Our Product Pick
Unitech America (Cypress, CA) has debuted its latest rugged handheld computer, the PA520. In shirt-pocket-size, the PA520 features 3.5-inch multi-touch capacitive display in either VGA or QVGA and ergonomic alphanumeric keypad. Equipped with multiple scan engines, it reads one and two-dimensional codes as well as RFID and NFC. Powered by 800-MHz CPU, PA520 runs Windows Handheld 6.5 and carries Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and 802.11a/b/g/n. It weighs 7.8 oz., with an IP-42 rating for water and dust and 3 ft./1 m drop rating. As target markets, the company identified sales automation and field service. Also, bedside point-of-care will be addressed with an antimicrobial and disinfectant-ready housing for the PA520 MCA.
Unitech PA520 Computer
Brink's Job by PAR
PAR Technology Corporation (New Hartford, NY) has snapped up Brink Software (San Diego, CA), one of its supporting ISVs. Founded in 2008 by veterans of the hospitality industry, Brink Software has gained traction with its cloud-based POS, which tightly integrates loyalty and mobile online ordering, in particular, as well as kitchen video and enterprise reporting. Significantly, it takes PAR more deeply into subscription billing.
"We have been focused on expanding our reach into new hospitality markets for PAR with new product offerings that allow us to leverage our existing infrastructure and enhance our recurring revenue streams," proclaimed Ronald Casciano, President/CEO of PAR. "Brink has a great reputation as an innovator and this acquisition will allow PAR to diversify and strengthen our position in the hospitality markets. We look forward to continuing to support Brink customers and to facilitate Brink's growth through resources now available to them."
"In acquiring Brink, PAR dramatically accelerates our strategy to deliver compelling true cloud software to the quick-serve and fast-casual segments," testified Karen Sammon, President of PAR's Restaurant Technology Business, ParTech. This makes perfect sense, since PAR's well-known PixelPoint Software focuses largely on table-service and the bar segment. "Actually, there's very little overlap between the two products," RRN.Com was told by Mark Bunney, Senior Director of Product Marketing for ParTech, who also predicted more, not less, investment in both cases.
Karen Sammon, President, ParTech
"Pharmaco-Vigilance," Counsels GS1 U.S.
GS1 U.S. (Lawrenceville, NJ) has produced guidelines for inventory tracking in the drug supply chain. Straightforwardly entitled "Applying GS1 Standards to U.S. Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Business Processes to Support the Drug Supply Chain Security Act," it offers best practices for meeting immediate lot-level management deadlines, and sets the foundation for serialized item-level traceability. As RRN.Com readers may know, the 2013 Drug Supply Chain Security Act specified January 1, 2015 as the lot-level management deadline for manufacturers, wholesalers, and repackagers, with July 1, 2015 specified for hospital and retail pharmacies.
In particular, it focuses on the GS1's Electronic Product Code Information Services, which fulfills provisions of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act in areas of information handling and retrieval. In addition, GS1 EPCIS enables users to address requirements for serialization, starting in 2017, and item-level traceability, starting in 2023. It also draws in other GS1 Standards, including the Global Location Number (GLN), Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC), and GS1 Data Carriers and Application Identifiers.
"This new guideline, developed by industry for industry, is timely and needed to address key decisions that must be made now," advised Siobhan O'Bara, SVP of Industry Engagement for GS1 U.S. "It establishes a solid standards framework as the industry continues its transition to a safer, automated, and serialized supply chain." In August, GS1 U.S. hired Michael Innes, from Kaiser Permanente, as its VP of Healthcare.
New Guidelines for the Drug Supply Chain
Worth Your While
NRF's Big Show - Annual Conference
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Image Conscious at Datalogic
Datalogic (Eugene, OR) has premiered its PowerScan PM9500-DK two-dimensional imager with backlight display and sixteen-key keyboard. About eight inches long, and weighing less than one pound, the PowerScan PM9500-DK stresses ergonomic design and high first-pass read rate. Designed for rugged environments, it has an IP-65 rating for water and dust, 6 ft./2 m drop specification, and RS-232, RS-485, USB, and Ethernet. Target markets include warehousing, logistics, and manufacturing, as well as entertainment venues, according to Datalogic.
