OSDL Claims Linux Making Major Gains in $6 Trillion Global Retail Sector

OSDL Members in First Industry Collaboration Among Leading IT Vendors to Share

Customer Success Stories on Latest Linux Retail Advances

Aug 04, 2005, 01:00 ET from Open Source Development Lab

    BEAVERTON, Ore., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Open Source Development Labs
 (OSDL), a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of
 Linux(R), today announced highlights from recent gains reported by its members
 on the advance of Linux worldwide in the more than $6 trillion* annual retail
 industry. This announcement is the first Linux industry collaboration of its
 kind among major IT vendors, including BakBone Software, HP, IBM, Novell and
 Red Hat.
     "We are seeing significant Linux adoption in the retail sector as
 companies look for flexibility, reliability and low cost as their legacy IT
 systems near end of life," said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. "The increasing
 availability of Linux-based solutions from both major vendors and ISVs is
 accelerating the trend. In retail, it's all about lowering costs, streamlining
 supply chains, and improving margins."
     According to retail analyst firm IHL Consulting Group, Linux deployments
 in retail increased 34 percent in 2004 over 2003. Driven by new market
 entrants and the rising popularity of Linux, the average cost of a point of
 sale system has fallen dramatically over the past two years, from more than
 $4,000 in 2002 to under $1,000 in 2004, according to IHL.
     Overall retail market spending on IT for 2005 is estimated to exceed $21
 billion, according to market research firm IDC (July 2005).
     According to OSDL members who are working with customers in the retail
 sector, the industry is under pressure in certain key areas that are helping
 to drive them towards the value, performance and uptime offered by Linux-based
      --  Multiple stores in distributed locations without local IT staff;
      --  Significant installed base of old technology that is being refreshed;
      --  Rapid move to reach new customers through the Internet;
      --  New technologies (such as RFID) that create opportunities and
          disruptive changes;
      --  Competition from very large global companies (with huge economies of
          scale) and smaller companies (nimbler, faster to react to market
      --  Increasing integration of companies with suppliers and partners.
     Tens of thousands of retail companies are investing in Linux-based
 solutions worldwide. Six major retail firms working closely with OSDL members
 BakBone, HP, IBM, Novell and Red Hat reported significant recent advances in
 Linux deployments, including (see Appendix A below for details):
      --  Anaconda Sports, largest U.S. retailer of amateur league sports and
          school district equipment;
      --  Boscov's Department Store, largest family-owned retailer in the U.S;
      --  Burlington Coat Factory, 340 stores in 42 states;
      --  GLOBUS, 90 retail locations in Europe with more than 20,000
      --  Mercadona, Spain's largest supermarket chain with more than 900
      --  Retail Ventures, Inc., a holding company for DSW, Filene's Basement
          and Value City Department Stores, has more than 325 retail outlets
     The benefits of consolidation on Linux can be a critical factor for some
     "Our Linux on the mainframe solution has enabled Boscov's to drastically
 reduce software and systems administration costs, saving nearly $1 million
 over a three-year period," said Harry Roberts, CIO of Boscov's. "As we
 complete our transformation into an on demand business, we look forward to
 improving our service and introducing many innovative solutions that make
 shopping in our stores a unique experience."
     For other customers, price and low total cost of ownership are the key
 decision criteria.
     "In the highly competitive retail industry, technology implementation
 choices are driven by the need for reliable and robust solutions at the best
 possible price," said Dennis Moore, director of enterprise architecture for
 Retail Ventures, Inc. "We leveraged a secure, high-performance Linux
 foundation and BakBone's first-to-market support for the latest enterprise
 Linux versions to achieve enterprise-class data protection at an open systems
 price point."
     And Linux offers performance, critical to meeting the demands for speed
 and convenience that customers expect in a retail experience.
     "We were looking to improve the performance of our computing systems and
 the implementation of Red Hat technology simplifies and speeds up core
 processes at Mercadona," said a spokesman for the supermarket. "Our use of Red
 Hat will eventually lead to the optimisation of our customers' time in
 supermarkets, making the checkout process easier and helping cashier staff to
 process payments."
     Linux offers retail customers a wide range of benefits to meet their
 industry-specific requirements. Among the most often cited are:
      --  Reliability -- delivering the uptime needed for stores, back offices
          and Websites;
      --  Remote management -- enabling distributed store locations to be
          easily managed by central IT staff;
      --  Flexibility -- avoiding vendor lock-in without compromising the
          security and reliability of legacy technology as well as ease of
          quickly porting to new processors (handhelds to supercomputers);
