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Bossa Nova Robotics, developer of autonomous retail robots, and VMware are collaborating to help retailers run their stores more smoothly and efficiently through the use of robots and the Internet of Things (IoT).

McKinsey & Co estimates that IoT will have a huge economic impact in retail — anywhere between $410 billion and $1.2 trillion per year by 2025. Retailers fully realize this and are now using IoT in all aspects of their business from optimizing their supply chains to help avoiding stock-outs to creating a better shopping experience.

Inventory management is a major area of concern as unavailability of the right merchandise, empty shelves, etc., can create a negative buyer experience resulting in lost sales. Bossa Nova’s inventory-scanning retail robots are purpose-built to autonomously navigate a store and take stock of what’s missing on the shelves. These robots feature a vertical optical tower scanning the shelves in a given store aisle to check for out-of-stock items, incorrect prices, and wrong or missing labels. By having robots conduct these repetitive tasks, store associates are freed up to spend more of their time interacting directly with customers and improve the shopping experience.

Deploying sophisticated robots requires upkeep and security, which is where VMware comes in. VMware Pulse IoT Center will help with onboarding, managing, monitoring and securing these robots, along with any other IoT devices connected to the corporate network, on an ongoing basis so that IT has complete control over and visibility into ‘things’ and infrastructure across all IoT projects via single console. With VMware Pulse IoT Center, retailers will be able to upgrade the software and security patches on these robots—over-the-air and in real-time–to minimize downtime and avoid security breaches. Using the console, retailers will also be able to track operational anomalies and automate actions with the help of alerts and notifications to minimize disruptions. VMware Pulse IoT Center is currently available in beta and is expected to be generally available in VMware’s Q4 FY2018 (ending Feb. 3, 2018).

We’re excited to work with Bossa Nova to help retailers reduce stock-outs and better manage store inventory levels while maintaining the security and integrity of their overall IoT infrastructure including robots. Stay tuned for more details about how the two companies will work together.

Check Out Bossa Nova Robotics and VMware at NRF 2018

Bossa Nova and VMware will both be at retail’s biggest show of the year – NRF 2018 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from January 14-16, 2018. Visit Bossa Nova at booth #2831. Learn more about VMware’s retail solutions at booth #3807. Drop by and say hello if you’re at the show.