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International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and SAP SE (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) have joined forces to co-develop a solution for the retail and consumer packaged goods industry. The solution in question seeks to help businesses improve the consumer experience in addition to improving profitability. The partnership builds on a digital transformation agreement inked between the two companies last year.

IBM-SAP SE Collaboration

Under the new partnership, IBM Metro Plus is to use cognitive services to provide businesses ‘hyperlocal’ insights around weather, events, traffic, and demographics. The idea is to help businesses be in a position to combat challenges such as on shelf availability as well as demand forecasting accuracy.

The collaboration should bring IBM’s unique data sources onto SAP Cloud platform. Businesses should be able to use these data to unlock insights that can be executed in the right way. The data should also aid in decision making in addition to providing near real time market demand signals.

SAP on its part is to bring together its unique data sources to its cloud platform thereby allowing retailers identify and take immediate action on insights that can help improve their business performance. The resulting solution should help improve planning and execution in physical store through the leveraging of near real time data.

IBM has already trialed the technology in over 100 stores across the U.S where forecasting on hard forecast products was improved by 75%.

“SAP S/4HANA, coupled with access to rich, hyperlocal data understood and reasoned by IBM’s cognitive services, can provide consumer product and retail business users across the C-suite with the specific insights to gain a competitive advantage in major markets,” said Laurence Haziot, IBM Global Managing Director.

Thanks to the IBM SAP collaboration, retailers, and consumer product companies should be able to respond with speed, precision, and confidence to relevant events. The two companies have also hinted at the possibility of collaborating on SAP Model Company services to help businesses accelerate the time to value on a specific line of business and industry.

IBM was up by 0.56% in Friday’s trading session to end the week at $143.74 a share.

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