Recent Blog Posts

How Nebraska Furniture Mart Builds Customer-Centric Service

Nebraska Furniture Mart.jpgThe retail landscape is more competitive than ever. And it’s crucial to keep finding new ways to engage customers and meet their needs so they’ll keep coming back. For Nebraska Furniture Mart, one of the keys was to equip sales associates with versatile mobile devices that can let them present product information, check inventory, and even complete transactionsall without having to leave the customer.


A few years ago, the store ran a pilot with handheld devices that could let sales associates scan product codes and provide pricing and inventory information from the floor. But the devices couldn’t help complete the sale, so they were scrapped.


The tablet picture has changed over the last few years, with better screen size and touch capabilities, so Nebraska Furniture Mart decided the time was right to look for a new solution that could handle the sales process from A to Z. They needed devices the sales team could use to not only scan barcodes inventory information, but also to process credit card transactions. Long battery life was also essential, since the salespeople can’t stop to recharge in the middle of a shift.


After evaluating a number of device types and models, Nebraska Furniture Mart chose the Windows 8.1-based HP ElitePad tablet , which offers a familiar, touch-based interface plus a variety of retail-specific products including a strap for holding the tablet, an additional battery, an integrated scanner, and a card reader. The tablets include Intel® Atom™ processors, which provide the performance to support graphics-intensive functions and the energy efficiency to extend battery life over a full work shift.


The sales team’s productivity is up now that associates have the tools they need to move around the store with customers. They go from initial inquiries to processing salesall without leaving customers alone in the store or forcing them to stand in line for a cashier. With this new, improved customer experience, Nebraska Furniture Mart is looking forward to boosting both sales and customer loyalty.


You can take a look at the Nebraska Furniture Mart’s solution here or read more about it here. To explore more technology success stories, visit or follow us on Twitter.

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Building Citizen-Centric Government with Mobile Devices

Michigan.jpgIf you’re a government agency anywhere in the world these days, you need to find ways to do more with less. And for the state of Michigan, one big challenge was to make the government better meet the needs of 9.9 million citizens while saving the state money.


Technology was the key.


With a goal of delivering citizen-centric services, the state launched a pilot to give government employeesin different jobs across multiple agenciesa variety of new mobile devices that can deliver a full range of functions. Mobility was key, because it would let government employees interact with citizens anywhere, saving a lot of time and duplication of effort. Versatility was another top priority, because employees wanted one device that could perform many functions instead of having to switch devices to get their work done. Having one device do multiple jobs would also save the state a lot of money.


As it kicked off the process of choosing the devices, Michigan decided to go with the Windows 8.1 Enterprise operating system to let users have access to the widest possible variety of applications to get their jobs done. The new devices include tablets and 2 in 1 Ultrabook™ systems—all with Intel® Core™ processors, which deliver the performance for enterprise-grade applications while helping improve energy efficiency with long battery life and rapid recharging.


Now the state’s agencies have the flexibility to select from several device types while cutting the number of devices employees needwhether they’re providing health and human services in a citizen’s home, making a traffic stop in a police cruiser, or inspecting a dairy farm. Plus, the state’s IT department can now manage a large number and variety of devices through a single enterprise management platform.


You can take a look at the state of Michigan’s solution here or read more about it here. To explore more technology success stories, visit


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World’s first 32 Node All Flash Virtual SAN with NVMe


If you’ve wondered how many virtual machines (VMs) you can deploy in a single rack, or thought how you can scale VMs across an entire enterprise then you may be interested to know what Intel and VMware are doing. While not all enterprises have the same level of scale, there’s no doubt that technology around hyper-converged storage is changing. What you may not realize, though, is there are changes in the way servers and storage are being used that impact scale to the needs of medium and large enterprises.

Virtualization and the Storage Bottleneck

Many enterprises have turned to virtualized applications as a way to cost-effectively deploy services to end users; delivering email, managing data bases, and performing analytical analysis on big data sets are just some examples. Using virtualization software, such as that from VMware, enterprises can lower IT cost of ownership by enabling increased virtual machine scalability and optimizing platform utilization. But as with any technology or operational change, there are often implementation and scaling challenges. In the case of virtualized environments, storage bottlenecks can cause performance problems, resulting in poor scaling and inefficiencies.


