How Retailers Put Advanced Technology to Work – TechVision LIVE!


(dramatic percussion music) – So, thanks for joining us. We’re here with John Chancellor, who’s the Senior Manager of
the Engineering Services. So John, tell us a little bit about that. What does that mean? – You bet, you bet. It’s actually Service
Engineering, but that’s okay. So at CDW, we provide advanced technology
solutions to our customers. And we provide that to
over 250,000 customers across the United States
and globally, as well. And when we provide those solutions, we take that responsibility
very seriously. We want to make sure that we’re providing the best solutions, the
best capabilities, actually, to those customers. So a long time ago, CDW
decided to invest in a team called Service Engineering. And we brought together all
of our technical architects to essentially research
and find new solutions that we can bring to our customers across a variety of different categories. So anything from collaboration,
data center technologies, cloud technologies, and advanced solutions
like AI and analytics, to make sure that we have
the right solution portfolio to bring to our customers. And we do this because we never want to be the kind of company that
holds our customers back after they’ve invested that trust in us. – Well, John, it’s really exciting to see all the technologies
that are here at NRF. If I’m a client and I’m
looking at all this, how do I know what to
focus on and what to do? – You see, that’s a great question, and that’s the really exciting
thing about being at NRF, is seeing all of these
different technologies and all of these different solutions. But the problem is, is
that a lot of our customers come back from these events and they’re saying, “Hey, I just saw “all these great technologies “that are supposed to
transform my business, “that are giving me a unique edge. “But I don’t know where to start, “and I don’t know how
to actually implement “a lot of these solutions.” And the basic reality is, is that a lot of people
who attend these events actually go home and they’re just faced with the reality of their
situation, which is, I have day-to-day projects that I have to work on. I have fires that I need to
put out at any particular time. And so what CDW does is we spend a lot of time
trying to figure out, based off of all the
different options here, what works best for our customers, and then because we have an
advanced services capability of about 1,200 engineering resources, we can actually sit
down with our customers and help them implement those
advanced technology solutions. So we pick the best solutions
that can integrate together and we bring those to
bear for our customers. And that’s the best way to go. A lot of times, if you look
at these types of events and you’re trying to actually
implement these solutions, it can be really, really
difficult to go it alone, and that’s why CDW has these capabilities, to help our customers achieve their goals. – Okay, so once you kind of
pick what you want to do, how do you implement? Especially when you
might be in a situation where a customer has 1,600
locations throughout the country. – Yup.
– How do you deal with that? – Yeah, I mean, it’s a great question because that’s really a big challenge for a lot of our larger retail customers. When you look at the simple logistics of actually putting
technology out in 1,600 sites, or more, actually, across the
country or across the globe, there’s a lot of heavy lifting
that needs to go into that. And so what a lot of our
customers are also challenged with is that their in-store technology teams just don’t have the scale
to do a massive rollout. But these technology solutions that we’re seeing today at NRF offer really, really important value to a lot of our customers, so they need that technology in their stores quickly
in order to differentiate from their competitors. So what CDW can provide is a lot of advanced services capabilities where we first spec out the
right technology footprint for those store locations, we come up with the right access
points, the right switches, the right mobile point of sale solutions, and the right tablets
and mobility solutions, to actually fully enable that
store on that technology. And we build up that technology package, configure it centrally in
our configuration centers, and then ship it on-site to
those customer locations. And then we have a CDW
engineer meet that package at those locations, cable
it, get it up and running, verify that it works correctly, and then hands it off to the store personnel
or the store associates. And that’s really, really important. We actually recently helped a customer with a large store deployment, take about 1,600 store locations and actually do a full
refresh in about three months. – Holy cow.
– An they predicted internally that that would take about
two years to complete. So incredible speed to value. – Yeah, I can imagine. I mean, three months. I imagine that that may have contributed to the awesome holiday sales. The figures just came out
for the United States. I think it was up, what, 5.5%? – Yes, sir. – Yeah, yeah.
– Yup. – So, cool. Well, thanks John, very much, for sharing, and thank you for what you do. We really appreciate it and
love how you’re adding value to our customers.
– Well, thank you.


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