I had the chance to chat with Steve Thomas, Sr. VP of Sales at Microsoft Gold Certified partner Columbus IT recently as we came out of a busy week in New York for NRF. Here is what he had to say:
LS: Tell us a little bit about CIT?
ST: Columbus IT is a leading international Microsoft Dynamics implementer and one of the FIRST global Microsoft Dynamics AX partners. We have completed over 5,000 implementations in 101 Countries and have been awarded several honors by Microsoft including, Global Retail Partner of the year. We assist clients in the Retail, Food and IEM industries streamline processes, transactions and relationships to building efficiencies throughout their business to make them more effective and profitable.
LS: Where do you see the retail industry moving? Some of the trends driving change and things to come in the future?
ST:The retail industry is moving quickly, especially as consumers become more informed and now have an endless supply of options via internet retailers. Consumers are able to research and compare products prior to visiting a physical retail outlet or can quickly find information via their mobile device while in the store. Retailers need to respond and ensure that they are connecting with their customers every chance they can and that when they connect it is high value. Having a consistent message and look and feel on the web and in store are important to build brand recognition. Retailers need to ensure that they keep pace with their consumers. Columbus IT has assembled a panel of fellow retail industry experts to answer questions on retail trends and share insight on where they think the future is headed. Find out more at www.AsktheRetailExperts.com.
LS: And what are you doing to address these changes in the retail space?
ST: Columbus IT is working with our retail clients and partners to ensure that they are staying on the cutting edge. Our solutions allow our customers to manage their entire enterprise from web to brick and mortar and front end POS to back end inventory and financials. Having one system with all your information allows retailers to run a more streamlined and agile business. Retailers can focus on building relationships with their customers and fulfilling their needs and spend less time focused on supply chain, inventory levels and other back office issues. As consumer’s needs or the business’s needs change retailers can adapt their business end-to-end quickly.
LS: What kind of traction is CIT seeing in the market with Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail?
ST: Columbus IT has seen great traction in the retail market. The ability to offer a retailer an end-to-end solution is very compelling and something that hasn’t existed before in the market. Many retailers last made major business application changes in preparation for Y2K. Typical lifespan for these types of systems is 7-10 years but given the economic climate many have been hesitant to make major changes for the past few years but we have seen a major resurgence in interest and expect that it will continue to grow.
LS: Do you see that continuing for the future? What lies ahead for you in this space?
ST:This is an exciting for us in the retail space. To support our growing retail practice, Columbus IT is putting its global core competency center for Retail in the US. We are also working closely with our subsidiary To-Increase, ISV of the year award winner, to develop new retail solution stacks that will provide retailers even more functionality out of the box, shorter implementation times and reduced TCO. To support both these initiatives and our growing customer base we have, and continue to make, many additions to our retail team. We are looking forward to continued growth and success and that of our clients and partners.
LS: If people want to know more about CIT where can we send them?
ST: To learn more about Columbus IT visit, www.citRETAIL.com or www.AsktheRetailExperts.com
Thanks to Steve and the rest of the crew at Columbus for their time.
Sr. Industry Marketing Manager
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