The retail landscape is changing at a rapid pace and retailers are having a hard time keeping up.   With smartphones in hand, the connected consumer has instant access to pricing and product information, is able to tap their social networks for recommendations and purchase from  competitors on the sales floor.  Consumers are shopping first on their computers by reading reviews, before ever setting foot in a store.

As a technology provider, we have an opportunity to help retailers integrate mobile devices into their store environments, empower their store personnel and engage the customer in the store by utilizing a cloud-based environment.   Today at the National Retail Federation Show, Dell has unveiled Cloud Client Computing for Retail, a unique, end-to-end cloud solution specifically designed to enable retailers to seamlessly move to an in-store cloud environment.  

Until now, most retailers have had to cobble together products and services from multiple vendors in order to address cloud solutions and virtualization in their store environment. With this new solution, Dell can handle every aspect of the transition, eliminating the time-consuming and costly process of piecing together products and services from various vendors, as many retailers do currently.

Since transitioning to an end-to-end solutions company, we’ve been able to serve significantly more customers than before and better help them in their IT transformation journey.   This transition and our aggressive acquisition strategy inclusive of Wyse, SonicWALL and Quest, is what allows us to provide cutting-edge solutions like the one we’ve announced today; a solution that has been tested and optimized for retail’s unique environment.

The comprehensive offering addresses endpoint devices, networking, security, virtualization, infrastructure, management tools and services to help retailers realize cloud-related benefits such as increased efficiency and cost savings in a Dell-designed Cloud Client Computing solution that is customizable to each retailer’s unique environment and needs. 

And it will help solve real problems for retailers  -  for example, when we talk to retailers, one of the story lines we hear often is that during the holidays the process of adding additional POS units is cumbersome and costly.  With this new cloud client computing solution it will be easier to add extra POS to meet increased demand.  The plug-and-play and local-environment nature of this new solution can greatly decrease the usual downtime by changing the identity of a terminal or kiosk much quicker than before. 

The new offering is made up of three modules:

  1. Thin and mobile endpoints with and without POS peripherals; 
     
  2. On premise desktop virtualization infrastructure; and
     
  3. Cloud based desktop virtualization infrastructure.

Dell Retail is currently accepting proof-of-concept requests for the Cloud Client Computing for Retail solution.

The full solution will be released in three phases in the US and Canada:

  • March 4, 2013: POS, kiosk and back office systems to be supported with on-premise or retailer-hosted cloud infrastructure
     
  • Summer 2013: Additional store systems to be supported including digital signage and surveillance hardware
     
  • Fall 2013: Option available for store systems to be supported by Dell-hosted cloud infrastructure

Stay tuned to #DellRetail on Twitter for the latest information.

Are you a retailer? Comment here and let us know how this solution could help you.