Our Product Pick
NCR Corporation (Duluth, GA) has unwrapped its new NCR SelfServ 90, for use in free-standing self-checkout kiosks, on the countertop, or wall-mounted. It carries 15-inch, zero-bezel, projected capacitive touchscreen, Intel Celeron CPU, Intel Active Management Technology 9.0, 4-GB RAM, 80-GB SSD, 12 USB, and preloaded Windows 7. For payment, NCR SelfServ 90 employs MSR and Chip-and-PIN EMV. Integrated peripherals may include receipt printer, two-dimensional imager, and intervention light for calling associates. "Whether in the supermarket or at convenience, department, specialty, or DIY retailer, there's a large amount of checkout traffic that can be handled with this card-only, small-footprint solution," suggested Dusty Lutz, GM of Self-Checkout for NCR Retail. "This technology is ideally designed for 'grab-and-go' during peak shopping hours or the lunchtime rush."
NCR SelfServ 90
Another Story Told, An ISV Is Sold
It continues, consolidation. Now Demandware (Burlington, MA) has snapped up Tomax (Salt Lake City, UT). Widely regarded as one of the leaders in POS, Tomax serves customers such as Hallmark, L.L. Bean, and Party City. Demandware will pay approximately $60 million in cash and $15 million in additional future payments for Tomax. Eric Olafson, CEO of Tomax, and his team will join Demandware, reportedly.
Acquisition of Tomax will enable Demandware to further its efforts in the rapidly growing area of "unified commerce," under which physical and online store systems are brought together. A unified platform, powered by the cloud, will provide retailers with better access to comprehensive consumer, product, inventory, and order and price data--in real-time, according to the two parties. As well as omni-channels, it spans devices and back-office systems. As cloud product, Demandware offers its aptly named "One Platform," while Tomax has Retail.Net for POS.
"We have demonstrated that our cloud solution is a superior model for managing consumer engagement across channels," relayed Tom Ebling, CEO of Demandware. "The addition of Tomax's POS technology and deep in-store domain expertise allows us to accelerate our One Platform strategy by extending our reach further into the physical store. This creates tremendous opportunity." According to Greg Buzek, Founder and President of IHL Group (Franklin, TN), an industry-leading research firm for retail IT, 70% of specialty stores will move to unified commerce platforms for POS.
Tom Ebling, CEO of Demandware
[Editor's Note: Expect more examples of consolidation in our channel, as one of the payment processors will soon announce its purchase of two leading POS ISVs. RRN.Com has promised to withhold names until the deals are signed.]
Star Shines on Digital Receipts
Star Micronics America (Edison, NJ) has fashioned "AllReceipts," its new digital receipt solution, which rolls out in April. Unlike some approaches to this subject, AllReceipts seeks to simplify the process and reduce customer privacy concerns. It allows customers to save the digital copy of the paper receipt on their mobile device, via QR Code, without the need to share an e-mail address, for example, or the need to take photographs. Offered at no charge, it runs in the cloud on Microsoft Azure.
AllReceipts will be included on all new Star thermal printers starting in April, with updated, downloadable drivers for the field and accompanying Software Development Kit (SDK). Customers may view their filed digital receipts by date or retailer with the AllReceipts App. For the merchant, online "Retailer Reporting Tools" show number of receipts printed and claimed, real-time status monitoring across the installed base of printers, and customer satisfaction survey results.
"It's not a replacement for paper receipts," Jon Levin, Product Integration Manager at Star Micronics America, told RRN.Com. "We see this as something that can add value to paper receipts as well as to our receipt printers. We're providing 'proof of purchase' whether paper or digital, which consumers need."
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Presenting the CR5000
Compatible with the company's rapid disconnect USB, RS-232, and Bluetooth Affinity cables, the CR5000 features single, blue targeting bar. It allows merchants to store coupons or signatures without specialized software while an optional age verification mode helps to monitor sales of tobacco, lottery, or liquor. Additional benefits include hands-free or manual triggering, reduced power consumption, programmable LED and audible tone good-read indicators, and durability of multiple drops to concrete of 5 ft./1.5 m.
