Our Product Pick
Pioneer POS (City of Industry, CA) has shipped its Cyprus POS Terminal, offering either Intel Atom or Intel Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs. Furthering versatility, it features 15" resistive or projected capacitive touchscreen, and runs as thin-client (via SSD) or under Windows or Linux. In spill-proof, bezel-free format, Cyprus has 2-GB RAM (upgraded to 16-GB), Intel 10/100/1000 BaseT Network (with optional Wi-Fi), and USB x 5 and Serial x 4 (as well as Powered USB +12V and +24V). As desktop, it measures 14.1 in. (W) x 11.4 in. (H) x 8.9 in. (D) and weighs 11 lbs. As options, the company provides an integrated 3-inch/80-mm receipt printer from Epson America, as well as card readers, barcode scanners, and secondary LCDs. Pioneer POS emphasizes the long shelf life of five years minimum for the Cyprus.
Cyprus by Pioneer POS
Zebra's New Stripes
While its exact name remains undecided, Zebra Technologies and Motorola Solutions have provided some details of their new, combined channel program. An overall framework was announced at this month's Zebra Global Partner Summit, with more details to come this summer, and finalization expected in January 2016. "We're 60% to 70% there," Denise Hampton, Director of North America Channel Strategy for Zebra Technologies (Lincolnshire, IL), told RRN.Com. As related by Hampton, an intensive effort followed Zebra's acquisition of Motorola Solutions last fall, and depends heavily upon feedback from Regional Partner Advisory Councils.
With the preponderance of their sales through the channel, both companies have run powerful programs in the past, of course, PartnersFirst for Zebra and PartnerEmpower for Motorola. "We wanted to take the best of both of these previous programs," explained Hampton. In her view, this draws together the simplicity and consistency of PartnersFirst with the flexibility and opportunity for differentiation afforded by PartnerEmpower. "A big part of that is making it easier to do business with us," continued Hampton, "in terms of one system for elements such as market development funds, co-op, and deal registration." A simpler pricing structure, too, it may be assumed.
In terms of structure, "we're leaning less towards the traditional tiered pyramid, and more towards program segments," reflected Hampton. "It won't be linear, from the bottom to the top, it's more inclusive and less rigid than that--to match the state of the marketplace." For now, the channel program will be divided into two basis segments: "business partners," who have deep industry expertise within core product lines such as barcoding, mobile computing, and card printing, and "solution providers," who support end-to-end projects with wider-ranging technologies and longer sales cycles, such as Zebra's Enterprise Asset Intelligence (EAI). "Movement within the program will be based on how partners are migrating their business model to meet the changing requirements of today's customers," emphasized Hampton.
Denise Hampton, Director of North America Channel Strategy, Zebra Technologies
LevelUp Sprints to Direct Carrier Billing
LevelUp (Boston, MA) has embraced direct carrier billing--whereby your retail purchases appear on your mobile phone bill--via such service from Danal (San Jose, CA). One of the more successful mobile loyalty and payment platforms, LevelUp now supports 14,000 merchants in the U.S. At present, only payments with Sprint will be provided, although Danal also ties its "BilltoMobile" to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
"With a modern payment infrastructure, there's no reason to be restricted to just the old-world of plastic payment methods," exclaimed Seth Priebatsch, CEO and "Chief Ninja" at LevelUp. "So we're excited to go one step further." As part of this arrangement, consumers utilizing direct carrier billing, or DCB, will receive another 10% on any rewards unlocked on LevelUp.
So far, LevelUp has targeted markets with small bill totals, such as quick-service restaurants (QSR), which seems appropriate for direct carrier billing (widespread in pay-per-view, video games, and e-books). Some observers have noted problems in the case of higher-ticket items, since significant numbers of consumers experience sticker-shock, buyer's remorse, or sudden lapses in memory, with subsequent complaints on billing. As expected, the LevelUp App may be downloaded by consumers at no charge for iOS and Android; the Software Development Kit (SDK) has been offered for merchants and third-parties.
