Our Product Pick
SAM4s has added Tabby, its web server integrated into the SAM4s Ellix 40 receipt printer for POS. Tabby runs on any browser-capable device regardless of operating system, including PCs, mobile devices, and in particular, tablets. Since Tabby does not rely on the local resources of the hardware platform--whether iOS, Android, or Windows--retailers will not have to continually upgrade. In effect, it functions as local cloud for the POS. Additional benefits include easy set-up (from either item option screens or item database) and full reporting (with sales dashboard, accessed remotely or in-store). Tabby will be distributed by CRS, Inc. (St. Paul, MN) and Ready Distribution (Beaverton, OR and Buena Park, CA).
Tabby Web Server by SAM4s
Powa Powers Up
More from PowaPOS, the tablet-based hopeful from the U.K.'s Powa Technologies, which has recruited payment processing veterans here in the U.S. and tapped distribution as its go-to-market strategy (so far, with POS Portal). Now PowaPOS has rolled out its Software Developer Program for ISVs. A consistent set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) work across iOS, Android, and Windows to drive the PowaPOS T-Series POS terminal and the PowaPIN EMV-enabled card reader. Ah, EMV.
Recently, RRN.Com spoke with Bill Pittman, EVP of Customer Implementation for PowaPOS. One of the first advocates of so-called "integrated payments," Pittman founded Go Software and TPI Software to achieve such purposes, and after selling both, worked for Hypercom and Roam Data. "With the PowaPOS Software Developer Program, we're easing integration by building a highly scalable, platform-neutral solution with best-in-class software support to match our best-in-class hardware," stated Pittman, based in Atlanta.
Significantly, the T-Series integrates tilting/swiveling tablet mount, receipt printer, two-dimensional barcode scanner, and encrypting magnetic-stripe card reader with EMV. It can also support multiple third-party peripherals when required via its expansion port capacity. PowaPOS has identified one of its early ISVs, e-Nabler Corporation (Fort Lauderdale, FL). "With the PowaPOS SDK, we no longer have to use four or five different developer kits to integrate software with POS hardware," cited Joel Vazquez, CEO. According to Pittman, PowaPOS is now in talks with other leading software players, as well as payment processors, and even historic distributors of POS. He describes its plans as "pure channel."
Bill Pittman, EVP, Customer Implementation, PowaPOS
Appropriately named POStablets has introduced two new products, just in time for the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) Show in Orlando in August. The first, an Android P10 Tablet POS, features 10-inch multi-touch display, the full suite of communications (Wi-Fi, 3G WAN, Bluetooth, and GPS), and front and rear cameras (two-megapixel and five-megapixel, respectively). It runs Dual-Core Arm Cortex-A9 CPU at 1.6 GHz, 1-GB RAM, and 16-GB Storage. Ports include SIM Card, Micro-SD Card, Micro USB, and Mini-HDMI. Significantly, it delivers built-in MSR, IC Card, and NFC.
Along the same lines, POStablets has supplied its individual "clip on/clip off" three-track card reader for payment processing. It connects to any device with USB port and has wider surface area to securely attach to tablets, emphasized the company. Designated Model SC-750, this device furnishes bidirectional read capability, beeper and LED confirmation, and power-saving mode. It complies with ISO-7811."Mobile devices will become the standard in the coming years, and payment processing will follow," remarked Ken Mix, North America Sales Director for POStablets (St. Augustine, FL). "IC Card and NFC are quickly becoming ways of payment, so POStablets has created two new innovative devices to meet market demand. This built-in MSR is ideal for the people who want to add payment processing to their existing tablet and need something better than the small readers that often break or mis-read swipes."
Removable Card Reader From POStablets
Worth Your While
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Fast Times at Bixolon
Bixolon America (Torrance, CA) has unveiled its new receipt printer, the SRP-350plusIII. Compatible with smart devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows, the SRP-350plusIII features numerous enhancements. A triple communication interface has built-in USB V2.0 and Ethernet with Serial, Parallel, WLAN, Bluetooth, or Powered USB. In addition, an improved design eliminates paper jamming, according to the vendor.
