Retail majors bet big on business intelligence

Written by Mona Mehta | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 14 2009, 07:23am hrs
Branded retail giants in the Rs 40,000-crore organised retail sector are betting big on adopting business intelligence (BI) software as a service (SAAS) model on monthly rent basis.

With the move, the retailers plan to discontinue expensive software licences such as SAP, Oracle and Business Object. This is to counter a major challenge on how to save the time and cost in implementing BI solutions as a cost-effective measure, according to retailers and industry experts.

Sunil Mehta, chief executive officer, Next Retail India Ltd from the belt of Videocon Industries Ltd said , We first need to study the if SAAS is really effective. We may plan to implement SAAS model for our 430 Next consumer durable retail stores and save 40% costs on business intelligence software licence in the near future.

Meanwhile, the Essar Groups telecom retailing company, The MobileStore, lugguage majorSamsonite India, Gini & Jony with 550 stores in India , Victorinox and Chennai-based Tally company certain retailers in India are likely to join the SAAS model bandwagon and thus save on their business intelligence software costs.

Niraj Jaipuria, directorproduct engineering, BIRetail told FE, A SAAS model is available at monthly rentals, which start from Rs 5,000 onwards, instead of incurring $1 mn for licensed software. Also, typical BI implementations can take 6 to 12 months to go live. But SAAS model reduces the cycle to as low as 4 weeks. To counter the price-barrier for adoption of BI solutions, BIRetail has deployed their software in the SAAS model.

BIRetail, which has its headquarters in London and an implementer of SAAS model in the US , has recently set up its office in Bangalore . BIRetail is a licence-free interactive analytical tool compatible with any point of sale software, which enables retailers exercise better control over their back-end and front-end operations.

Globally, the new SAAS trend is in sync with the ongoing global trend where the demand for licence-free SAAS model in US and Europe is growing at a rate of 35% to 40%. Looking at the global scenario, private equity (PE) players are all set to invest 75% of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 crore in SAAS models worldwide including Singapore, HongKong, India, US, Europe and the Middle-East in the next two years, say industry experts.