Seth Priebatsch, CEO, LevelUp
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On Honeywell's Prow, Dolphin 75e
Honeywell Scanning & Mobility (Fort Mill, SC) has launched its next generation of mobility with the Dolphin 75e, which offers the choice of either Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld or Android 4.4 KitKat. Following the philosophy of "rugged smartphone," with dimensions of 2.9 in. (W) x 5.3 in. (L) x 0.7 in. (D), and weight of 7.2 oz., the Dolphin 75e accepts speech, stylus, touch, and keypad. User methods for data capture include one- and two-dimensional barcoding, voice notes, digital signatures, and notes on images.
As technical specifications, Dolphin 75e has Qualcomm Quad-Core CPU at 2.2 GHz, 2-GB RAM, and 16-GB Flash. Additional features include 4.3" projected capacitive touchscreen, eight-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, integrated NFC reader, full-shift 1670-mAh Li-Ion battery, an IP-67 rating for water and dust, and withstanding of multiple 4 ft./1 m drops to concrete. An upgrade path for Dolphin 75e will see Windows Embedded 10 Handheld or Android 5.0 Lollipop.In conjunction with the release of the Dolphin 75e, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility has announced its new developer program for ISVs. It allows select developers to start building applications in advance of general availability of the company's devices, including the Dolphin 75e. Honeywell will debut additional products running on Windows and Android in Summer 2015. "Our top priority is to deliver world-class solutions that make our customers more efficient and meet the diverse business needs of a global workforce, while helping customers to get the most out of their existing technology investments," stated Taylor Smith, GM of Mobility for Honeywell Scanning & Mobility.
Dolphin 75e From Honeywell Scanning & Mobility
Weight Watching at Janam
Janam Technologies (Woodbury, NY) has extended its XG Series of mobile computers with the lightweight XG3. Weighing under 22 oz., and measuring 3.1 in. (W) x 8.3 in. (L) x 7.4 in. (H), in gun format, the XG3 stresses worker comfort and productivity with better device balance (e.g., battery in the handle), high-resolution resistive touchscreen (3.5" and 480x640), and extra-long-lasting battery life (5200-mAh hot-swappable Li-Ion). A choice of keypads includes 34-key numeric and 75-key alphanumeric.
Running Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, the XG3 features ARM Cortex A8 CPU at 1 GHz, 512-MB RAM, 1-GB Flash, and Micro-SD. A choice between Honeywell's Adaptus N5600 two-dimensional imager and Motorola's SE965 one-dimensional scanner has been offered. It also has Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and support for Voice-over-IP (VoIP). Finally, the XG3 holds an IP-65 standard for water and dust and withstands multiple 6 ft./1.8 m drops to concrete.
"The XG3 is built with the user in mind," declared Harry Lerner, CEO of Janam. "Incomparably light and ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in the hand, this is the ideal device for scan-intensive, extended shift use in the harshest environments. Janam doesn't force customers to choose between price and performance. The XG3 meets the most demanding requirements at an incredibly competitive price point."
Janam's XG3 Rugged Mobile Computer
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A "Kettell" Full of ISVs for Epson
Another sighting of an upstart ISV at Epson America (Long Beach, CA), in this case Food Online Ordering Systems (Longmont, CO). Adopted are Epson's OmniLink TM-T88V-i and OmniLink TM-T20II-i receipt printers, which have processing power and memory to drive third-party applications and peripherals (i.e., acting as hub). Epson differentiates OmniLink with an "i" for "Intelligent," and touts related technologies such as "ePOS Print" and "Server Direct Print."
