White Paper

Enabling the Software-Driven Store

Enabling the Software-Driven Store

Solution Architecture for Cloud-Native Infrastructure and Operations

Online and brick-and-mortar retailers understand that the user experience is what drives sales. Consumers want an entertaining, frictionless journey.

They want to be recognized when they visit a page or walk in the door, they want personalized choices and personalized deals, and they want one-click simplicity when they check out or pick up goods. For online retailers, delivering these features typically involves IT and DevOps teams running apps in public clouds or in their own data centers.

However, brick-and-mortar stores are becoming their own mini data centers, hosting sophisticated AI/ML apps that leverage sales data, store-level transactions, purchase histories, and supply-chain and advertising data. For example, when a mobile app reports a customer walking near a store location, perhaps in a mall, it texts a coupon with a discount for an attractive item. When CCTV picks up a license plate entering a store parking lot, the store’s server evaluates their recent online browsing history. When trying on an item, digital mirrors running off the local server provide real-time color choices and sale incentives.

To take advantage of all these location-based marketing and sales opportunities, retailers need to be able to deploy and update innovative apps to thousands of geographically distributed physical stores just as easily as they can in their data centers or public clouds, and have the ability to do so in a consistent and unified way.

To succeed, they need to:

  • Automate infrastructure management and application updates across all of their stores.
  • Enable DevOps CI/CD pipelines to bring new capabilities to stores faster.
  • Make retail IT work in more public-cloud ways.
  • Deploy and centrally manage any type of workload — containers, VMs, or bare metal — across all of their store locations, data centers, and public clouds.

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