Latin American retailers hot on integration, cooler on cloud - SAP

Monday, January 17, 2011

Latin American retailers are standing out from their global counterparts in terms of solution integration, the senior VP of SAP's (NYSE: SAP) large enterprise division for Latin America, Felix Feddersen, told BNamericas.

Connections between warehouse inventory, store front activity and finances are at the crux of this trend, according to Feddersen.

"SAP sees Latin American retailers as being very advanced and very quick in terms of technology adoption. They are handling their retail application projects in a very advanced way in comparison to other regions," he said.

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"The vision - and this is a differentiator for Latin American retailers - is one of integration. If you go to other regions, you only see specific solutions."

Other hot trends in Latin American retail include application use on handheld devices. Feddersen said firms are increasingly keen on arming their sales personnel with mobile software to help customers in brick-and-mortar establishments.

Meanwhile, cloud-based applications are starting to raise eyebrows among sector players, but implementation so far has been limited to "peripheral" business areas, according to the executive.

In Latin America, retail will continue to represent one of SAP's priority verticals this year. Countries such as Chile and Brazil garner much of the company's retail industry attention, but Feddersen noted that 2011 will see a greater shift toward Peru and Colombia.

The full interview with Feddersen can be read in this week's Information Technology Perspectives, for subscribers only.