"As online food ordering has been making the move to mobile, Food Online Ordering Systems recognized the need for a more efficient and convenient mobile online ordering solution," remarked Tom Kettell, Director of Commercial Channel Sales for Epson America. "They have the technology and skill to take the online restaurant ordering experience to the next level. And together, we can create a more appealing online food ordering experience for customers while simultaneously enabling restaurants to maximize their business potential.""Food Online Ordering Systems has increased our food orders by more than 10%," testified Linda Johnston of Abo's Pizza in hometown Longmont, Colorado. "We are doing about $4,000 per month in online sales now. On our counter we have an old cash register and our Epson printer. It's like magic--we added a button to our website and the online order just prints out." Supporting iOS, Android, and Windows, Food Online Ordering Systems may be delivered in white label format for customer branding purposes.
Back View of Epson America's TM-T88V-i OmniLink Receipt Printer
An Expressway to Xpress-pay
One of the leading restaurant POS ISVs, Dinerware (Seattle, WA), has integrated the mobile payment platform, dubbed Xpress-pay, from Systems East, Inc. (Cortland, NY). In addition to enabling customers to pay via their smartphones, Xpress-pay provides its mobile wallet, with payments routed through the POS and the establishment's existing merchant account (which may include Heartland Payment Systems, proud new owner of Dinerware). From the restaurant's perspective, this direct integration also means both systems communicate in real-time.
"From start to finish, it takes about 11 minutes on average for a check to be settled right now," estimated Jim Buttino, President of Systems East. "Xpress-pay reduces that to less than 1 minute, meaning for every six tables that 'Xpress-pay' their bill, the establishment gains an additional hour back to serve new customers. That translates into a financial windfall for our clients, especially those who focus on time-sensitive services like lunch and happy hour.""Now that we have the certification in place, we're eager to begin working with Dinerware's network of dealers to begin channel penetration," continued Buttino. "With more than 20,000 Dinerware customers, this is no small feat. However, we're looking forward to the substantial opportunity, and we're happy to be leading the mobile payments charge with our venerable partner, Dinerware."
Dinerware Certifies Xpress-pay
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions (Research Triangle Park, NC) has enlisted SAS (Cary, NC) to carry the torch of visualization and predictive analytics into POS, and so, help retailers better connect with their customers. This alliance will allow retailers to gain greater insight (so-called transparency) into shoppers' behavior, leading to more effective loyalty and promotion campaigns. With embedded SAS Analytics, it also will allow retailers to tap into consumer groups and social networks in order to influence customers at critical decision points before, during, and after each transaction, according to the two parties. "Toshiba is committed to delivering a seamless and interactive shopping experience for shoppers everywhere," indicated Patricia Pepper, VP of Worldwide Services at Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. "Through our collaboration with SAS, well-known as an industry leader for powerful analytic solutions, Toshiba is further empowering its retail customers to more effectively curate both personalized and real-time shopping journeys for their customers that transcend the multitude of channels."
Channel ChatterEpicor Software Corporation (Austin, TX) will spin off its Retail Solutions Business into a separate privately-held company under common ownership by funds advised by Apax Partners. Referred to as "SpinCo" until the transaction is finalized, Epicor's Retail Solutions Business continues under the leadership of Noel Goggin, EVP and GM. "It is a very dynamic and transformational time in retail and I am thrilled with the opportunities an independent, focused entity offers us to better serve our clients," remarked Goggin. Epicor Software Corporation will continue to focus on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Human Capital Management (HCM).
PowaPOS Sees Wide World
Another step forward for PowaPOS (Roswell, GA), which has expanded its ecosystem with integrated payments from Worldpay (Atlanta, GA). Introduced last year, the PowaPOS T25 features tilting/swiveling tablet stand, built-in thermal printer, two-dimensional scanner, credit card reader, and optional cash drawer--all with a single power cord. A Software Development Kit (SDK) and Application Programming Interface (API) support efforts in the channel with PowaPOS, including iOS, Windows, and Android.
