Toshiba Launches ELERA Unified Commerce Platform to Accelerate Path to Frictionless

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Announced today at NRF 2021, Toshiba’s new platform frees global retailers from constraints of legacy retail systems and enables agile operations that anticipate and adapt to change faster

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions at the National Retail Federation Conference (NRF 2021), introduced ELERA, a comprehensive, unified commerce platform that will free retailers to reimagine their businesses without the constraints of traditional retail IT systems.

Retailers have no shortage of innovative new ideas to reimagine their businesses, drive revenue, customer loyalty, and brand preference. However, bringing these ideas to in-store trials, iterating them quickly, and rolling them out at scale takes years. As COVID-19 has demonstrated, many retailers struggled to move fast enough to create sustainable operating models for curbside pick-up, contactless delivery, and more.

“Last year was one of the most challenging years in recent memory for retailers, yet it’s been amazing to see how many rose to the challenge of serving their communities under adverse conditions,” said Rance Poehler, president and CEO, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. “For us, ELERA isn’t only about bringing new technology to market; it’s about enabling retailers and the industry as whole to thrive — becoming more resilient today, while pursuing a clear path toward a frictionless future.”

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Future-Ready Retailers Require Agile Infrastructures

According to MIT Sloan’s Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) “future-ready” quadrant report, 53 percent of companies still operate in a technology environment of “silos and spaghetti.” Many of these environments are built on monolithic systems that require retailers to go through complex development and testing processes that can delay the rollout of new services to stores by months and even years.

ELERA takes a new approach, employing microservices to remove IT constraints —transforming retail infrastructure into dynamic, agile environments in which retailers around the world can roll out new services within days, then independently test, improve, update, and scale them to meet demand, without disrupting or replacing legacy systems.

“Services you can turn on and off? That’s not a concept you hear today in a lot of retail IT discussions,” said Joe Skorupa, veteran industry consultant and editor-at-large, RIS News. “Imagine being able to try out new ideas really fast – from kiosks to pop-up stores, for example – with the added benefit of deeper insights into your customers and minimal risk of disruption. With these capabilities, stores won’t have to face the massive costs and complexity they dealt with at the outset of the pandemic, when they had to roll out services like curbside pickup and contactless delivery virtually overnight.”

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A Comprehensive, Cloud-Enabled Approach

Already in use by high-volume retail grocery and general merchandise segments, ELERA is a comprehensive cloud-enabled solution that spans three critical areas:

Microservices: provide more than 30 pre-packaged microservices such as refunds, promotion, price and POS orchestration, along with more than 400 APIs for custom development and integration. These microservices serve as a foundation to build transactional use cases both in and out of the store environment for retailers.

Data Solutions: harness the power of big data into actionable insights that enable companies to stay closer to their customers and gain unique visibility into store performance and in-store customer behavior.

IOTs and Touchpoints: enable faster integration and deployment of new frictionless commerce innovations including POS, self-service, IoT sensors, computer-vision cameras, smart devices, and more.

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