All Flash Team Effort

The bottleneck challenge involves scaling the adoption of virtual machines and its infrastructure, all while providing good user performance. Such problems are not just faced by larger enterprise IT shops, but small to medium business as well. Intel and VMware teamed together to deliver a robust, scalable All Flash Virtual SAN architecture.


Using a combination of the latest Intel® Xeon® processors, Intel® Solid State Drives (SSDs), and VMware Virtual SAN, SMB to large enterprise customers are now able to roll out an All Flash Virtual SAN solution that not only provides a scalable infrastructure, but also blazing performance and cost efficiency.


Technical Details – Learn More

The world’s first 32 node All Flash Virtual SAN using the latest NVMe technology will be displayed and discussed in depth during EMC World in Las Vegas May 4-7. The all flash Virtual SAN is built-up with 64 Intel® Xeon® E5-2699 v3 processors each with an Intel® SSD DC P3700 Series NVMe cache flash drive fronting 128 of Intel’s follow-on 1.6TB data center SSDs. With over 50 terabytes of cache and 200 terabytes of data storage, this design will surely impress the curious IT professional by hosting 3200 VM’s and offering performance of 3.25 million random read IOPS with 23 gigabytes per second of throughput.


Chuck Brown, Ken LeTourneau, and John Hubbard of Intel will join VMware experts to showcase this impressive 32Node All Flash Virtual SAN on Tuesday, May 5 and Wednesday May 6 from 11:30-5:30pm each day in the Solutions Expo, VMware Booth #331. Be sure to stop by and speak to the experts and learn how to design an enterprise scale, all flash Virtual SAN storage.

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Jabil and Intel Collaborate on Blue Sky Center for IoT Innovation in Silicon Valley

The rapid growth of the Internet of Things wouldn’t be possible without innovative collaboration among ecosystem partners. In this guest blog post, Joanne Moretti, vice president of sales enablement & marketing, Jabil, shares some exciting news about the opening of … Read more >

The post Jabil and Intel Collaborate on Blue Sky Center for IoT Innovation in Silicon Valley appeared first on IoT@Intel.

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Intel at SAP SAPPHIRE NOW: Plan Your Schedule

Get ready: SAP SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG (America’s SAP Users’ Group) Annual Conference comes to Orlando on May 5–7.


This is SAP’s premier annual event: an estimated 25,000 people will attend and an additional 80,000 will tune in online. Per usual, the agenda is packed with keynotes, presentations, technical sessions, and demos. It’s a chance for SAP customers to meet with SAP experts and industry partners to learn the latest about mobile, on-demand, and in-memory computing.


Intel will be there too, adding to the festivities by hosting sessions, tech talks and demos—and sharing some innovations of its own.


I encourage you to join these technical sessions presented by Intel experts.

  • Microforum Discussion: Co-Innovation on the SAP HANA Platform with Intel and SAP (Noon-12:45 p.m., Tues, May 5, room: LB227). New transaction functionality will be at the performance forefront with the latest Intel®®. Learn how SAP HANA* uses new Intel® technologies to enhance performance for increased scalability, security, performance, and lower cost of ownership.
  • Co-Innovation for the Data-Driven World (11am-Noon, Tues., May 5, Lenovo Booth #254). Come meet me in the Lenovo booth! I’ll discuss how Lenovo and Intel have worked together to create a high performance platform optimized for SAP solutions that helps get the most out of data for better business decisions.

Intel experts will also give presentations in partner booths as part of our Intel Partner Passport program. Pick up your passport and make the rounds of our partners’ booths to learn how Intel helped co-engineer the latest platforms based on the Intel Xeon processor E7 family to help gain top performance, scalability and security for a range of partner solutions. Present your completed passport with scans from each of partners to win a rechargeable Beam Flashlight Power Bank* and to be entered into a daily drawing for a new Lenovo* tablet (must be present to win).

