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To capture maximum market share, successful retailers must concentrate on operational efficiencies that allow them either to pass value on to their customers in the form of lower prices or provide excellent customer service

Enhancing Accessibility, Service Delivery and Efficiency for the Retail Industry

To capture maximum market share, successful retailers must concentrate on operational efficiencies that allow them either to pass value on to their customers in the form of lower prices or provide excellent customer service

Meanwhile, the Internet serves as an alternate channel, allowing retailers to extend their reach to new markets while interacting with trading partners more efficiently.

Retail Is Detail, Yet Retailers Need Speed

The leaders in today's competitive retail environment are those who have invested in technologies that enable them to gather and use mission-critical information on inventory, sales and customers better and faster than their competitors. These retailers have been able to increase their profitability by collaborating with their vendors and trading partners to reduce inventories and speed inventory turnover. As a result, the amount of mission-critical data traveling among retail headquarters, stores, vendors and distribution centers has increased dramatically over the past few years increasing retailers' bandwidth needs.

Top retailers are adopting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP); Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR); Time and Attendance, Labor Scheduling and supply chain management applications, all of which require real-time data. Even frequent shopper and gift registry programs must be updated with every transaction. In order for these applications to perform well, retailers often find that they need greater bandwidth.

How AT&T Can Help

To remain competitive, retailers can no longer rely on nightly store polling for the collection and distribution of data; they must have real-time data. Video also consumes large amounts of bandwidth. Yet retailers cannot afford to have new bandwidth-intensive applications reduce their ability to quickly move customers through checkout because they do not have enough bandwidth remaining to process credit card authorizations.

That's why so many retailers are migrating from low-data-rate VSAT or satellite to the additional bandwidth and maximum reliability of high-speed data networks from AT&T . We can provide you with Frame Relay with speeds from 56 Kbps to 44 Mbps as well as ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) for voice, video and data at speeds above DS3. ATM may also be used to connect to a retailer at 1.536 Mbps or by using Inverse Multiplexing over ATM (IMA) from 3.072 Mbps to 12.288 Mbps.

AT&T Keeps You in Business

When most people think of crises, they think of natural disasters. However, 68 percent of all business disruptions are caused by human error - whether it's a backhoe that cuts a telephone line or coffee spilled on a server that brings business to a screeching halt. Because no retailer can afford for their network to be down, AT&T offers a complete suite of business continuity products for end-to-end reliability.

AT&T Frame Relay Secure is an "insurance policy" for your Frame Relay network. If the network goes down, your mission-critical data automatically switches to ISDN in less than two minutes. Back-up Frame Relay protects the rest of your data by correlating PVCs in your Frame Relay network to reroute traffic from all remote sites to a backup central processing computer at an alternative host site. Also, our Frame Relay Intelligent PVCs facilitate 100% uptime. If a central processing computer goes down, a router dies or a telephone pole falls in a storm, data traffic is rerouted within 15 minutes following a call to the AT&T Repair Center.

Clicks and Mortar

Traditional retailers' strong brand names give them an advantage online. Their physical presence also gives them a customer service advantage - it's easier to return a book to a store than mail it back to a pure play's distribution center. On the other hand, pure plays can be open for business 24x7 and, with just a few simple keystrokes, re-merchandise their storefront or change prices in a matter of minutes.

These multiple-channel retailers know that, to be competitive, retailers must be accessible when and where customers want to shop - even if it's 3 a.m.AT&T can provide you with everything you need to set up shop on the Internet, from access to dedicated and shared Web hosting and co-location service in AT&T world-class centers.

Managed Services

As mergers and acquisitions continue, retailers find it cost-effective take a consistent approach to operations from store to store. This often requires integrating and updating both your telecommunications network and equipment. However, many retailers do not have the human resources necessary to handle this integration smoothly in-house. With the scarcity of IT professionals, retailers have found it difficult to attract and retain qualified IT personnel. The last thing you want is to have to replace your network every two years. Our experts can help you determine your network requirements now and in the future. Many retailers have decided to out-task network management with AT&T Managed Router Service, giving them access to scarce resources, reduced total cost of ownership and guaranteed performance.

AT&T also provides Managed Security Services including Managed Firewall, Intrusion Detection and Response, Anti-Virus/Anti-Vandal Filtering and Web site Blocking. With AT&T managing your network, you're free to concentrate on merchandising so that you can offer your customers a shopping experience that will keep them coming back. Retail executives rely on voice and video conferencing services and equipment from AT&T to save on employees' time and travel expenses. For maximum accessibility, equip your traveling employees with a AT&T prepaid card and AT&T Interactive Pagers. With the interactive paging, employees can send and retrieve e-mail from their pagers, transmit text-to-voice messages and receive voice-to-text nationwide.

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