National Retail Federation and Object Management Group announces new partnership

WASHINGTON, 2017-Mar-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation and international technology standards consortium Object Management Group today announced that they have formed a new partnership to manage a portion of the functions previously performed by NRF’s Association for Retail Technology Standards division.

“This arrangement will allow NRF to focus on ARTS’ core mission of collaboration, education and research while ensuring that standards developed over the past two decades are maintained and continue to evolve along with the retail industry,” NRF Vice President for Retail Technology Tom Litchford said. “Retail is a highly innovative industry that uses the latest technology to continually serve its customers, and NRF remains committed to keeping merchants on the cutting edge.”

“NRF and OMG share a passion for delivering real value to our communities, and look forward to a continued partnership to guarantee portability and interoperability in the retail space,” OMG Chairman and CEO Richard Soley said. “The ARTS standards are and will continue to be the key to increasing quality, decreasing cost and increasing choice in retail systems as they continue under the auspices of OMG.”

Under the partnership, OMG will assume responsibility for the following standards:

  • Retail Data Model including an operational data model and a data warehouse model. ARTS’ operational data model offers a transaction-oriented view of retail enterprise data supporting the day-to-day management of a retail enterprise while the data warehouse model supports business reporting and analysis.
  • Unified POS standards for communication between retail point-of-sale equipment such as cash registers, card readers, barcode scanners and receipt printers whether physically attached or web-based.
  • A2A Messaging – Application-to-application messaging “schemas” that allow software applications to communicate and share data.
  • BPM – Retail business process models that map how retailers manage their business.

NRF will continue to handle standard request-for-proposal templates that help retailers research and evaluate technology and software they seek to purchase, and publication of white papers on technology issues ranging from cloud computing to cybersecurity. Members of various ARTS committees will be invited to participate in comparable leadership positions at OMG. The community will continue to meet, network and exchange best practices as part of NRF’s technology leadership councils.

ARTS was founded more than 20 years ago and is best known for making technology less expensive for retailers. Its standards offer reference designs to help retailers build or acquire integrated business applications, help developers and analysts understand basic retail business principles, and offer a suite of data management tools to allow different data formats to communicate.

About OMG
The Object Management Group is an international, open membership, not-for-profit technology standards consortium with representation from government, industry and academia. OMG task forces develop enterprise integration standards for a wide range of technologies and an even wider range of industries. OMG’s modeling standards enable powerful visual design, execution and maintenance of software and other processes. Visit www.omg.org for more information. #OMGTech

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF.com

SOURCE: National Retail Federation

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The Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS): two new omnichannel resources available for retailers

WASHINGTON, 2016-Mar-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Association for Retail Technology Standards, part of the National Retail Federation’s technology leadership community, announced today two new resources available for retailers in their efforts to research new applications and implement an omnichannel program. ARTS is dedicated to helping retailers and solution providers identify, adopt and integrate current and emerging information technologies.

The additions are updates to the library of Standard Requests for Proposal (RFPs) and a new technical report, Best Practices for Services Implementation Using ARTS Standards (Cloud, Enterprise and Devices).

The RFP templates, which come in a spreadsheet format, include the following:

  • Guidance on researching an application and understanding the kinds of questions retailers should be asking;
  • The RFP for Distributed Order Management features sections on architecture and interfaces, customer service and fulfillment, inventory, analytics, security and more.

The technical report now available, Best Practices for Services Implementation Using ARTS Standards (Cloud, Enterprise and Devices) gives guidance on using ARTS’ standards, including insights into the context of recent developments in retail technology, including mobile devices.

“Distributed order management systems differ from traditional order management by supporting a common view of inventory for a retailer’s diverse channels and providing the ability to optimize fulfillment paths and immediately resolve order issues,” said Jerry Rightmer, executive vice president and chief product and strategy officer of Starmount, and an ARTS Board sponsor for this project. “This is why DOM is critical when it comes to executing an omnichannel strategy in the retail environment.”

“For many retailers, the concept of cloud computing has been transitioning from a novel idea into a real and essential part of their IT,” said Tom Litchford, vice president of retail technologies at NRF. “Our technical report shifts the focus of the discussion from explaining what cloud computing is and how retailers can benefit from it, to advising on practical matters of implementation.”

