PROFILE: John Furton

Dec 31, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Title: President and CEO of Sourcelight Technologies, a provider of predictive modeling and intelligent merchandising solutions to retailers across multiple channels. The company, formerly known as Entertainment Decisions, was founded in 1997.
Background: Prior to joining Sourcelight in April 2001, Mr. Furton spent 10 years with Peapod, an online grocery-shopping service that was one of the first e-commerce companies. Mr. Furton held several executive positions within the organization, most recently chief information officer.
Products: The Sourcelight Discovery Engine is used as the core technology in applications that provide personalization services, product recommendations and targeted marketing and merchandising functions. The Sourcelight Media Manager is an automatic system that enables retailers to remotely deliver targeted broadcasts to customers via storewide television networks.
Media Manager benefits: “The concept of centralized scheduling is not new. But they’re typically just scripted playback systems. Where ours is differentiated is with this automated intelligent video jockey, which instantly programs the most appropriate dynamic playlists according to business rules at a location level. So it could be store location and even in-store zone, because we can support multiple streams in multiple zones. We can also tie to in-store systems and look at, say, product availability or specials. For example, we tie to the system at Blockbuster, and we do not promote movies that are currently out of stock. We can tie to time of day, day of week, number of people in the store, local news activities in a given marketplace-that kind of thing.”
Potential Media Manager clients: “It’s appropriate for larger national retailers who are using digital signage networks for both merchandising and advertising and want to be able to localize and have better control over that in-store environment. The other thing that’s a problem for these folks is the show, if you will, is very restricted today-it’ll be the same all month long, typically in a four-hour loop. So this system will draw on a much greater source of content and provide a richer in-store experience.”