      --  Middleware for Linux -- enabling application, process and business
          integration throughout the supply chain;
      --  Applications on Linux -- increasing availability of key applications
          for e-commerce, store operations, back office processing and business
      --  Low cost -- reducing systems administration, management and client
          license operating costs as well as lowering capital expense for
     About Open Source Development Labs
     OSDL -- home to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux -- is dedicated to
 accelerating the growth and adoption of Linux in the enterprise. Founded in
 2000 and supported by a global consortium of major Linux customers and IT
 industry leaders, OSDL is a nonprofit organization that provides
 state-of-the-art computing and test facilities available to developers around
 the world. With offices in China, Europe, Japan and the United States, OSDL
 sponsors legal and development projects to advance open source software as
 well as initiatives for Linux in telecommunications, in the data center and on
 enterprise desktops. Visit OSDL on the Web at http://www.osdl.org/ .
     NOTE:  OSDL is a trademark of Open Source Development Labs, Inc. Linux is
 a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Third party marks and brands are the property
 of their respective holders.
     *Source. Retail Forward, Inc. (December 2004). Retail sales, excluding
 automobile, for the top 10 country markets in the world exceed $6.3 trillion.
     Appendix A
     Anaconda Sports
     New York-based Anaconda Sports, the largest retailer of amateur league
 sports and school district athletic equipment in the United States, wanted to
 build a cost-effective e-commerce Website and turned to Linux as a reliable,
 scalable and secure platform. Anaconda relies on IBM applications, middleware
 and Intel architecture servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
      --  ROI: Sales up 20 percent
     Boscov's Department Store
     The largest family-owned retailer in the United States, Boscov's
 Department Store operates more than 40 stores in five states adding two or
 three stores a year. But its online Web e-commerce site is growing even
 faster, doubling in transactions annually. To slash the escalating software
 and systems administration costs required to run its expanding datacenter of
 standalone servers that power the Web site, Boscov's consolidated everything
 onto a single IBM mainframe server running Novell SUSE Linux.
      --  ROI: Software and systems administration savings in the first three
 years expected to exceed $1 million.
     Burlington Coat Factory
     For several years now, Burlington Coat factory has been running its
 enterprise on 5,000 Linux-based point of sale systems at more than 340 stores
 in 42 states nationwide. The next step was replacing its legacy large server
 systems. Recently Burlington turned to Novell SUSE Linux running on more than
 2,000 clustered Intel architecture servers from IBM with a migration of two
 key applications in less than two weeks.
      --  ROI: Hardware capital expenditure savings of tenfold compared to
 legacy UNIX environment.
     A leading European retailer with 20,000 employees at more than 90
 locations, GLOBUS ran its business with a custom-developed ERP application on
 a proprietary UNIX system with a server based in each store. To cut both
 software and hardware expenditures, GLOBUS began to move to Intel architecture
 servers from Bull running Novell SUSE Linux, with two inexpensive servers
 replacing the single, expensive, proprietary server at each store.
      --  ROI: Stores close each night 25 percent faster, with most of the ERP
 system now running on Linux, at much lower costs than before.
     With nearly 900 stores around the country, Mercadona is Spain's leading
 supermarket chain. Mercadona turned to Linux for a secure, flexible and
 cost-effective platform to run its business -- both at individual stores as
 well as at the corporate central offices. Currently the chain is in the middle
 of a five-year deployment of more than 1,000 Intel architecture servers as
 well as 10,000 desktop/point of sale terminals, all running Red Hat Enterprise
     Retail Ventures, Inc.
     Retail Ventures, Inc. (RVI) is a publicly-traded holding company for three
 major retail brands: DSW Shoe Warehouse, one of the largest shoe retailers in
 the U.S. with 184 stores; Filene's Basement, the country's oldest off-price
 store selling brand-name and designer fashions to men and women at 27 stores
 nationwide; and Value City Department Stores, an off-price department store
 chain with 114 stores in more than 30 markets. RVI turned to a data protection
 solution from BakBone Software running on Novell SUSE Linux to safeguard 14 TB
 of mission-critical data. The solution integrates across a mixed platform
 environment comprising Novell SUSE Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Microsoft
 Windows, and Sun Solaris servers. As a result, RVI has accelerated its data
 backups while dramatically reducing the time and effort to restore valuable
 financial, ERP, merchandising, warehousing and other retail information.
      --  ROI: The time and effort to restore critical files has been reduced
 from more than five hours to less than 10 minutes at 60 percent the cost of
 competing solutions with the combination of BakBone and FalconStor's VTL

SOURCE Open Source Development Lab