Online retail operations continue to grow by leaps and bounds, making it abundantly apparent that retailers of all sizes need to not only be online but also be creative with their promotional strategies. It is no longer simply a decision between a brick-and-mortar store and an eCommerce store; there are many channels to choose from, making it necessary for any retailer that wants to be competitive to jump on board. Consumers want a complete shopping experience with the ability to access a retail operation from different channels, including through their smartphones, social media platforms and online. In order for retailers to stay connected and consistently updated, they need a software solution that will keep them up-to-date.
Keeping all the above in mind, transitioning to more robust, advanced technologies which will permit a retailer to use a single retail platform from which they will be able to interact with customers across all available media, will not happen overnight. Microsoft identifies this need of retailers and has been working towards it. Its flagship Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) has been catering to the retailers’ in store needs for ages but now requires a different solution. While they have worked on this and launched products like AX for Retail to address the need they understand that the RMS cannot be phased out immediately and hence have recently confirmed that the RMS is very much alive and will remain supported until 2021.
Since 2009, Microsoft has been going from strength to strength with Dynamics AX, culminating in the recent launch of Dynamics AX 2012 R3. Part of that development led to the creation of a sub-set of R3 in the shape of the newly released “Retail Essentials” and intended, over the next year, to fully embrace the requirements of the Small & Medium size market. Existing RMS customer with an active maintenance plan – Business Ready Enhancement Plan (BREP) and Business Ready Advantage Plan (BRAP) – a migration path to “Retail Essentials” will be available. Retailers making the transition will not only benefit from an advanced POS (Store & Headquarters) system but, with V2 (scheduled for release at the end of 2014) will gain from mobile commerce, mobility, CRM solution and social media all on a single, integrated, modern retail platform. The benefits of “Retail Essentials” are self-evident and huge. Given that all elements are from the dynamics AX code base, savings time and money can be gained over other systems which would in turn require integration of standalone applications. The entire system is scalable, helping retailers for their business growth and expansion across all the verticals