Written by Zahid Jiwa, VP UK&I, OutSystems
The retail sector was hit hard by the recession. High-profile struggles of longstanding fixture such as Blockbuster, HMV and Comet shook the industry as many more retailers failed or worked to stay afloat.
The retail industry tends to be the bellwether for the economy as it highlights consumer confidence and today there are signs of cautious optimism. According to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), UK retail sales were up 0.4% in December 2013 on a like-for-like basis from December 2012, when they had increased 0.3% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.8% in December 2013 against a 1.5% increase in December 2012.
That said, retailers continue to face significant challenges. Competition remains fierce and loyalty is low. Consumers are demanding and fickle. They want their purchases to be fulfilled instantly, and if they don’t get what they want, they will quickly move on to another supplier. If retailers are unable to adapt, they will become irrelevant or fail altogether.
Continued innovation will be key to meet retail business goals and satisfy changing consumer buying patterns. IT plays a pivotal role in helping retailers engage with customers, partners and suppliers – delivering seamless multi-channel experiences, improving business efficiency and product fulfilment, and so much more. IT departments however are struggling to keep up with the pace of change demanded within the retail environment, which is affecting retailer’s ability to innovate.
In order to remain relevant to today’s consumer driven world, retailers need to be nimble enough to outmaneuver the competition, and this means retail IT departments have to change the way they operate. Faced with current constraints, retailers need to move toward adaptive software development systems that can be changed quickly according to business needs. Traditional hand-coded application development platforms are no longer the fastest way to develop applications. Retailers need to investigate other approaches and platforms in order to make the application development environment more productive.
At OutSystems, we have worked with a number of retailers over the years helping to innovate in a variety of ways across their business. With the OutSystems Platform, we have helped retailers deliver amazing web and mobile applications, achieve complex integration, and create highly flexible and adaptive environments. We help retailers overcome innovation challenges and effectively outmaneuver the competition by taking a different approach to application development. This includes helping IT departments automate where they can and seeking out more intelligent and effective ways to develop applications.
One customer, a supermarket retailer in the Netherlands known for its excellent customer service, used the OutSystems Platform to build an application that made stock information from the website and from the shop system available to employees on the shop floor. Accurate stock intelligence now helps guide shelving decisions and enables employees to respond quickly to customer requests. Employees also have visibility into future order information so they can let customers know when stock will be back in the stores. As a result, new levels of customer service and loyalty have been achieved.
Another customer, a top 100 retailer worldwide, used the OutSystems Platform to implement a new differentiation strategy that seamlessly knit together its own production of goods with white label products and branded goods. The most recent element of this strategy was to implement a new product development and quality control solution that delivers more competitive pricing and attractive margins by enabling more control over the supply chain. As a result of this new adaptive system, the retailer now has full control from product design, contract negotiation and quality control. In addition, the retailer has been able to negotiate better prices with its suppliers. The combination of lower shipping costs and better alignment of its offerings to market demand has helped to significantly improve the retailer’s margins.
Employing a more strategic approach to development helps retailers to better manage their application stack and development requests. This includes improved segmentation and prioritisation of their application portfolio so that they are better equipped to deal with the speed of change. In fact, our retail customers claim that the OutSystems Platform has enabled them to deliver solutions with aggressive deadlines that would be impossible to achieve using traditional technologies.
There’s no doubt that adaptive systems speed innovation. Top retailers are no longer relying on yesterday’s tools and approaches to solve today’s business challenges. Instead, they are using agile development environments to control the cost of change, increase productivity and enable their businesses to innovate faster. Are you?
To read more about The Changing Face of Retail, visit http://www.outsystems.com/offer/it-strategy/changing-face-of-retail/
First of a kind Virtual Coffee Machine app with social meeting moments to support workforce wellbeing in a remote workplace
Powell Software’s first in a series of wellbeing technology innovations help remote employees socially connect with colleagues and keep the workplace culture alive
As the third UK lockdown continues and many countries worldwide face severe restrictions, Powell Software, a global organisation creating digital solutions and tools for the digital workplace, has launched the first of its kind Virtual Coffee Machine, an application within Microsoft Teams to ensure employees stay better connected, positively engaged and take regular breaks while working from home.