"Since the launch of our SDK less than a year ago, a rapidly growing list of the world's leading software developers have completed integration with PowaPOS, and are now showcasing their apps with our next-generation T25 hardware," pointed out Jeff Dumbrell, CEO of PowaPOS. "Now, with Worldpay, not only do we take another step toward eliminating the friction and complication that has kept tablet-based payments from reaching its full market potential, but we also dramatically simplify and expedite the migration to EMV and NFC in the U.S." In keeping with its rapid growth, PowaPOS also added two more noteworthy ISVs: Bindo (New York City) and Regentsoft (Guangzhou, China)."As the demand for both bundled services and tablet-based payments continues to grow, this relationship with PowaPOS fits perfectly into our 'develop once' approach, which provides a direct connection to the payment acquirer while easing the adoption of new POS," elaborated Steve Karp, Chief Strategy Officer at Worldpay. In 2014, his business processed 10.7 billion transactions globally, making it one of the largest such entities. It recently purchased SecureNet Payment Systems (Austin, TX) and its cloud-based platform for point-of-sale, mobile payments, and e-commerce, as everyone gears up for the omni-channel world.
Payment Processing for PowaPOS T25
Nextep: Only the Screen You Need
Nextep Systems (Troy, MI) has received Notification of Patent No. 8990734, for "Method and Assembly for Displaying Menu Options." It covers the company's path-based wizard approach to POS, which reflects how most customers naturally order their meals (in conversational mode), according to the ISV. As part of this system, only logical and relevant screens are brought forward, and modifications are made with more simple controls (such as "add more, less, or none" for toppings).
Ordering screens typically feature layers of unnecessary information, continues the ISV, and the required modifications are often only available through separate, set menu pages. Such pages may have multiple options that don't even apply to an item being entered, but still need to be visually sorted before an accurate selection can be made. This can contribute to slow order times as well as poor order accuracy.
"We developed our point-of-sale with an order flow similar to our kiosks," reported Tommy Woycik, President of Nextep Systems. "The menu gives the options the user needs instead of cluttering the screen. Anyone can walk up and order effectively in one or two tries. Fortunately, the U.S. Patent Office agrees."
Covering "Method and Assembly for Displaying Menu Options"
[Editor's Note: A malware attack has breached Nextep Systems, and its VAR, the Compass Group, in the case of soup restaurant chain, Zoup. "Within 36 hours of the point that we learned of the problem we were able to internally use our resources to block further data compromise with most of our customers," Woycik told Brian Krebs, Editor of Krebs on Security. "We retained and worked with two different sets of consultants to fix all remaining problems and to evaluate, on an ongoing basis, the effectiveness of the fixes." In this case, the culprit was the malware, POSeidon.]
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The Colbert (and ScanSource) Report
Stephen Colbert, Share Fair Nation, and ScanSource have joined forces to fund every proposed classroom project in South Carolina via DonorsChoose.org. Together, the three individual contributions will enable nearly 1,000 projects for more than 800 teachers at over 375 schools, totaling $800,000. Colbert, a South Carolina native and board member at DonorsChoose.org, raised his funds by auctioning off his desk and set pieces after "The Colbert Report" ended in December.
"ScanSource was so pleased to bring DonorsChoose.org to South Carolina in 2005, and we're thrilled to continue our support a decade later," commented Christy Thompson, VP of Worldwide Marketing at ScanSource (Greenville, SC). "Since 2005, DonorsChoose.org has helped fund 13,000 South Carolina projects, investing over $5.6 million in teachers and students across the state. Education funding has never been more critical to the future of South Carolina, and ScanSource is proud to help classrooms in need."Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org is an example of non-profit crowd-funding; in this case, teachers create projects and request materials, field trips, and technology their students need. A private family endeavor, The Morgridge Family Foundation, based in Denver, Colorado, fathered Share Fair Nation to support education. If you need identification information on ScanSource, you probably shouldn't be reading RRN.Com.
Stephen Colbert Joins Actress Yvette Nicole Brown and S.C. Teacher Damon Quails to Announce Funding for Classroom Projects
A Way to Make Your Bird Qkr
MasterCard has brought its digital payment platform, Qkr! with MasterPass, to the first restaurant location in the U.S. It will now support Streetbird Rotisserie, the newest concept by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, located in New York City. Qkr! is now available for Streetbird Rotisserie diners to download from the App Store or Google Play. (Yes, it's pronounced "Quicker.")
