This Week’s Product Pick
Socket Mobile (Newark, CA) has offered its multi-color version of the Socket Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) 7Ci. Suitable for use with Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows, these new variations--offered in red, yellow, and blue, as well as gray--enable businesses to project corporate branding for POS, field sales, and service, according to the vendor. CHS 7Ci represents Socket Mobile's most popular and lowest-cost barcode scanner, with one-dimensional reading and pocket-sized form factor. "We purchased the Socket CHS 7Ci at the recommendation of Registroid, the provider of our Android-based POS system," recollected Geoffrey Smith, Owner of Bike Partners in Santa Rosa, California. "When presented with different barcode scanner colors, we choose yellow because it makes the scanner easier to find among all the bicycle parts, equipment, and accessories in our store, plus yellow has special meaning in the sport of cycling for competitions such as the Tour de France."
Socket Mobile's Colorful Scanners
ShopKeep Leaves No Fingerprints
ShopKeep POS (New York), one of the iPad POS providers concentrating on the channel, will collaborate with MagTek, Inc. (Seal Beach, CA) to further protection of cardholder data and elimination of payment card fraud at the POS. Under this new relationship, ShopKeep POS will contribute MagnePrint information to Magensa, LLC, MagTek's subsidiary and "the world's largest open and shared registry of 'magnetic fingerprints' for ATM, credit, debit, gift, and loyalty cards." To this end, ShopKeep POS has integrated numerous secure card reader authenticators (SCRAs) from MagTek with its leading iPad POS system.
"We are extremely pleased to be working with ShopKeep POS as they deploy the MagneSafe Security Architecture," declared John Arato, VP of MagTek's Retail Business Unit. "ShopKeep POS is the leading iPad POS system and their users accept millions of card-based transactions per month. Their contribution to the Global MagnePrint Exchange will benefit all participants in the payments ecosystem."
"In addition to instantly protecting cardholder data from the point of swipe, we also see the benefits of leveraging Magensa's authentication services to help our merchants identify and reduce fraud in real-time," indicated Jason Richelson, CEO and Founder of ShopKeep POS. "We are happy to work with MagTek because their solution is easy to implement and has demonstrated its ability to dramatically reduce card fraud." Just recently, ShopKeep POS won the Technology Innovation of the Year Award from the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), which suddenly seems interested in the larger world beyond payment processing.
ShopKeep POS Contributes to MagTek's Magensa Registry
Citizen Systems America (Torrance, CA) has significantly expanded its staff, with additions to both its sales force and executive branch. Just in the past 90 days, for example, three new Business Development Managers have joined the company. "We have bolstered our desktop/POS and barcode printing efforts with highly experienced people," Andrew Golden, VP of U.S. Sales, confirmed for RRN.Com.
All these new employees carry considerable experience in the printer market for POS and Auto ID. As Business Development Managers, Citizen has added Mike Walsh, Jerry Moy, and Mark Cessna. Walsh previously served as Eastern Regional and Canada Sales Manager with Digi-Trax Corporation, with particular expertise in the healthcare arena. Moy served as Sales Manager for Star Micronics, with prior time at Zebra Technologies. Finally, Cessna has worked as National Sales Director for Source Technologies, Channel Account Manager for Datamax-O'Neil, and Major Account Manager for Printronix.Concurrently, two well-known industry executives have been brought onboard. First, Glenn Williams signed on as Director of Marketing and Product Management. He previously served as Senior Product Manager at Zebra Technologies for many years. In addition, Citizen Systems has recruited Vic Barczyk as EVP. Notably, Barczyk's resume includes the titles of VP of Global RFID Business Development for Sato as well as VP of Sales and Marketing with Cognitive Solutions.