Also, the PM9500-DK imager features the latest generation of the Datalogic STAR 2.0 Cordless System, which employs narrowband radio with more range and robustness than Bluetooth. Datalogic STAR 2.0 provides high-speed wireless mobility from 433 MHz to 910 MHz. It offers scalable solutions ranging from simple point-to-point communications to complex, seamless networking. As additional benefits of the PM9500-DK, Datalogic cited high-performance liquid lens, "Green Spot" good-read feedback, and soft-pulsed white illumination light.
"Addition of the PowerScan 9500-DK imager provides our customers with an enhanced option in industrial scanning," observed Giulio Berzuini, GM and VP, Handheld Scanners, at Datalogic ADC. "This scanner offers best-in-class reading capabilities through high-speed imaging 2D optics and has great depth of field. We are confident our customers will enjoy enhanced productivity from the sixteen-key keyboard and greater mobility through its wireless scanning capabilities."
Datalogic PowerScan PM-9500-DK
Harmony at KoamTac
KoamTac, Inc. (Princeton, NJ) has unveiled its Model KDC30, an advanced miniature barcode scanner with Class 2 Bluetooth. Designed for use with smartphones and tablets, and equipped with convenient swing-out USB connector, the KDC30 incorporates the CR8000 two-dimensional scan engine with dual-field optics from Code Corporation (Draper, UT). Utilizing the company's existing KTSync Application and Software Development Kit (SDK), the KDC30 is MFi certified for Apple iOS (KDC30i), and also compatible with Android, Mac, BlackBerry, and Windows.
KDC30 measures 1.5 in. (W) x 3.3 in. (L) x 0.7 in. (D), weighs less than 2 oz., and holds more than 10,000 scans per charge. It includes four user buttons for scanning operations, controlling Bluetooth connections, and remotely activating soft keyboards. Custom features are available, including vibrating option and back-up battery for real-time clock. MSRP is $449.
"With the KDC30, we have ushered in a new level of sophistication in industrial design. KoamTac products have long been appreciated for their ultra-miniature size, timeless classic shape, and iconic four-line OLED display," declared Hanjin Lee, President/CEO of KoamTac. "But many of today's applications rely solely on the display of the smart device with which the KDC is paired. So we have removed our display and have created a form that blends harmoniously with today's beautiful smart devices from Apple and Samsung,"
KDC30 2D Bluetooth Barcode Scanner by KoamTac
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Another Dock for Harbortouch
Harbortouch (Allentown, PA) has presented an online ordering module for its Harbortouch Hospitality POS. Its online menu syncs with the menu on the restaurant's POS, simplifying initial set-up and automatically updating any changes during operation. In addition, restaurants may select from various customization options to tailor the service for their needs and to match the look of their branding.
Accessed through the restaurant's website, this online ordering module allows customers to pay with their credit cards, as expected. An instant notification of orders may be sent by e-mail, on the POS, or to the kitchen printer. Additional benefits include integration with Google Maps for delivery (with any charges computed by geographic zone), as well as the building of comprehensive customer databases for marketing and loyalty purposes.
"We are always looking for ways to add value for our customers by innovating and adding new features to our POS systems," remarked Jared Isaacman, CEO at Harbortouch. "This online ordering solution adds to the numerous other value-added services we offer such as our free online reservations module, our integration with mobile payments from Tabbed Out, and Lighthouse, our cloud-based POS management system." Harbortouch, of course, was first out of the gate with so-called "Free POS," which requires no up-front investment.
Online Ordering Module Debuted by Harbortouch
Refraction Hits Retail Pro
Retail Pro International (Folsom, CA) has put its next-generation store management software, Retail Pro Prism, into general release. Introduced at the NRF Show at the beginning of the year, Prism has been successfully beta tested across multiple verticals, according to the ISV. "Industry rates of adoption and deployment suggest that retailers are still defining what their approach to cross-platform and omni-channel retail will be," noted Kevin Connor, Director of Product Strategy for Retail Pro. "Every element of Prism was engineered with the retailer's choice and convenience in mind."
To that end, it employs CSS and XML-based GUI, Apache Web Server, and multiple database support for Oracle, MySQL, and soon, MSSQL. It spans browsers--Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari--and supports Windows, iOS, and Android. In addition, Retail Pro expects retailers will take advantage of Prism's modular design, allowing them to license only the modules needed, such as POS, Customer Management, Employee Scheduling, and Store Communications, while leveraging the platform's extensibility to meet unique needs using its robust Application Programming Interface (API).
