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GameStop launches tech institute

GameStop has launched the GameStop Technology Institute (GTI), a new business unit focused on creating affiliations with leading technology corporations and academic institutions to discover and deliver business innovation and technology solutions “to better address the needs of today’s empowered consumer.”

Joining GameStop as founding partners of GTI are IBM and the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School. GameStop will leverage GTI to explore and build best-in-class research and development processes to create and implement within its global retail locations the next generation of new, innovative business applications.

“Now more than ever, GameStop’s internal rate of change must continue to exceed the rate of change occurring within the retail environments in which we compete,” said CEO Paul Raines. “The launch of GTI represents GameStop’s commitment to cultivate innovation within the retail industry, as well as lead the charge in discovering new technology advancements to drive positive customer experiences.”

GameStop will leverage IBM’s open cloud development platform, BlueMix, to build new mobile and cloud applications that integrate with its existing systems, creating a hybrid cloud environment that will allow the company to add greater context around both in-store and online customer interactions. By seamlessly linking a customer’s online and in-store experiences using IBM’s open-standards based, high-value cloud platform, GameStop will be able to remove the complexity involved with transactions and improve the level of service that they deliver to their customers. Harnessing the power of BlueMix enables the company’s developers to quickly innovate, prototype and connect with their customers at the right time using APIs for big data, analytics and mobile.
 
“We are excited to collaborate with GameStop to bring the power of our cloud development platforms and design teams to the greater GameStop community,” said Steve Robinson, GM of IBM Cloud Platform Services. “This cloud partnership will integrate existing systems into a new class of applications to build even deeper relationships for GameStop with their clients and will help GameStop lead the next phase of retailing by restoring the balance between physical and digital commerce platforms.”

Texas A&M University brings to GTI a specific focus on retail research, consumer technology and the evolving consumer experience at the intersection of the two. The Center for Retailing Studies has a 30-year history of serving retailers, and is one of the only retail education institutions housed in a business school.

Rooted in GameStop’s strong legacy of technology, understanding customer needs and ability to deliver exceptional customer service through its PowerUp Rewards loyalty program, the GTI R&D portfolio will include a focus on enhancing consumer interaction technologies and developing business solutions that help drive traffic to all retail channels.

GameStop’s Jeff Donaldson will chair the direction and efforts of the institute, serving in the role of senior vice president of GTI.

“As GameStop continues to transform its business beyond video gaming and into the technology space, we formed GTI to address our growing need for new innovation as a specialty retailer,” said Donaldson. “As we begin our partnership with IBM and Texas A&M University, GTI’s initial focus will be on the digitization of the physical retail space which would allow customers to interact with the brick-n-mortar store environment in ways that mimic interaction with digital platforms.”