With employee wellbeing at the top of the global workforce agenda for 2021, Powell’s Virtual Coffee Machine app positively connects employees through virtual chats to maintain a culture of togetherness, even when apart.
Replacing the absence of the in-person coffee catch up, HR can swiftly set up a Virtual Coffee Machine break within any Teams channel, encouraging employees to take regular short breaks while inspiring networking and socialising between colleagues.
Matthieu Silbermann, Chief Product Officer at Powell Software said: “The effects of the Pandemic have reshaped the Digital Workplace and research has found that three quarters of employers intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently. However, with one in five remote employees naming loneliness as their top complaint regarding work from home, reinforcing togetherness needs to be a top priority.”
Take a virtual coffee
HR can set up a Virtual Coffee Machine meeting within any Teams channel defining time, frequency and date, and number of people. The app then uses an algorithm that collects data from employees registered in Powell Teams, automatically comparing outlook calendars and generating meeting invites based on the criteria of the meeting. For example, if the Virtual Coffee Machine meeting criteria was set at a maximum of five people and ten people are available to join then two meeting invitations would be sent.
Virtual Coffee Machine consciously avoids one to one or full team meetings, focusing on creating intimate, short social breaks where employees can take time out to engage with colleagues in a positive digital space. Colleagues can also ‘travel’ to differently located virtual offices across their organisation to meet colleagues for a coffee break in different virtual buildings.
Employees are unaware of who else will join the group until the event, to encourage different team members to meet, chat and get to know each other. The app automatically books an agenda and also suggests ice breakers like ‘what was the last film you saw or book’?
If a team member does not want to or cannot join a Virtual Coffee Meeting, they simply decline the meeting invitation.
Silbermann continues: “Powell Software is passionate about connecting employees to their organisation and to each other, ensuring that they have a positive and stimulating experience at work, every day. Remote workers need to be connected, they need to feel part of the company, the culture and feel able to socialise in the hybrid or remote workplace.
“Powell’s new Virtual Coffee Machine app is all about the employee. We all miss the little social moments at the office, whether they be at the coffee machine or the cold water fountain. Coffee Machine allows us to progressively see our workplaces positively come to life again in a virtual way, promoting connectivity, collaboration and employee wellbeing. It’s part of a bigger goal and series of initiatives to bring the virtual building to life.”
Top 5 Ways To Lose Your Video Files
There are lots of reasons why you can lose video files in your system or device. While some of these problems are avoidable, others are inevitable. Simply put, it is only a matter of time before the latter problems will be experienced. The major challenge is that most people don’t understand why their video files are either missing, damaged or deleted.
Are you amongst those mentioned above? Do you always ask why a video file can get lost, deleted or damaged? Don’t waste time to rack your brain on a such topic/matter. This is because you have come to the right place. This well-researched blog will provide you all the top reasons why you are losing your video files. Before thinking about which video recovery software to start using, it is recommended you know why files are getting lost in your system.
This is a common problem that is responsible for loss of data. However, most people are yet to discover it. Have you ever noticed any situation whereby there is sudden power outage in your system? Simply put, your system suddenly shuts down. In such case, applications and other files (photos, videos, audios and doc) will be closed without any prior warning. The implication of this is that your video files are likely to get damaged.
You may want to argue that systems come with batteries. Therefore, there will not be a problem of power shut down. This is not true in any way as power shut down can happen due to some reasons. It could even be that your system is malfunctioning. Even when your video files are not damaged through such incident, there is every chance that your hard drive will be adversely affected.
Faulty hard drive
If your hard drive is damaged due to one reason or another, there is every chance that your video files will be lost, damaged or deleted. Most of the cases related to data losses can be traced to malfunctioning hard drive. In case you don’t know, hard drives are very fragile. They can easily become faulty because of poor handling. If your hard drive crashes, it is recommended you find out what must have led to such problem. Trying to use a data recovery tool without knowing the root cause of the problem won’t do any good.
