Sterling Commerce unveils m-commerce apps for retailers

Source: Sterling Commerce

Embracing mobile handheld devices such as smartphones as a critical touchpoint in enabling cross-channel excellence, Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc company, announced today that it has extended several of its key product capabilities to the Apple iPhone with the introduction of new mobile applications.

Two new Sterling Commerce mobile applications - Sterling Store Associate Mobile and Sterling Mobile Store Channel - will be demonstrated at the National Retail Federation Convention and Expo (NRF) at booth #2203.

These new applications enable anytime, anywhere access to capabilities of key Sterling Commerce offerings as part of the company's strategy to extend its collaborative applications and integration solutions to mobile devices. Its first mobile applications work with Sterling Selling and Fulfillment Suite, the company's applications suite for orchestrating the entire inquiry-to-cash process, including order capture/management, logistics management and supply chain visibility.

"It's only a matter of time before most people will have some sort of smartphone, similar to the way cell phones eventually became ubiquitous," said Bob Irwin, president and CEO of Sterling Commerce, "and the compelling user interface of the iPhone makes it the perfect venue for us to explore 'The Art of the Possible' by showing companies things they might not have even thought of doing or knew they could do with our solutions. We are excited to introduce our new mobile offerings at NRF because retailers are facing the greatest demand right now to make mobile devices the 'fourth channel,' on top of in-store, Web and call center sales channels."

By offering access to the company's powerful order management capabilities from a mobile device, the new mobile applications help retailers enhance the cross-channel shopping experience and improve their ability to save the sale. The new Sterling Store Associate Mobile and Sterling Mobile Store Channel applications work with Sterling Order Management and enable consumers to:

- Get the products they want when facing an out-of-stock situation - Sterling Store Associate Mobile enables store associates to be more effective in meeting consumer needs by finding and reserving available-to- promise inventory and completiting the sale from the mobile device, minimizing customer wait time and inconvenience when stock is not immediately available. The new mobile application extends access to the capabilities of recently announced Sterling Always In Stock to the iPhone.

- Shop via their mobile device through a mobile store front - Sterling Mobile Store Channel provides mobile commerce capabilities for retailers to build and deploy a mobile store presence that enables consumers to browse available products, find inventory, select their fulfillment method, and order and pay for products all from their mobile handheld device.

"Just as the Internet and e-commerce emerged as key elements of buying and selling more than decade ago, mobile capabilities and m-commerce are just another wave in how retailers and consumers can and want to leverage new technology in doing business," said Jim Bengier, global industry executive, Retail, at Sterling Commerce. "With a customer list that includes eight of the world's top ten retailers, Sterling Commerce understands the key cross-channel challenges retailers face. These new mobile applications demonstrate our continued innovation in helping retailers deliver value in managing and executing their cross-channel experience accurately, securely, and more efficiently than their competitors."

According to an independent report, "For eBusinesses and retailers, one clear benefit of mobile applications is how they can provide unprecedented opportunities for cross-channel interaction; they can be the conduit that ties the channels together, linking them through consumers' mobile devices," wrote Brian K. Walker, senior analyst, eBusiness & Channel Strategy ("Is The Time Right To Build A Mobile App?," Forrester Research, Inc., October 2009).

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