NCR Corp. on Tuesday revealed a new approach to its managed services portfolio, incorporating business intelligence (BI) fundamentals in order to improve operational efficiency in retail and financial markets.

The Toronto-based company explained that its new NCR Managed Services bring end-to-end management to enterprise IT environments while offering support for different components including automated teller machines (ATMs) and point-of-sale systems (POS), in addition to servers, workstations and PCs.

At the core of the technology lies a combination of service transaction information and mining tools based on a Teradata data warehouse. Teradata is a division of NCR. With these tools, NCR gives customers detailed analysis of all service happenings.

For example, NCR customer Food Lion, an East Coast U.S. grocery chain, has turned over all of its in-store and help desk service operations to NCR Managed Services, which can drill down to determine the amount of transactions occurring at any given time on any given day. The service can also determine the affect of down debit or credit systems on overall productivity, and provide options to avoid these types of catastrophes.

“We want to be able to provide business intelligence in terms of what is going on with customers’ infrastructure, and relay that information to them,” explained Roland True, Dayton, Ohio-based director of strategic marketing in NCR’s Worldwide Customer Services division. “The point is to drive improvement.”

Bob Gilchrist, Canadian vice-president of Worldwide Customer Services for NCR Canada Ltd., explained that managed services, as opposed to outsourcing, are more appealing to small and medium businesses. He said that while large enterprise solution builders like IBM Corp. typically cater to bigger corporations for outsourced services, NCR is looking at the big picture, suiting its offering for any size company.

“We are really focused in the retail and financial services sectors,” he explained citing Royal Bank of Canada Ltd. and the Ontario-based The Beer Store chain as examples. “But just as in any deal, you have to have good relationships in place. You will not win…deals responding to an RFP (request for proposal).”

As for Canadian outsourcing and outtasking market expectations, Dan McLean, director of utility research at IDC Canada Ltd., said that this is a crucial year for bringing the notion of IT management as a utility service to fruition.

“Hosting and outsourcing services have not offered value in terms of management (historically),” McLean said. “The question (companies) are asking now is, ‘How does this transform my business?’ It’s no longer just about cutting costs.”

The NCR Managed Services are available now. For details visit the company online at

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