Cloud Technology Saves An Industry That Plays By The Book

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Cloud technology gives a boost in a struggling industry

“Barnes & Noble is in trouble,” a headline in The Washington Post stated last week, “but bookstores aren’t doomed just yet.”

Nebraska Book Company uses cloud technology to successfully swim against the current of failing bookstores.

Strategies for saving the New York-based bookseller range from concentrating on its 674 profitable stores to jettisoning its Nook program and taking the retail operation private, The Post reported. Whatever Barnes & Noble does, it’s clear that the current business model is broken.

The same could be said for brick-and-mortar bookstores worldwide. Schemes to rescue the industry include transforming bookstores into cultural destinations, charging admission and selling museum-style memberships, according to The Economist last week.

At least one bookseller seems to have found a functioning model. Nebraska Book Company has been able to streamline its business by taking a page from SAP’s book, especially its cloud-based sales application.

Every Trick In The Book

“We picked up SAP Sales OnDemand with the key intent of being more collaborative,” Mike Kelly, senior VP for NBC, told SAP TV. “The first thing we wanted to do was give our [sales] reps a way to communicate with each other without using e-mail.”

Sales OnDemand is a social network-style collaborative solution with a familiar user interface. It helps people:
■Communicate efficiently
■Harness collective sales network knowledge
■Stay abreast of opportunities in real-time

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