The JD Group Chooses Microsoft over Linux for Next-Generation Point-of-Sale
Innovative retailers are making use of a new generation of Point-of-Sale (POS) technologies. They offer a full range of payments functionality, combined with applications that improve access to real-time information stored in back-end systems. These technologies empower employees to provide better, more timely information for customers. In addition, they enable real-time reporting on performance and greater visibility of stock as it flows through the supply chain.
As the leading furniture retailer in South Africa, the JD Group strives to provide consistently high levels of customer service in-store. The company operates 1,000 stores across South Africa, 22 in Poland, and five in the UK.
The JD Group has traditionally operated its in-store systems using dumb terminals. Its IT infrastructure was complicated further when the company acquired furniture retailer, Profurn, which operated its in-store devices based on the Linux operating system. As a result, the company wanted to upgrade and standardise its in-store devices to simplify maintenance and increase efficiency across the organisation.
With Linux already in place at Profurn, the JD Group investigated the option of standardising on the operating system across all its 1,000 stores. Instead, after in-depth research and testing, the company decided to implement the Microsoft® Windows® XP embedded operating system. This is because it was found to be more cost effective, feature-rich, and well supported.
The JD Group deployed Microsoft Windows XP Embedded operating system, running on Dell OptiPlex SX260 computers across its 1,000 stores. Microsoft and Dell worked closely to ensure a fast, effective deployment with minimum impact on the JD Group's operations.
Jonathan Simpson, Sales Manager: Large Corporate Accounts at Dell South Africa says: "There is a close and longstanding relationship between Dell and Microsoft. By working closely with the JD Group, we were able to establish the hardware requirements for the project and collaborate with Microsoft to ensure the roll out of Windows XP Embedded was fast and effective."
Because of the componentised model of Windows XP Embedded, the JD Group was able to tailor the operating system to its specific requirements. The company can now potentially run all its POS functions on one device, significantly reducing the cost of operating the branch environment.
Windows XP Embedded reduces the burden on the IT team by enabling a central administrator to handle any application deployments, upgrades or other system changes. Jonathan Hatchuel, Technical Sales Manager at Microsoft says: "The main attraction for the JD Group was remote management. Previously, if a machine went down, the company would call a technician, who would service the device at the store. This was costing the company thousands of Rands a year."
In addition, central...