We’ve all learned about the advantages of software-defined infrastructure. We don’t think twice about network or desktop virtualization.

But what about using software to define and remotely manage store infrastructure and applications? Think about the rise of pop-up stores or the rapid proliferation of store banners as retailers shapeshift in anticipation of customer trends.

The Retail Apps Deployment Puzzle

Applications such as point-of-sale (POS), commerce, and order management must work together to better serve connected customers. Some, like commerce or order management, might run in the cloud. Point-of-sale usually runs on each store’s local hardware, tied to in-store devices and peripherals such as scanners, cash drawers, and card readers. It needs local configuration and management; that can be costly and inflexible.

Software-Defined Stores Are The Platform For Retail Innovation

That’s why retail infrastructure and store operations teams struggle to manage store devices and applications across a growing range of formats, banners, joint ventures, and pop-ups.

Readers in the Northeast US will know that Wawa continually reinvents its fuel convenience offer.

CIO John Collier describes here how his software-defined store platform supports agile innovation.

POS-managed service is more common in Europe, but Wawa shows that software-defined stores can work in the US, too. Please let me know what you think.