Vic Barczyk, EVP, Citizen Systems America
Worth Your While
VARTECH US/LATAM 2013
Pack Expo 2013
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Sticky Situation at OKI Data
OKI Data Americas (Mount Laurel, NJ) has added the RT322SK direct thermal receipt printer to its growing portfolio. RT322SK has been certified by MAXStick (Lancaster, PA) to support their range of liner-free, repositionable thermal labels, and comes backed by one-year overnight exchange warranty. MAXStick, many RRN.Com readers will recognize, allows receipts or labels to be posted on wrappings and bags, with particular usefulness for foodservice and grocery.
Measuring 5.2 in. (W) x 8 in. (D) x 5.2 in. (H) and weighing 3.8 lbs., RT322SK offers two-dimensional barcode printing, "drop in and print" paper loading, auto-cutter, and output of 150 mm/second (6 inch/second) at 203 dpi resolution. A typical range of interfaces may be requested, including Serial, Parallel, USB, and Ethernet. Most importantly, MAXStick adheres to virtually any surface and leaves no residue when removed, or even reattached."The OKI RT322SK is a superior thermal receipt printer that will satisfy market demands for simplicity, flexibility, and quality," suggested Mark Hernandez, Director of the Specialty Products Division for OKI Data Americas. "Capable of supporting repositionable, liner-free labels, these printers are easily integrated into any work environment in need of fast, convenient, and efficient label printing. As the POS printer market continues to grow, OKI will continue to develop and customize innovative printing solutions to meet our customers' evolving needs."
OKI Data's RT322 Thermal Receipt Printer Adds MAXStick
Cybra Seals the Deal
Cybra Corporation (Yonkers, NY) has stocked its "Lock & EnCode" tamper-reading RFID tags for shipping purposes. An alternative to conventional padlocks, according to the vendor, these single-use RFID seals employ Higgs 3 Silicon ICs from Alien Technology (Morgan Hill, CA) and have been designed for global operation between 860 and 960 MHz. They comply with EPC Global Class 1, Gen 2, and ISO-18000-6C, and feature read range of 19 feet with circular polarized antenna.
Manufactured of high-grade polypropylene, Cybra Lock & EnCode devices employ an effective metal locking mechanism with chromed steel hasp. Tags measure 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch, and with the hasp, reach 2.5 inch in height. Reportedly, they were developed in response to customer requests for a tamper-evident seal--suitable for plastic distribution totes, bundles of perishable goods, or high-value items such as handmade carpets--while simultaneously furnishing RFID tracking and automation qualities.
Two models are offered: basic and custom. Basic RFID seals are delivered ready for customer programming. These seals accept ASCII and Hex for flexible RFID User Data encoding through Cybra's EdgeMagic EPC or EdgeMagic Mobile software editions. In custom configuration, Lock & EnCode seals come with programmed RFID User Data encoded and perma-locked to match serial numbers supplied by customer at time of order. Custom seals are laser printed with company logo or name, serial number, and Code 128 barcode. They also may be ordered in six primary colors, versus gray for the basic model.
Lock & EnCode RFID Tamper-Evident Tags
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AZT Spells Out NAEX
AZT POS (Tustin, CA) has launched its Next Day Advanced Exchange Program, dubbed NAEX. This is an optional warranty to complement the company's standard three-year depot warranty, and covers product failure on systems and peripherals. AZT POS has set the price of $150 to $200 for one-year NAEX and $350 to $450 for three-year NAEX, with resellers deciding exact charge based on the customer's overall support program.
This premium warranty must be purchased by the end-user through the AZT reseller at the time of invoice. Certain rules apply, such as the equipment failure needs verification by AZT's technical support team. Once approved, AZT will ship replacement system or printer from its national service centers directly to the end-user by next-day air. AZT expects the end-user to return the defective unit to the service center.
"The NAEX program was launched due to many requests from AZT resellers who appreciate the agressive price point offered by AZT," Keddy Chen, AZT's GM, told RRN.Com. "It gives end-users an extra layer of confidence when purchasing equipment from AZT's resellers." NAEX will be administered by the third-party company, Amcor (Fairfield, NJ), which serves as an authorized service provider for NCR, Casio, and other POS brands.
