Skip to main content

Retail Tech Chat Episode 4: Accelerating Digital Transformation

Retail Tech Chat

The path to digital transformation is much easier when you have a trusted guide—one who not only understands the challenges of the retail industry but also appreciates the unique character of your business.

Learn how you can chart your journey in this conversation between technology power couple Sarah-Jayne and Dean Gratton, and experts from CDW, a leading multi-brand provider of digital transformation solutions for the retail industry and beyond.

You will learn:

  • How to make a business case for digital transformation
  • Ways to use a building-block approach to speed deployment and cut costs
  • Why Internet of Things (IoT) technology is critical in a rapidly changing retail landscape

Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, and iHeartRadio, the Retail Tech Chat is a limited-run podcast focused on recovery of the retail and hospitality sector. Subscribe now so you don’t miss an episode!

For more on this topic, read the article Why Retailers Should Embrace Digital Transformation.

 

Listen to Retail Tech Chat Episode 1: AI Innovations for the Customer Experience

Listen to Retail Tech Chat Episode 2: Touchless & RFID for Safer Stores

Listen to Retail Tech Chat Episode 3: Digitizing the In-Store Experience

Listen to Retail Tech Chat Episode 5: New Roles for Digital Signage

Listen to Retail Tech Chat Episode 6: Safety, Security, & In-Store Intelligence

 

Transcript

Dean Gratton: Welcome to the Retail Tech Chat sponsored by Intel. I'm Dean Gratton.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: And I'm Sarah-Jayne Gratton.

Dean Gratton: For today together we explore the world of technology and the ways it's reshaping our lives.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yes. And in this podcast series, we are going to take you on a journey into retail innovation with Intel and its partners.

Dean Gratton: So today we are talking to Jane Liston and Matt Browne from CDW, a leading multi-brand provider of digital transformation solutions to the retail industry and beyond.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Hi, Jane. So great to have you here. Hi, Matt.

Jane Liston: Thank you for having us.

Matt Browne: Hey, guys.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Great to have you here. I'm going to kick this off with a question for you, Jane. What does CDW do and what's your role there?

Jane Liston: Those who haven't worked with CDW before, we're a global organization, value-added reseller, 18 billion pound turnover. Really, what we do is work with our clients around end-to-end solutions, covering hardware, software services, and cloud. That's us in a nutshell. My role is to lead our retail strategy, so I'm responsible for our go-to-market, building out our retail practice, and how we remain as credible as possible and support our retail customers.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Fantastic.

Dean Gratton: And Matt, what about you? What do you do?

Matt Browne: I'm a solution specialist at CDW. I tend to focus on digital transformation and innovation and just making sure our customers are getting the right solution, and it's going to deliver on their business needs.

Dean Gratton: What is your background then, Matt?

Matt Browne: Background for me is software development as a standard. I did a master's degree in artificial intelligence as well. And then from there just move forward into the innovation space with CDW, helping to pilot that within the business and bring those sorts of solutions in. We've covered everything from RFID to computer vision, to hybrid cloud and anything beyond that we've had a hand in.

Dean Gratton: Okay. A master's in artificial intelligence, how was that?

Matt Browne: In a nutshell, in a two-second nutshell, I think it's an incredibly powerful tool that we are yet to discover how to fully utilize and derive value from. And I think there's some incredibly interesting aspects we can take it down, but it definitely has its full potential to be realized.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Let's bring what you've just said back to retail and to CDW, what role do you see AI playing in the future of retail? That's probably a really broad question, but what do you think?

Matt Browne: I think it plays a key role in certain elements. I don't for one minute perceive the idea of a holographic AI welcoming me into a store anytime soon as per iRobot or some other sci-fi publication. But I do see AI providing a huge amount of resource to companies who want to leverage the intelligence they can get from either data generated by the store, or data generated by endpoints on video and audio within the store to actually improve upon customer experience, rather than sat there in the front of the store doing nothing more than telling me I'll have nice glasses on or a nice hat, for example.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. But with the pandemic, do you think there's more of a need for, in terms of social distancing on a High Street experience, for example, do you think IO will play more of a role there. Because physical interaction is becoming more and more difficult at the moment.

Matt Browne: Yeah. I know you mentioned that about iRobot and I think that's really a long, long way off.