ARTS resources are created by subcommittees and ad hoc work teams of subject matter experts. The RFP work team is chaired by John Carney, solutions architect for Starmount and the services implementation work team is chaired by Leonid Rubakhin, senior software developer for Aptos.

To see the complete library of ARTS standards and publications, visit https://nrf.com/standards.

The Association for Retail Technology Standards, part of the Technology Leadership Community of the National Retail Federation, provides the retail industry with the latest research and best practices through specialized technology standards and educational programming. ARTS standards, products and programs are dedicated to fostering innovation and supporting the retail community by providing a more efficient retailer-to-consumer relationship. Through collaboration and partnerships, ARTS enhances retailers and their business partners’ ability to conduct business globally.

Treacy Reynolds
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NRF VP Tom Litchford to represent retailers at event hosted by NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

WASHINGTON, 2015-11-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — National Retail Federation Vice President of Retail Technology Tom Litchford will represent retailers at an event hosted by the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) focusing on trends and challenges to improving cybersecurity in the retail industry. Cybersecurity in Retail: Trends and Challenges with Point of Sale and Payment Technologies will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the University of Maryland’s campus in Rockville. NIST is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Cybersecurity is a perpetual game of high-stakes leapfrog for retailers, but it is a challenge they are tackling head-on,” said Tom Litchford, vice president of retail technology with NRF. “Protecting customer relationships is the highest priority for retailers. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated in their attacks, legitimate businesses and the government must work together more closely to defend against threats. I’m pleased to lend the voice of NRF’s members to this discussion and hope it leads to even greater collaboration to improve data security.”

“As the national lab for cybersecurity, we are focused on accelerating the adoption of secure technologies within U.S. businesses, and it is clear that the retail industry is committed to doing so as well,” said Nate Lesser, deputy director with the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. “We look forward to collaborating with the NRF and its members to ensure that our work is relevant and useful to retailers and can help them improve their security and better protect consumer information.”

NRF has launched a proactive and sustained campaign to combat consumer data theft and fraud, identify solutions and protect retail customers. For years, NRF has called for chip-and-PIN cards, which store customer data on a computer microchip and require use of a secret number rather than a fraud-prone signature to approve a transaction.

Beyond chip-and-PIN, NRF is seeking passage of federal legislation making it easier to share information about cyber crimes in order to learn how to better secure retailers’ systems.

NRF also promotes information sharing in the retail community with its IT Security Council, which boasts nearly 200 participating chief information security officers from across the retail industry. The Council oversees NRF’s Cybersecurity Threat Alert System which provides timely, actionable notification to member companies about critical security threats facing the retail industry. The IT Security Council also provides a forum for members to collaborate and exchange information, develop and share industry best practices for an effective data security plan, and be a united voice in educating lawmakers about what is needed to combat cybercrime, data theft, and the resulting fraud.

ABOUT TOM. Tom Litchford is vice president of retail technology at the National Retail Federation. In this role, he leads and manages NRF’s Technology Leadership Community including the exclusive, invite-only CIO Council and the IT Security Council. He also oversees NRF’s Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS). Litchford is responsible for developing and enhancing strategic programs, activities and relationships with retail and technology communities domestically and internationally.

Litchford has more than 30 years of experience in systems engineering, sales, product management and marketing of technology business solutions for the retail and hospitality industries. Prior to assuming his current position with NRF in July 2012, he held key Microsoft positions in industry sales, marketing and channel management. Before joining Microsoft in 1998, he was director of business impact modeling for NCR’s Retail Solutions Group where his team developed comprehensive return on investment (ROI) models.  Read more about Tom, including articles he has written about retail technology.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. nrf.com

Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
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Study: 53 percent of retailers surveyed expect to implement a unified commerce platform in the next few years

NRF, Ecommerce Europe and Ecommerce Foundation Report Provides Business Case and Blueprint for Success

WASHINGTON, 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — As changing consumer shopping habits increasingly require centralized technologies across traditional point-of-sale, e-commerce, call center and mobile touch points, many retailers plan to implement a unified commerce platform to consolidate those key elements historically housed in multiple systems. According to a new study ­– conducted by the National Retail Federation, Ecommerce Europe and Ecommerce Foundation in partnership with Demandware — that surveyed nearly 300 U.S., European and Australian retail business and technology executives, 53 percent expect to implement a unified commerce platform in the next few years, up from approximately 50 percent from the year prior. Additionally, over the next 10 years, 86 percent of retailers surveyed plan to implement a unified commerce platform.