Two versions are offered: SRP-350plusIII with print speed of 300 mm/second (11.8 inch/second) at 180 dpi and SRP-352plusIII with print speed of 270 mm/second (10.6 inch/second) at 203 dpi. As paper width, the SRP-350plusIII accommodates three-inch rolls, with change over to two-inch rolls by partition, if desired. A cost-saving paper reduction function combines with 16-step true gray scale printing of graphics.
For counter or wall-mount, the SRP-350plusIII measures 5.7 in. (W) x 7.9 in. (L) x 5.7 in. (D) and weighs 3.4 lbs. Bixolon America will show the new SRP-350plusIII at the upcoming Retail Solution Providers Association (RSPA) Show in August in Orlando. In March, it launched its Premier Partner Program, dubbed BP3, with three levels, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. A full slate of benefits include marketing support, sales and technical training, and price incentives, as first reported in RRN.Com.
New SRP-350plusIII Printer From Bixolon
Socket's Pocket Rocket
Another eye on dexterity, as Socket Mobile (Newark, CA) presents its new Model 8Qi 2D Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS). Approximately the same size as a credit card, measuring less than one-half-inch thick and weighing less than two ounces, the CHS 8Qi has been promoted as the most compact two-dimensional barcode scanner on the market. It can be attached to most smartphones, including the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, and Samsung S4 devices, in "sled-type" configuration.
"The 8Qi slips neatly into your pocket and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand when attached to a smartphone," elaborated Socket Mobile. "You can add a lanyard or belt clip for a wearable solution making the 8Qi accessible at any time." Additional features include Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, rechargeable Li-Ion battery with 10 hours life, USB, and front and side LEDs.
Available in black or white, 8Qi 2D facilitates mobile couponing, ticketing, and high-end retail environments. It carries an MSRP of $476 in the U.S. and will be available through Socket Mobile's worldwide distribution partners at the end of Q3. As expected, an accompanying Software Development Kit (SDK) has been offered for the CHS 8Qi.
Model 8Qi 2D CHS Scanner by Socket Mobile
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Big Data, Down to Earth
Some vertical news from Apple (Cupertino, CA) and IBM (Armonk, NY), which have revealed their collaboration on enterprise mobility, with the goal of bringing IBM's big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad. This program, entitled IBM MobileFirst for iOS, features several key elements, including collaboration on made-for-business-apps, extensive platform delivery and functionality (including IBM Cloud Marketplace), and mutual service and support (via AppleCare for Enterprise and IBM MobileFirst Supply and Management). As part of this agreement, IBM will also sell iPhones and iPads with industry-specific solutions to business customers worldwide. Reportedly, key apps will target retail, travel, transportation, and healthcare, among others.
"iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98% of the Fortune 500 and over 92% of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today," declared Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "For the first time ever we're putting IBM's renowned big data analytics at iOS users' fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver."
In retail, in particular, this partnership would seem to offer interesting possibilities for readers of RRN.Com. With iPhone and iPad increasingly popular as customer service and point-of-sale platforms, any access to more sophisticated business intelligence represents an added, perhaps game-changing, bonus. A possible benefit includes deeper, real-time reporting and analysis on omni-channel sales trends, customer preferences, and product availability, along with closely tied merchandising efforts. Everyone talks about this, of course, but these two new partners may have the market standing, reach of distribution, and technical muscle to pull it off.
