Deploying AI Models at the Edge

Toshiba taps into edge compute for retailer transformation efforts with next-gen Elera Platform

Toshiba taps into edge compute for retailer transformation efforts with next-gen Elera Platform

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions has announced a major expansion of its next generation ELERA unified commerce platform to accelerate retailer digital transformation. The expansion ushers in a new era of retail technology – agile, interconnected, and infinitely adaptable.

“Retailers cannot accelerate their transformation when they’re saddled with decades old technology and hundreds of custom-developed integrations that require huge resources to maintain,” explains Rance Poehler, president and CEO, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. “ELERA is a game changer that spells the end of their technology debt and provides a modular foundation that frees them to transform their businesses at a speed that was never before possible.”

“Not only are customers already starting to see ELERA deliver business results, they’re also energized by the freedom they now have to relentlessly experiment with innovative ideas and services, then scale them across their operations,” Poehler adds.

The announcement includes:

  • More than 45 native microservices, API-first development, and low-code, no-code self-enablement tools empower retailers to use a single platform to develop, iterate and scale unified retail solutions across all physical and digital touchpoints, devices, and systems
  • New ELERA IoT (Internet of Things) platform seamlessly interconnects and shares data between IoT devices; powers new AI-enhanced, edge camera produce recognition solution that speeds self-checkout, improves staff utilization, reduces loss and shrinkage, and provides more accurate inventory visibility
  • Next generation ELERA touchpoints and applications for point of sale, self-service, and loyalty and promotions leverage microservices to create seamless shopping experiences and streamline operations

Digitization, expansion, experimentation

Toshiba’s ELERA expansion comes at a time when the primary methods retailers once used to gain customer loyalty, such as discounts and rewards, are no longer the only factors that influence brand loyalty or drive future sales. Consumers’ shopping behaviors are now influenced by other factors, including the use of technologies that make shopping more convenient and efficient.

ELERA speeds digitization and unification by providing retailers with low- and no-code tools and a single platform to develop, iterate, and scale new applications and services across touchpoints and devices that span their entire physical and online store infrastructure.

Today, there are more than 45+ pre-packaged microservices and 550+ APIs available on the ELERA portal for use by approved retailers and independent retail solution providers.

These new capabilities benefit both brick and mortar and e-commerce retailers. Brick and mortar retailers can quickly unify and scale store functions and interconnect them with their digital platform capabilities—reducing development time and eliminating the burden of maintaining multiple software stacks. E-commerce retailers can more easily and rapidly set up physical stores using services and capabilities they have already developed for their native digital channels.

New IoT platform powers AI-enhanced produce recognition

Toshiba’s AI-powered produce recognition, built on the new ELERA IoT platform, demonstrates the power of moving smart devices to the edge and enhancing them with AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities that are deployed through Toshiba’s state of the art TCx EDGE camera.

Toshiba’s ELERA produce recognition solution increases scanning accuracy and reduces the need for manual input of codes and intervention from store associates—making the self-checkout process a faster, friendlier, and smarter experience for consumers. Retailers can expect to see business benefits such as improvements in loss prevention and staff utilization, reductions in shrinkage, and more accurate inventory visibility.

“Toshiba’s unique approach to produce recognition is a powerful example of how the ELERA platform, combined with AI and computer vision technology, can be used and scaled across the retail environment,” notes Yevgeni Tsirulnik, VP, digital portfolio and innovation, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. “As edge devices and IoT sensors become more widely deployed, the data they gather can be made available to any application, device, or touchpoint. The positive impact of these advanced technologies working in unison, and at scale, will ripple across all retail operations.”

New, next generation touchpoints

The power of the ELERA platform is unleashed in a new wave of smart, interconnected end-to-end solutions: self-service kiosk, point-of-sale, and loyalty and promotions.

ELERA Self-Service

Next generation solution designed to help retailers rapidly create, deploy, and reuse applications and assets, to manage shopper experiences across self-service kiosk touchpoints. The power of the ELERA platform enables coordination and orchestration of hardware devices, serves shopper and associate UIs, and shares data with other retail applications.

ELERA Point-of-Sale

Next generation POS maximizes existing investments, delivering unified commerce capability on top of the store infrastructure and eliminates the need to “rip and replace” existing solutions. Commerce capabilities can be delivered to any POS endpoint and new use cases can be rapidly developed and deployed through accelerators and low-code, no-code development tools.

ELERA Loyalty & Promotions

Next generation loyalty and promotion leverages advanced AI and machine learning technology and shared data from other ELERA retail solutions to provide insights on important customer metrics and data, such as customer lifetime value (CLV) and segmentation by shopping style and tier groupings. Intuitive design enables line of business and marketing teams to easily create, deploy, and track loyalty and promotion campaigns across all devices, touchpoints, systems, and applications—as well as manage customer program data such as reward points, store trips, and associated offers.

“Through our next generation ELERA solutions and platform, retailers finally have access to transformative, scalable technologies that are accelerating the advent of real-time insights, computing at the edge, and the frictionless future,” says Tsirulnik. “The days of implementing these and other technologies in silos are over. The true value of these advanced technologies can only be realized when they are interconnected, unified, and scaled on a single, flexible platform—creating a single source of evolving customer data that makes every retail application smarter and accessible from all devices, touchpoints, and systems.”

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