  • Cisco booth #330: Noon, Tues., May 5 and 12:30 p.m. Thurs., May 7
  • Cloudera booth # 438: Stop by anytime to see demos
  • Dell booth #218: 2:30 p.m., Wed., May 6
  • Fujitsu booth #140: 11 a.m., Wed., May 6
  • Hitachi Data Systems booth #228: 2 p.m. Tues., May 5 and 1 p.m. Wed., May 6
  • HP booth #302: 1 p.m., Wed., May 6
  • Lenovo booth #254: 11 a.m. Tues., May 5 and 11 a.m. Wed., May 6
  • SGI booth #168: Stop by anytime to see demos
  • Virtustream booth #413: 3 p.m. Wed., May 6
  • VMware booth #272: 5 p.m. Wed., May 5


Be sure to stop by the Intel booth (#260) to check out tech talks by Intel partners such as VMware, Fujitsu, SGI, Dell, NEC, Cisco, Cloudera, AWS, Unisys, HP, and Lenovo, who will reveal how they incorporate the new capabilities of the latest Intel Xeon processors to boost performance and accelerate time to insight.


And speaking of partners, Intel is honored to accept two SAP Pinnacle Awards, which recognize commitment by an SAP partner to a joint strategy that delivers unmatched value to customers. Intel came out on top in two separate categories: Platform Co-Innovation Partner of the Year, and Marketing Momentum Partner of the Year. Intel is proud of the recognition, and we look forward to continuing our long collaboration with SAP. Additionally, we are co-sponsoring Tuesday night’s SAP HANA Innovation Award ceremony.

In the meantime, watch these two fun animations learn how to “simplify” and “accelerate” your data analytics experience with Intel and SAP.


Follow me at @TimIntel and #TechTim for the latest news on Intel and SAP.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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It’s a Matter of Trust

A lot of news over the past twelve to fifteen months about data security in retail.


Most of it quite unpleasant for retailers.


And not just because of the expensive, short-term damage — which can include make-good services to affected consumers, board-requested independent investigations and the cost of system upgrades — but because of the oft-hidden, long-term damages.


Data breaches invite shoppers to shop elsewhere. And data breaches damage trust in a brand — which will lead shoppers to share less and less personal data.

Witness the impact, per recent primary research studies:

  • Forty-five percent of shoppers have changed where they shop as a result of a data breach.1
  • Nearly thirty percent of global shoppers are deeply mistrustful of retailer notice, choice and control on personal data use.1
  • Over fifty percent of digital shoppers are reluctant to share social media data with retailers.1
  • In 2013, retail was the industry least trusted by consumers to protect personal data.2


Little needs to be said about the impact of customer loss — especially in an age when customer acquisition is increasingly difficult and expensive.



More needs to be said about the impact of loss of trust in a brand.


A loss of trust will lead to a reluctance to share information with a brand. Information that might be about likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests, favorite brands or perfect sizes. Information about birthdays and anniversaries. About family. Information that can lead to personalized service. Which can then lead to a greater bond between brand and shopper. Which leads to a greater lifetime value.


The oxygen of tomorrow’s retail will be information. Data breaches gradually choke that off, pressing a harsh thumb onto the windpipe of a retail brand.


Cybercrime in retail is a growing issue, and it’s not going to go away. In the second quarter of 2014 alone, over 176 million customer data records were stolen — 83 percent of them from retailers.3


Eighty percent of malicious attackers now are part of organized groups.4 In 2014, ninety-five percent of all enterprise networks were compromised to some degree.5 As the survey results above clearly show, the impact of these breaches is significant, immediate and long-lasting.


To meet this challenge and earn consumer trust, retailers must extend their efforts in data security beyond Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.


What will data security look like going forward?


We at Intel view enterprise architecture as serious business — a critical strategic capability that must include security at the silicon and software levels. We’re working with our partners to develop solutions that deliver a high level of security from a transaction’s start to finish. In October 2014, we introduced Intel® Data Protection Technology for Transactions, developed in collaboration with NCR*. The industry’s first solution to provide end-to-end encryption of consumer and financial data that is built into the point of sale (POS) platforms, it’s just one of the initiatives we’re working on right now.


Shoppers and retailers need solutions that help keep data out of the wrong hands.


For short- and long-term reasons.