Virginia Rometty, IBM CEO, and Tim Cook, Apple CEO, Celebrate Partnership on Enterprise Mobility
Some Logical Thinking for Xpient
Xpient Solutions (Charlotte, NC), one of the leading hospitality POS ISVs, has partnered with CardFree (San Francisco) to bring omni-channel, end-to-end services for restaurants, ranging from customer relationship management and loyalty to order-ahead, payments, stored-value, and back-office solutions. With 17 of the top 50 QSR brands as customers, Xpient provides its Xpient Commerce Platform and the IRIS Enterprise Point of Sale and Production System. The companies share common customers and see even more potential ahead with this relationship.
"Traditionally, integration to restaurant commerce technology, especially point of sale systems, is quite a hurdle in mobile commerce deployments," commented Jon Squire, Founder and CEO of CardFree, which also has signed with Mercury Payment Systems. "With Xpient and their cloud-based Commerce Engine, which provides immediate and seamless access to the POS, this is as easy as it can get, allowing us to quickly deploy our full suite of services. We are continually being asked for guidance on POS providers that can help lessen friction and aid expansion for global companies. Xpient provides this without the need to replace costly hardware or complex and expensive software deployments."
"The restaurant industry is clearly responding to customers' expectations for technology enabling omni-channel interaction, and leveraging everything available to them. To be competitive, restaurants need to have a seamless solution that uses the same business logic in mobile, online, or in-store, and that's exactly what this partnership is about," suggested Christopher Sebes, CEO of Xpient. "Our company powers some of the most recognized quick-service and fast-casual restaurants in the industry and we've never seen such a rapid shift and demand for new consumer-oriented solutions."
Xpient Adds CardFree Mobile Commerce
Datex Corporation (Clearwater, FL) has released its Small Business Editions of Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Third-Party Logistics (3PL) for the SMB. Datex Footprint WMS ties with RF or RFID data-collection solutions to complete real-time inventory visibility and tracking. Datex Footprint 3PL allows logistics providers to capture and bill for value-added services. It includes an online portal for customization of labeling, reports, and documentation for their customers. EDI services may also be added. "Datex Footprint Small Business Editions provide excellent functionality for warehouse, distribution, and third-party logistics operations at lower cost," noted Michael Armanious, VP of Sales and Marketing. "These software editions are packaged to enable small businesses to save time, money, and labor and to provide them with a competitive advantage to earn new business."
Channel ClarificationIn last week's exclusive coverage of the new 7RT Tablet from Team Sable (San Jose, CA), we neglected to note that CRS, Inc. (St. Paul, MN) will distribute this product to VARs & ISVs. Also, Team Sable will showcase the 7RT Tablet at the upcoming Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) Show in Orlando, FL, in August. It runs Android 4.0 with IP-54 and MIL-STD-810G ratings for ruggedness.
Apps Flowing at Lavu
More enhancements from Lavu (Albuquerque, NM), one of the more viable iPad POS purveyors. Now delivery and route extension, coupled with its customer database, features turn-by-turn directions and order sequencing. Drivers are provided with maps and directions via text message or printed receipts. The system approximates delivery times and selects the best path for the driver to take--even recommending Order B before Order A, if appropriate. Multiple order routing handles two or more items.
"From order to destination, Lavu is an all-in-one solution built to help delivery businesses," proposed Alex Gibbs, VP of Product Development at Lavu. "Order timetables factor in delivery preparation, route duration, and time at the door. This maximizes efficiency and driver accountability by managing orders down to the minute." This delivery and routing extension adds $30 to the monthly hosting fees, with free trial offered.
This announcement follows earlier releases for Lavu To Go, including multiple payment options, real-time notifications, customizable online menus, and easy web embedding. Customers may place orders through websites on laptops, desktops, and mobile devices, paying with credit card or with cash at the counter during pick-up. "We listened to customer feedback and studied industry trends to understand how best to improve our product, then developed multiple payment options and real-time notifications in response," reported Gibbs. Lavu To Go is included at no cost for Gold, Platinum, and Pro.
