IBM has announced a new software and services offering designed to meet the needs of businesses in the retail industry. The offering, IBM WebSphere Portal for Retail Supply Chain, is designed to improve the business efficiencies of retail companies by providing a single view to multiple suppliers, increasing the retailer's ability to adapt and respond to business and consumer demands, speeding consumer product companies' access to retailer data in order to assist reducing costs within the supply chain. IBM WebSphere Portal for Retail Supply Chain will be generally available in July 2004.
Targeting grocers and large retail chains, IBM WebSphere Portal for Retail Supply Chain incorporates IBM WebSphere Portal, a single, unified point of interaction for applications, processes, content and people, as well as a number of tools from independent software vendors (ISV). The role-based and tailored portal provides real-time communication to the supplier through WebSphere Portal's instant messaging capability. ISVs contributing key components to the offering include: Digital Union's ezMarket application provides retailers with the ability to create and run on-line reverse auctions with real-time supplier participation. Dialog, a Thomson business, provides retailers with insights on customers, markets, regions, and competitors when they access market research, industry news, competitive profiles, financials, and market trends anywhere in their environment. Business Objects provides retailers with performance indicators, metrics, reports, and information delivery capabilities.