Jane Liston: I might just quickly jump in just for a second on this. Because I think some think that you are seeing in certain areas, there is a little bit of this happening and there's interest in it. I think the challenge sometimes is at the moment where people you've got stretch budgets, where do you invest? And where's going to give the biggest return and some of these give amazing in-store experience, you can see how it'd be great for retailers. But is it something that they can get the business case to stack up on? And it's the same I think we found a lot with the safety solutions in-store. We did a lot of work around that, where we've got quite a good portfolio of social distancing solutions using visual and different technology to do that. But at the moment, it's just that challenge around it's a big investment and at the moment do retailers need to be spending in that area. So it's a real challenge for them, how they manage this and where they use budgets at the moment.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. So that initial return on investment is something, especially with businesses struggling and having these challenges is a huge ask, isn't it? And will it return.

Jane Liston: Yeah, that's it. I think the days of... You see some really cool tech and I'm probably the most guilty of this if I see a new product and go to Matt, "Matt. Wow. This is really cool. We could do X, Y, X with it." And then he's like, "Hold on a minute, Jane, how's this actually, what's the use case here? It's not just got to be maybe a use case just for social distancing, but how we can spread the value of this across the business and show real value for the retailers."

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dean Gratton: With new technology in mind, what is the approach technology into the retail environment currently?

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. What's your approach? What does the journey look like?

Matt Browne: I think for us... Hopefully for most people, it starts with actually defining the business and functional requirements of what the technology needs to do. I think as Jane alluded to, gone are the days of technology for technology's sake. I think that's a bit in the past at the minute, it's about defining what is the problem? Is it too much theft? Is it you want to rationalize the supply chain? Is it customer engagement, whatever it might be? And actually just expanding that and that opens up all the relevant doors to technology into retail and whether that is computer vision, whether that is RFID, whether that is Bluetooth, or it could be as simple as just improving a network in a store. That's all a technology investment for a retailer. And it's actually about what does the business require, because we've all seen pretty shiny things that we want to put in place, we've all got gadgets coming out of our ears. I'm sure, again, as Jane alluded to, it's that ROI for customers. So it's building that definable ROI initially on requirements and then opening the doors to tech from there.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. So it's actually, what do you really need rather than what would you like to have? It is being realistic, isn't it?

Matt Browne: Yeah. It's what you need, not what you want, as Modern English used to put it.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Dean Gratton: And also along with the technology approach rather than the buzzwords and "Oh, we've got this technology, let's use this technology." Rather than "What is the problem that needs to be solved?"

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. And how can we do it? And the most cost-effective way for you. It works for you. Exactly.

Dean Gratton: How do you work with Intel to help retailers with their journey?

Matt Browne: From our perspective? I think the way we work with Intel to try and bring technology into retail is we leveraged them on a couple of planes. I think the first one is that they have an immense amount of power and reach globally from both a business perspective and a technology perspective. I think that leadership that they can bring, I think is invaluable to any organization. It doesn't matter how big you are whether you're five guys in a garage or 10,000 people in Canary Wharf, the value that those guys can bring. And then I think also their research and development that they put into technology and testing technology, and being able to showcase that without having ourselves having to do as much research, we still need to research the technology.

But having access to their laboratories and their demo centers and being able to bring them into that environment and show them it in the real world. It's one thing for somebody to show you a video of a hologram, it's another thing for you to see a hologram going back to holograms. And it's very impressive when you can see those kinds of things. So I think having that is hugely impactful and it helps bring technology to the forefront of a retailer's vision.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah, absolutely. To have the ability to actually be there to see things without investing yourself, to have this partnership where you can see how this can help our clients. Now I can see how that's a really positive support system.

Dean Gratton: Actually to see something tangible because having worked in R&D myself, you have all these paperware promises, etc.. And it's really valuable when a customer can actually touch something and hold something in their hands. Where they actually see something working right in front of them.

Jane Liston: I think it brings it to life and I think what's become even more important too is over the last six months when life's changed immeasurably for all of us, and we're working in a much more disconnected way where we're not going to big trade shows, getting together at workshops and customer events, that ability to connect and still get a global view. So where we work with Intel and CDW, we've got a lot of global clients sometimes being able to share that insight of what's been happening in the Far East, what are the emerging trends to help share that information with our UK-based retailers and to help guide them and provide those insights that people just aren't getting at the moment. So helping keep our customers connected with the wider picture and supporting them at the moment with insight. I think that's really powerful.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. You're so right, there are so many varied needs, aren't there. How can you help a given merchant and find a solution that works for them?

