After the successful completion of the Smart Store project, LG CNS is now starting to promote the project among retail customers. In the second half of 2012, LG CNS selected experts from various departments and started the Windows 8 App Acceleration Program
in time for the release of Windows 8, as a means to develop a new market. As the first fruit of this program, it showcased the Smart Store service. The Smart Store service involves using the app installed on Windows 8 tablets that are displayed in stores for
providing customers with customized information. The Smart Store app not only provides people visiting the store with information on various promotional events and products, through Windows 8 tablets, but customers can also use the built-in camera on the tablet
to take their own picture to have products recommended to them. In addition, customers can upload their pictures to Facebook or Twitter to share with their friends. Through the progress of this Smart Store project, LG CNS witnessed that Windows 8 is more business-friendly
than any other platform in terms of implementation and maintenance.
||The Windows 8 app provides a new user experience without the barrier between PC, tablet and mobile device. LG CNS will keep discovering many more opportunities for new user experiences at the consumer contact point using Windows 8.
| SooCheol Kang
LG CNS is seeking a new opportunity for growth with Windows 8. As it is now time to prepare for a new market with Windows 8 apps, LG CNS is laying the foundations to be a forerunner. The first thing it did was to select experts from various departments and
have them participate in the Windows 8 App Acceleration Program. LG CNS promptly form an elite group of experts because the company knew that a huge market was emerging.
With the acceleration of the consumer IT goods era, apps are now at center stage of all services, content and user interaction, and these apps are being distributed across borders through stores on all platforms. Amid the expanding markets of Android and
iOS platforms, LG CNS viewed the emergence of Windows 8 as more than just helping the creation of another store. This was because Windows accounts for more copies of operating systems sold than Android, iOS and all other operating systems combined, regardless
of types of devices. For this reason, LG CNS selected dozens of experts to focus on nothing but Windows 8.
It did not take long for this elite team to produce results for the newly emerging Windows 8 market. Their first product was the development of an app for an integrated service scenario designed for the new-concept store called Smart Store. The Smart Store
project became a venue for using natural user interface (NUI) technology—which LG CNS considered a key technology for the future—with the N-screen strategy for providing a new user experience to people visiting the stores. It is said that LG CNS felt like
a heavy load had been lifted as they continued writing the Smart Store scenario. Having Windows 8 at the center of the scenario eliminated a great number of the technical challenges that existed previously.
Then what obstacles did they have previously? In this regard, ByeongTae Kim, the assistant manager at LG CNS said, "We knew that the consumer IT goods market was expanding ever so rapidly with the flooding of state-of-the-art personal devices such as smartphones
and tablets, but it wasn't easy for us to translate that growth into the business arena. Smart devices are powerful personal devices, but they were very seldom adopted effectively in the business fields." He added, "There are also so many types of devices,
with different types and versions of operating systems like Android and iOS. This makes app development and management difficult. Making apps work with the business systems was also a challenge."
As the LG CNS employees who participated in the Windows 8 App Acceleration Program examined the appearance and functions of the new Windows, they noted how the ease of development and implementation for NUI was completely different to anything they had seen
before. In fact, this project was said to be the easiest of all NUI-related projects undertaken at LG CNS, from development to application. Even LG CNS employees who had to source out touch panels and custom build the devices to bring NUI in customer stores
just a few years ago found the convenience of implementation provided by Windows 8 instantly caught their attention.
Most of all, app development became easy. Developers who were familiar with Visual Studio could immediately dive into Windows 8 app development without having to learn anything new. Considering that the app was to be installed on devices that the customers
would directly touch and use in the store, UI design was also important for optimal user experience. This was also implemented easily with the Microsoft Blend tool. Productivity for app development was simply unparalleled, compared to Android, which required
too many variations based on device types and operating system versions, or compared to iOS, which restricted developers too much.
With such reduced burden of development, LG CNS could now focus more energy on revising and updating its usage scenario, instead of focusing its resources on device design and software development. In other words, they could focus more on the usage scenario,
which was more important than simple coding. For writing the scenario, LG CNS first studied its customers' changed preferences. It was discovered that customers are now less likely to seek the help of sales representatives at stores and buy the goods recommended
by the representatives. Instead, they read a lot about the products before visiting the store and prefer to buy the goods they had in mind. This led LG CNS to establish the Smart Store's first requirement — to make it possible to search for more information
anywhere within the store.
