Russell's Convenience Chooses IBM for Cloud Collaboration

Published in CSP Daily News

Retailer chooses LotusLive to transform how employees collaborate with each other, vendors

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- HJB Convenience Corp.'s Russell's Convenience is transforming its business with cloud collaboration technology from IBM Corp. As a result of adopting cloud computing, the company plans to better integrate and share data across its 24 convenience stores across the western United States and Hawaii management teams and improve collaboration between employees, customers and partners.

Prior to working with IBM, Russell's management team was struggling with project management and keeping track of day-to-day business issues, the company said. As a result, many [image-nocss] tasks fell through the cracks. Russell's Convenience chose IBM's LotusLive cloud to transform how its employees collaborate with each other, their licensees, vendors and partners and respond more quickly to customer demands.

With the help of IBM Business Partner Alacrinet Consulting Services, Russell's licensee stores can now access and share information regardless of their location. They have instant access to cloud-based social networking and collaboration tools, including file storing and sharing, email, instant messaging and activity management. Instead of searching through emails or making multiple phone calls, employees can now collaborate on the fly.

They can meet online to resolve issues, share sales goals, network with co-workers, and track projects to completion. For example, a Los Angeles store is currently going through a remodel, and seamless communication between the architect in Denver and the operations center in Los Angeles is critical. Russell's management set up a guest account for the architect to communicate with them and submit space plans for approval. Using LotusLive, the c-store chain has saved weeks of back and forth travel.

"IBM is helping our licensee's to operate as one business--one that is connected, informed and cohesive," said Raymond Huff, president of Lakewood, Colo.-based HJB Convenience and Russell's Convenience. "We hold weekly executive staff meetings in Denver, and our licensees are now able to attend the meeting via LotusLive, versus getting a written synopsis of the high points of the staff meetings. This helps disseminate information faster and more effectively, resulting in more profits to our licensees."

With this news, IBM is also announcing new security features to help organizations collaborate more confidently in the cloud. Many organizations, like Russell's Convenience, are using cloud-based services to facilitate collaboration while reducing IT costs and increasing productivity, it said. New cloud-based services from IBM give LotusLive users more control over information that is shared both inside and outside a company.

IBM is also announcing LotusLive integration with TeamPoint from FreshTL, a business partner that helps companies publish policies and procedures more easily, and deal with issues concerning governance, risk management and compliance. TeamPoint for LotusLive helps users track and manage important documents to remain compliant with employment law, health and safety regulations and standards such as ISO 9001, from within LotusLive.

"The ability to collaborate both internally and externally in a security-rich environment is one of the clear differentiators that the IBM collaboration cloud provides," said Bethann Cregg, vice president of IBM Collaboration Solutions. "Likewise, IBM business partner integrations such as TeamPoint can help solve specific business pain points and help clients embrace seamless collaboration across the organization."

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM has helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud based transactions every day. IBM assists clients in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services. IBM is bringing together key cloud technologies, process knowledge, a portfolio of cloud solutions and a network of global delivery centers.

The first Russell's Convenience store opened in Honolulu in 1978. A typical store is 1,200 square feet and is located in the lobby of a large office building. The stores carry a selection of snacks, candy, tobacco products, reading materials, health and beauty aids, as well as greeting cards and gifts.