Jane Liston: So I think a lot of what we do around that solution provision as Matt said, it's about understanding their business, but also understanding, first of all, them as a brand. What their priorities are, what's important to them because every retailer is different and they've got different challenges. So I think it's once we know and really understand them and it's taking them on that journey, we've done a lot of work to create a retail partner community of leading vendors who specialize in retail technology software services so that we can really help fast-track that process. So once we understand those requirements, what we need the outcomes to be, to be able to make those introductions, those specialist partners, and then linking that into those CDW core areas around sort of network and infrastructure.

Because it's fantastic if a client wants to make an investment in magic mirrors in-store or a great in-store experience. But if the network's not powerful enough to support that and all of a sudden, your EPOS, you're having issues with taking payments that that innovation project is going to fail. So it's getting the right solution partner, but also making sure the client's got the right foundation to make their projects a success.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. So you've looked for end-to-end solutions that are deployment ready so they can really hit the ground running, can't they?

Jane Liston: Absolutely. And that's I think what CDW brings to the table, it's about taking the client on that journey and understanding what's needed to make that... I talk a lot about data center to store, about how you make that end-to-end solution work so rather than having to work with lots of different organizations. We're able to simplify and take the complexity out of that journey.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. But I'm right in thinking Jane, Matt, that this is not one size fits all, is it, in terms of your solutions? They are adaptable.

Matt Browne: Exactly.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: In terms of the varied needs. I read or I heard somewhere the other day, you can't solve retailers' needs by generic solutions. They need to be more bespoke.

Dean Gratton: More tailored.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. Tailored to needs.

Dean Gratton: We have specific needs.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. Yeah.

Matt Browne: Exactly. And that's the type of approach we want to take. There's one thing for having a repeatable deliverable solution. And there's one thing for having a custom solution for every customer. And I think it's striking that balance. Every retailer is different. Every business is different. And we look to take a building-block approach where we can build a solid foundation, a solid base. And then as the individuality of each brand comes out, we can assess the right prepackaged building blocks to build their brand. And those building blocks will probably only equate to 75% of the solution.

And then there's a 25% of pure custom branded work for that organization whether it's the right colors, the right look and feel for their customer, whatever that might be, so that it is a unique solution for them. But 75% of the work is built in this building-block fashion that we can then repeat, deliver, and ensure that we can support them on the journey once the technology is in there as well. It's one thing to sell something to somebody. It's another thing to make sure that they're deriving the value and that we can make sure that that's going to help the business continue to thrive once the technology's implemented.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Fantastic. I always liked the analogy when I hear the word tailored, it is a bit like making a designer outfit. Because you're tweaking this, you're tweaking that to make sure you've got the perfect fit and that's what you guys are doing. But I know, Dean, you wanted to ask about the market-ready solutions. I think that kind of linked into the…

Dean Gratton: And certainly in the context of Intel. What are the Intel ready solutions and how do they address these issues?

Matt Browne: I think the market-ready solutions from Intel address a number of issues. I think the first one they address, which I think is beneficial to everybody is they do the research, the testing for brands. So once upon a time a brand would come in and they'd want a smart mirror or a mobile pulse system, and they'd have to go out to four or five different people, get different versions, bring them into the store, test them. That's a lengthy process. It takes time. They have to do all the back-end work to deliver that. And I think what the Intel market-ready solutions do is they take all that work, and Intel does that research and that preparation and can provide a blueprint to succeed for the customer. So I want a magic mirror, here's a magic mirror and here's how you deliver it.

And here's the technology that's required. And here's the requirements on the back-end and here's everything you're going to need as a business to deliver that. I think that's what they did really well. And they have such a broad range. And so many partners feed into that range that we've got solutions in there. Other partners have got solutions in there, and it allows us to take the people that are doing the right things really well and accelerate them to market. And also not go down the unfortunately “two guys in a garage” route sometimes where they can promise the world. And as you alluded to earlier, it's all there in blueprint, but it's not been delivered in a real-world scenario, but for big retailers that's a necessity.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. Cool.

Dean Gratton: Just one thing really quickly, what is a magic mirror?

Matt Browne: A magic mirror is a mirror that allows you to try on clothes and interact with the store in the changing room.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: I knew that.

Matt Browne: It has video detection, so it can impose clothing on top of you, or makeup on top of your haircuts or glasses, whatever it might be. But also can be touchscreen to allow you to request the next size up or the next size down or a different color or something like that. I almost like to call it that “what other people purchased” experience, but in a store rather than on a webpage.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Would you describe that as augmented reality?