"Retail Pro Prism lets VARs offer retailers an exciting new platform that will expand and adapt to their needs and environment, rather than forcing the retailer to fit a preconceived mold for technology," Alexandra Frith, Director of Marketing at Retail Pro, told RRN.Com. "Prism can be deployed in a myriad of environment and implementation scenarios, hosted in the cloud, hosted on premise, or a hybrid of both. And lastly, Prism lets VARs offer a single retail system to support both traditional POS and Mobile POS in the same application, allowing retailers to run their stores regardless of where they choose to run them."
General Release for Retail Pro's Next-Generation Store Management Software, Prism
Agilysys, Inc. (Alpharetta, GA) has released WMx Version 6.0, its new Workforce Management Solution. It includes tools for performance-based scheduling, dynamic labor forecasting, embedded workflow for employee hiring, employee self-service, and multiple time-capture methods. It integrates with numerous point-of-sale, property management, inventory and procurement, and payroll systems, according to the company. A number of enhancements have been configured, such as customized fields and functionality for compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through planning, monitoring, and reporting on employee work hours and real-time ACA status. In addition, WMx Version 6.0 features an app that enables managers to view posted schedules and approve employee requests. This "MyWMx Manager," now extended to Android, has the same capability as the iOS. "Labor is the largest controllable cost in the hospitality industry, and WMx has become a key tool for many managers who want to eliminate time-clock misuse and decrease workforce-related expenditures," suggested Maris Berzins, VP of Product Engineering at Agilysys.
A Welcome Global Storm
Merchant Warehouse (Boston, MA) has added Global Storm POS (Minneapolis, MN) to its Genius Customer Engagement Platform. This allows customers of Global Storm POS, and its wireless, cloud-based iPad POS, to take advantage of EMV, gift cards, and new payment schemes such as Apple Pay through NFC technology, according to the two parties. Since its launch several years ago, Merchant Warehouse has recruited many leading POS ISVs to its Genius Customer Engagement Platform.
"Global Storm POS serves retailers, restaurants, quick-service, and grocery stores that need to benefit from new payment technologies, but places its top focus on the customer," expounded Brad Batdorf, COO of Global Storm's parent company, Appmosphere, Inc. "Our integration with Merchant Warehouse's Genius solution is streamlined for our customers--allowing seamless acceptance of new technologies like Apple Pay and even Merchant Warehouse's powerful gift card program. The integration also means business owners and managers don't have to clutter their countertop, since Genius is available through our existing iPad POS."
"The number of payment technologies that are available to businesses of any size is growing rapidly, and that's exactly why Merchant Warehouse designed the Genius Customer Engagement Platform to evolve as new technology emerges," explained Henry Helgeson, CEO of Merchant Warehouse. "With this Genius integration, Global Storm POS customers immediately have new payment technologies and meet new compliance standards like EMV, without purchasing new hardware. Genius future-proofs the merchant for whatever lies ahead."
Merchant Warehouse's Genius Customer Engagement Platform Attracts Another ISV
CRS Wields Its Shield
CRS, Inc. (St. Paul, MN) has announced new reseller warranty extension and same-day advance exchange options for SAM4s products, including POS terminals, printers, electronic cash registers (ECRs), pole displays, and cash drawers, plus all SNBC receipt printers. Under "CRS Shield Service," such warranties are available at the time of equipment purchase or within thirty days of purchase from CRS or an authorized distributor. A period of four years is covered by both advance exchange warranty and extended standard warranty.
"Dealers rely more heavily upon manufacturers to expediently provide spares and back-up units than ever," elaborated Bruce Mann, VP of Marketing at CRS. "Many dealers are also moving to SaaS models and are requesting manufacturer's hardware warranties match the term of the SaaS agreement in order to mitigate risk. CRS now offers competitively priced extended warranty and advanced exchange warranty options to satisfy these requirements."
To report defective products, dealers may call CRS. Under the advance exchange warranty, replacement product will be shipped the same business day by next-day service, if reported before 2:30 PM CST. CRS, Inc. also has stocked direct thermal desktop label printers from SNBC, including the two-inch BTP-L520, three-inch BTP-L580-II C, and four-inch BTP-L540.