"Managing data with advanced technology is critical to competing in today's fast-paced retail environment," reflected George Powell, CEO/President of Code Corporation. "We created the CR5000 to give retailers an innovative and more effective way to facilitate data collection, improve customer engagement, and ultimately enhance the sales process." A three-year warranty is extended by Code Corporation.
CR5000 Barcode Reader From Code
Triplets for Honeywell
Honeywell Scanning & Mobility (Fort Mill, SC) has extended its Voyager Series with three new scanners. Representing the first of many variations to come, the handheld Voyager 1202g-bf laser scanner furnishes "battery-free" technology, via super-capacitor that charges in less than 20 seconds and provides at least 100 scans. Weighing 5.6 oz., Voyager 1202g-bf employs Bluetooth Class 2 for range of 100 ft./30 m. It's targeted for applications where occasional wireless scanning is needed, such as complementing in-counter scanners in retail environments.
Next, an affordable Voyager 1602g pocket-sized scanner delivers one- and two-dimensional reading via area imaging with Bluetooth Class 2 for supporting tablet-based retail POS. In rectangle shape of 4.7 in. (L) x 1.9 in. (W) x 0.9 in. (H), and weight of 3.5 oz., Voyager 1602g features contoured design, soft touch plastics, an oversized trigger button with tactile feedback, and white LED aimer. Finally, the Voyager 1450g tethered gun scanner and Voyager 1450g wireless gun scanner deliver linear barcode scanning out-of-the-box, with easy upgrade to full area-imaging as desired.
"Retailers are feeling more pressure than ever from consumers to deliver faster and smoother in-store experiences," reported Bob Grabowski, Director of Industry Marketing for Honeywell Scanning & Mobility. "With these new products, our goal is to give retail professionals the ability and freedom to select the right tools to enable innovative marketing programs and effortlessly run operations while improving the customer experience." Meeting with RRN.Com at the recent NRF Show, Grabowski also noted the success of the company's in-counter hybrid scanners, the Stratos, which combine omni-directional laser reading and area-imaging. According to Grabowski, many retailers prefer this configuration.
New Scanners in Voyager Series by Honeywell
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A Firm Handshake With Mobile POS
Two long-time suppliers to our channel--Epson America (Long Beach, CA) and Touch Dynamic (Irvington, NJ)--have joined forces to tackle Mobile POS. Their solution bundles Epson's Mobilink P20 portable receipt printer with Touch Dynamic's new 7" and 10" Quest Tablets. Mobilink P20 offers two-inch print width, reaches 4 inch/100 mm per second print speed, runs iOS, Android, and Windows, and weighs 8 oz. Quest Tablet from Touch Dynamic carries Quad-Core Bay Trail-T CPU, projected capacitive touchscreen, two-dimensional barcode scanner, encrypted MSR/EMV, and Windows 8.1.
"Everyone with a mobile device has become accustomed to a more engaging shopping or food ordering experience," remarked Tom Kettell, Director of Channel Sales for Epson Business Solutions. "Retailers and hospitality providers must continue to enhance this experience through Mobile POS hardware and devices that deliver new value-added services. Teaming up with Touch Dynamic, known for its unique and reliable solutions, provides merchants with the assurance to get the most out of their Mobile POS systems and to meet demand for more personal service, faster transactions, and greater convenience."
"Mobile POS empowers staff to enhance customer service and boost business," stated Craig Paritz, President of Touch Dynamic. "But not all mobile devices are suited for heavy traffic and usage, such as in a retail or restaurant environment. Bundling Epson's innovative, small, and light Mobile POS printer with our retail-hardened rugged tablet that can withstand the most rigorous applications, offers our partners and their customers the best of both worlds."
