Retail Realm Plays Its Part in Shaping the Future Heavyweights in Retail Technology

Napa, CA, July 21, 2015 --( It’s that time of the year again with the latest Retail Real ( trainees now two weeks into a 6 week summer internship program at the company’s California headquarters. This year, it’s the turn of “Marketing” in what is a cyclical approach to training opportunities offered to undergraduates and recent graduates by the Napa based global distributor of Microsoft’s management solutions for the retail sector. Last year’s program was “Technical” in nature and saw students about to graduate from a variety of university IT courses (and one talented youngster yet to start at university) engage in design and development work for some of Retail Realm’s Utilities (add-ons and enhancements that improve the performance, functionality and scope of the out-of-the–box Microsoft software, i.e., for Microsoft Dynamics RMS, Dynamics AX for Retail and the newest “Retail Realm Essentials® powered by Microsoft Dynamics” solutions). The head of the development team in India even flew to the U.S. West Coast to spend several weeks working alongside the students.

This year, which has a “Marketing” focus, all members of the Napa office are involved in some way, shape or form in imparting their knowledge and experience to the interns; whether it is Retail Realm Chairman, Afshin Alikhani, the Director of Sales for North America - Rachel Smith or the PAMS (Partner Account Managers - responsible for implementation of sales and marketing programs for the various territories worldwide) and, naturally, the Marketing team. Some Partners/Resellers (who run their own businesses) are also giving up their valuable time to participate this year. The interns will be focusing on bringing a new product to market and will see the fruits of their labor rolled out in a real go-to-market situation towards the end of 2015/early 2016.

As Afshin Alikhani, company Chairman explains: “This is, in part, our way of giving something back. We don’t, however, want our interns to spend time working on hypothetical situations. We ensure that they work in a real workplace environment and offer a structured program where they end up seeing the results of their work and thought processes become part of actual marketing or development strategies and rolled out in the marketplace. When it comes to Retail, many university students acquire their work experience in shops or fast food outlets during the summer vacation. Our goal is to offer a taste of the behind the scenes, lesser known management side of Retail and an opportunity to gain an understanding of the increasingly important role that Technology and IT play in shaping the success of retail operations. We want to encourage our interns to consider careers in areas that may not instantly be identifiable, high profile or even seem terribly exciting, at first glance, but that are, nonetheless, crucial to building and running profitable retail businesses today and in the future. Retail Realm has also successfully recruited from its past internship programs; in fact, 3 members of permanent staff came to us initially as interns. This year, our selection of students for the program has been made from further afield – one intern from France, two from the U.K., two from the University of Wisconsin, one from Chapman University and another from Sonoma State. They have a fit with areas of the world in which we currently have offices and do business. Who knows, there may be a role for some of them within the company once they have graduated?”

Anthony Ludmillin, founder of Retail Hero, took part in the first week’s training and enthused: “At the internship’s launch week, I spent time presenting the new Retail Management Hero product (currently in development) to 7 enthusiastic and energetic youngsters from 3 different countries. By the end of week one the team presented their initial vision for Retail Management Hero’s launch and marketing strategy in the different world regions; which they had developed by working in conjunction with Retail Realm’s regional PAMs. I was greatly impressed by the quality of their research and desire to deeply understand the issues and find the best solutions. Great job, Retail Realm and the intern team!”

For Afshin Alikhani (who has a long affiliation with the educational aspects of Retail… and is currently an advisor to the University of Wisconsin) Retail Realm’s internship program reflects his strong conviction that businesses and higher educational institutions all benefit from closer ties and training partnerships. His commitment to offering real life experiences for students (and, perhaps, a job at the end) is reflected in the amount of time he personally dedicates to shaping the content and training the Retail Realm internship program offers each summer.
Retail Realm
Authumn Wiltshire