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Rep_2_06_E_050906_P1.qxd 05.09.

2006 20:33 Uhr Seite 23

SEPTEMBER 2006 retail 23

These strategies and measures place new in the development of because of con- can’t develop software from a central base for
challenges on IT systems and infrastructure. crete customer projects. Today, 11 country use around the world,” says Schulte. “We rely
And for many retailers, these challenges subsidiaries support 27 customers, which are on a competence network in which the know-
can be difficult to overcome. The IT sys- grouped into seven different market segments how for local requirements is with the country
tems of many retailers have not only grown in (see box below). subsidiaries.”
size over the years but also in complexity. These numbers reflect the success that Metro Group, which operates in 26 coun-
Consequently, retailers often need weeks be- has been able to achieve since being tries, plans to launch in its Cash & Car-
fore they can program systems to manage launched 30 months ago. Around 30,000 ry business. In nearly every country, special
new tasks. Quality control, test runs and licenses have been purchased. Compared to local requirements need to be met so that
the final approval can be time-consuming rival products, has been sold roughly products can be adapted. Put another way,
processes. twice as much. due to legal and regional requirements, local-
With, everything is different. This success shows that customers are em- ly used software packages vary, but Metro is
“When the marketing department has a re- bracing the idea of distributed applications. still able to work with a uniform, interna-
quest for the IT department, helps ful- Many projects have been realized in a short tional product in each country, enabling the
fill it within an hour in the respective market,” time. Even with some of the larger projects, company to generate comparable numbers
says Michael Schulte, responsible for interna- such as Système U in France, with more than and results.
tional software marketing at Wincor Nixdorf. 10,000 systems, only a year was necessary to This process-oriented, module-based and
Such a swift realization time is possible be- install the first version. distributed development approach guarantees
cause the doesn’t program tasks but The’s competence center of Wincor the innovative capability and the long life-
rather configures them, similar to how para- Nixdorf’s country subsidiaries is responsible cycle. matures with the growing inter-
meters are set. for the development and maintenance of national demands and has a permanent access can map each sales process in a country-specific modules. In this way, appli- to the current pool of knowledge. This is how
branch. This makes the platform not only cations have been growing organically. “You best of class originates. C
flexible but also offers users a high level of
investment security. Whether mobile shop-
ping assistants, self-checkout systems, multi-
media displays, RFID technology or reverse- C Self-service food / non-food C Do-it-yourself markets

vending machines, the platform is designed to 7 market C General merchandise C Fashion

segments C Cash & Carry C Cosmetics

manage all of these systems. C Specialty retail trade
When developing the platform, Wincor
Nixdorf software engineers used standards
wherever they could (the company is active in C Austria C Malaysia
numerous standards bodies and has even been C China C Norway

responsible for launching a few). They de- C Finland C Sweden

11 countries C France C Singapore
signed a system architecture that meets high
C Germany C United Kingdom
demands for stability and simplicity and C Greece
exceeds the functions of rival systems.
For users, is especially economical, C Asfinag (at) C KESKO Food (fi)
functioning according to the principle of “dis- C Baur Versand GmbH (de) C Marimekko (fi)
C Beauty Lines (gr) C METRO Cash & Carry (de)
tributed applications.” What this means is that
C Carlson (fi) C Mydin (my)
there is a product core around which solution
C C&A (cn) C Pohjanmaa (fi)
modules can be created. The product core is C Citti Handelsges. mbH (de) C Schwab Versand GmbH (de)
developed in the central development depart- C CK Tangs (sg) C Solteq (Partner, fi)
28 customers C Decathlon (fr) C Spar Kjop (no)
ment, which is also responsible for adminis-
C EDEKA, Simmel (de) C Système U (fr)
tering the total package. Modules are created
C Eurokangas (fi) C Team Sportia (se)
where the core competence for the solution C Halonen (fi) C Trio Spielwaren (at)
requirement is. This can be departments with- C Heinon Tukku (fi) C VCS Timeless (Partner, fr)
C Hondos Center (gr) C VVAuto (fi)
in Wincor Nixdorf that are actively involved
C INTERSPAR (at) C Western Stores (de)

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