AZT POS 8080 Terminal With Dual Screens
Dressing Up Your Maitre'D
Maitre'D, the hospitality software from Posera-HDX (Montreal), has added LoyalMark to its list of customer loyalty providers. Grounded in Canada, and part of KESM Transaction Solutions, LoyalMark recently established its first U.S. office in Palm Beach, Florida. It bases its program on traditional company-branded loyalty cards, with e-mail and SMS functionality.
"Integration with LoyalMark allows end-users to further capitalize on the extensive sales data that lives in Maitre'D POS, and thereby increase their sales," commented Michel Cote, President of Posera-HDX. "What's great about LoyalMark is that their solution is a simple yet powerful marketing tool, offering lots of value for Maitre'D POS customers." Added Mike Sorbara, LoyalMark's President, "The combined feature-rich capabilities offered by Maitre'D and LoyalMark provide restaurateurs with the most comprehensive marketing solution available today."
No external plug-in or web browser is required for this integration, according to the two parties. Servers and cashiers simply scan the restaurant client's LoyalMark loyalty card along with their credit card or cash payment in one transaction. In addition to LoyalMark, Maitre'D ties to customer recruitment and retention programs from Fanbox, Givex, Mercury, and My Loyal One. An integration with LevelUp is in beta test, RRN.Com has learned.
Branded Loyalty Card From LoyalMark
Sato America (Charlotte, NC) has added Linux and Mac OS X drivers for use with its thermal printers. Such drivers now support the CL4e/CL6e, CG2/CG4, and M84 Pro Series. They integrate into the Linux-based PC or Mac set-up for general purpose printing functions utilizing the CUPS printing system. Support is rendered for the following major Linux distributions: Red Hat (.rpm), Ubuntu (.deb), and tar.gz for generic installations. Addressing the dynamics of Linux and Mac communities, the list of supported printers will continue to expand, promised the vendor. "Creation of the Linux driver is one more example of how we continue to broaden our compatibility to meet the evolving needs of our consumers," stated Stephen Hull, Product Development Manager for Sato America, Inc. On the corporate level, Sato also celebrates 50 years of providing labeling machinery to customers across the world. Congratulations from RRN.Com.
Intermec (Everett, WA) has named its North American Partner Award Winners for 2013:
U.S.: Informs, Inc.
"We are proud to honor and recognize this year's partner award recipients for their commitment to supporting Intermec and our mutual end customers through outstanding achievements in technology innovation," commented Scott Anderson, VP of Global Channels for Intermec. "I commend all of our partners for their exemplary efforts and look forward to another great year."
Reports Flow Like Lavu
Lavu, Inc. (Albuquerque, NM), another of the iPad-based POS players committed to the channel, has extended several new features for reporting and operational improvement. First, its so-called "Meal Periods" module helps restaurant managers and owners gauge sales in relation to specific time intervals. For example, by setting "in and out" times for breakfast and lunch, sales data may be presented for each of these shifts, on the basis of total revenue and numbers of orders.
Secondly, its new "Revenues Centers" will help restaurants track sales data in relation to specific areas of their floor plan. Bar, dining room, and patio sales represent likely subjects. This feature will help restaurant operators pinpoint areas for improvement or expansion, such as staffing adjustments or space allocation.
Lastly, the "Happy Hour" function provides automatic discounts for assigned times. This flexible tool accommodates both percentage and dollar-amount reductions applied to individual menu items or entire menu categories. Businesses may customize such settings as generically or specifically as they want, with the Lavu iPad POS providing the platform.
Lavu POS Adds New Features for Business Analysis
A Tell-Tale Heart for C-Stores
Heartland Payment Systems (Princeton, NJ), known for payment processing and business services, has launched SmartLink Food Safety Monitoring, its piggyback scheme for overseeing food storage and preparation equipment in the convenience store industry. This managed network service, with PCI-compliant security, delivers temperature monitoring, diverse VPN communications, and segmented SSL to support transactions generated by POS, money order, check cashing, ATM, and fleet card terminals. (For some sense of market, Heartland Payment Systems currently supports nearly 50,000 petroleum and convenience stores.)