Can your current architecture deliver? This is a focal point for us in 2015.


For more detail on our strategic vision, check back in this space in the coming weeks.


Jon Stine
Global Director, Retail Sales

Intel Corporation


1 Merkle-Intel Primary Research: Digital Shopper Behavior, November 2014.

2 Cisco Consulting Services, 2014.

3 “375 Million Customer Data Records Compromised in 2014 – Retail Industry Hit Hardest.” SafeNet News, 30 Jul. 2014. Web. March 2015.

4 Ponemon Institute and IBM, 2014.

5 Kleiner Perkins, May 2014.


Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.


* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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Giving Customers a Reason to Trust Digital Banking

There’s some amazing innovation happening in the financial services industry right now. From new mobile banking initiatives to peer-to-peer lending options, the landscape is changing fast. But fears about security continue to hover like a dark cloud. In my previous blog, I talked about how cybersecurity remains a massive threat, with an estimated $400 billion lost to cybercrime each year. And with the majority of customers accessing their bank through digital channels, security is a huge and growing concern.


Security and Convenience Are at the Heart of Trust


More than ever, financial institutions need to build trust and address the identity concerns of their customers. Building trust is about more than security — it’s also about the convenience of the overall experience. To truly provide a secure and frictionless digital banking experience, financial institutions want to offer strong authentication and convenient transaction authorization, so customers can perform transactions quickly and securely.



At Intel, we are helping our customers through the use of Intel Identity Protection Technology (IPT). Intel IPT is a hardware-based identity technology that embeds identity management directly into the customer’s device. With Intel IPT, banks issue a secure token that is stored in the security engine of a device’s Intel processor. For each banking service accessed, the bank generates and verifies a unique, one-time password, eliminating the need to verify identity using multiple factors for each premium service. Banks can also check the user’s presence through password verification.


Intel IPT Gains Traction in Turkey


Intel IPT has had success in Turkey, which is fast becoming a center of excellence in terms of innovative technology. Specifically, the country’s two largest banks have built their digital banking platform on top of Intel IPT and other technologies. Let’s take a closer look at how those banks are using Intel IPT to strengthen security for online and mobile banking.




The first bank in the world to use Intel IPT on a mobile banking application, Isbank now has more than 1 million mobile customers. Like all financial institutions in Turkey, Isbank must comply with banking regulations that require the use of two-factor authentication. By using Intel IPT, Isbank customers don’t need to enter the OTPs being sent by SMS or generated by hard/soft token generators to use each banking service. Additionally, the bank can verify users’ mobile devices through the hardware-based Intel IPT solution, which supports 2,000 different mobile phone models and all operating systems. To date, the bank has reported more than 30,000 Intel IPT users, a number that continues to grow by the day.


Garanti Bank


Garanti Bank has deployed Intel IPT into its transaction processes, combining the technology with a cloud-based authentication solution. To use the solution, Garanti customers download an applet from the bank’s website. The applet, which runs on Ultrabook laptops or other mobile devices, activates the cloud service and creates a unique secret code on the Intel processor using IPT. The code facilitates a safe connection to the bank’s Internet banking service every time a customer logs on from their device.


Trust-Banking.jpgFor both banks, the benefits of Intel IPT are clear: they can protect their customers’ identities with authentication deeply embedded in hardware, while also giving those customers a user-friendly way to do their banking. In short, Isbank and Garanti are using their solutions to build trust. Having strengthened its image as an innovator in its customers’ minds, Isbank is already planning to use identity and access management technologies from Intel for its mobile payments website, as well as additional cloud banking applications.


Intel IPT is just one part of our overall security roadmap. Our vision includes the integration of secure biometric techniques to further improve end-to-end identity protection solutions across all platforms, from the client to the cloud. By integrating identity and access management directly into hardware and software, we’re helping ensure our partners can provide the most trusted and convenient experiences possible for their customers.


To continue the conversation, let’s connect on Twitter.


Mike Blalock

Global Sales Director

Financial Services Industry, Intel


This is the sixth installment of the Tech & Finance blog series.

Click here to view: blog #7

To view more posts within the series click here: Tech & Finance Series

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