online.                                      checkout. It also enables retailers to market products           expertise needed to execute in this evolving area. That’s
              more agile, flexible—and therefore future-oriented—                                                                                       and prices directly to consumers wherever they are in the
              retail organization.                                                     The consumerization of IT represented by smartphones                                                                              why a practical approach for retailers in launching a
                                                                                       and tablets has empowered consumers with the ability to          store, including in-store displays and kiosks.                   wireless initiative is to partner with a service provider that
              While most retail organizations have experience with                     compare prices, inventory, and retail service in detail and      Also, wireless technology increases worker productivity,         can support a wireless strategy from beginning to end—
              wireless technology in some portion or capacity, most do                 on the fly. Retailers need to acknowledge these powerful         in the store, in the warehouse, and in the office. And a         from architecture to security to centralized managed
              not have the overall expertise and experience needed to                  trends and seek to maximize the advantages they offer.           wireless strategy provides retailers with flexibility in terms   services to end-user implementations.
              embrace and exploit it. Retailers should look to a service                                                                                of location and infrastructure and enables a reduction in
              partner to paint the big picture and lock down the details                                                                                                                                                 Wipro’s WirelessPlace is just such an initiative.
                                                                                       WIRELESS ADVANTAGES                                              costs imposed by traditional wired installations.                “WirelessPlace provides end-to-end services for the
              of a comprehensive and competitive wireless strategy.
                                                                                       Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that search
              THE MODERN RETAIL EXPERIENCE                                             engine giant Google is teaming up with MasterCard and            WHAT’S THE HOLD UP?
                                                                                       Citigroup to leverage a wireless technology known as             If wireless technology is such a boon to retailers, why
              Today, technology and shopping go hand-in-hand. It                       near-field communication (NFC). 2 NFC enables devices
              says a great deal about our tech- savvy culture that the                                                                                  aren’t they more ambitious about it? It’s already been
                                                                                       to exchange information wirelessly over short distances.         demonstrated that wireless is used in some form in most
              most intense shopping day of the holiday season in the                   With NFC embedded in Google’s Android operating
              United States, the day after Thanksgiving—commonly                                                                                        retail organizations. But reticence about a wider, deeper
                                                                                       system, shoppers will be able to use their smartphones to        strategy and investment may have several reasons.
              referred to as “Black Friday”—is being eclipsed by                       complete transactions, foregoing the use of credit cards.
              “Cyber Monday,” the Monday after the holiday when                                                                                         First, for a vertical segment that operates on such slim
              shoppers are back to work and at their desks. According                  While examples like this show how wireless technology            margins, retailers already invest in technology plenty. And
              to a new consumer survey of self-identified “active                      in the retail environment is expanding and accelerating,         legacy systems are often hard to move off, and usually
              Internet users” by The Ponemon Institute, 67% say                        wireless is certainly not new in terms of how to improve         hard to open up.
              their online purchases on Cyber Monday and during this                   the customer experience. The use of so-called “line
                                                                                       busting” wireless systems to complete transactions               Second, retailers are very concerned about security—
              holiday season will either exceed in-store purchases or                                                                                   and rightfully so. Early reports about hackers exploiting
              stay at the same level.1                                                 individually on the spot is familiar to anyone who
                                                                                       has rented a car. Self-service kiosks are common                 wireless transaction systems may have spooked a lot of
              Even that emerging trend is already evolving.                            accoutrements from airports to motor vehicle bureaus.            retailers. Similarly, retailers are very concerned about
              The Ponemon survey indicates that 37% of those                                                                                            performance. Bad wireless architecture may have led to
                                                                                       This demonstrates that, while wireless technology is             customer complaints or worse—blocked transactions.
                                                                                       increasingly essential at all levels of retail operation, most
                                                                                       retailers are experienced with wireless solutions in some        Finally, and make no mistake, a comprehensive wireless
                   37 % OF ACTIVE INTERNET USERS                                       form. For instance, retail employees may use walkie-             strategy involves considerable investment. And that is not
                                                                                       talkies to communicate with each other within a store            something most businesses necessarily want to consider
                   PLAN TO USE SMARTPHONES FOR                                                                                                          in this challenging economic environment.
                                                                                       or throughout a warehouse. Specific retail chains have
                THEIR CYBER MONDAY AND HOLIDAY                                         had great success providing wireless hot spots in their          Nevertheless, it is because of rapidly evolving media
                                                                                       stores so customers can access the Internet while                consumption and online behavior, and because retail
                                                                                       shopping or relaxing.                                            customers are helping drive that shift through their use
                                  ~ Ponemon Institute                                  However, these so-called wireless solutions are often ad         of mobile devices, that it is imperative that retailers
                                                                                       hoc and standalone. Security and performance issues              embrace mobile technology and realize the multiple
                                                                                                                                                        benefits it offers.

              1. “Mobile Payments & Shopping: Survey Of U.S. Consumers,” The Ponemon Institute, Executive Sum- Mary, Sept. 2011
              2. “Google Sets Role In Mobile Payment,” The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2011

                                                                             While the holidays may not be the best time to embark
                                                                             on an organizational overhaul— “Most retailers don’t
                                                                             want to change anything during holiday season,” Esthuri
                       WIRELESSPLACE PROVIDES                                admits—it is a good time to judge for yourself just how
                   END- TO-END SERVICES FOR THE                              profoundly wireless technology is changing the way
                                                                             customers want to shop. And therefore the way retailers
                WIRELESS INFR ASTRUCTURE, FROM                               need to service those customers.

                                                                             A MOMENTOUS TIME IN THE MARKET
                                                                             Most retailers are aware of the advantages of wireless
                              ~ Mahesh Esthuri, Wipro                        technology, and how some com- panies have had success
                                                                             with wireless in some particular instances. However, the
                                                                             time for experimenting is over. Tech-savvy consumers
                                                                             are demanding retail service experiences that are best
                                                                             accommodated with wireless systems.

              wireless infrastructure, from the architecting into the        To truly exploit its advantages, wireless technology
              managed services,” says Mahesh Esthuri, head of                should be an integral part of the entire retail organization,
              verticalization for Wipro’s RCTG Unit.                         stretching from distribution center to warehouse to back
                                                                             office to retail outlet. The most logical way to jumpstart
              By offering in-house expertise and leveraging alliances        such an ambitious wireless strategy is to partner with a
              with major networking players and product developers,          knowledgeable, experienced, and trustworthy services
              WirelessPlace can provide wireless services that integrate     provider. Wipro, with its new WirelessPlace initiative
              all the elements of a modern retail operation. That means      arriving at such a momentous time in the retail market, is
              wireless technology can be used to track inventory in real     just such a partner.
              time, from warehouse to POS system, and between and
              among employees in those areas. Because WirelessPlace
              is a centralized management service, it allays fears
              of security and performance problems. And since
              WirelessPlace starts at the beginning—the architecture—
              it offers future-oriented wireless strategy that helps
              address rapid shifts in markets, customers, geography,
              and real estate.
              “We have alliances with the major players, for devices,
              and for licenses of the tools,” Esthuri points outs. “Also
              we have a proof-of-concept center where we test before
              we provide these services.”
              Esthuri is not hesitant about the investment involved for
              retailers when embarking on a comprehensive wireless
              strategy. Esthuri recommends that retailers look to align
              their technology refresh cycle in concert with adopting
              the WirelessPlace initiative. They can also take it one step
              at a time. “It can be architected, then implemented, and
              managed, all in separate cycles,” he says. “Security works
              as a separate service.”

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