- Expanding its retail automation and customer engagement hardware offerings to include a more diversified range of software solutions, both for customer- and employee-facing applications
- Broadening its services portfolio to include additional professional/integration and managed services options
- Solidifying its status as a go-to vendor for end-to-end solutions that meet the specific, unique requirements of retail end users
We view the Retalix acquisition as a well-advised strategic move that furthers NCR’s diversification into the enterprise software market. While it has historically been known for high-end customer engagement and retail automation hardware (in addition to kiosks, ATMs, etc.), during the past 18 months, NCR has made a concerted effort to broaden its software portfolios—especially those geared towards retail and hospitality end users—via strategic acquisition and organic development.
For example, in August 2011, NCR acquired Radiant Systems, a specialized provider of hospitality POS software and solutions, for approximately $1.2 billion. The addition of Radiant materially strengthened NCR’s competitive position within hospitality, where the company had historically been weak relative to its status as a retail leader. In retail, the company recently launched its NCR Silver product—which enables merchants to integrate POS-enabled iPads, iPhones and iPod touches with stationary POS terminals—to address the rapidly growing demand for consumer-grade mobile device use in the enterprise. While Silver is geared towards SMBs, we expect the Retalix solutions that will soon be part of the NCR portfolio will appeal to a broader range of retailers, including Tier 1 leaders like Home Depot and Walmart, where the company has a well-established installed base.
Furthermore, we believe NCR’s efforts to diversify its software and service capabilities are indicative of a broader interest among end users (merchants and hospitality operators especially) to leverage technology platforms for a set of applications well beyond those with which they are traditionally associated. In the context of POS systems, for example, requirements now often include applications besides typical sales and payment functions. In hospitality, operators also need to accept/administer loyalty programs, manage digital menu boards, accept mobile payments/coupons and potentially support a range of back-of-house functions as well. Retail has similarly diverse requirements—and the acquisition of Retalix will enable NCR to meet these needs more consistently across a broader range of merchants.
The growing importance of specialized merchant/hospitality solutions is a topic we will explore further our upcoming MCET research—contact us for details.