Q&A: Tim Hooper – Head of Retail Sales UK, Systopia (Zucchetti UK)
Tim is an experienced B2B and technical sales strategist with a proven track record working with global operations. Adept at managing large teams and budgets, fostering client relationships, and ensuring success. Tim currently leads the UK Retail Sales at Systopia (Zucchetti UK), helping retailers reach their full potential with sophisticated POS and payment solutions.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I’ve been in IT and software sales for over 25 years, both with large enterprises and start-up tech companies. In the last 10 years, I’ve focused on GTM and have successfully launched and established several SaaS companies in the UK and US. Seeing something grow from an idea to an established business is so rewarding – and a lot of fun along the way.
What does your company do? / What is your USP?
Systopia is part of the Zucchetti Group – one of the largest software companies in Italy with a track record that stretches back over 40 years and a combined group turnover of approximately €2bn.
Systopia is the UK division for Zucchetti, providing software and services solutions for both Retail and Hospitality sectors. Our flagship embedded point of sale software, TCPOS, is a well-established solution in both hospitality and retail sectors across Europe. TCPOS is a truly multilingual and multi-currency solution enabling simultaneous, real-time operation across countries, continents, and compliance.
We pride ourselves on our ability to provide a one-stop shop for a complete range of solutions that are complementary and interoperable with each other. They can also be delivered independently and interfaced with any third-party solution, thanks to the open API architecture.
Our software delivers operational efficiency, increased customer loyalty, on-the-go reporting, and enhanced business intelligence.
What’s special about the platform and your approach?
With over 25 years of continuous development, the TCPOS platform is extremely feature- and functionality-rich and can be configured and customised to a client’s requirements. Our software is hardware-agnostic and can be tailored to meet exact and evolving business requirements.
Our engagement approach is consultative and aligns with the needs of the retailer consumer journey, which, in turn, enables us to provide solutions with the greatest impact and value for our clients.
Our POS solutions have been developed to operate in mixed hospitality and retail environments, so a client only needs one platform for both. We have multilingual and multi-currency capabilities built in, therefore larger clients who operate across multiple countries are catered for.
Extensive system management is provided, enabling both central and local administration – the powerful promotional engine can also take advantage of this structure.
What advantage does it add?
TCPOS is a fully scalable solution which enables retailers to develop their digital channels on a single platform and empowers interoperability across these channels. The hierarchy of retail units, regions, divisions, and countries enables centralised consolidation of reporting across the whole platform.
Measuring solution ROI is commonplace across all types of commercial activities, but linking ROI to enhancing our clients’ customer experience takes it to another level.
How does a product/service implementation actually look like and how do you measure success?
Whether it’s an out-of-the-box configuration or a full-blown customisation project, our deployment methodology has been honed over many years. This ensures we’re aligned and in sync with our clients’ needs to deliver customer satisfaction. Our deployment project expertise caters for both SME retailers and large deployments, covering thousands of POS across multiple countries and tax regimes.
We work with our clients at the pre-sale stage to ensure that measurable goals are documented and form part of the project delivery charter and ongoing updates.
How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like? Can you share a case study with us?
The retail sector is in constant flux of change, and technological solutions play a large part in meeting that change. As such, we deliver robust solutions at the forefront of the retail sector’s needs – however, it doesn’t end there. We remain close and committed to our clients post-sale to ensure a strong consultative and advisory relationship is in place to help them meet the challenges they face now and into the future. You can view one of our case studies here.
Are there other companies you partner with?
We have a strong belief and culture in partnerships, which has been embraced since the Zucchetti Group started. We currently have over 350 partners globally outside of Italy.
What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for 2023 / What challenges are retailers facing in 2023?
The current cost of living crisis is set to continue to affect UK consumer confidence and spending behaviours well into 2024.
As a result, the rise of the research-savvy shopper has emerged, using all channels available at their disposal to search and seek out the best deals and value. Retailers early in the digital adoption curve can capitalise on their investment and react to these changes a lot faster than others.
Add in the use of data analytics, and retailers are becoming more agile in adapting and meeting the needs of the consumer, thus having a positive effect and influence over the retail consumer journey. Combine this with the use of personalised, targeted promotional and loyalty activity, and the consumer experience is further enhanced and influenced – this is the Systopia omnichannel experience!
While there will always be a place for generic, out-of-the-box solutions, we’re seeing a rise in retailers seeking specialist suppliers, including our own omnichannel experience that scales to further delight and improve customer experience.
How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?
We invest heavily in R&D and, to put that into context, we have over 25% (circa 2000 people) of our global workforce developing the latest technology for the markets that we serve.
Our continued investment strategy enables us to develop the solutions of tomorrow. Our consultative approach and breadth of our technology stack, whilst meeting the ongoing needs of both our prospects and customers, is key to our success.
What is on the horizon for you as a company?
AI modelling is an important part of our future – analytical data/ trends will drive forward business growth and predictive outcomes in every vertical market sector that engages in customer profiling.
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