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Q&A: Oracle's Dan Conway on How Retailers Can Benefit from Oracle Engineered Systems

Oracle has recently launched a series of game-changing solutions known as Oracle Engineered Systems. To find how retailers can put these leading-edge solutions to work, we reached out to Dan Conway, senior product manager for platform and integration strategy, Oracle Retail.

Q. Briefly explain Oracle Engineered Systems and how they enhance performance, speed deployment, and lower total cost of ownership.
A. To put it in a nutshell, Oracle Engineered Systems are preintegrated bundles of hardware and software. They drive superfast performance because they come tuned and optimized right out of the box. Because each element is pre-engineered and preassembled to work together, time to production is dramatically shorter. And because they come as a single-vendor stack, retailers can significantly drive down total cost of ownership, from purchase and deployment through ongoing support.

Q. What key retail business pressures can Oracle Engineered Systems help address?
A. In the age of social and mobile computing and big data, retailers need more computing and storage resources than ever. But they cannot keep up if they don't do something about the current IT cost curve. Instead they need a more scalable, elastic approach. That's where Oracle Engineered Systems come in.

In particular, there are three big factors that are driving demand for Oracle Engineered Systems in Retail: connected interactions, actionable insight, and optimized operations.

First, consumers increasingly expect cross-channel or omnichannel integration and 24/7 customer experiences—including mobile and social channels. Second, in an age of diminishing margins, retailers need to transform spiraling amounts of data into actionable, real-time insight. Third, retailers are under pressure to deliver massive amounts of computing power at the lowest cost possible.

Q. Customers increasingly expect Web, mobile, and call center channels to be available 24/7, even at peak demand times. How can Oracle Engineered Systems help make this happen?
A. Take Cyber Monday and the last day of free shipping that occurs five days before Christmas—they're notorious for testing the limits of retail systems. That's where Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud comes in. It can provide almost vertical scalability. And it can allocate compute resources in a dynamic and intelligent way, for example, reassigning them to those active on a site and more likely to complete a purchase.

The dependability and extreme performance of Oracle Engineered Systems also make them ideal to meet the rapidly growing demand of the omnichannel, 24/7 customer experience.

Q. How can these solutions reduce total cost of ownership for retailers? 
A: First of all, with technology that's pre-engineered and preassembled, you can dramatically slash the time and cost of implementation. And because everything comes from single vendor, you simplify and reduce costs across the product lifecycle—from purchase and deployment through ongoing support. Retailers can also remove the complexity of integration, patching, and optimization—activities that traditionally have swallowed up a lot of resources.

Q. What about the top line? How can Oracle Engineered Systems help increase conversion rates—without sacrificing margins?
A: Retailers are all about margins, and markdown is their least favorite word. The trick is getting the right product in front of the right customer at the right time and price. Ideally, you have the information to make decisions as locally as possible. But the clues to figuring that out are often hidden in enormous amounts of data. And so it takes an enormous amount of analytics horsepower to find the answers to understanding your customer’s needs and making the right choices to fulfill them. 

With Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine, retailers can get answers to complex questions in seconds that once took hours or days. That means they can make critical promotions and supply chain decisions that increase their top line, while minimizing or even eliminating added costs.

Find out more about Oracle Engineered Systems.


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