Cross Talk 2019: Lessons Learned from Two Xstore Upgrades in 18 Months with Helzberg Diamonds

Oracle Retail Cross Talk 2019 is an executive forum that connects brands around the world to share lessons learned, best practices, and innovative ideas about the future of modern retail. It’s for retail, by retail. We were especially excited for this year’s event because it was held in our hometown of Minneapolis!

We made new connections and spent quality time with clients, including Big 5 Sporting Goods, Red Wing Shoes, Stein Mart and Scheels.

We were especially proud to lead a breakout session with our client Helzberg Diamonds: “Keeping Clarity with a Smart Upgrade Strategy.” Mary Valentine, Director of Store Systems at Helzberg, and Kimberly Berneck, SVP of Delivery Management at BTM, discussed Helzberg’s journey of implementing Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service to support growth across more than 220 stores. Technology plays a vital role at Helzberg, from custom iPad apps to enhanced payment capabilities and enhanced product sourcing for customers (e.g. endless aisle).

Helzberg took the unusual step of completing two upgrades within an 18-month period…

  • After implementing Micros Xstore in 2012, the retailer upgraded from Xstore v4.5 to v15 in 2017-2018 with BTM Global leading the project. That significant upgrade was timely, costly, and a large project to undertake and manage.
  • Helzberg decided to upgrade again from Xstore v15 to v18 in 2019 in order to respond more quickly to changing business needs and consumer expectations, like mobile selling, and avoid a large upgrade jump in the future.

Accomplishing two upgrades in such a short time period was efficient and cut the implementation/upgrade timeline by 60 percent. Because BTM was chosen to lead both upgrades, both the BTM and the Helzberg teams could leverage repeatable learnings, tools, and efficiencies across workstreams for collaborative and improved processes. The BTM team was consistent, which meant the knowledge gained from the past upgrade was relied upon again – the project didn’t need to start from scratch. Both teams were particularly focused on long-term success and strategic objectives rather than short-term work efforts.

Mary and Kimberly’s key takeaways from this upgrade effort were shared with the Cross Talk audience:

  • Commit to long-term, trusted partnership and open collaboration
  • Focus on maximizing your Oracle investment – “base”
  • Scope management and long-term objectives, with quick wins
  • Be realistic in planning and transparent with assumptions
  • Cultivate a proactive, transparent relationship – include Oracle appropriately
  • Be proactive and have the hard conversation early
  • Be open to refinement and Plan B
  • Don’t overlook system integration impacts and work efforts

Go here to learn more about our clients who return to us again and again for help with new projects and strategies! Thank you to everyone who attended Cross Talk 2019!