Shammeera Alles
Shammeera Alles
Product Manager

Our goal from the onset has been to make omni-channel retail simple for mid to large-size retailers. We do this by providing our customers with a scalable cloud platform with the latest best-practices already built-in, while at the same time allowing them to tailor commerce processes and experiences to the needs of their business.

What's New

In our latest release, Orckestra Commerce Cloud 3.5, we’ve taken some big steps in simplifying the delivery of digital commerce online and in store. Some of you may have noticed the new name. The transformation from ‘Suite’ to ‘Cloud’ is subtle in name, but essential when it comes to vision. Our cloud-focused platform provides businesses the agility they need to stay ahead of the market and the competition. We continue to leverage the Microsoft Azure ecosystem to improve performance, time-to-market and the overall speed of innovation for our customers.

This version of the platform is already in-market and is producing great results for omni-channel retailers including the likes of Mondou and Sports Experts that recently launched their new omni-channel offerings in time for Black Friday and the holiday season.

Our Objectives

With this version of Orckestra Commerce Cloud, we set out with a few key objectives:

  • Enable large retailers to be up and running faster than ever with not only an exceptional online storefront but also other new, innovative in-store experiences that converge digital commerce online and in store.
  • Push our shopping cart and distributed order management capabilities even further, addressing the needs of forward-thinking grocers and retailers, making it easier for them to unify online and in-store operations.
  • Enrich the content options in our product catalogs and easily customize the delivery of product content across touchpoints via flexible search and merchandising capabilities.

Integrated Experience Management and Commerce Starter Site

 This year saw the growth of the Orckestra family with the acquisition of the Danish content management software company Composite. This marriage of content and commerce now brings new, native experience management capabilities to our Commerce Cloud.

At the heart of this is a state-of-the-art, .NET-based framework that allows developers to leverage our underlying set of Commerce OrchestrationTM services to develop highly-performant, rich user experiences using popular toolkits and web standards.

They say the ‘proof is in the pudding’ so what we’ve done is develop a blazingly-fast, responsive online commerce starter kit that delivers native storefront functionality using industry best-practices and standards. You’ll have a super flexible storefront up and running in no-time with vital retail functionality from faceted search to user registration, complete cart and checkout capabilities, with rich product content and distributed order management built in.

This is just the beginning of what’s to come with our new, integrated Experience Management capabilities and we’re really excited with what’s in the pipeline. Stay tuned for the true convergence of commerce and content with much more to come in early 2016.

In-store Digital Shopping Experiences

In this release, we’re also enabling the delivery of targeted digital product content in-store.  We’ve built a framework for retailers to deliver product information from our Commerce Cloud directly to digital displays in the store providing consumers and store staff quick access to product information. Get more details on a product, find out what inventory/colors/sizes are available, and enable consumers to help themselves.  The Sports Experts Shoe Wall  that we recently launched is a great example of these capabilities in action.

Commerce Accelerator for Sitecore

 In addition to our own native web experience for Commerce Cloud, we’ve built a Sitecore-based commerce accelerator for those organizations already using the Sitecore 8 CMS and in need of an enterprise-level commerce solution running in the cloud. The Commerce Accelerator for Sitecore provides a complete ecommerce storefront application on top of Sitecore’s CMS solution.

Distributed Order Management for All Channels

In our previous version we saw the introduction of powerful order management capabilities that responded to the needs of retailers and grocers venturing into the omni-channel world. For example, our platform and its shopping cart and order management capabilities were able to tackle unique problems from store specific pricing and product offerings for franchisees, to pick-up and delivery schedules and fulfillment capabilities for online grocery to name a few.

With Orckestra Commerce Cloud 3.5 we took this foundation and pushed it even further to help omni-channel retailers orchestrate complex processes between warehouses, distribution centers and stores to offer more convenient order management and delivery options. Throughout the lifecycle of an order, Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) and in-store associates now have greater visibility to ensure that orders are handled quickly and efficiently from within our Order Management application.

CSRs will get an end-to-end view on orders from within the Orchestration Console for orders being processed by 3PL providers or other back-office systems allowing them and consumers to always be on top of an order’s progress.