CRS, Inc. Extends Warranty Program and Stocks SNBC Label Printers
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Bearing Fruit at DataXstream
DataXstream (Williamsburg, VA) has implemented its POS system for Fruit Growers Supply Company. DataXstream will now support all of FGS's retail locations in Arizona and California, which have been opened to the public. As its most distinguishing quality, DataXstream's POS ties closely to SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
"DataXstream's POS enabled FGS to seamlessly migrate from their existing POS with minimal impact to their business," indicated Tim Yates, DataXstream's CEO. "Our solution simplifies their order process, streamlines and reduces transaction cycle time, and adds significant capability to each terminal, such as advanced hardware integration, flexible controls, and the ability to conduct complex specialty retail transaction processes." In addition to SAP, DataXstream draws in VM Ware and Dell.
Built on the SAP NetWeaver technology platform, the DataXstream POS application may be deployed via SAP portal or browser, and features real-time inventory visibility across the supply chain. It offers back-office connectivity as well as functionality for promotions and live reporting of business activities. "DataXstream's POS solution was not only able to meet our complex retail needs, but did so in a cost-effective way," reported Alex Perlovich, Director of IT at Fruit Growers Supply Company. "All the while helping us meet PCI compliance and further ensuring upgrade capability."
DataXstream's POS Tied to SAP ERP for Fruit Growers Supply Company
Softcard Takes the Subway
Subway, the world's largest restaurant chain, will launch NFC-based mobile payments on October 1 with Softcard (New York City). Softcard, the mobile commerce joint venture from AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, recently changed its name from Isis (for obvious reasons, given world events). The two partners will also team up to deliver offers to Subway customers via the Softcard App. As an example, $1 back on purchases with American Express.
"Softcard has proven to be a valuable partner to us and we are proud to extend our relationship with them," relayed Carman Wenkoff, CIO for Subway. "As we've worked together to implement and pilot this technology, we've been impressed with the Softcard team and opportunities available through the Softcard platform. By embracing mobile payments and loyalty with Softcard's SmartTap technology, we're making it easier for customers to enjoy smart choices on the go."
This national launch is the extension of the relationship between Subway and Softcard that began last year and included the successful pilot in Salt Lake City. It will expand in the coming months, with the Subway Card Rewards Program added to the Softcard App. By using SmartTap, reward points will be automatically credited during the transaction. "Subway is a leader in the quick-service restaurant industry and has placed itself at the forefront of mobile payments with this roll-out," stated Michael Abbott, CEO of Softcard.
Subway Launches Softcard NFC Payments Program
UTC Collects Lenox
UTC Retail (Rochester, NY) has rolled out its suite of POS for the twenty-one locations of Lenox Corporation. From UTC, Lenox has installed POS-J, Gift Card and Loyalty, and the 2100 All-in-One POS Terminal. Additionally, they implemented Ready Store, UTC Retail's full-featured Mobile POS, with the same transaction set and user interface as POS-J. In the future, Lenox will deploy UTC Retail's Gift Registry.
"We are so pleased that Lenox selected us as their new POS partner," reflected Sam Villanti, President/CEO for UTC Retail, which, back in the day, was called Ultimate Technology Corporation. "Their previous solution was fifteen years old. So, they had a very specific list of things they wanted in a new solution, including a mobile application that offers both POS and back-office functionality. With our robust suite of products and service capabilities, we were able to fulfill Lenox's requirements and provide them with an exceptional value."
"Our store folks are thrilled with the new solution, including the mobile functionality," reported Erik Andersen, CIO for Lenox Corporation. "It allows them to be on the floor with the customer, checking inventory and ringing sales. Additionally, we've seen significant improvement in our ability to accurately and efficiently manage the large number of sales promotions that we run on a weekly basis."
