HP Picks Up Convenience Contracts

HP has signed a pair of million dollar technology
contracts, one with national convenience retailer 7-Eleven
and the other with Publix Super Markets, the company said Friday.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker said its
five-year, $55 million contract with 7-Eleven includes servers, storage,
networks and printers at some 5,300 U.S. locations. The partnership also
means installing HP’s Adaptive Enterprise software as well as initiating a
maintenance contract from HP Services.

7-Eleven said the goal is to improve service for its six million daily
customers. As part of the contract, each 7-Eleven store in the United States
will have a dual-processor HP ProLiant ML330 server running Microsoft
Windows Advanced Server 2003 to let managers make store-level decisions and
customize inventory.

“HP technology helps us to differentiate ourselves from other retailers
in the way we run our stores, select and distribute products, work with
suppliers, serve customers and communicate to our key stakeholders,” said Keith
Morrow, 7-Eleven’s chief information officer.

The convenience story chain also said it recently rolled out a ProCurve
Networking Switch 2524 in each of the 5,300 stores, creating a standardized
network.

The new technology supports 7-Eleven’s Retail Information System (RIS),
streamlining its product traffic management process and allowing store
operators to use in-store computers to re-order best-selling inventory and
remove slow-moving items from store shelves. A typical 7-Eleven store,
carrying about 2,500 different items, can now better tailor its inventory to
meet customer demand.

“Hot dogs, taquitos, bottled water and soft drinks are popular items sold
in our store, while energy drinks, and health and beauty products are not,”
said Walter Rust, a 7-Eleven franchisee, whose store outside of St. Louis
caters to construction workers and nearby residents. “Having this technology
assures that we stock the inventory my customers frequently ask for. With my
new system, I’m not spending as much time pulling sales data, and I can be
more innovative in the way I merchandize on an item-by-item basis.”

Similarly, HP’s contract with Publix Super Markets includes installing
some 16,000 HP rp5000 point-of-sale devices and 2,000 HP ProLiant servers,
to help streamline the company’s store operations.

The servers running Chain Track software will be used for Publix’s
in-store processing, including pricing and inventory functions. The company
said it also selected HP ProLiant servers to support expanding pharmacy
operations. In addition, HP said it will continue to provide notebooks,
desktop PCs, monitors and servers for a variety of corporate uses.

Currently the chain supports 800-plus supermarket stores in Florida,
Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

“As we keep pace with rapid growth, it’s an absolute requirement that we
deploy technology that is flexible and cost-effective to respond to constant
changes in our highly competitive business, and at the same time reduce IT
costs and complexity for store operations, ultimately improving services for
our customers,” Danny Risener, chief information officer, Publix said in a
statement.

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