Oliver Guy

Global Industry Director - Retail, Software AG

Specializing in industry strategy, digital transformation and omni-channel technology strategy, Oliver advises companies across the globe on their technology strategy and decisions.

Oliver is an industry strategy specialist with 20 years’ experience driving value for leading technology vendors and their customers across supply chain, operations, channels and digital transformation across all types of retail.
He is an innovative thought leader with a track record of collaboratively defining strategic go-to-market approaches and aligning solution capabilities to market needs to ensure solution relevance.

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Oliver Guy is Global Industry Director at Software AG, specialising in Digital Transformation and unified commerce technology strategy, Oliver advises retailers across the globe on their technology strategy and decisions. With more than 20 years focused in technology, Oliver has worked with major names in global retail helping them improve their business through the use of innovative technology. Prior to joining Software AG, Oliver was part of the European Management team at Oracle Retail – his team being responsible for Retail focused Solution Consulting across Europe. Oliver started his career in technology implementing Supply Chain Planning and Optimisation solutions for customers across multiple industries in both Europe and Asia Pacific with Manugistics (JDA).
  • Posted on: 08/09/2019

    Amazon adds personal shopping to Prime Wardrobe

    The proof of the pudding will be in the eating... it is questionable whether people will like what a machine (or collection of machines) selects for them. The opportunity of a personal touch via an interactive concierge "person" may well be better for some. One to watch I think...
  • Posted on: 08/08/2019

    Has the starting point of customer journeys moved?

    Customer journeys are longer, more complex and more difficult to understand than ever. Where they start varies so much, but understanding that is only the start. Myself and my colleagues at Software AG have done a lot of work helping retailers map customer journeys with ARIS alongside process mining in order to identify where journeys start and how points of friction can be eliminated. What always fascinates me is how things look very differently when we compare internal v external perspectives.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2019

    CVS subscription program goes big to outdo Amazon Prime

    Super example of eliminating a pain for and on behalf of the customer. I imagine roll-out will be dependent on success or otherwise from financial and operational perpective. It will be interesting to see how other pharmacies respond - nationally and locally. But also a big question is, will pharmacy chains outside North America look to replicate this prior to Pillpack commencing operations in their country?
  • Posted on: 08/01/2019

    Has dynamic pricing hit a rut?

    For me the biggest barrier is the in-store technology. I have long felt that the business case for electronic shelf-edge labels is not big enough unless you can combine them with other technologies. Integrate electronic shelf-edge labels with in-store traffic counters, a real-time understanding of inventory, competitive pricing and price elasticity modelling and you have the ingredients for an incredible business case and a superb first application of IoT in-store. Something that analysts believe can double to overall profitability of the store environment.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2019

    Who will seize the opportunity to turn stores into fulfillment centers?

    Absolutely. Additional space needs to be used for other purposes and fulfillment may well be a great purpose. It may well be a way to deal with things until leases need renewing. I loved this piece suggesting a change in the way to measure store performance.
  • Posted on: 07/29/2019

    Staples creates content to reposition and differentiate its brand

    Great to see Staples taking this approach. Given Amazon's desire to get into the B2B market for office supplies - which has already started - this approach of sharing perspectives offers the possibility for them to turn themselves into a brand that is synonymous with the world of work. I have long perceived that organisations like Staples need to think about how they expand into parallel but similar lines - for example meeting room rental (good use for oversized stores perhaps), managed service in-office printing and so on... It will be interesting to watch.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2019

    Will cloud-based services elevate Starbucks beyond coffee retailing?

    This is very similar to the question of a retailer debating whether to use AWS to support their business or not. A tricky one - however if Starbucks is able to offer a white label set of services to enable food service companies expand faster, easier, and cheaper than other methods then this could become a very good proposition. With the AWS question we have seen examples where retailers have experimented with AWS as a way to test things before moving to another provider, so we might see something similar ...
  • Posted on: 07/23/2019

    How long is the customer journey?

    This very much depends on the product and the single biggest factor is the overall price - the bigger the investment the longer the journey. Compare a car to a new power cable for your phone. However as consumers become more informed they are getting longer and undoubtedly more complex. Myself and my colleagues have done a lot of work helping retailers map customer journeys using input from process mining in order to identify points of friction that can be improved. Often a point of friction for the customer is also a hidden cost for the retailer so it is critical to understand from an outside-in as well as an inside-out perspective.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2019

    Walmart shakes things up, further integrating online and physical store teams

    Interesting move. Over the past 5+ years one of the biggest barriers I have seen to success has been the online and physical sides of stores competing with one another internally. To progress you have to combine - though it's not always easier ... It requires a huge change management effort but it needs to happen. What would really be interesting is to see how they are measuring the new internal teams.
  • Posted on: 07/16/2019

    Who owns customer service in an age of co-branding?

    As retail ecosystems grow and become more complex this issue will become bigger and bigger. In the eyes of the customer it does not matter - as long as they see consistency - they want "one throat to choke" and it needs to be the banner from which they bought the product or service. Sharing of data between organizations and efficient use of APIs to streamline this will become more critical. It is often they way that the initial efforts in collaborating are sales-focused - the smart retailers will ensure that the entire customer journey is dealt with appropriately through careful sharing.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2019

    Lululemon takes experiential retailing to 20,000 square feet

    I like this. An environment where you can use a company's products in the environment and conditions you would after purchase. Few companies do this - arguably Apple pioneered it with equipment actually out and connected to Wi-Fi so you can use it as if it were at home. Car retailers let you have a car for a maximum 48 hours - and that is a rarity. Not really enough time to do all the checks you really need to. I love the whole philosophy and approach of living the brand values.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2019

    Will Amazon Live video light up sales for Lamps Plus on Prime Day?

    Fascinating and I think we will see so much more of this. Gary Vaynerchuk recently said that he wishes he had used email more in the '90s - the point being that people opened marketing emails then. Images and video are now where email was in the '90s. Mediums like QVC have done very well -- but there are some other outstanding users of video. One example I love is - who used video as a tool of disruption in the home appliance market - substituting in-store displays with outstanding in-use videos.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2019

    Is Walmart at an online crossroads?

    Every time Walmart made such an acquisition over the past few years I got a little excited - hoping they could take learnings and apply them across the rest of the business. Who knows why they have failed to do this. Cultural differences could well be a major part (which I have seen elsewhere when small niche players have been acquired). Innovating from within could well be the answer - we see lots of that from Walmart but there is always room for more.
  • Posted on: 07/04/2019

    NRF study says customers dig retail tech

    This is a classic case of behaviours associated with Gen Z migrating to older generations. In addition, as tech gets easier to use, people want to adopt it more.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2019

    Are airports now the sweet spot for luxury retail?

    Airports offer the ultimate retail ecosystem -- retailers, brands, airport operators and airlines all working together to capture wallet share from a captive audience -- an audience that together these companies know a lot about. For example, the amount they spend on travel indicates their disposable income. Unlike other physical retail locations, customers make their presence known -- because they have to. Travelers use wi-fi so you can tell where they are ... the list goes on The trick is to be able to openly share data between the partners -- and after regulations the biggest barrier here is technology. The need for seamless B2B integration and a cost-effective API management approach has never been stronger.

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