Agile for the retail analytics industry: Thinkinside experience

Thinkinside is a company specialised in retail analytics. It’s flagship product RetailerIN (www.retailerin.com) allows to analyse customers behaviour in retail stores and to suggest possible interventions on how to optimise store operations and organisation. The product exploits IoT devices in store in order to collect anonymous information on customer’s behaviour. Examples of such IoT devices are Bluetooth Low Energy TAGs placed on products, or people counters at the entrance. Such devices are typically connected through an in-store gateway to the cloud where data is processed and analysed at scale.

Being a software company, one of the key challenges we face on a regular basis is on how to design and develop custom hardware components in order to either explore new services or accommodate specific customer needs. This typically involves specific hardware and IoT devices to be integrated. With the IoT ecosystem comprising many hundreds of new players offering one or two parts of the IoT puzzle, finding the right hardware + software solution is often a time-consuming task, especially for small companies like Thinkinside.

The Agile project allowed us to tackle one of the key pain points of ICT companies working in the IoT+retail sector, and in particular

  • Interoperability and integration of IoT hardware platform and components: by relying on the Agile gateway and the readily available hardware and software components, integration and interoperability can be simplified a lot, especially during the initial design and fast prototyping phase of the solution.
  • Fast implementation and prototyping: the Agile hardware and software modules allowed us to develop solutions and prototypes in a very small time. This is considered as key when developing Proof of concepts for customers or when developing new solutions.
  • Support for many different standard hardware solutions covering different options in terms of connectivity, sensing boards, costs, form factors, etc.: the Agile software can run on many different hardware platforms. This allows us to easily scale the solution to the most appropriate hardware platform required to address customer needs.
  • Allowing companies to focus on value added services (rather than hw design and maintenance): our focus is software and the creation of innovative retail services and solutions. By mitigating the risk involved in the design and implementation of hardware component, we can focus on our key expertise (software) and create, in a faster way, new services to ne introduced in the market.

Iacopo Carreras, CEO Thinkinside

 

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

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