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August 01, 2012

IBM Helps REAL Retail Chain Roll Out Electronic Coupon System at German Outlets

By Sujata Garud, TMCnet Contributor

Consumers at the major retail hypermarket chain REAL, part of Metro Group, will be able to use their mobile phones to browse online coupons as they walk through the aisles. This will be possible with the new electronic coupon system launched by REAL throughout its 320 outlets in Germany.

REAL worked with IBM (News - Alert) to introduce a new electronic coupon system, a first-of-a-kind digital coupon system, developed with IBM Research scientists.

The new 3V coupon system is based on existing IBM solutions at METRO Group, which are compliant with the EPC Information Services Standard (EPCIS) of EPCglobal. The system is based on IBM InfoSphere Traceability Server, a high-performance data storage device, which has the ability to manage and analyze large amounts of data and integrate master data systems.

The system also offers data in real time for internal and external applications.

Shoppers can select their favorite coupons from the REAL homepage or a Payback app on their smartphones. In a fraction of second, the system verifies their choice and transfers an eCoupon to the store's "3V - Value Voucher Validation" coupon system in real time.

In order to redeem the eCoupon, customers exhibit their Payback membership card upon checkout and the transaction is processed automatically.

Bernd Hasenbank, head of Point of Sale Solutions at REAL, stressed that the company is actually simplifying and improving the coupon redemption process. The electronic system offers a more personalized view of customers and the alternative to change coupon distribution in real time.

It is expected that it will be receiving much eCoupon queries and eCoupon redemptions daily at the cash registers of it 320 stores.

“In the era of Big Data, consumers expect a superior retail experience – which puts pressure on retailers to deliver hyper-personalized services,” said Falk Nieder, consultant at IBM Global Business Services. “REAL's e-couponing system demonstrates that retailers can deliver timely and customized coupons so that marketing feels more like a welcomed service.”

In another development, IBM announced that the company’s Cúram solution will serve as the platform for the health insurance exchange in Minnesota. IBM’s Cúram Business Application Suite is a complete, modular suite of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products created specifically for human services, workforce services and social security organizations – referred to collectively as social enterprises.

To find out more about IBM visit the company at
ITEXPO West 2012. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit IBM in booth # 1324. For more information on ITEXPO West 2012, click here.

Edited by Braden Becker

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