It’s always helpful to have a roadmap. Just 20 years ago we relied on big paper maps to get around cities and winding country rounds. For today’s travels we use websites, smartphones and in-car navigation to get us where we need to go. In retail, knowing which turn to take in the technology world starts with NRF’s Association for Retail Technical Standards.
ARTS has paved the way for retail technology standards over the past two decades. From guiding retailers on their path to achieving seamless integration with point-of-sale and cloud systems, business process models, schemas, mobile, social commerce and more – you could say ARTS has led the retail industry through the information technology learning curve. And last month during the Roadmap for 2013 and Beyond session at Retail’s BIG Show, industry leaders took the stage to discuss why ARTS products are essential to their business, and previewed some of the best ideas for retailers’ technical solutions in the year ahead.
The discussion was led by Darrell Sandefur, director of digital architecture at Luxottica Retail. Sandefur also welcomed other guest speakers whose work with ARTS has helped produce some of its best-known standards. Below are a few key highlights from each speaker explaining which specific aspect of ARTS has benefited their business:
- John Rohland, associate vice president of club sales systems at BJ’s Wholesale Club, used his career as a case study to demonstrate the importance ARTS’ Unified POS standard. Unified POS provides a consistent and exact framework for programming point-of-sales devices, and the standard is platform-independent as well as vendor-neutral. During his presentation Rohland emphasized that, ARTS “supplies the tools needed to make your jobs easier.”
- Tim Hood, vice president and chief solution architect for retail at SAP AG followed, discussing ARTS’ latest Payments Integration white paper, which was released during the BIG Show. Hood covered challenges in the payments arena surrounding EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) requirements, mobile payments and new payment models, and maintaining compliance with PCI security standards. Hood also discussed new “chip and pin” requirements. Using insight from his own experience as an expert on retail payments systems, Hood advised those in attendance to look at payments holistically, not piece-by-piece.
- Frank Andryauskas, vice president of retail industry solutions at Microstrategy, covered the challenges of collecting, using and storing customer data. Andryauskas also offered advice for companies on how to leverage data for their business operations. Using the ARTS Data Warehouse model as his basis, Andryauskas said retailers can benefit from what the model offers, noting that companies must “define strategies that increase brand relevance, loyalty and profitability of consumer powered social and mobile platforms.”
The year ahead for ARTS will be a busy one. In addition to managing the rollout of the Payments Integration white paper, ARTS will unveil Version 3 of its Data Warehouse model this spring. The new model will revolutionize how companies can store and quantify information about their customers, and is just one of many examples of how ARTS is at the forefront of retail technology and innovation.