Many languages have few, elusive words that can’t be easily translated into other languages. In Spanish, one such word is duende. Duende describes the emotions one feels as a response to something beautiful, such as art or music. When you get goosebumps as you experience something extraordinary – that’s a duende moment.
The retail and hospitality world are increasingly faced with the challenge of creating more and more of these incredible moments. As people can buy all they want quickly and painlessly online, physical locations are increasingly visited not because of the products they store, but because of the experiences they offer.
As a tech company developing retail software, our role today is to create solutions that not only are state-of-the-art, but that also enable the users to deliver the exciting, unforgettable experiences customers crave. To do that, we are always on the lookout for trends, innovations, and challenges that can be transformed into opportunities.
One such challenge is the cloud. You have heard about it, worried about it, and wondered if, and how, you should use it. It’s the white elephant in the room in the IT and business world.
IT companies – including our partners – are understandably worried about the changes the cloud will bring. They don’t know whether the cloud is right for them; they fear they will lose their license and customization revenue when Software as a Service (SaaS) becomes the norm. Ultimately, they wonder what their role will be in the cloud world.
Retailers and restaurateurs are also confused. They wonder whether SaaS will be more expensive in the long run. They want to know if they will be able to tailor cloud-based software to their needs. They fear the SaaS model may leave them without support in times of need. They want to make sure that the cloud will keep their business data safe.
Let’s be honest: the cloud is scary. It challenges us, and forces us to transform. However, if we play our cards correctly, we can use the cloud to our advantage, for example to reduce costs and increase efficiency, while maintaining a key role in the new world.
At LS Retail, we have a plan for the transformation ahead. It’s a hybrid plan. Going hybrid means that you don’t have to choose between the old way or the new way; you can choose the best of both worlds.
Think about hybrid cars: they give you the security of fuel, but also all the benefits of using electricity.
The hybrid plan is a great investment on our behalf: in the last 5 years alone, we have put 35 million euro into research and development, and we plan to invest 100 million more euros in the next 5 years. We are working day and night to make sure that all our existing and future solutions will work seamlessly with Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s – and our – cloud platform, and that the transition will be smooth and easy.
Today, the doors to new markets are accessed through the cloud. Think of all the innovation you have been hearing about in the past couple of years. From big data, to machine learning, advanced analytics, e-commerce, social media, and interactions through smart phones – all of this is now in the cloud. And it’s in the cloud that you can leverage it for your business.
The cloud will force us to change. For IT companies – our partners – this might mean fewer in-house customizations. On the other hand, the cloud will also bring large opportunities to help customers adapt to the hybrid plan, and support them while they use in-cloud services and productivity tools.
Retailers and restaurateurs, on the other hand, can feel safe, as we will protect their existing solution investment and minimize their risk through a hybrid plan which makes the crossover easier, while maximizing their flexibility.
It is an exciting world we live in, with constant changes and demanding expectations, requiring constant innovation.
Innovation is our motor at LS Retail – it is what drives us forward. At the same time, we do not over-react to technology. We don’t chase after fads or define our strategy in response to what others are doing. We first determine what technology makes most sense to us, and then we pioneer its application.
The goal is always the customer. Everything we design must enable retailers put up a memorable show – a shopping experience that brings out the smile of the consumer. We put our passion, expertise, and innovation into our product, so that tomorrow you can create duende moments for your customers –moments that people can’t perhaps explain in words, but that they will remember, and want to relive again and again.