Then LG CNS carefully studied which content and information to provide customers using the Smart Store app. They believed that the best customer satisfaction was not just in using a tablet in the store to look for product information, but in the quality
of the content provided, which would touch the consumer’s heart. After a lengthy deliberation, LG CNS finally decided to focus on providing tailored information for each individual, in addition to the product information provided by manufacturers and user
reviews available on the Internet. It was also decided to make it possible for the customer to get an overview of currently on-going promotional events at the store in time.
Armed with the strong scenario and content strategy, LG CNS started app development. This app not only provides people visiting the store with information on various promotional events and products, through Windows 8 tablets, but customers can also use the
built-in camera on the tablet to take their own picture to have products recommended to them. In addition, customers can upload their pictures to Facebook or Twitter to share with their friends.
LG CNS verified the possibility of interacting and providing different information at customer contact points from the development of the Smart Store app. The next project being considered will provide interfacing with the backbone systems. They are interested
in expanding the scope of interest by translating various activities taking place at the consumer contact point into useful information for customer management and BI-level analysis by interfacing the information with the backbone systems, including the CRM.
Smart Store for Customers
Development of the Windows 8-based Smart Store app is expected to offer new business opportunities to LG CNS. This project is providing answers to the age-long questions of how to maintain contact points with customers and how to process all the data accumulating
in the store as useful information. In this regard, SooCheol Kang, the manager at LG CNS said, "The Smart Store service developed by LG CNS for retail customers shows the future of how desktops and mobile devices should be used in the business fields."
The future he speaks of shows that LG CNS has technological insight for reading the minds of consumers. Kang said, "Consumers nowadays are very smart and savvy. They aren't happy about sales representatives approaching them and recommending products to them.
They prefer to look for the products themselves. Windows 8 provides an insight for reading the minds of such consumers.
Using Windows 8 tablets and PCs to talk to the customers provides us with a rich array of information from the consumer contact point. Observation and analysis of such data then becomes the seed for better customer values and experience."
Easy Development and Maintenance
Through the progress of the Smart Store project, LG CNS confirmed that Windows 8 is more business-friendly than any other previous platforms. Unlike Android and iOS, which were originally designed for personal consumer devices, Windows 8 offered many advantages
to IT service providers like LG CNS, in many aspects, from development to maintenance. Firstly, in terms of development, the convenience provided in the integrated development environment (IDE) such as Visual Studio and Blend was unparalleled compared to other
platforms. From app development to deployment, everything can be done within a single development environment, and quality assurance for security and performance of apps are much easier. The IDE offers great advantages for product implementation and testing.
Secondly, in terms of maintenance, technical support could be provided for all devices located in customer stores across the country, even without the mobile device management (MDM) tools required in multi-platform environments. In this regard, JiEun Park
at LG CNS said, "Windows 8 can be used in the same way on the PC-based POS and on the tablet device, providing product information. Any program previously used on Windows can be used both on PCs and tablets, without any compatibility issues. Using the same
platform also makes maintenance easier."
N-Screen Strategy is Just Right for Retail Industry
LG CNS plans to offer Smart Store as a commercial service for its retail customers in active promotion. LG CNS expects its Smart Store service to be received with an enthusiastic welcome in retail sites.
LG CNS believes that the first element of attraction of the Windows 8 app among the store managers would be live tiles. Just as the Windows 8 tablet is turned on, live tiles would appear right in front of the customer's eyes, showing information on the store's
various promotional events.
There is no need to set a default screen or tell the customer which app to open. As soon as the tablet is turned on, the customer's eyes and fingers start racing to the Smart Store app.
The second element of attraction is device unification. All tasks in the retail store used to be handled by the point of sales (POS) device. It was POS's job to stand alone by the counter and quietly perform the tasks. LG CNS highly appraises the possibility
of device unification provided by the Windows 8 platform. It also expects the store workers to appreciate this in the long term.
One simple scenario would be that, if the POS running on a desktop operating system migrates to the Windows 8 platform, it opens up the whole new possibility of liaising functions and data between the tablets and the POS within the store. This means that
there is no need for store staff to go to the POS every time, but instead can use a tablet to check the inventory and place product orders. Without the complex implementation or additional costs, a much wider range of usage scenarios can be applied.
The Windows 8 environment with no barrier between devices opens up new possibilities, not just for new consumer services, but also for productivity within the store. In this regard, SooCheol Kang, the manager at LG CNS said, "The Windows 8 app provides a
new user experience without the barrier between PC, tablet and mobile device. LG CNS will keep discovering many more opportunities for new user experiences at the consumer contact point using Windows 8."
For more information about the Microsoft Windows 8, go to:
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