Competition to build retail mindshare and customer loyalty has never been more fierce. Brands must continually evolve their products and deliver a personalised approach to win the hearts and minds of customers.
Delivering the technology that helps them do exactly that, Portugal Country Leader, Bruno Morais, and Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager Oracle Retail, have unveiled a new Innovation and Technology Center in Porto. The centre will focus initially on delivering breakthrough retail innovations leveraging the latest technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
“Oracle Portugal is delighted to see Oracle’s Global Retail business unit’s commitment to and investment in people and technologies in Porto. Similarly, we are delighted to contribute to the development of Porto through the creation of this global technology and innovation hub,” said Morais. “As it is true for all Oracle offices, we will actively foster community support and get involved in local causes to enrich the area wherever we can.”
Porto is a vibrant city that delivers a balance of history and innovation. A report by CBRE states that Porto ranks in the top 10 fast pace and growing technological clusters in the EMEA Tech Cities: Opportunities in Technology Hotspots. The technology team, including many developers, will be dedicated to creating bespoke integrations and enhancements to the Oracle Retail portfolio and reusable assets that deliver increased value to customers.
In the past year, Oracle has logged roughly 13,000 person-days of development, focused on continuous innovation with Micro-Apps that integrate with the base code of the Oracle Retail portfolio.
“Porto is home to a strong pool of tech talent coveted by major tech employers in Europe to Portugal. So it made sense to expand our existing, globally renowned team of Oracle Retail solution delivery experts in Porto by creating a complementary centre for innovation in the area,” said Webster. “We believe that innovation listens more than it speaks. Our consulting team works hand in hand with our retail customers to understand their unique challenges and needs and translate those into technology extensions that align with our broader roadmap. The Innovation and Technology Center will be critical in delivering these customer-driven enhancements to our global retail community.”
As an example, a fast-fashion retailer had wondered how a key season was performing and trading, both locally and globally. To address this need, Oracle Retail Consulting developed a simple but effective solution, called Lifecycle Inventory Planning (LIP), that extends and integrates to forecasting and planning solutions. LIP overcomes typical item/store/day parameter management by using a revolutionary method to set system parameters coupled with Machine Learning. The data science model was able to help the retailer obtain an end-of-life inventory projection based on the forecast, inventory availability and the replenishment rule setup – improving worldwide planning. This is just one of the many innovations generated by the Porto development team to date.
The Oracle Innovation and Technology Center is located in the Centro Empresarial Lionesa Business Resort, near the beautiful River Leça and the Leça do Balio Monastery, which is convenient for the airport, main highways and trains. Oracle will continue to draw talent from nearby universities specialising in Business and Information Technology from the surrounding areas.