There are numerous factors responsible for a faulty hard drive. These could be hot system, frequent crashing, constant freezing, slow processing speed, booting up issues. The longer you ignore these problems; that is how your hard drive will be further damaged. This will in turn lead to loss of video files.
The truth is that as humans, we are always bound to make mistakes. These could sometimes prove very costly since they can bring about loss of video files. There are cases when important business files have been deleted mistakenly in the past. Human errors are very common. They can bring about formatting of hard drive, data loss and repair of system.
The only way to avoid this problem is to ensure you understand files to be deleted or retained. Most people don’t read messages displayed in dialogue boxes before clicking on “Delete” buttons. This is an easy way to delete important video files without knowing.
Computer virus is one of the major reasons why people lose video files. Just as the digital world is becoming increasingly popular, viruses and malware are also waxing stronger. One of the most notable causes is when you begin to explore unsecured websites. It can also happen when corrupt files are downloaded and installed in your system.
When your system has been compromised by viruses and malware, there is a very high chance of losing vital files like doc, videos, audios and photos. You will try to open these files but they won’t respond. The best way to overcome this problem is using anti-virus software. This will help to monitor your browsing habit online.
Hard drive formatting
This happens to be another major cause of data loss. Most people format their hard drive without backing up vital files. In the end, these files are lost. Without the help of a paid or free recovery software, you may struggle to get back such data.
It is recommended that you backup important video files before initiating such a process. There are lots of ways to do this. For instance, you can use an external hard drive or even store such files online. This will save you the stress of spending unnecessarily on a data recovery software.
When it comes to losing your video files, there are lots of reasons which could be responsible for such problem. The tips shared above can help you to a great extent. All you have to do is ensure they are avoided.
This is a Sponsored Feature.
BNP Paribas joins forces with Orange Business Services to deploy SD-WAN for 1,800 retail sites in France
- Co-construction approach ensures business continuity during deployment
BNP Paribas has chosen Orange Business Services to deploy an SD-WAN solution in more than 1,800 bank branches across France. Focused on developing and integrating new digital solutions, BNP Paribas continues to provide the highest standards to improve user experience for customers and employees alike.
By integrating Flexible SD-WAN from Orange Business Services, BNP Paribas benefits from a modern and agile technological platform to accelerate its digital transformation. This enables quick and easy deployment of multiple services, such as dynamic routing and path selection, with scalability and flexibility. It also empowers administrators to monitor infrastructure performance and resolve potential network congestion through simple software modifications, thereby optimizing application performance. By deploying SD-WAN, BNP Paribas can take advantage of a fully secure hybrid network that is natively multi-cloud, multi-access and multi-application. The Bank will also benefit from optimized and centralized management and intelligent routing for its new infrastructure.
Close collaboration between business and IT for greater agility
From the start of the project, experts from Orange Business Services and BNP Paribas built the solution design together and prioritized the features to be deployed. More than 3,600 access lines—two per branch, including one Internet access line – are currently being rolled out with a focus on maintaining business continuity for each site during the migration. In addition to the SD-WAN overlay, firewalls for enhanced security are also part of this deployment.
“It was paramount for us to choose a partner who already had proven experience implementing and operating SD-WAN solutions. Orange Business Services stood out as this trusted partner. In addition to their IT expertise, the Orange teams demonstrated a great ability to understand our business challenges, and they knew what needed to be done to support our end-to-end digital transformation. This close collaboration between our teams from the very beginning of the project was one of the keys to its success and to a smooth roll out,” said Bernard Gavgani, Chief Information Officer at BNP Paribas Group.
“We are delighted to support BNP Paribas in their transformation program and deploy the first large-scale SD-WAN project in the retail banking industry for the French market. An indepth understanding of our customers’ business needs is essential to co-develop customized and innovative solutions. Orange Business Services will continue to accompany BNP Paribas’ central and local teams to learn and develop their SD-WAN skills,” said Nadine Foulon-Belkacémi, Executive Vice President, French Major Clients at Orange Business Services.
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