infoTECH Feature

August 24, 2011

Convenience Store Chain Selects IBM to Collaborate in the Cloud

IBM (News - Alert) has announced that Russell's Convenience is expanding business with cloud collaboration technology from IBM. This helps the company with better integration and sharing data across its 24 convenience stores across the western US and Hawaii management teams, which will result in improved collaboration between employees, customers and partners.

Russell's Convenience Stores is owned by HJB Convenience Corporation.

IBM offers services to clients in areas like banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services.

Before IBM, Russell's management team found it tough with project management and keeping track of day-to-day business issues. IBM's LotusLive cloud helped enhance  the way its employees collaborate with each other, their licensees, vendors and partners.

AMI Partners say that small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States will spend more than $49B on cloud services in 2015, which is close to double the size of the market today. Also, according to the 2011 IBM Midmarket CIO Study, CIOs are now 50 percent more likely to make investments in cloud over the next three to five years.

With the help of IBM Business Partner Alacrinet (News - Alert) Consulting Services, Russell's licensee stores will be able to access information. They have instant access to cloud-based social networking and collaboration tools, like file storing and sharing, email and  instant messaging. Instead of searching through emails or phone calls, employees can now collaborate on the fly.

They can meet online to resolve issues, share sales goals, network with co-workers, and track projects to completion.

"IBM is helping our licensee's to operate as one business -- one that is connected, informed, and cohesive," states Raymond Huff, President, HJB Convenience Corporation, Russell's Convenience.

"We hold weekly executive staff meetings in Denver, and our licensees are now able to attend the meeting via LotusLive, versus getting a written synopsis of the high points of the staff meetings. This helps disseminate information faster and more effectively, resulting in more profits to our licensees," Huff adds.

According to IDC (News - Alert), there are some apprehensions with issues like integration, availability, security, and costs, and how IT vendors address these concerns will remain in times to come.

New LotusLive features can alleviate these concerns.

LotusLive provides more cloud-based options for collaborating, with integrated applications from business partners to improve everyday business activities. IBM is also announcing LotusLive integration with TeamPoint from FreshTL, a Business Partner to help companies publish policies and procedures more easily.

"The ability to collaborate both internally and externally in a security-rich environment is one of the clear differentiators that the IBM collaboration cloud provides," commented Bethann Cregg, vice president, IBM Collaboration Solutions. "Likewise, IBM business partner integrations such as TeamPoint can help solve specific business pain points and help clients embrace seamless collaboration across the organization."

Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend the Cloud Communications Summit, collocated with TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. The Cloud Communications Summit will address a growing need of businesses to integrate and leverage cloud based communications applications, process enhancement techniques, and network based communications interfaces and architectures. To register, click here.

Anamika Singh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anamika's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Subscribe to InfoTECH Spotlight eNews

InfoTECH Spotlight eNews delivers the latest news impacting technology in the IT industry each week. Sign up to receive FREE breaking news today!
FREE eNewsletter

infoTECH Whitepapers