A Combination of Touch Dynamic's Quest Tablet and Epson America's Mobilink P20 Portable Receipt Printer
The XM5th Dimension at Janam
Janam Technologies (Woodbury, NY) has premiered its XM5 rugged mobile computer, with support for both Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 and Android 4.2. XM5 comes with Qwerty or Numeric keypad and specially-fortified 3.5-inch VGA display with resistive touchscreen for heavy use. As communications, it furnishes 802.11a/b/g/n dual-band WLAN, 3G/4G WWAN, Bluetooth Class 2, and GPS. Embedded RFID/NFC, laser scanner or area imager (N4300 and N5600 from Honeywell, respectively), and front- and rear-facing cameras serve data collection.
As technical specifications, XM5 has ARM Cortex-A8 CPU at 1 GHz, 512-MB RAM, 1-GB ROM, and Micro-SD. Contoured for easy grip, it measures 6.1 in. (L) x 2.9 in. (W) x 1 in. (D) and weighs 10 oz., including long-shift 4000-mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. It holds an IP-65 rating for dust, dirt, and water jets, withstands 5 ft./1.5 m multiple drops to concrete, and comes UL-certified for hazardous environments.
"Janam's XM5 is one of the few rugged mobile computers that allows a customer to migrate from Windows to Android without purchasing new hardware," noted Harry Lerner, CEO of Janam. "Packed with all the features that enterprise requires, built to exacting standards of quality and available at an attractive price point, the XM5 catapults Janam to the lead position among hardware providers that not only listen to what customers need, but deliver to those requirements."
Janam's XM5 With Multi-O/S
HighJump Software (Minneapolis, MN) has released its new product fulfillment package, HighJump Retail Advantage. With HighJump Retail Advantage, customers have extensive, real-time visibility and control functionality for the entire store operation. It seamlessly integrates with store point-of-sale, planograms, order management, and enterprise resource planning (ERP). A number of additional benefits were cited for this software: (1) cycle counting and inventory adjustment controls; (2) a single pool of inventory per product to which all channels have access, with fulfillment prioritization rules among online, home delivery, store requirements, and wholesale; (3) an ability to handle unique fulfillment requirements such as temperature-sensitive control to maintain freshness in grocery stores or image display to locate products; (4) configurable, value-added services management for activities such as labeling, kitting, and assembly to support efficient work queue control and monitoring; and (5) support for ASN and P.O. receipt processes with directed put-away for streamlined workflow. "Retailers are thinking outside of the distribution center, and are looking to their brick-and-mortar stores to manage inventory for fulfillment," advised Ross Elliott, Chief Strategy Officer. "HighJump Retail Advantage is unique because it takes into account store-specific needs while leveraging the key functionalities used in the warehouse."
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
CognitiveTPG Fills Bluetooth
CognitiveTPG (Ithaca, NY) has added Bluetooth to its popular A799II POS printer and DLXi desktop label printer. "Adding this option provides customers with enhanced flexibility and convenience by allowing them to print when and where they need," emphasized Nigel Ball, VP of Sales and Marketing for CognitiveTPG, "whether from handheld terminal, smartphone, or mobile computer." Windows and Android are supported by the Bluetooth A799II and DLXi, according to CognitiveTPG, with iOS coming soon.
"Offering the Bluetooth connectivity option on our popular POS and label printer products means we can support the ever-growing display of M-POS and M-Label applications," enthused Jose Basa, Product Manager for CognitiveTPG. "Additionally, we offer the Bluetooth option on both our two-inch and four-inch label printer models, providing a unique selling point in the two-inch web width market." (A new expression, M-Label?)With Bluetooth, the A799II and DLXi will ship in Q1. It will be distributed by the company's partners: BlueStar, Ingram Micro's Data Capture/POS Division, ScanSource, and Synnex. Last summer, CognitiveTPG re-entered the mobile receipt and label printer market with its three-inch model, the M320. In addition to 802.11b/g, it carries Bluetooth.