Delivery and Routing Extension for Lavu POS
A Smooth "Slyde" for Beacons
GoPago POS from DoubleBeam (Pasadena, CA) will support Slyde, another beacon-enabled mobile commerce hopeful (both payment and loyalty). In pilot at select retailers in Berkley, California, Slyde employs beacons to help retailers connect with customers in the store, attract those nearby with so-called "reel-in" offers, and speed up the check-out process via smartphones and integration with DoubleBeam's GoPago POS. GoPago runs as SaaS and Android Tablet.
"Integration with GoPago will truly help our retail partners grow their business, while enabling a more personalized, rewarding, and convenient shopping experience for consumers using Slyde," relayed Kihyun Jung, COO and Chief Product Officer of SK Planet, Inc. (Slyde comes from SK Planet, Inc., the U.S.-based mobile commerce subsidiary of South Korean wireless giant SK Telecom.) "Utilizing beacon technology, Slyde customers will be notified of discounts right when they're most relevant and with the added convenience of paying with their phone in a fast and easy check-out experience on the GoPago system."
Ted Tekippe, DoubleBeam's CEO, added, "SK Planet is bringing the power of their leading mobile commerce technology to the U.S. for the first time and we're proud to be an early partner. Together this strong partnership will continue to advance our merchant solutions. Retailers can now enjoy the advanced technology of our robust, cloud-based GoPago POS system, coupled with customer-centric marketing solutions to help drive a deeper relationship with their customers."
GoPago Partners With SK Planet
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NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Quorion's U.S. Quest
A German firm, Quorion, has designs on the market for POS in the U.S. Exhibiting at the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) Show in August in Orlando, Quorion will promote its terminal hardware products and new payment processing software, named Monetra. An encrypted, end-to-end scheme, Monetra supports major processors, according to the company, and runs locally or hosted via gateways such as SecureNet.
"Our international experience has allowed our product line to evolve substantially from our modest beginnings," remarked Patrick Grueschow, VP of Marketing for Quorion, based in Boca Raton, Florida. "We started with one electronic cash register model and now offer an extensive range of point-of-sale products, everything from small, fiscal cash registers to modern touchscreen POS systems and apps. We have faced tough competition from Asian and North American vendors in virtually every country, which drove our product development."Quorion will preview its QTouch 8 and Android POS Systems at RSPA. QTouch 8 features nine-inch touchscreen, integrated receipt printer, and small footprint. Conversely, the Quorion's Android POS offers 10-inch tablet formats. In addition, Quorion will show its QTouch 10 All-in-One POS, first debuted in 2012, as well as its standard software, QMP POS, which addresses retail, foodservice, bakeries, dry cleaners, and salons and spas. In the U.S., Quorion is being represented by Jay Tener, President of Higher Ground Business Services (Cleveland, OH).
Quorion POS Terminal
What Price, Barcodes?
A secondary market for barcodes has come under scrutiny by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. In separate complaints, the FTC charged that InstantUPCCodes.com and its principal, Jacob Alifraghis, and 680 Digital, Inc., d/b/a Nationwide Barcode and its principal, Philip Peretz, violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by inviting competitors to collude to raise prices for barcodes sold over the Internet. As many RRN.Com readers are well aware, this market flourishes to avoid the cost of GS1.
The FTC complaints charge that on August 4, 2013, Alifraghis of Instant sent a message to Peretz of Nationwide proposing that the two companies, along with a third barcode seller, described as "Competitor A," together raise their prices to meet the higher prices charged by another company, "Company B." Instant's Alifraghis allegedly then sent a similar e-mail invitation to Competitor A, and the next day, Nationwide's Peretz forwarded Instant's message to Competitor A, asking for its thoughts on the proposal.
Without agreement from Competitor A, Nationwide and Instant did not take action to raise prices, but allegedly continued to discuss by e-mail a possible price-fixing scheme for barcodes, conditioned on the participation of Competitor A. For its part, Competitor A never responded to any e-mail nor did it agree to participate in the proposed scheme. The improper discussions continued through January, stopping only after the FTC began its investigation into the matter. Now both parties, Instant and Nationwide, have been barred from such collusive activities.
