GK Software takes a majority holding in prudsys AG
Expansion of the omni-channel services through a solution based on AI and machine learning
GK Software AG took a majority holding in prudsys AG based in Chemnitz on November 1, 2017 and has therefore strengthened its expertise primarily in the fields of AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning and cloud technologies. The takeover of the spin-off from Chemnitz University of Technology is a further component in the consistent, unified commercial strategy at GK Software. As a result, the opportunities within the GK range of solutions for cross-channel, personalised customer contact have been considerably enhanced. The prudsys solutions is a leading product on the international market and the company is listed in the Gartner Market Guide for Digital Personalization Engines as a “representative vendor”.
In addition to integrating the prudsys solution, GK Software is expecting the takeover to generate an inflow of expertise for the ongoing automation of processes in the retail sector. After all, the trend towards preparing or making more and more decisions on the basis of self-learning systems is now irreversible. Intelligent corporate software will therefore increasingly be based on AI and machine learning. This will introduce changes to many areas in processes in the retail sector – ranging from planning product ranges to dynamic pricing and even issues like the automated, optimised deployment of personnel.
Self-learning, real-time solution for recommendations, marketing automation and dynamic pricing
prudsys AG, which has largely focused on the e-commerce sector so far, offers a market-leading solution for the following three fields of application: recommendations, market automation and dynamic pricing. The Realtime Decisioning Engine (prudsys RDE), which has been developed in-house at prudsys, forms the basis for handling these issues; it incorporates artificial intelligence and is based on a large number of innovative, mathematical processes – e.g. reinforcement learning or real-time scoring. The algorithms and methods used by the prudsys RDE can be flexibly used to handle a wide variety of requirements in the retail sector. The USPs of the prudsys software include a self-learning, real-time solution, which analyses customer behaviour every second and immediately responds to any changes. To match GK Software’s product strategy, the prudsys solution is cloud-based, internationalised and is available as software-as-a-service.
Market-leading personalisation solution for omni-channel retailing
Personalisation has no longer just been an issue for e-commerce as part of omni-channel concepts for some time. After all, consumers expect individualised offers at each touch point – and they need to be precisely tailored to their needs, whether at a web shop, on a mobile device or at the point of sale. GK Software is closing this circle by integrating the prudsys solution and can offer consistent personalisation and end-to-end interaction with consumers on all the channels. One example of this is the integration of prudsys RDE as an app in GK Software’s POS solution – this has been already demonstrated at recent trade fairs. As a result, it is possible to offer consumers consistent recommendations in real time and on all channels – ranging from web shops to smartphones and “advice tablets” and even tills. Individualised coupons, which can be directly sent to customer smartphones via the GK Mobile Customer Assistant solution, are another scenario for deployment.
The prudsys solution
The prudsys products are centred on the prudsys RDE, which enables retailers to handle innovative real-time scenarios that are perfectly tailored to the retail sector. The software with its modular structure offers three major components:
1. The self-learning Recommendation Engine enables personalised customer contact via all the sales channels. However, it does not just issue individual product recommendations, but also personalised content of any type – ranging from banners to editorial content and even photos and videos.
2. The Marketing Automation component is used, among other things, to draw up forecasts of individual customer shopping behaviour by including the latest behaviour information and master data. This provides answers to the questions about which marketing tool suits a particular customer or who will probably respond to a particular offer. The practical applications for this system include the issue of individual incentives at the online shop to prevent people cancelling their shopping basket or the automated selection of the suitable target group for a planned advertising campaign.
3. The Dynamic Pricing tool handles the best possible price finding system in real time for millions of products. The prices are adapted to the customer’s behaviour and the constantly changing market and company situation completely automatically. Prices are calculated both for the store and the web shop based on the forecast price acceptance of consumers – and the prices of competitors are included as an important factor too.
About GK Software
GK Software AG is one of Europe’s leading technology developers and providers of standard software for the retail sector, and offers an extensive range of products for stores and enterprise headquarters. Thanks to its open software solutions in the GK/Retail Suite, which can be used with any platform and is fully programmed in Java, the company has established itself as one of the retail market’s leading providers of technology and innovations. Its software enables retail chains with numerous stores to optimally manage their business operations, offering them significant potential for saving costs and implementing customer loyalty programs and hence helping them to improve their competitiveness.
The company employs 944 members of staff (figures for 30 June 2017) across its headquarters in Schöneck (Germany) and other business locations in Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Russia and USA. GK Software AG’s customers include many well-known retailers from both Germany and beyond, including Galeria Kaufhof, Parfümerie Douglas, Coop (Switzerland), EDEKA, Hornbach, JYSK Nordic, Lidl, Migros, Netto Marken-Discount and Tchibo. The software is currently being used at 239,000 installations across approximately 41,700 stores in more than 40 countries. The company has grown rapidly in recent years and its sales revenues totaled EUR 77.3 million in 2016. Since launching the company in 1990, the two founders Rainer Gläß (CEO) and Stephan Kronmüller (deputy board member), together with the experienced management team, have shaped GK Software AG into a profitable company exhibiting strong growth.
Further information about the company: http://www.gk-software.com
prudsys AG is a leading provider of omni-channel personalisation in the retail sector. The prudsys RDE enables companies to maximise customer value along every channel in real time. The company, which was founded in 1998, is a pioneer in the field of real-time personalisation and has been actively shaping the development of online shopping from the outset. By closely dovetailing recommendations, marketing automation and dynamic pricing, the prudsys RDE offers a unique shopping experience in more than 200 online shops. prudsys AG has several patents and has been maintaining close ties with renowned academic institutes for many years. The company is a member of the DMG and OMG standardisation committees and therefore has a direct influence on the development of the guidelines for intelligent data analysis. Customers of prudsys include leading retailers like babywalz, bonprix, Conrad, Coop, Douglas, Klingel, Obi, Thalia or Würth.