In the Spotlight: Technology

Bluebeam Software’s James Chambers was one of the tech boot camp speakers.

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Technology is no longer the sole province of “IT geeks,” or even marketers and finance executives — it is also now a focal point of such operational departments as store planning, energy management, construction management and real estate.

In recognition of the huge impact technology is having on store operations, SPECS 2014 held a series of hands-on tech boot camps, with the first one devoted to design, development and facilities, the second to operational technology, and the third to social media trends and tools.

Fujitsu provided attendees the use of Stylistic hybrid tablet computers, allowing them to interactively participate in the solution demonstrations. The company’s VP global retail software solutions, Rowan Cape, demonstrated Fujitsu’s tablet-based POS system.

Other sessions included Bryan Sartin, director of the RISK team at Verizon, who emphasized that data security is everyone’s business, including departments such as maintenance and energy management that don’t typically interact with sensitive customer data. Given that the infamous Target data breach originated with a cyberattack on a third-party HVAC vendor, the message was timely.

In addition, Patrick Blattner, chief product data officer of WirelessWerx, showed attendees the iInside indoor location services “footprint tracking” solution that monitors in-store traffic via customer mobile device. Todd Walls, CIO, Buxton, demonstrated how Buxton’s SCOUT touch solution provides demographic analysis for targeted store siting.

Other speakers included James Chambers, East Coast regional manager of Bluebeam Software, who walked attendees through the features of the interactive Bluebeam Revu PDF editing, marketing and collaboration technology.

Brian Lutz, marketing services manager of CBL & Associates Properties, helped attendees set up live Twitter accounts and experience the power of social media communications first-hand.