Empowering retailers to innovate and scale fast
Guest blog – Inside the partnership: Flooid and SUSE
Retailers moving to the ‘store of the future’ require new levels of speed, flexibility and open innovation, without compromising on security or performance. In this hyper-connected world, success depends upon transferring real-time information seamlessly between the cloud, the store estate and tens of thousands of devices at the edge.
Flooid is equipping its customers to reap the benefits of this interoperable, information-rich, agile environment. And as part of our value-add approach, we ensure our clients have access to best-of-breed partners and technology, so they can stay ahead of both the competition and customer demands.
One of our key ecosystem partners is SUSE, a technology leader that enhances open innovation through Enterprise Linux solutions, edge-enablement and containerization services. SUSE Account Manager Jeff Mazar explains more.
Jeff, how do Flooid and SUSE work together?
“We’re a true partnership, one in which each technology provider enhances the performance of the other. Flooid is a leading unified-commerce platform provider, helping Top Tier retail leaders to transform and innovate in the way that they sell to customers — often across multiple retail verticals and almost always across physical and digital channels. SUSE complements Flooid with opensource capabilities, and an additional layer of security and resilience across critical systems, ensuring near-zero vulnerabilities during periods of rapid digital transformation.
Since 2008, we’ve been working with Flooid to help retailers change the way they operate in line with industry trends. Our partnership is truly global. We’ve worked together on projects for large retail supermarket, convenience and fast-moving consumer goods businesses in the UK, South Africa, Canada, the USA, and specialty businesses in Europe.”
How do retailers benefit from the partnership?
“The common strand is we enable retailers to evolve the way they sell and serve the customer, faster, more securely and with reduced cost and risk. Every ambitious retailer is trying new concepts and looking to scale new capabilities, such as checkout-less stores, artificial intelligence, self-service models and modern inventory techniques. With Flooid and SUSE, retailers benefit from a unified, adaptable commerce platform, and the open architecture that gives them the agility they need to try, test and scale new concepts.”
Can you explain a little more about the technology?
“In a nutshell, Flooid provides the omnichannel point-of-service (POS) technology, and SUSE provides the Linux operating system on which the POS runs. Business-critical workloads move across cloud and resilient on-premise devices while containerized applications maximize development agility — including in edge use cases, which are of course of increasing interest to ambitious retailers.”
What are the key challenges for retailers now?
“Customer expectations are evolving faster than ever. This necessitates new technical solutions, but to innovate at the speed required, retailers need a flexible core, rather than a series of monolithic systems that operate in siloes. Going digital is not enough; because much customer experience differentiation will take place at the edge, retailers must adopt end-to-end infrastructure that can cope with real-time transactions and insights from tens or hundreds of thousands of endpoints. Business critical applications, such as the POS platform or ERP, need to stay up and running around the clock. And in straightened post-pandemic conditions, retailers need to find a way to ‘get to great’, while driving down cost, and ensuring no disruption to business as usual. That’s where Flooid and SUSE can help.”
Where does the cloud fit in?
“Retailers are at different stages of their cloud journeys. It’s true that the cloud aids flexibility, can drive down costs, and increase security, but perhaps its most striking feature is its ability to help retailers to innovate faster. With SUSE, Flooid and Flooid’s cloud partner Google, retailers can use open-source technologies to make the difference for their business. Containers, essential to running cloud-native applications for core to cloud to edge, can be easily managed with SUSE solutions. Kubernetes – the de facto standard for developing and running software – can also be utilized.”
What are SUSE’s core value propositions for the retail industry?
“With SUSE, you are a step closer to realizing your store of the future. As an opensource edge solutions provider, we support retail customer experience transformation by enabling agile, secure, and optimized infrastructure. Our purpose is to give customers the freedom to innovate everywhere. We put the ‘open’ back in open source, giving customers the ability to tackle innovation challenges today and the freedom to evolve their strategy and solutions tomorrow.”
Any final words on the Flooid/ SUSE partnership?
“Transformation is not just an option for retailers – it’s a necessity. From fixed POS systems to fully autonomous shopping experiences, each retailer is at a different stage on their transformation journey. But every retailer shares common goals – to delight consumers, drive efficiencies and open new revenue generating opportunities. All face a similar challenge; to securely manage end-to-end infrastructure while grappling with budget, legacy IT, and integration constraints. Flooid and SUSE believe and have demonstrated that transformation can be enhanced and accelerated by open innovation. The most successful retailers will be those that capitalize on interoperable solutions that let them harness modernization, no matter where it occurs. Successful retailers will be those that can unlock technological potential to create their store of the future — working with Flooid and SUSE puts them on the right path.”