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IBM Sterling Open Ecosystem to Introduce Innovations Designed to Help Accelerate Retailers' Growth and Digital Transformation Initiatives in 2020

Salesforce, Publicis Sapient, IBM Services, project44 and Flooid collaborate to help solve retailers' returns, omnichannel and logistics challenges

NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at the National Retail Federation's 2020 Big Show, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that enhanced solution capabilities are being developed in collaboration with other providers for the IBM Sterling™ Supply Chain platform to help quickly solve returns, omnichannel and logistics challenges to improve customer experience.

IBM Corporation logo. (PRNewsfoto/IBM)

Salesforce, Publicis Sapient, IBM Services, project44 and Flooid are developing solutions to help accelerate retailers' digital transformation initiatives at scale using the recently launched, open Sterling supply chain platform. 84 percent of consumers note the importance of a quick, frictionless shopping experience according to the 'Consumer 2020' study by IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in collaboration with the National Retail Federation (NRF). The expected improvement to front and back office omnichannel connectivity, optimizing and orchestrating returns, can help drive greater logistics insights and fulfillment enablement, to help retailers remove needless friction and anticipate increased customer engagement and profitability.

"The retail industry is poised for a renaissance as companies move away from siloed and legacy applications towards scalable, enterprise-tuned platforms that can holistically address customer-facing and supply chain operations challenges," Jeanette Barlow, VP, Offering Management and Strategy, IBM Sterling. "This shift is likely compounding the industry's need to quickly innovate across traditional functional domains and deliver new capabilities that span operations and even third party supply chain partners. To create the seamless and personalized experience customers expect and provide a true first-mover advantage, companies should modernize supply chains on top of open platforms that can harness technologies such as AI, blockchain, IoT, and hybrid cloud. Our relationships in this space can help our clients to make this shift more quickly."

IBM Services and Bluewolf – an IBM company – is developing a Connector with the support of MuleSoft that will integrate the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud. The enterprise-grade, platform-to-platform integration can help retailers deliver consistent and personalized shopping moments by blending the online and offline shopping experience. "By integrating with IBM Sterling through the MuleSoft Connector, retailers can deliver omnichannel customer experiences to help reduce operational costs," said Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, EVP Industry Go-To-Market, Salesforce. "Salesforce is excited to collaborate with IBM to help enable a scalable, efficient, profitable and trusted way to unify digital and physical store operations."

Publicis Sapient – the digital transformation hub of Publicis Groupe is now extending their relationship with IBM piloting the IBM Sterling Developer Hub with support and resources provided by the new 'Powered by IBM Sterling' program. Having built a skilled order management practice, Publicis Sapient plans to bring additional supply chain solutions to the market using the IBM Sterling Supply Chain platform. One of the innovation areas for the relationship is in returns optimization. Publicis Sapient plans to extend IBM Sterling AI capabilities for returns with a control tower blueprint and practice. The solution is being designed to help retailers simplify consumer returns orchestration, while bringing products into available-to-promise inventory at the desired location. "The complexities of the retail industry are fundamentally driving a shift towards being able to quickly tailor solutions specific to the enterprise's unique supply chain," said Chris Davey, Chief Strategist, Publicis Sapient. "Being able to incorporate third-party applications and data into innovative supply chain capabilities provides our clients with a potential competitive advantage, while bolstering our supply chain practice's capabilities."

project44, via their Advanced Visibility Platform TM, helps the world's leading retailers, manufacturers, and distributors transform the customer experience and automate inefficiencies across the entire supply chain. project44 plans to integrate its extensive and fast-growing global carrier network with the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite, to help clients obtain more accurate shipment ETAs, identify vital up and down stream impacts to their inventory and orders, and quickly respond to relevant supply chain events. "This relationship between project44 and IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights combines the most precise transportation data and AI to unlock the value of supply chain visibility in an entirely new way," said Will Hansmann, Chief Technology Officer, project44. "Together, we can enable companies to take advantage of a transparent, scalable and connected supply chain solution that can help deliver predictive and actionable results in step with their rapidly evolving business needs." 

Working with IBM to realize the retail store of the future, Flooid – a global provider of resilient basket functionality – now offers a seamless omnichannel experience across store and online sales channels. The Flooid platform, which was recently rebranded from PCMS, enables retailers to transact across channels and devices, such as registers, kiosks, self-scanners, mobile devices and ecommerce, helping them innovate and differentiate their customer shopping experience.  "IBM Sterling and Flooid have a long history of collaboration and highly complementary offerings to help retail clients create a single platform for customer experience and order fulfillment inside the store. This can empower store associates to provide customers with the services and choices they want," said Tony Houldsworth, Global CEO, Flooid. "Flooid's highly specialized platform provides a seamless connection to the basket, which is a key component of successful store and digital transformation."

About IBM Sterling Supply Chain
IBM Sterling Supply Chain solutions empower IT and supply chain professionals with greater visibility, transparency and trust to proactively predict and mitigate disruption, improve B2B information flow, and optimize inventory utilization and fulfillment. Learn how our AI- and blockchain-enabled solutions help you build an intelligent, self-correcting supply chain at www.ibm.com/supply-chain.

Media Contacts:

Erik Mason
External Communications - IBM Sterling Supply Chain
erik.mason@ibm.com 
508-208-6617

Lowell Eschen
IBM Media Relations
Lowell.eschen@ibm.com
303-913-2569

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SOURCE IBM