Wal-Mart buys world's largest decision-support system from AT&T

DAYTON, Ohio -- AT&T Global Information Solutions today announced a multi-million dollar contract with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. for a massively parallel processing system that provides added computing capacity for its decision support system, the largest commercial database system in the world.

The recently completed installation includes the AT&T 3600, site maintenance, and technical and application consulting. AT&T's largest 3600 installation, the system consists of 476 processors and over a thousand disk drives housing an AT&T Teradata database of 2.7 terabytes. In conjunction with its current AT&T DBC1012 system, Wal Mart's decision support system now has more than 5 terabytes of Teradata on-line storage.

"An advanced system that can grow quickly over time is critical to the success of our business," said Randy Mott, chief information officer for Wal-Mart. "AT&T Global Information Solutions is the only company in the industry that could provide us with the scaleable computing performance we need."

After Wal-Mart gets point-of-sale information from its 2,729 retail outlets and moves it through the network to company headquarters, Wal-Mart uses the AT&T solution for decision-support activities such as merchandise management and inventory replenishment.

Wal-Mart merchandisers can query information and make decisions on replenishment, look at customer buying trends, analyze seasonal buying trends, make markdown decisions and react to merchandise volume and movement at any time. In that way, Wal-Mart manages all its stores as individual locations, getting the right products to each store at the right time. This contributes to Wal-Mart's success at providing everyday low prices.

"Our business strategy depends on detailed data at every level, " continued Mott. "Every cost, every line item, is carefully analyzed enabling better merchandising decisions to be made on a daily basis."

The system is also used to provide its major suppliers with access to detailed daily sales information from any of its stores, allowing suppliers to decide when and where products are needed. Over 2,500 suppliers have on-line access to all information about their products in Wal-Mart's database.

"Wal-Mart's use of the 3600 and Teradata database is an example of AT&T's strength with solutions that take advantage of detailed data--what customers are buying in each store everyday," said Frank Farrell, AT&T Global Information Solutions' vice president of Retail Solutions.

Founded in 1962 in Rogers, Ark., Wal-Mart stores are designed as one-stop family shopping centers featuring a variety of merchandise. Wal-Mart is the world's largest and fastest growing retailer and (as of 11/30/94) had 1,983 Wal-Mart stores, 119 Supercenters, 439 Sam's Clubs, 123 Canadian Wal-Mart stores, 3 Hong Kong Value Clubs, 62 Mexican units and 27 distribution centers.

AT&T Global Information Solutions helps customers better understand and serve their customers by more effectively getting, moving, and using information.

Among AT&T's products and services is the recently announced High Performance Merchandising Solution, an offering which uses detailed point-of-sale data and decision support computers to overcome the limits of current merchandise management systems. AT&T's HPMS is composed of application software, operating system, database, networking software, and its System 3000 client/server hardware platforms.

Christine Imwalle - AT&T

Note: AT&T is no longer in the computer, computing equipment, or point-of-sale equipment business. On December 31, 1996, AT&T Global Information Solutions (which was originally known as NCR) was spun off from AT&T into an independent company known as NCR Corp. For information about NCR's products and services, visit the NCR website.

KEYWORDS: wal-mart, commercial_database_system, 3600, massively_parallel