'Future Ready'

Retalix users' conference prepares attendees for tech evolution

DALLAS -- “Redefine possible” was the theme for attendees at the annual Retalix software solutions users’ conference, fed by the idea that attendees would learn how to redefine their approaches, expectations and business results.

Retalix’s annual customer conference and expo, “Synergy 2011,” was held Nov. 6 through 9 in Dallas, with organizers noting attendance was up over 10%. Technology professionals came from a dozen countries to learn more about Plano, Texas-based Retalix and partner products, redefine their business results and network with other industry professionals.

During informational sessions, Todd Michaud, executive vice president of sales, offered insights as to how Retalix is making retailers “future-ready;” Oren Betzaleli, executive vice president and head of products and marketing, talked about the Retalix 10 Store Suite and its use across multiple touch-points, particularly its new mobile advancements; and John Taylor, executive vice president and SCM general manager, discussed Retalix’s product and organizational evolution in the supply-chain space.

The conference featured 155 educational sessions and keynote speakers such as Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger of “Miracle on the Hudson” acclaim, Paul DePodesta, baseball innovator and subject of the current movie “Moneyball,” and mentalist Lior Suchard, who entertained the audience with mind-reading and telekinesis demonstrations.

Retalix CEO Shuky Sheffer opened the conference with an overview of Retalix’s progress in 2011, citing advancements made by the new Retalix 10 Store Suite, the addition of systems-integration services available to customers, continued product expansion into the “cloud” (or off-premise computer services), and transformed and modernized supply-chain offerings. “We have streamlined and shaped our company as a customer-centric organization,” he said.

In Monday’s keynote, Sullenberger recounted landing US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River in January of 2009 and spoke about preparation and teamwork, plus the need to adapt and change to survive. “The more and sooner you change, the more competitive you’ll be,” said Sullenberger.  He also mentioned an amusing moment when the plane came to rest, turning to first officer Jeff Skiles and both of them saying, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be!”

Tuesday’s keynote, DePodesta, talked about his time as Billy Beane’s right-hand man with baseball’s Oakland A’s in 2002, chronicled in the best-selling book and current hit movie “Moneyball.” DePodesta said asking the right questions and overhauling--rather than merely tweaking--the thought processes behind an outdated organization is “essential for innovation and success.”

Segment sessions featured Gartner research director Mim Burt, Indian River consultant Steve Deist and interesting case studies from Morrisons’ Gary Barr, Lipari Foods’ Thom Lipari and Vocollect co-founder Roger Byford. A highlight was the retail panel discussion, with executives from Target, Tesco, Morrisons, QuickChek and Sunflower discussing best practices on everything from changing customer needs to the use of social media.

Dates for Retalix Synergy 2012 were also announced as Nov. 4 through 7 in Dallas.