The third and last day of this user conference was devoted to innovation and the Cloud. With its four partners Adyen, HP, Microsoft, and Orange, Cegid set the tone: retail of tomorrow will be more than just innovative, it will be exciting and moving.
It’s become a tradition: when closing each Cegid Connections event, which is held every two years, Tania Oakey and Samir Belkhayat provide a detailed review of the latest retail innovations that they personally witnessed at the NRF Show in New York. This year some 450 delegates from the last Hungarian keynote had the opportunity to glimpse the future of unified commerce. Robot-vendor, speech recognition allowing dialogue with one’s favourite brand, slow shopping, zip-line descent or virtual reality surfing… brands are all imaginatively competing in an attempt to re-captivate consumers by providing an extraordinary “shopping experience”.
Each Cegid partner plays their part
In order to implement all of these innovations, technology is key. Cegid does not pretend to provide it all and has surrounded itself with important and specialised partners, such as Adyen, HP, Microsoft, and Orange. Everyone plays their part in this heavily Cloud-reliant ecosystem. This third plenary session also provided the occasion for a round table with these technology heavyweights, so they could present their respective expertise. Adyen provides payment systems at a global scale, entirely independent of borders or the terminal used. Microsoft is investing heavily in artificial intelligence with its Cortana AI engine.
“All practical applications of artificial intelligence and Big Data are now available to all retailers and can be rapidly implemented, both in stores and online,” says Jean-François Gomez, Industry Solutions Architect at Microsoft. However, technology will never replace human interaction. “In retail, controlling transactions and product information is no longer enough. We must now stir up emotions,” adds Gomez.
Segmenting access to data lakes
David Gosman, Global Hospitality Segment Manager at HP, has provided his expert advice in the indispensable optimisation of computer processing power used daily by retailers. Amongst other things, he recommends segmenting access to huge databases – or data lakes – which are made up of astronomical quantities of information collected by brands via the web or in-store. Finally, Orange detailed the cloud computing infrastructure and data centres upon which it is now necessary to rely in order to build a “cloud-based” information system that is efficient, secure, and respectful of consumers’ personal data.
After over forty workshops, the announcement of a new Cegid product called “Shopping”, and many exciting debates, workshops, and experience sharing sessions, it was time to end the three days of this conference on a playful note. A quiz that took place live and online with over 400 spectators allowed three lucky winners to leave Budapest with a few gifts – and keeping in line with the subject of innovation, one was a drone!
Find the tweets from the Cegid Connections 2017 event: #CegidConnections and all the videos on the Cegid Retail YouTube channel.