NEW YORK--Technology vendors will be offering their wares to the retail industry when the high-tech bazaar that is the RisCON show comes to Chicago's Navy Pier Sept. 17-20.
The show offers the largest assembly of systems, software and services vendors serving the retail industry, but the seminar schedule is also noteworthy. Divided into five tracks--Applications Development, Business Applications, CIO Strategic & Operational Issues, Payment Systems, and Technology Infrastructure--the association has made it easy for showgoers to focus on issues they're tackling inside their own companies.
The Business Applications Track will feature a seminar titled "Do Interactive Kiosks Have a Role in Your Organization?" Speakers at the seminar include Jim Briggs, manager of Information Systems at Dayton Hudson Corp.
Carmen Yuen, manager of systems at Sears Canada, will address a seminar titled "The Challenges of Installing a Database Marketing System in a Large Retail Company." The seminar will focus putting legacy data to constructive use.
For cutting-edge information on business applications, showgoers might head for a session titled "1996 Olympic Games Technology." Robert Palmich of IBM will discuss how show planners are setting up everything from E-mail to management systems.
Steve Junk, vice-president of Information Systems at the Sears Merchandising Group, will discuss sales and inventory forecasting in another seminar in the Business Applications Track. Wireless technology will also be discussed, along with a number of other topics.
The Applications Development Track will offer five seminars. Topics include artificial intelligence, data warehousing, interactive marketing technology, relationship marketing systems and Neural-Network-based sales forecasting.
In the CIO Strategic & Operational Issues Track, Doug Post, director of MIS at Herman's We Are Sports, will discuss information systems outsourcing. Though payroll is the function most often outsourced, retailers are considering outsourcing other tasks.
Also in the CIO Track, Craig Mangold, director of MIS at Kmart Mexico, will offer a "case study in entering international markets. Mangold will take attendees through Kmart's trials and tribulations in opening two 180,000-square-foot supercenters in under a year.
Other topics in the CIO Track include enterprise intelligence systems and the IS needs of mass merchants.
The Payment Systems Track features a seminar titled "Leveraging the Value of Checks as a Payment System." Addressing the topic will be Jan Walsh, production service manager at Nordstrom. Other topics in the track include check-processing technologies and fraud.
The Technology Infrastructure Track promises to be one of the best at the show, and it boasts the most retailer presenters on the schedule. The lead seminar is titled "The Application of Client/Server Architecture in a Retail Environment: Three Examples." Speakers include Michele Cerwin, retail marketing manager at Chanel, and Van Sullivan, vice-president of men's merchandise planning at Barneys New York. Radio frequency technology will also be addressed in this seminar.
Also in the Technology Infrastructure Track, David Smith, senior director of telecommunications and store technology at the Gap, will discuss retail applications of VSAT satellite technology.
Bruce Watson, also of the Gap--he is senior director of information systems--will discuss the progress of data model standards under the ARTS umbrella. Other panelists include Dennis Breck, vice-president of systems and technology at Target Stores, and Richard Mader, vice-president and chief information officer of Boscov's Information Services.
Frank Steinkellner, assistant vice-president of network services at Fred Meyer Inc., will also be talking about standards. In a seminar titled "Standards Architecture and Client/Server Technology," Steinkellner will discuss how Fred Meyers has attempted to standardize information systems across the company.
Bill Macfarlane, vice-president of information services at The Disney Store, will also address the Technology Infrastructure Track. Macfarlane will be part of a panel discussion titled "Preview of Emerging Technologies: Impact on Retail Organizations.

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