16th October 2017

By Martin Howarth, Retail Sector Development at GCI

I have posted blogs previously around some of the key areas that appear to be driving the agenda in the Retail market. Many of these have consequences for the IT departments, in having them deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions to meet the aspirations of the business. One of the areas being talked about a lot is AI, in the Contact Centre environment, supply chain and in enhancing the in-store experience.

I think we are moving in to a new phase of the use of Artificial Intelligence. It used to be seen that AI would be used to carry out mundane “non-thought” based processes whereas now, with advancements in programming and speech analytics, there appears to be little to stop the move into cognitive complex interactions and task fulfilment. Imagine, a shop worker who knows the price and stock level for everything at an instant, can advise on alternatives or accessories, is aware of all offers and can do this in 100 different languages without so much as a cigarette break.

I am pleased to see that AI will be one of the main topics at this year’s Microsoft Future Decoded event (31st October and 1st November at ExCeL in London). Of course, other relevant topics will be covered at the event from Security and Cloud to Collaboration – making it a well worth visit for anybody involved in delivering solutions in the Retail industry. Microsoft Gold Partner GCI will be there again as Headline Sponsor, and this year we have recruited a formidable new member of staff to keep better control of the stand – come and see us to find out who!

Click here to get your free ticket if you haven’t already registered – we look forward to seeing you there.


Martin Howarth is responsible for Retail Sector Development at GCI.

He has worked across a number of verticals, holding extensive experience in Networks, IT Services, Managed Applications, Security, Data Centres and Cloud Services. As well as having an established Sales career, Martin also holds a degree in Engineering from Coventry University.