A799II Thermal POS Printer
Citizen Thinks Barcode
Accelerating its push into barcode printing, Citizen Systems America (Torrance, CA) has launched the Mid-Range CL-E700 Series, successor to the CL-S700. Measuring 10.3 in. (H) x 9.8 in. (W) x 18 in. (D), and weighing about 24 lbs., the thermal transfer/direct thermal CL-E720 has four-inch print width and speed of 8 inch/203 mm per second at 203 dpi. Features include full 8" OD roll size, all-metal mechanism, built-in sensor capabilities including ribbon low, multi-lingual LCD, and built-in power supply with Energy Star.
Ideal for tight spaces, the CL-E720 has "Hi-Open" case which lifts vertically. As standard communications, there's USB 2.0 and 10/100 Ethernet, with optional Parallel, Serial, Premium Ethernet, and 802.11b/g/n WLAN. For remote management and configuration via the web, Citizen supplies its LinkServer.
"The tools offered in this product and the value-based pricing position is meant to remove barriers to adoption and integration in the competitive world of IT equipment," indicated Tetsuya "Ted" Masuda, CEO/President of Citizen Systems America. "We expect the advanced capability to manage these devices and the long-lasting product quality of them to make a very compelling reason to integrate the CL-E700 family into many vertical applications." Masuda filled his position, and relocated in the U.S., at the beginning of the year. Previously, he served as GM of the Overseas Sales Department for Citizen Systems Japan Co.
Citizen's Mid-Range CL-E720 Barcode Printer
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ShopX: Beacons For Everyone!
ShopX (New York City) plans to distribute one million free Bluetooth beacons to retailers in the U.S. Given support for both iOS and Android, participating retailers may then deploy the mobile communications and workforce management platform by ShopX (software will also be offered for free). In all, ShopX expects to enable at least 100,000 retail outlets through this offer, which would represent the largest beacon roll-out.
"This, for us, is an investment in infrastructure," explained Wayne Kyle, Founder and CEO of ShopX. "There is so much more to beacons than just pushing ads, coupons, and offers to shoppers. Through indoor navigation and mobile, retailers can dramatically improve their bottom line through optimized operations and better customer service. Customers can get instant access to in-store assistants and enjoy other online-shopping benefits while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores."
In business for over ten years, ShopX provides both hardware and software as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Its packages start at $99 per month, per store. Advanced features include the ShopX Software Development Kit (SDK) and the ShopX Ad-Exchange. "We're very confident that once retailers and shoppers experience the benefits offered through the ShopX ecosystem, they'll utilize more of the platform," stated Kyle.
"An Uber for Customer Service," According to the Platform-as-a-Service Provider
A Big TIPP on RFID
GS1 US (Lawrenceville, NJ) has released its new guideline, "Tagged Item Performance Protocol," to help the retail sector consistently define, test, and verify the performance level of Electronic Product Code (EPC) RFID. Developed by retailers, suppliers, and solution providers, TIPP offers standardization for benchmarking the performance of RFID-tagged items across multiple environments. It comprises three components: tagged item grade definitions, testing procedures, and product catalogue that defines the RFID tag orientation and layout for common retail settings.
"The performance of an RFID tag depends on many environmental variables such as the store environment, product packaging, and orientation to the reader," commented Melanie Nuce, VP of Apparel and General Merchandise, GS1 US. "Historically, retailers have conducted their own RFID performance testing and set their own individual expectations for tag inlay solutions that may be used to tag products destined for their stores. This required suppliers to provide different solutions for different retailers. TIPP now allows retailers to set performance levels for a specific use case, and it also allows suppliers flexibility in how they meet grade levels from multiple retailers."
"Several major retailers have reported tangible results from RFID pilot programs, including reduced labor costs and enhanced inventory accuracy," continued Nuce. "They consider RFID key to their omni-channel strategies in 2015 and beyond. TIPP will facilitate tremendous innovation and flexibility in future RFID expansions since tagged item performance is now clearly defined and can now be verified independently by retailers, suppliers, or any third party."