FTC Probes Web Barcode Pricing
The National Retail Federation (Washington, DC) has lowered its retail sales forecast for 2014 because of slow growth recorded during the first half of the year, but expects sales to grow significantly faster over the next five months. NRF forecasted in January that retail sales would grow 4.1% in 2014 over 2013, which has now been revised to 3.6%. NRF calculated that sales grew 2.9% during the first half of the year and should grow at least 3.9% during the second half. These numbers include general retail sales and non-store sales, while excluding automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants. "One of the worst winters in recent memory kept shoppers home during the first quarter, and weak numbers for real estate, inventories, and exports continued to hamper the economy through the second quarter," writes Jack Kleinhenz, Chief Economist, in NRF's Monthly Economic Review. "However, employment has grown at its strongest pace since 2005, business and consumer confidence have edged higher, manufacturing activity has expanded, and inflation pressures remain tame, improving expectations for the second and third quarters."
With summer underway, one-third of SMB owners say they will not be able to take a vacation this year, according to the latest Small Business Index conducted by Office Depot. For those lucky third, the top two elements that enable them to break away from the workplace include: reliable staff to cover for them while away from the office (35%) and technology that keeps them connected no matter where they are (32%). Enjoy your summer.
SAP Discovers SMBs
SAP (Newtown Square, PA) has launched its SMB Solutions Group, focused specifically on the needs of businesses with less than 500 employees. This new division will be headed up by Dean Mansfield, as President. As part of his new role, Mansfield will oversee the current SAP Business One and Business One Cloud, part of SAP HANA, which will continue to operate through Global Partner Operations. Formerly, Mansfield served as President of NetSuite from 2003 to 2009.
"SMBs are playing an increasingly important role in the global economy and at the same time are increasingly interested in leveraging advanced technology," affirmed Ray Boggs, VP of SMB Research at IDC. "We're predicting record worldwide SMB IT spending that will top $680 billion by 2018, with exceptional gains in key regions and across key technologies as SMBs are being transformed through the use of mobile devices and cloud computing. The opportunity for firms to sharpen their products, refine distribution strategy, and appeal to new customers has never been greater."
Dean Mansfield, President, SMB Solutions Group, SAP
Doug Takes AIM
Familiar figure Doug Hall has joined AIM (Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility) as its Business Development Director. Hall has 35 years of relevant experience with roots in the IT and AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture) industries. His expertise includes general management, sales, product marketing, and go-to-market strategies in industrial, commercial, and government sectors.
Currently, as Principal at CEO Focus, Hall works with companies on both strategic business plans and tactical execution. In the past, he has served as Channel Sales Director of North America and VP of Marketing for Datamax-O'Neil, Director of Sales for Seagull Scientific, Director of Printer/Data Capture Marketing for Intermec Technologies Corp., and Director of Sales and Marketing for Datasouth Computer Corp. He is based in Seattle.
Doug Hall, Business Development Director, AIM
Touche´ at TouchSuite
TouchSuite (Boca Raton, FL), one of the payment/point-of-sale hybrids, with its Firefly System, has enlisted Julianne Gordon as its VP of Operations and Underwriting. Prior to joining TouchSuite, Gordon spent 12 years as Director of Underwriting at North American Bancard. Before that, she spent 12 years with Fleet Capital as National Credit Manager and Division Program Manager.At TouchSuite, Gordon will once again be working with Gary Rutledge, Managing Director and COO, and former COO with North American Bancard. "I'm so fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside Julianne once again, as there is truly no one that can do this job with the level of quality and integrity that she displays every day," shared Rutledge. "We at TouchSuite are very happy to welcome such a distinguished, accomplished professional to our team . . . she will fit right in here."
Julianne Gordon, VP of Operations, TouchSuite
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