New customizable order processing workflows also allow CSR’s and in-store staff to be notified of errors and exceptions that may occur during the processing of orders giving them the power to be pro-active and address issues immediately.

Multi-site Order Fulfillment and Order Routing

By having organization-wide inventory visibility, the platform is able to accurately capture the consumer’s desired fulfillment options based on the availability of stock across the organization’s warehouses and stores. Once captured, customizable order routing logic can be applied to ensure that the order is treated by the optimal warehouse or store taking into account inventory and fulfillment cost optimization, and customer delivery requirements.

The platform ensures that the stock of ordered line items is properly reserved and tracked, eliminating the possibility of over-selling and avoiding a great deal of customer frustration.

Once routed to a warehouse or store, CSR’s and in-store associates new fulfillment-centric can easily view and manage orders being picked-up or shipped from a given location.

Complex Carts and Orders

Complex order and fulfillment scenarios such as multi-payment/multi-tender support, future selling, partial shipments and order splitting are all now handled natively and give omni-channel retailers the selling flexibility they’ve been looking for.

Advanced Support for Products with Variants

Single-sku and multi-sku products each have distinct needs when it comes to the preparation and enrichment of product data, search and merchandising behavior. Product content must also be optimized for presentation on a web store, mobile device, in-store digital displays and other touchpoints. To manage these nuances we need to provide the right tools for product managers and merchandisers.

We’ve built into the platform “out of the box” support for any sort of multi-sku product from footwear and apparel with the common size and color variations, to much more complex product types such as hand tools that may come in a variety of lengths, configurations, finishes and so on. This native support transcends to how attribute values common to all variants and variant-specific attribute values can be managed and enriched.

Search and Merchandising Capabilities for Products with Variants

If consumers can’t find what they’re looking for, they won’t buy from you and will go elsewhere. Awesome product search is key to any web or mobile storefront. That’s why we’ve improved the way that multi-variant products are found via our search engine. The unique details of each variant is considered to return the most relevant search results for your consumers.

Not only have the searching capabilities been improved for such products, merchandisers now have the flexibility to configure how they’d like multi-variant products to be presented to their customers. For example, one product can be grouped to represent all of its sizes and colors but another can be exploded to highlight each color of the same product.

New Commerce Reporting Interface

We now ship with a new Analytics application allowing you to view reports in a new and intuitive manner. A configurable dashboard also allows business users to monitor commerce-related performance and operational KPI’s from a central view.

Since no two businesses are alike, we’ve provided a simple, yet powerful reporting interface for custom reports to be created that will truly provide users the insight they require to drive their businesses forward. We’ve tightly integrated with SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) so customers can now easily leverage our data model to build custom SSRS reports that would appear within our Analytics application once they’ve been created.

Reported data of both standard and custom reports is controlled based on role and access permitting people from across your organization to these key insights but only the information that is pertinent to them.

Insightful Visualizations using Microsoft Power BI

In addition to our standard reporting capabilities, we can now leverage Microsoft’s cloud-based business analytics service, Power BI. This powerful, multi-platform tool will allow business users to dig and explore their data as well as easily create and share their own visualizations and dashboards. This combined with the wealth of data captured in Orckestra Commerce Cloud and made available via Microsoft’s database service, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, makes for a powerful offering that can be complemented with other innovation services available in the Azure ecosystem.

Stay tuned for more details on how Orckestra Commerce Cloud and Power BI will provide the insight and tools your users and BI professionals have been looking for.

New Standard Payment Processor - Moneris

 Our list of out-of-the-box payment processor integration grows this release with our integration with Moneris. The platform now makes it even easier to integrate with a new payment solution, and we’ll be adding new payment processor support based on market requirements.

Conclusion

2015 was a breakthrough year for Orckestra but as we quickly approach its end, I’m even more excited for what’s to come in 2016. If you’d like to learn about the details of what’s available in Orckestra Commerce Cloud 3.5, or what’s coming next, please reach out and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

Looking forward to your feedback!

Shammeera.