Southern States Cooperative asked Steve Tupponce’s team to accomplish two things: improve the customer experience in the field and centralize its point-of-sale and agronomy systems. In the video below, the manager of infrastructure and delivery services shares his journey of evaluating multiple offerings, why he chose to partner with VMware Horizon 6 and how the resulting solution improved not only the customer experience, but also employee onboarding and security compliance.
Want to learn more about VMware’s solutions for retail? Join us at NRF 2016 by visiting our booth #3039, scheduling a customized session with one of our retail experts and hear first-hand about other retailers’ digital journeys:
Exhibitor BIG !deas: Modernize the Retail Experience with Mobile Devices
Monday, Jan. 18th, 11-11:45 a.m.
Level 3 EXPO Hall, BIG !deas Room 4
Join VMware and industry leaders Ascena, Belk and Luxottica in learning how to leverage mobile devices, digital displays and kiosks to modernize and personalize the retail shopping experience. This session will also feature a live demo on beacons and discussions from panelists, including an iOS expert.
- Scott Hatten, Director of Store Technology, Ascena Retail Group, Inc.
- James Morse, Omnichannel Technology Lead, Belk, Inc.
- Chantell Comberger, Head of In-store Technology, Luxottica Retail
From the video story:
“I’m Steve Tupponce. I’m the manager of infrastructure delivery services with Southern States Cooperative. We’re a farmer-owned agricultural supply and services company based out of Virginia. The goal of the cooperative is to provide products and services to our member producers at the lowest cost possible to make them profitable within their LOBs. And to improve the customer experience, we needed to provide a unified platform to where we could deliver the applications at point of sale or within our agronomy unit that were standardized. The second thing that we needed to do … was centralize the point of sale and agronomy systems.
“During our evaluation of virtual desktop, we chose to take a look at Citrix. We were engaged with them for about … 4-5 months. We didn’t feel well about what we were seeing. We invited VMware in, and the technicians and the partners that we used were able to come in and stand the entire suite up in one week. To us that spoke volumes.
“We started our customer reference checking. For every customer reference that we went to, it was 1-2 engineers that were working on Horizon Suite within their organizations. When we talked to the Citrix customers, it was twice that size. It was 4-5 engineers having to support the product.
“By going with VMware, we were able to go to a zero-server footprint in each one of our retail locations or agronomy units. And the other side of it, too, was ‘any device anywhere.’ We wanted our employees to be able to work at the farm gate, going out and visiting the farmers in the field, being able to take their orders right there standing in the field with the crop and being able to provide them a real-time quote and submit that directly back for that product and service to already be in the works by the time our sales rep got back to the office, as it had been in the past.
“Our users have definitely become more productive. We actually now actually have a standard with Horizon that we’re deploying to all the endpoints. We’re able to guarantee what the end user experience is going to look like, how that application is going to run. That coupled with the new point of sale has made it easier for us to onboard employees. With the old way, it was taking days, if not weeks. We’re now able to onboard employees within one day.
“From a security and PCI standpoint, what Horizon gave us the ability to do was to decouple the point of sale application from the endpoint device, and it now resides within the data center. So that makes (it), from an auditing perspective, a lot easier.
“VMware’s been there for us. From the very beginning when we asked them to come in, every person that we have come in contact with has been there to assist.“