7-Eleven orders

The ability to pursue e-business initiatives such as in-store electronic kiosks is one of the stated advantages of the contract convenience retail chain 7-Eleven, Inc. has signed with outsourcing firm EDS, according to a recent EDS announcement. 7-Eleven has contracted EDS to provide IT integration, storage and hosting services.

According to EDS, the US$175 million, seven-year agreement stipulates that 7-Eleven will pay for services as they are used, giving the chain ready-to-go capacity and staff as their demand rises and falls. This removes the significant capital investment required for the company to own its infrastructure internally, reports EDS.

EDS also notes that their hosting solutions will enable 7-Eleven to rapidly scale and deploy its new, technologically advanced, self-service delivery vehicle called Vcom, now being tested in 98 Texas and Florida 7-Eleven stores. As part of the test, 7-Eleven’s customers can use touch-screen, ATM-like interactive devices to cash cheques, purchase money orders and obtain additional financial services. EDS hosts 7-Eleven’s Vcom transaction engine and database software, which provides transaction routing between the kiosks and Vcom partners. EDS provides a comprehensive security program that includes network, kiosk and partner links.

7-Eleven, which claims to be the largest chain in the convenience retailing industry, marks its 75th anniversary this year. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company operates or franchises about 5,800 7-Eleven stores in the United States and Canada and licenses approximately 17,000 7-Eleven stores in 17 other countries and territories throughout the world. Last year, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than US$31 billion.