RBTE – Europe's largest end-to-end retail solutions show – is approaching quickly, and this year's event is promising to showcase the technology and systems from companies both new and established.
Regular exhibitors such as Honeywell, Manhattan Associates, Star Micronics and Verifone will again be highlighting their latest wares to the thousands of retailers walking the aisles, but this year's event – on 8-9 May 2017 – will see some first-time exhibitors bring a point of difference to the proceedings.
Access to new technology and finding out about the systems which are fresh to market are key criteria for the retail teams attending RBTE each year, according to the event's steering committee of leading retail professionals.
At a recent meeting to help shape the agenda for RBTE 2017, representatives from the likes of Asda, House of Fraser, John Lewis and Waitrose suggested that, aside from being a suitable place for networking and hearing news from their peers, RBTE is a go-to destination for seeking out the latest technology and innovations set to shake up their industry.
We have picked out a selection of exhibitors, appearing on the RBTE expo floor for the first time in 2017. Look out for them at London's Olympia between 8-9 May.
Payments processor Elavon Merchant Services, which will be located on stand 920, supplies its technology to a range of businesses worldwide, including Fulham Football Club, Hard Rock Café and fashion chain, Joy, in the UK.
In addition to operating in the retail space, Elavon has a significant presence in the airline, hospitality, restaurant and heathcare sectors.
UK-based voice, data and mobile products and services supplier, Gamma, will be found on stand 511.
The company supplies a range of communication tools to businesses and organisations of all sizes through a network of channel partners and directly.
Products offered by the company include fixed telephony, IP telephony, hosted phone systems, broadband and data connections, mobile services, security and unified communications solutions.
Logility, a company that RBTE visitors will be able to meet at stand 121, is a supply chain management and retail planning solutions provider. L'Oreal, Pandora and Ralph Lauren are counted among its customer base.
Jonathan Jackman, vice president for Logility EMEA, told Essential Retail that dealing with omnichannel will continue to be a key challenge for the retail industry in 2017.
"Consumers want a consistent experience regardless of time or place of purchase," he added.
"However, many retailers today have siloed merchandising and supply chain processes fostering a disconnected experience across each channel. What is required is an integrated platform that creates a flexible and responsive supply chain.
"Logility works with retailers around the world to provide an integrated technology platform that creates a cohesive planning process from merchandise, assortment and replenishment planning through to demand, inventory, supply and transportation planning."
RBTE's exhibition space has always been strong in terms of its payments proposition, but a new arrival in 2017 is PaymentSense, which offers a range of products and services around card machines, online payments and other related solutions. You'll be able to visit representatives from the business on stand 497.
ERP, accounting and business software provider Sapphire Systems will be located on stand 796. The company offers a range of solutions, including products and systems from SAP and Infor as part of its Gold Partner status with those two organisations.
Highlighting the Sapphire retail proposition, sales manager Paul Rodgers told Essential Retail: "An established global provider of industry-specific cloud and on-premise business and financial management software, Sapphire Systems has the in-house technical expertise and bespoke solutions to meet the challenges retail and fashion companies face.
"Our retail industry solutions provide complete visibility across your entire business and offer functionality to support areas such as, automating stock and purchasing replenishment, end-to-end product life-cycle management, business intelligence, CRM, season planning, and superior reporting and analysis."
Social media analytics software company Sysomos will be showcasing its offering at stand 1610.
Lance Concannon, marketing director for Europe at Sysomos, said his business helps retailers use social media to boost sales, improve the customer experience, and understand their markets better.
"Our tools enable businesses to manage large-scale social media channels more effectively, ensuring that they are consistently updated with fresh content, and that enquiries or complaints are responded to quickly and effectively," he explained to Essential Retail.
"Sysomos also provides retail marketers with social data analytics tools that provide actionable insights about their customers' wants and needs as well as what they think about their brands."
Sysomos customers include US-based Target and Tiffany & Co, as well as UK department store chain, John Lewis.
"We've been around since 2007 and have a deep understanding of how large organisations use social media, so our tools are designed to help retailers get the best return on investment from their investment in social."
Enterprise grade security solutions provider Watchguard will be exhibiting at stand 1401. The US-based organisation offers a range of firewall, data loss prevention, network and cybersecurity solutions, which are particularly pertinent in light of recent high profile corporate security breaches around the globe.
In August 2016, Watchguard was positioned in the 'Visionaries' quadrant of Gartner's Magic Quadrant for the Unified Threat Management market, validating the group's work in the security space.
Retail technology in the spotlight
Confirmed RBTE exhibitors continue to feature on the pages of Essential Retail as part of the regular 'Spotlight' series, which is scheduled to run in the build-up to the May expo. Readers may have spotted recent coverage on two first-time exhibitors: point of sale applications provider, CES Software, and queue management systems business, Qmatic.
Sven-Olof Husmark, vice president & chief marketing officer of Qmatic, commented: "With operations in 100 countries Qmatic is a global leader in customer journey technology and insight for a seamless and personal experience."
Ramesh Patel, director at CES, said: "RBTE has become a well-known and successful exhibition within our industry and we hope to generate new leads from exhibiting.
"This will give us a chance to demonstrate our products, put them on display, network with existing and upcoming suppliers and meet with potential customers."