GS1 US Releases "Tagged Item Performance Protocol" for Retail Settings
Small-to-midsized business owners feel optimistic about the economy, with 57% expecting revenue growth and 46% planning to hire at least six employees, according to the "2015 State of Small Business" from Wasp Barcode Technologies. Some results of direct impact to readers of RRN.Com: when asked their top three business challenges, 22% cited "Outdated Technology/Infrastructure," 11% cited "Collecting Payments from Customers," and 8% cited "Inventory Management." When comparing investment in IT from 2014 to 2015, 38% of small business owners plan to spend more, 32% will spend the same, 12% will spend less, and 18% don't know. Here's the specific numbers for 2014 IT spend: $100K+, 15%; $50-$100K, 11%; $25-$50K, 10%; $10-$25K, 11%; $5-$10K, 7%; $2.5-$5K, 7%; $1-$2.5K, 7%; $0-$1K, 13%, and Not Sure, 19%. In terms of specific implementations, 51% replaced computer systems in 2014 and 39% would like to replace computer systems in 2015. In inventory control, of particular interest to Wasp Barcode Technologies, here's what these SMB's use: 34%, Inventory Control Software/System; 16%, Manual Process - Computer; 13%, Manual Process - Pen and Paper; 9%, Part of Accounting System; 8%, Don't Track Inventory; and 20%, "Other." Interestingly, 54% of SMB's surveyed still prefer the on-premise software model versus the cloud. As strategies for growth in the SMB, Brian Sutter, Director of Marketing for Wasp Barcode Technologies, cited bring-your-own-device policies, better asset and inventory management, and increased IT spending in general.
Cayan's New Conquistador
Cayan (formerly Merchant Warehouse) has named Harry Hargens as its VP of Business Development. Hargens joins the payment processor from VeriFone, where he served as Director of Channel Programs and Business Development. Based in Boston, Cayan has prospered from its Genius Customer Engagement Platform, which provides flexibility among payment methods, whether card, NFC, QR Codes, or mobile wallets.
"Harry has proven to be a catalyst for change, both within payment companies and for the industry as a whole. His contributions span from launching the first PIN debit processing while at Omron, to enabling secure commerce for web merchants at Kryptosima, and securing alliances with top mobile wallet providers at VeriFone," summarized Ken Paull, Chief Revenue Officer at Cayan. "With significant experience across diverse areas, he is the ideal person to lead our business development--a role that requires strong relationships with both traditional and new industry players."
"Cayan is a future-focused company dedicated to developing the payment technologies that businesses require in order to succeed in today's competitive landscape. As someone who has dedicated the past thirty years to this space, I can clearly see the positive impact Cayan is having on businesses now and will continue to have in the future," exclaimed Hargens. "I'm eager to lead business development efforts and help the team integrate our offerings with key players in the ecosystem."
Harry Hargens, VP of Business Development, Cayan
Partner Tech Feels So Young
Partner Tech USA (Irvine, CA) has engaged Don Young as its Business Development Manager. Well-known in our channel, Young previously served as Business Development and OEM Manager for MMF POS. At Partner Tech, he will focus on building sales of the company's point-of-sale terminals, mobile computers, payment terminals, and associated peripherals.
"Partner Tech recognizes Don Young as highly professional," shared Sandra Hsia, President of Partner Tech USA. "We are extremely grateful that he's joined our team. With him serving as Business Development Manager, we look forward to many new and exciting opportunities."
Don Young, Business Development Manager, Partner Tech USA
[ Editor's Note: Some further changes. Peter Wolf, former VP of Sales for ParTech, has joined Glory Global Solutions as SVP, Non-Financial Markets. Mark Bunney, former Senior Director of Product Marketing, also has left ParTech, along with Emily Massaglia, former Channel Marketing Manager. Additionally, Ron Jackson, former VP of Marketing, has left POS-X, and Andrew Golden, former Senior Director, OEM Product Group, has left Citizen Systems America.]
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