Matt Browne: In a sense some of them are augmented reality. Some of them not, there's a scale, but we've seen a lot of interest in exactly that augmented reality for things like makeup and glasses. So especially at the minute, without being able to go into store to try on a new pair of glasses or try a new eyeshadow color. Brands are looking for ways of using augmented reality to bring that either into a store, but not having to have contact with anyone or into a device so that they can retain the customer experience for a customer whether they're sat in their living room or sat in traffic on the M25, they can still get to that experience.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: I think that's great in terms of trying things on; you find the perfect look. What annoys me and I've done it…

Dean Gratton: What annoys me is you look into your dressing room and say, "I've got nothing to wear."

Jane Liston: That will always happen, Dean. We will never have enough to wear.

Dean Gratton: So that's not exclusive to my wife then.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: There's no technology that will change that though.

Jane Liston: No. No.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Walking in, you found these things that you really, really want and you walk into the shop and they don't have anything in stock, or there's no way of knowing if they have it in stock. Or sometimes they show they have it in stock, but when you go in there they don't. That can be quite frustrating and I'm probably not explaining this very well, but…

Jane Liston: No, I know exactly what you mean and it's probably something, Sarah, that we speak a lot to retailers about the importance of understanding their inventory. Especially from a customer experience of "Right, that's in the store, I'm going to there to collect it. Oh no, it's not." Brands don't want that. So this is where we're seeing a lot of interest around RFID solutions so that you can accurately manage what stocks were, so that you've got that confidence. Retailers really want people to go into bricks and mortar. So they've got to make sure stock's available and also it helps with the whole click-and-collect piece as well. And making sure they've got the right level of inventory. And it obviously from an operational cost perspective if you want to have the things in stock that people are buying, and not 200 pairs of the wrong jeans that aren't popular.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: And also I think, Jane, that these days people tend to go out with purpose. They go out, they need to get this, they need to come back. It's not the strolling around environment that we had before. And it possibly will get back to that, but who knows, but it's never been more frustrating then to get to somewhere and find that something you thought was going to be there isn't there. And I think you're absolutely right. And you're spot-on with looking at these ways of making sure that stock levels are being monitored and people know what's there and the store knows what's needed. I think that's absolutely the right direction.

Jane Liston: And I think it links a lot into where we're seeing more retailers looking at ship-from-store as well with how they can make... Where that stock's been maybe potentially on shelves for a little while, how they can now not just have their main distribution centers, but use that bricks and mortar to ship from as well. Again, that's critical. They know what's in there. So when potentially an online order is placed, they've got the ability to ship from different locations. And often we're seeing more demand as well for consumers, we've all got a bit used to Amazon Prime and next-day deliveries. So we expect that standard now, and we're seeing that enhancement now of four-hour delivery windows. And the only way to do that really is ideally be able to ship from these store locations to do that.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah, absolutely. I think you're spot-on and I think with time being... Our time's limited in terms of how much time we spend outside of the home. What we feel is, is we feel a pressure so I think to build that value in terms of the retail experience is probably the most important it's ever been in my lifetime.

Jane Liston: Yeah.

Dean Gratton: Actually you’re talking about the supply chain and the logistics to support those products, availability of those products. Do you use the internet of things as a concept to support that ecosystem? [crosstalk 00:00:20:19].

Matt Browne: Yeah. 100%. I think you'd be naive to think that if you wanted a fully managed and visible supply chain, that you wouldn't be able to use the internet of things. And I think having connected devices, having the internet of things has many labels. But having connected devices that are providing real-time information or near-real-time information on where lorries are. What is on what lorry, how much inventory is available, anything like that. And that comes from a range of devices, anything from cameras monitoring lorries and bays. Through to GPS tags on shipments in the sea when you're shipping stuff globally, whatever that might be.

I think that technology is more and more important. And having us again, go back to the idea of a building-block approach, having a stable platform for that technology to feed in is so core that the business can then rely on that platform. So they can say in your four-hour delivery window; we can have that to you in four hours and they know they can get it to the shop in two hours. And then it's two hours from the shop to me, for example. And that's a huge benefit to retailers being able to provide that clarity and level of information is incredibly important as they try and cope with whatever wave of lockdown or process needs to be in place as we move forward to the minute.