Using iOS or Android, customers may order their meals in advance, and also pay, from their smartphones. A dedicated pick-up spot inside the location will help them get in and out quickly. Soon patrons will also be able to order delivery through the Qkr! App, which, as expected, utilizes QR Codes and digital wallet for receipts. Conveniently, it bills through MasterPass.
"With Streetbird, I wanted to create something that made good food accessible. So we focused on creating an environment--from the menu to the incorporation of Qkr! with MasterPass--that centered on take-out and delivery," explained Samuelsson. "This is food you can order ahead and pick up on your way home from work--made quicker and easier with Qkr! from MasterCard."
MasterCard Brings Its Digital Payment Platform to Restaurants
Bright findings from the "Q1 2015 ShopKeep Small Business Index." According to this survey, 96% of small business owners are confident about the state of their business, and an equally high amount, 97%, expressed optimism about their success one year from now. Notably, revenue has increased for 75% of these merchants over the last six months, and 90% of respondents expect revenue to continue to grow over the next six months. Other noteworthy economic findings include: 68% reported an increase in net profits over the last six months; same-store sales showed 11% increase in revenue versus Q1 2014; number of transactions increased by 17% versus Q1 2014; and sales figures increased 25% for restaurants and bars versus Q1 2014. Among merchants employing its solution, which focuses on tablet-based POS, ShopKeep found 60% of respondents are first-time business owners and look to trusted accountants, bookkeepers, or financial consultants for advice and support, followed by online resources (55%), family and friends (54%), and other small business owners (43%). Of particular interest, 78% of merchants acknowledged that contactless payment technologies will ultimately lead to increased customer convenience, but 44% of merchants are unsure of how contactless payments will affect the security of their customers' credit card data. "Ongoing industry-wide education about developing technologies and government policies will be key in maintaining their growth and success," advised ShopKeep CEO/President Norm Merritt.
BrianM for CurrentC
Merchant Customer Exchange (Boston, MA), the retailer-backed mobile payments provider, has drafted financial services and payment industry veteran Brian Mooney as its Interim CEO. He succeeds Dekkers Davidson, who has left MCX to pursue other opportunities. MCX has entitled its mobile app, "CurrentC." (Yes, it sounds like "Currency.")
"MCX was created to capitalize on a tremendous opportunity for consumers, and I look forward to taking the company through the next exciting phase of bringing CurrentC to the market," relayed Mooney. "MCX has a talented team in place backed by the determination and resources of many of the world's largest and most successful merchants. Building on that foundation, we're focused on making CurrentC the consumer preferred mobile payments platform."
Most recently, Mooney was CEO of Bank of America Merchant Services. Previously, he was CFO, and later President, of First Data Merchant Services. MCX enjoys the backing of major retailers such as 7-Eleven, Best Buy, CVS Health, Darden Restaurants, Lowe's, Publix, Shell Oil, Target, and Walmart--but lacking, to date, has been enthusiastic support by consumers.
Brian Mooney, Interim CEO, MCX
Oh Mexico for Bixolon
Bixolon America (Torrance, CA) has enlisted Felipe Barragan as its new Territory Manager for Mexico. Prior to Bixolon America, Barragan served as Regional Channel Manager for Latin America at POS-X. Earlier employers in our sphere include Motorola Solutions, Touch Dynamic, and Metrologic Instruments (now part of Honeywell Scanning & Mobility).
"With over 25 years in the industry and a track record of exceedingly high accomplishments, we couldn't be more excited to have Felipe on board with us," shared Juan Salinas, VP for Latin America, Mexico, and Caribbean at Bixolon America. "His innate ability to think strategically, while also providing comprehensive solutions, will allow him to nurture as well as form new relationships with customers in his territory." Bixolon America supplies receipt, label, and mobile printers.
Felipe Barragan, Territory Manager for Mexico, Bixolon America
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