UTC Retail Supplies Full POS Suite
According to "Global Pricing Study 2014" by Simon-Kucher & Partners, only one-third of planned price increases now get enforced in the market--falling from one-half of successful price increases two years before. Almost universally, companies are suffering from strong price pressure, cited by 83%. What's more, 58% admit that they are currently involved in a price war, and fully 89% blame their competitors for that. For instance, companies that wanted to raise their prices by 5% only managed 1.9%. The study also shows that new products are by far the best means of achieving higher market prices--yet, 72% of all new products miss their profit targets. One-fourth of the respondents even acknowledged that not one of their new products fulfilled their profit targets. "Most companies deal with product pricing and marketing when it's already too late--often right before the launch," warned David Vidal, Partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners. In contrast, a small segment of firms (10%) have earned praise as "the best." Their share of new products that meet profit targets is 45% higher, and margins are 25% higher. When it comes to enforcing price increases, their rate is 41% higher than "the rest." Innovation, value, and price management are C-Level objectives at such companies. Further, they completely integrate pricing goals from the product inception to the market launch. They also work with professional methods and customized software to measure value and set prices. "They leave nothing to chance," corroborated Georg Tacke, CEO of Simon-Kucher & Partners.
Brass Ring for Podraza
Retail Data Systems (Omaha, NE), which bills itself as the largest POS VAR in the U.S., with more than two dozen locations and 400 employees, has named Brian Podraza as its new President. Podraza started with NCR in 1988, and joined the sales department of RDS Wisconsin in 1991. He moved to the Chicago branch where he was later named GM. In 2008, he became the VP of Operations and helped achieve record-breaking results despite an economic downturn.
"I'm honored to have been chosen by the board to lead RDS into the next exciting era of the company," announced Podraza. "I'm proud of how focused and energized our people are right now. Going forward we will leverage our unique core strengths to help grow the company to the next level."
Podraza replaces Robert Seider, who is retiring with thirty-five years in the POS industry. "On behalf of the entire RDS team, we want to thank Bob Seider for his leadership and vision," continued Podraza. "In his eight years as President, Bob has transformed our company to its current level of success. He leaves with the company's best wishes."
Brian Podraza, President, Retail Data Systems
Making Change With Nichols
Anywhere Commerce (Montreal) has elevated William Nichols, former EVP of International Markets, to President/CEO. A global mobile payments technology provider, Anywhere Commerce offers its "M-Suite" of processing gateway, payment devices, and software applications. Prior to joining Anywhere Commerce, Nichols filled senior management positions at both First Data and VeriFone.
"We are delighted that Bill has accepted the challenge to lead Anywhere Commerce in a rapidly evolving global marketplace," remarked Mark Diamond, Board Member. "His vast contacts, deep industry knowledge, and proven ability to execute have helped propel Anywhere Commerce to its leadership position in mobile payments technology. We are looking forward to working closely with Bill in continuing the company's upward trajectory as it unveils new offerings and strategies to serve this rapidly growing market."
"Looking beyond mobile payment acceptance, Anywhere Commerce is uniquely positioned to deliver comprehensive mobile commerce solutions that improve retention, deliver value-added solutions, and expand the value of the traditional point-of-sale footprint to bring a greater level of service to the merchant," volunteered Nichols." The global market is accelerating the adoption of mobility for payments and commerce, which will offer many opportunities for growth." Among its portfolio of IP, Anywhere Commerce holds audio-jack patents.
William Nichols, President/CEO, Anywhere Commerce
At Top of Billing Tree
Billing Tree Payment Solutions (Phoenix, AZ), a leader in the field of Accounts Receivables Management (ARM), has enlisted Edgars "Edz" Sturans as its new President/CEO. Previously, Sturans was President of CR Software, where he grew the business by over 400% and facilitated its sale to FICO in 2012. At FICO, which provides credit scoring, decision management, and fraud detection, he served as VP of Global Product Services.
"I'm thrilled to join Billing Tree, especially after working so closely with the company over the years servicing the highly regulated yet rewarding industry of ARM," commented Sturans. "I'm excited to now be focused on the payments services, solutions, and innovations our current and future customers desire, and look forward to expanding on Billing Tree's advanced payment technology to perpetuate the company's outstanding record of success."
"Everyone at Billing Tree is looking forward to working with Edz," shared Scott McCollum, Chairman of the Board. "When we started our search for a new CEO, we knew we wanted someone who would champion our culture, someone who was well-respected and well-connected in the ARM industry, and someone who was extremely well-versed in technology and product development. We have worked with Edz over the years and he fits these three qualities perfectly."
Edgars Sturans, President/CEO, Billing Tree Payment Solutions
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