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By Peter Staas, on Aug. 23, 2015

The proliferation of web-enabled mobile devices and the advent of cloud computing have created opportunities for traditional companies to unlock additional value from their businesses by collecting and analyzing data and improving customers’ experiences.

For example, some argue that Starbucks Corp’s (NSDQ: SBUX) innovative smartphone application has transformed the ubiquitous coffee purveyor into a technology company that’s pushing the envelope in mobile payments.

The convenience of ordering and paying in advance, as well as tracking awards associated with the firm’s customer loyalty program, has resonated with consumers.

CEO Howard Schultz recently indicated that this popular application, which boasts more than 13 million active users, accounts for about 16 percent of Starbucks in-store sales in the US.

Starbucks’ recent appointment of Kevin Johnson, the former CEO of Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) and longtime veteran of Microsoft Corp (NSDQ: MSFT), underscores the importance of mobile and digital engagement to the company’s growth strategy.

Management has indicated that the company could roll out this successful mobile payment and loyalty program to other retailers, many of which lack the wherewithal and expertise to pursue this opportunity on their own.

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