This is outstanding!.
When I first time read this newsbit, I was thinking it sounded like a 'Telematics' solution.
The idea is simple. Coke is introducing a 'freestyle' wending machine this summer. Using this machine, the customer will be able to pick and choose the flavor/colories/water of his choice and make a beverage using a touch screen interface.
Ok, so, what is so Techie about it?. Here comes, the vending machine transmits the customer choices using a verizon uplink to Coke's data center and updates the choice information in SAP and Business Warehouse. The vast amount of choice information getting uploaded to the warehouse can give unique insights into Coke's next product of choice. That's innovation!.
The presss release says Coke has been designing this machine for the last four years. And some of the technology used are RFID (for flavor dispensors), Microsoft Windows, and SAP BW with Verizon Data services.
This is an excellent case of work where the company tries to co-create its future product by working along with its own customers, not in isolation. Apart from giving insights to future product design, the data can also lead to other obvious benefits such as stock replenishment, regional preferences. It can also potentially make healthy recommendations and customized offers.