Since cold storage and preparation equipment typically account for 30% of the convenience store's energy costs, such temperature tracking can be critical, according to Heartland. In addition to 24/7 reporting and the capacity to proactively maintain equipment, SmartLink Food Safety Monitoring meets Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Guidelines, as well as the Food Modernization Act of 2001. This law calls for more frequent inspections and an analysis of potential problems and remedial steps on the part of food operations.
"Convenience stores currently employ one of two monitoring methods--manual oversight by employees or use of controls that are part of larger HVAC systems--neither of which is 100% reliable," observed Michael Youngkin, Senior Director of Network Solutions for Heartland. "Both approaches easily lend themselves to mistakes, misreporting, and compliance problems. With SmartLink Food Safety Monitoring, operators will now have simple cloud-based access to the most accurate information possible, as well as significant savings in equipment repair and energy usage."
SmartLink Food Safety Monitoring Offered by Heartland Payment Systems
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One Sure Way to PCI-DSS
Here's one way to ensure PCI compliance. CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (Carpinteria, CA) has contracted directly with ControlScan (Atlanta) to bring PCI-DSS to select stores within the company's franchise system. Specifically, CKE will fund individual franchisee delivery of the ControlScan PCI 1-2-3 Program. CKE, many RRN.Com readers will recognize, encompasses many of the most popular quick-service restaurant brands, including Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Green Burrito, and Red Burrito, with more than 3,300 franchised or company-owned outlets.
"Our new agreement with ControlScan helps remove barriers to payment security and PCI compliance at the store level by giving our franchisees easy access to expert, step-by-step guidance and support," commented Tom Lindblom, CTO for CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. "Security of our customers' credit card data has always been a high priority for us and hence we are making additional investments in this initiative on behalf of our franchises. We want our customers to confidently use their debit and credit cards at all of our restaurants."
"Like any small business owner, the restaurant franchisee needs steadfast support in the form of education, easy-to-use products, and support services that simplify the complexity of PCI compliance," suggested Jethro Felton, EVP for Sales and Business Development for ControlScan. "We are delighted to work with CKE Restaurants' franchisees to raise the security posture of each store, which will in turn benefit the CKE system as a whole." Interestingly, customers of QSR who pay by credit or debit tend to spend more than those who use cash, studies show.
ControlScan Booth at Recent ETA Show
Micros: Gotta Go To Mo's
Micros-Retail (Westboro, MA) will outfit Modell's with its Xstore Point of Service, "Relate" Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and miStore Mobile POS. Modell's has selected Micros-Retail Xstore as part of its initiative to transform the customer experience, modernize IT for the stores, and streamline day-to-day functions, according to the two parties. As an added benefit, the Java-based Micros-Retail Xstore should significantly reduce the training time required by Modell's technical teams.
"We look forward to enhancing the shopping experience at our stores through the use of mobility," relayed Hans Kantor, VP of IT for Modell's, in referring to Micros miStore. "We know this is the next step to best serving our customers." With miStore, Modell's expects its sales associates to bring detailed product information and better service to customers across its 150 stores in the Northeastern U.S.
Elsewhere, the Micros Opera Property Management System has been chosen by Marriott International for use in all its hotels worldwide, including North America. Under the new partnership agreement, Marriott will deploy the hosted version of Micros Opera PMS. Suitable for use by hotels of any size, according to Micros, Opera PMS addresses all daily activities--from handling reservations, through operations, to managing accounting and billing on the back-end.
