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IBM Unveils Solutions to Help Retailers Meet Consumer Demand for Environmental Responsibility


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled technologies and services that are uniquely able to improve energy and operational efficiency across a retailer’s entire IT operation. The IBM “Green Retail Store” portfolio includes high-performance point-of-sale systems, industry-leading IBM blade servers, and system management software that allow retailers to deploy end-to-end solutions from the front of the store to the back office that benefit the environment.

“Retailers are looking for ways to differentiate and build customer loyalty in a fiercely competitive environment, and consumers are increasingly showing preference for retailers who are environmentally responsible,” said Steve Ladwig, General Manager, IBM Retail Store Solutions. “IBM technologies and services not only help retailers appeal to consumer requirements, but also help protect the environment and save money by making their operations more efficient.”

The anchor of the IBM solution portfolio is the IBM SurePOS 700, the world’s number one selling point-of-sale system. It offers clients a choice of three high-performance, energy-efficient processors that help reduce their power consumption by 36 percent or more. According to a January IDC report lauding IBM POS performance, a large retail client considering replacement of 5,000 terminals with new units operating at 33 percent more energy efficiency can reduce annual energy cost for POS terminals alone by $131,000, or nearly $1 million over the average seven-year life of newly deployed IBM machines.

IBM BladeCenter S can plug into a standard 110 volt power outlet, be secured anywhere in the store and simplify management of the applications most commonly used in retail environments.

The powerful, ultra-compact IBM AnyPlace Kiosk is designed with an energy efficient processor and chipset, and delivers a compelling customer experience virtually anyplace.

The SurePOS 700 also includes new proactive system monitoring features that allow retailers to avoid costly downtime, helping ensure a fast, reliable, efficient shopping experience for consumers. Using IBM system management technology, practically all elements of the store -- from point-of-sale, to advanced IBM AnyPlace kiosks, to self checkout systems -- can be managed from a single location using the IBM Remote Management Agent (RMA), an enterprise-class management system that allows retailers to remotely monitor the POS device, track assets and distribute software. When combined with IBM Director, an integrated, easy-to-use, suite of tools that provides clients with flexible system management capabilities for maximum system availability and lower IT costs, these functions can be monitored across one single location, or across multiple stores.

The power behind the IBM Green Retail Store is an IBM BladeCenter S system capable of managing an entire retail IT environment -- from servers to the point-of-sale terminals to phone systems and antivirus applications, all from a single back-office location. The BladeCenter S is one of the industry’s first blade systems with attributes designed to help retailers simplify the management of technology needed to operate a store. With its Store Integration Framework (SIF) certification, the BladeCenter S system enables more than 75 SIF-certified retail independent solution providers to create and run applications on the system. Even more, the IBM blade’s environmental features allow retailers to reduce their energy costs up to 20 percent, cut back office noise by 50 percent, and to run the system desk-side, enabling clients to maximize back office space for other mission critical application platforms.

IBM recognizes that retailers need to evaluate and address their role in managing resources both as a market differentiator and good corporate citizenship. The opportunities for retailers to be good corporate citizens span the realms of business process, people and resource management, and customer service offerings. IBM consulting and technology services manage a wide range of in-store issues, from POS systems, energy consumption tracking and management, asset management and monitoring, to workforce management issues, and IT product recycling. IBM is also a leader in supply chain optimization and can help retailers design efficient logistics and packaging solutions that benefit the environment as well as the company and its customers.

Additionally, IBM offers services to help retailers evaluate their energy and thermal profiles in data center facilities through 3-D modeling and thermal analysis, assess the energy efficiency of their enterprise data centers, and move to virtualized infrastructures and emerging hybrid systems that utilize special purpose processors to reduce energy consumption.

Many of IBM’s “green retail” solutions, including complementing IBM Business Partner offerings, will be on display in the IBM Green Pavilion during this week’s National Retail Federation Conference at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. The displays include a first-of-a-kind concept kiosk enclosure with its main structure made from organic waste material. The IBM AnyPlace Kiosk was created by IBM Business Partner Olea, Inc., a Los Angeles-based designer and manufacturer of interactive self-service kiosks. Running IBM Business Partner Experticity’s On-screen Expert software, the kiosks enclosure’s main structure is built entirely of an engineered panel made from Sorghum plants which is grown around the world for food production. The plant stalks are dried, and heat pressed using a non-toxic adhesive to form the board product. Stalks not used in food product would typically be thrown away.

The products were finished using powder coatings for metal finished and impregnated color for plastic to avoid the emissions of volatile organic compounds associated with liquid paints. In addition, an estimated 60% by weight of the plastic resins used in SurePOS 700 products have recycled content. IBM’s environmental leadership extends to its product packaging and logistics. IBM has long had environmental requirements for its product packaging to optimize the sustainability of its packaging. The company is also a member of the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, a voluntary program to increase the fuel efficiency and reduce the emissions associated with freight shipping. Over 80% (by transport dollar spending) of the goods IBM ships within the US and from the US to Canada and Mexico is transported by SmartWay Transport Partnership carriers.

IBM recognizes that the time has come for an integrated, smart systems approach to reducing energy consumption and minimizing environmental impacts to maximize sustainability. With decades of demonstrated leadership in environmental stewardship, unmatched talent and innovation, proven ability to solve complex challenges and unparalleled global reach, IBM is uniquely positioned to help deliver a sustainable future for itself, clients and society as a whole.


The IBM SurePOS 700 (models 723, 743 and 783) are priced competitively between $1,900 and $3,500.* IBM Remote Management Agent and IBM Director are available at no additional cost with the purchase of an IBM point-of-sale system. IBM BladeCenter S, which includes power supplies, fans, rack rails and a DVD/CD combo drive, starts at $2,599,* which is at least $2,000 less than the closest current comparable competitive offering.

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*Prices subject to change without notice. Starting price may not include a hard drive, operating system or other features. Contact your IBM representative or Business Partner for the most current pricing in your geography.


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