Dean Gratton: Yeah. To have everything connected, it's great. We've got a new concept called the internet of things, but to be honest, before it came along, everything was connected anyway. So we have this new buzz term internet of things. Do you see it adding any other value in the retail experience? The so-called internet of things?

Matt Browne: I think so. I think it adds value to a retailer in terms of, like I said, supply chain shipments, knowing where things are, having access to information. I think it can provide huge benefit to customer as well. I know I like it when I can see a time window for delivery, for example, or I can interact with the technology within a store, from a device, something like that. And they're all connected things in this internet of things, to give it a broad term. I think that connectivity at the minute for a lot of people it's hugely important because one, it increases that experience in store, which obviously makes me want to... it makes me want to go back to that store. However, when you're then delivering data back into the business, it makes a business ability to be more profitable. It allows the business to have that conversation and then move forward. So it works really well both sides of the coin.

Dean Gratton: Yeah. Well, you mentioned data. I suppose that's an important aspect of the internet of things, the new wealth of data that's available and the opportunity to have this information about retailers and the experience with data. You could actually model new experiences and issues within that ecosystem because of that new data. How do you use data? How does CDW use data?

Matt Browne: We use it for all manner of things in terms of a business, how we use data. We use a lot of data to identify what's working and not working for our customers where we're seeing trends. So where Jane is out there talking to customers and getting information from them, there's always data being captured there. And we're able to use that to look for trends. Where should we be focusing as an organization? We have our opinion or where we should be focusing, but the industry might be going in a completely different direction, right? So it's always good to have that data. And then we see data as huge importance to our customers and is a real focus area for us as a business in terms of it could be retail, it could be XR the industry, data, everybody talks about data being the new oil. Data being worth more than gold, whatever phrase is in the Financial Times this month.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Buzzword of the month.

Matt Browne: Exactly.

Dean Gratton: Data is the new oil. Data is the new currency. Data... What is it now?

Matt Browne: Exactly.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah, but it's so powerful, isn't it? I think…

Dean Gratton: Only if it's used right. I've worked with a lot of companies that have this enormous amount of data…

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: They don't know what to do with it.

Dean Gratton: ... and they scratch their heads; they just don't know what to do with it.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: You've got to know. It's only powerful if you know how to use it. Yeah. But if you do know what to use it for, it's incredible. I just would love to understand how giving you guys some examples of merchants you're working with, how are they using your technology in innovative ways? Give us some examples.

Matt Browne: Sure. So we're working with, to go on the data side of thing. So the conversation we've just had we're working with a global cosmetics brand that, unfortunately I cannot name. But they are doing exactly that around supply chain. They need to know where stock is? Where it's going? How long it's sat in a store for? How they can reduce their inventory and how they can ship that from the store? We have some incredibly interesting statistics from them around holding almost nine months’ worth of stock in a store based on their sale volume for that product. So they've just continued to order the same amount every month depending on whether the product was selling or not because that's all they knew. They didn't have an accurate view on inventory. So they're able to then start actually bringing in the stock they need, rather than having boxes and boxes of stock taking up corridors.

And that then enables them to have that right place, right time stock, and not be sitting on product, which then enables them to rationalize supply chain. But then beyond that rationalize their manufacturing process. So they're not thinking that they're selling 500 of this shade of lipstick globally. They actually are selling a hundred and people have just been over-ordering because they thought that's what they needed. So then the manufacturing processes is then able to look at where they need to refocus their efforts and deliver value that way. And so it stems right the way back. So that's one of the core ones we've been working with these guys for a very, very long time.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: That's a great example. That's a fantastic example, Matt, because it shows how everything can swing out of balance.

Dean Gratton: It's about management, isn't it? Inventory.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah. And everything really leads back to really knowing what's what from the base point. I think that's amazing.

Jane Liston: And I think it links as well into some of the loss piece as well because obviously these are small items of high value. And you hear some very high percentage in loss rates where they haven't been able to track the inventory in the way that they can do using this solution. So the savings are massive and there's been estimates that the project could potentially pay for itself within nine or 10 months, despite the scale of it in what the savings can be.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: That's really impressive.

Dean Gratton: And is there anything else you'd like to touch upon now that you haven't spoken about?