Modell's Installs Micros Xstore, CRM, and Mobile POS
Happy Mother's Day, but what does it mean for sales? According to the National Retail Federation's Annual Survey, conducted by BIGinsight, consumers will spend an average of $168.94 on mom, up 11% from last year's $152.52. Total outlay is expected to reach $20.7 billion. While traditional gifts such as flowers, apparel, and gift cards remain popular, many consumers will reach deeper into their pockets. NRF's survey found that 14%--the highest in the survey's history--of shoppers this Mother's Day will purchase electronics, spending more than $2.3 billion, up from $1.6 billion last year. More than one-third (34.4%) of gift givers will buy jewelry, spending $4.2 billion, up from $3.7 billion last year. Additionally, gift givers will splurge on special outings, such as brunch or dinner ($3.5 billion), followed by flowers ($2.3 billion), gift cards ($2 billion), clothing and accessories ($1.7 billion), and personal service gifts, such as spa days ($1.5 billion). Nearly three in 10 shoppers (28.5%) will buy their gifts online, up slightly from 25.6% last year. "It's clear that Americans this year want to honor the woman with the hardest job in the world with unique and special gifts this Mother's Day," summarized Matthew Shay, CEO/President of NRF. "After a long winter that kept many from splurging on any new spring merchandise, retailers are looking forward to opening their doors and surprising shoppers with promotions that are perfect for any gardener, host, fashionista, or tech-savvy mom."
IEE Displays Retail Focus
IEE, Inc. (Van Nuys, CA), best known in our channel as supplier of pole displays, has enlisted industry veteran Mike O'Connor as its Director of Sales for Retail Products. Previously, O'Connor served as Channel Manager, Western Region, for HP, with responsibility for partner sales of POS, digital signage, and store mobility. Earlier posts have included Jadeon, NCR Corporation, RIS, Inc., and ParTech. Overall, O'Connor has worked in many capacities related to retail display technologies, from customer relations and business development, to product marketing, partner management, and contract negotiations.
"Today's connected consumer expects a higher level of information in the store to complement what is available online," ruminated Thomas Winfrey, President of IEE. "This opens up a new set of business challenges for brick-and-mortar locations, including employee competency, infrastructure requirements, and integrated data access. Mike will play a key role in making sure our retail displays not only add to the customer's experience, but streamline processes for the retail location as well."
"By combining IEE's advanced display technologies with the latest in omni-channel support, we are building a series of powerful displays, price verification terminals, and customer interactive kiosks that will help balance the retail industry's challenge of serving customers effectively with a finite staff online," O'Connor proposed. "By taking a solutions-based approach, we're able to offer POS units and kiosks that add significant value in terms of customer loyalty, multifaceted marketing opportunities, and personalized choices for the end-user." IEE's legacy began in 1946 with the development and manufacture of defense displays for industrial and military uses, before addressing retail.
Mike O'Connor, Director of Retail Sales, IEE
Quantum Leap in Executive Suite
Quantum Retail Technology (Minneapolis) has strengthened its executive team with two new appointments. Joe McManus has been named VP of Sales, while Kyle Gunderson has joined the company as CTO. Both bring more than two decades of relevant experience to this developer of inventory management and merchandising optimization solutions.
Prior to joining Quantum Retail in 2010, McManus spent approximately eight years with HighJump Software, progressing through the sales ladder from Regional Manager to Director to VP. Before that, he worked at Astute Solutions, Provia Software (Infor), and Oracle. On his part, Gunderson most recently served as COO & VP of Operations for Thomson Reuters, preceded by VP of Product Development for Paisley and Director of Technology Development with Lawson Software.
"Today's retailers have complex challenges in managing their growing online business alongside their traditional brick-and-mortar stores and they need partners who can help simplify and optimize their operations. Joe and Kyle both have proven track records at meeting critical needs of business customers through effective software and service solutions," remarked Steve Buege, CEO of Quantum Retail. "Their leadership will help Quantum Retail meet the growing demand for our innovative products. I'm pleased to congratulate Joe on his new role and to welcome Kyle to our organization."
Key Executive Posts: Joe McManus and Kyle Gunderson
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