“Many retailers are already in the throes of managing the critical changes necessary to keep up with existing retail infrastructure, architecture and applications, and today’s consumers will continue to shape how retail CIOs adjust their commerce and business platforms for years to come,” said NRF Vice President of Retail Technologies Tom Litchford. “Retail IT executives increasingly want a unified commerce platform to bridge the many digital and traditional touch points that customers access to better serve customers, streamline IT operations and improve the bottom line.”

More than two-thirds say a unified commerce platform could improve margins, brand value and revenue

Retailers surveyed anticipate margins, brand value and revenue will improve by unifying their point-of-sale, ecommerce and other consumer-facing platforms. Specifically, the survey found that:

  • More than half (52 percent) foresee significant improvement to controllable items that directly impact margin, including inventory turn and returns
  • Nearly half (46 percent) expect to see increases in brand value, specifically significant improvements due to positive impact on total customer value and their Net Promoter Score
  • Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) believe significant improvements will occur in average order value, promotional redemption and conversion rates

“The results of this research provide further proof of a shift we are seeing in European retailers’ operations,” said Ecommerce Foundation Director Jorij Abraham. “As brands continue the battle for customer mind-and wallet-share, there is a critical need for seamless, integrated front- and back-end systems. Winning European retailers will recognize the benefits of this technology and organizational transformation as they break free from legacy operations approach and test new concepts, bring digital capabilities into the store and change traditional point-of-sale systems — to better manage their omni-channel commerce strategy and drive the bottom line.”

Additionally, retailers surveyed expect that consolidating historically disparate technologies – including point-of-sale, e-commercer, call center and mobile – into a single commerce platform would drive improvements in IT innovation and efficiency. Specifically, two in five (45 percent) retailers surveyed anticipate significant improvement in their ability to meet business demands faster, and another 35 percent say they foresee IT efficiency improvements including data security, maintenance costs and infrastructure.

Retailers are at various stages of the journey towards a fully-implemented unified commerce platform

The study found that seven in 10 (72 percent) retailers are currently planning the transformation to a single commerce platform, whether conducting initial research or already starting to develop the business.

Specifically, 13 percent identified themselves as in the exploration phase or as gathering information and monitoring single platform trends, while 23 percent are actively discussing the viability of a unified commerce platform but have no formal plan in place yet. More than one-third (36 percent) noted that they are developing a formal plan and seeking budget options, and the remaining 22 percent described themselves as already in the execution or realization phases.

Demandware to host special webinar to discuss research results

Additionally, Demandware will host a webinar on February 24 at 11 a.m. ET to dive further into the research and highlight key findings and examples from retailers regarding their unified platform strategies. During the call NRF’s Tom Litchford, BCBGMAXAZRIA’s Alex Golshan, Ecommerce Foundation’s Jorij Abraham and Demandware’s Rob Garf will discuss current trends among retail CIOs and other top research findings. Visit Demandware’s website to register for the webinar.

About the survey
The National Retail Federation, Ecommerce Europe and Ecommerce Foundation teamed with industry partner Demandware to survey nearly 300 retail business and technology executives in the US, Europe and Australia in October 2014 to quantify the convergence of point-of-sale and ecommerce technology and its impact on digitizing the store.

Ecommerce Europe is the association representing 25,000+ companies that sell products and/or services online to consumers in Europe. Founded by leading national ecommerce associations across the continent, its mission is to advance the interests and influence of European ecommerce through advocacy, communication and networking

The Ecommerce Foundation is a European non-profit, independent foundation. It has been initiated by national ecommerce associations and online and omnichannel selling companies from industries such as retail, travel and finance. Our mission is to facilitate the development of practical knowledge, insights and learnings for which individual institutions, associations and B2C selling companies do not have the (financial) resources and/or capabilities. We do so by combining our forces with those of our stakeholders and (media) partners.

Demandware, the category defining leader of enterprise cloud commerce solutions, empowers the world’s leading retailers to continuously innovate in our complex, consumer-driven world. Demandware’s open cloud platform provides unique benefits including seamless innovation, the LINK ecosystem of integrated best-of-breed partners, and community insight to optimize customer experiences. These advantages enable Demandware customers to lead their markets and grow faster.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com

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Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press