Jane Liston: I think what is important for us as a business as well is we've spoken a lot today about innovation and how we can help. And a benefit of a market-ready solution around repeatable still with customization and with predictable costs because that's really important as well. But for us, what's really important as well, is that relationship piece with our customers. It's about that journey on working together in partnership because it's not about looking at tactical projects; it's about building up that understanding so that we become a virtual extension of a team. And that's really important for us if we're trying to... I always try and look at it through the retailer's eyes and they've got a really complex world to look after.

Jane Liston: Because they've not only got the bricks-and-mortar store, but they've got corporate as well. So they've almost got two worlds that they need to manage, which is a lot of complexity. And if we can help with simplifying some of that by understanding their business properly and their challenges, it enables us to build up that long-term partnership, which is just really important for us as a business.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: So, and Jane, what do you think differentiates CDW from others in the marketplace and what are your core values?

Jane Liston: I think what stands us apart is there's a couple of things really. I'll have to touch on our size and scale and our ability to do global solutions because that's probably something that we've not touched upon. We supply to over 150 countries. So when we're working with retailers globally…

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: That's so impressive.

Jane Liston: ... we can offer that single. Yeah, we've got an amazing logistics and supply chain business. And that's such a core element for retailers. Getting new kit to store is such a headache, especially with different currencies and different challenges and the cultural differences. So that's the massive value of what we can do with simplifying that. And also about building up for us, it's about partnerships as well about really understanding our customers, their brand, their business challenges. Because they've not just got the world of bricks and mortar, but they've got corporate, they've got e-commerce, they've got such a complex landscape and they're being pressed very hard on operational costs.

And now it is a challenging time, so it's really important for us to be seen as an extension of team, to help support them, take the complexity. And if we can help fast-track some of the innovation conversations by our knowledge, working with Intel on the market-ready solutions, and then harnessing CDW core skills around infrastructure and data centers package up a complete solution. I think that's really powerful, too. So it's about the relationship, understanding the business and at the moment also being there for people. It's tough times and we're all people at the end of the day, working with people, so how we can support our customers and keep them connected.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: That human touch. Wow. I'm so impressed.

Jane Liston: We can talk about sensors. And that's all great, but at the end of the day we're humans who are in challenging times and we need to look after each other a bit.

Dean Gratton: And how did you begin your journey with Intel?

Matt Browne: So the journey with Intel began, I want to say about four years ago now. And it came at an interesting time. CDW had just finished purchasing Kelway. We were coming into the fold of part of the CDW family. And we at that time were spinning up a shadow digital transformation team within the organization. It just so happened at that time that Intel were putting more attention into Kelway or CDW UK. It was a match made in heaven almost at the time because the guys from Intel really wanted to do some interesting work with us. We really wanted to get into some interesting work. And so we just were drawn together through that process. It started slowly and over time we've just built that partnership up, worked together. It's been countless meetings, Webexes, sessions together, countless lunches and dinners and drinks and things.

But it's been a fantastic relationship. And I think it's gone from strength to strength, just us being able to leverage from the guys at Intel and all that great stuff we spoke about around research, development and everything there. But also I'd like to think Intel have been able to gain from us in what we're seeing and how we've addressed different situations that have been different to the way they would have focused on it. And I think that's been quite core, hopefully quite core for those guys as well. And I think we've had a really strong working relationship for the last four years.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Wow, what a partnership.

Dean Gratton: That's absolutely wonderful.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I'm very happy with the way this has gone. Is there anything else that you'd like us to cover, guys?

Jane Liston: No, I think that was really what we wanted to cover. Just around obviously the Intel partnership, the benefit, the market-ready solutions.

Dean Gratton: Thank you both.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Thank you both so, so much for an amazing insight into what you do and how you work with Intel. And this has just been a fantastic interview for us.

Dean Gratton: And we're recording this just before the weekend. So have a fabulous weekend.

Jane Liston: Yeah. Massive thank you for having us. It's been great to meet you and get to know you guys better and yes, and thanks to Intel for their support.

Dean Gratton: And likewise.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: And that's it. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode.

Dean Gratton: And if you've enjoyed this podcast, you can find out more about retail innovation at insight.tech.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: On behalf of Intel. This has been Sarah-Jayne..

Dean Gratton: And Dean Gratton.

Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Until next time.

Dean Gratton: Until next time.

About the Author

Kenton Williston is the Editor-in-Chief of insight.tech and served as the editor of its predecessor publication, the Embedded Innovator magazine. Kenton received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2000 and has been writing about embedded computing and IoT ever since.

Profile Photo of Kenton Williston