Week of February 1, 2016
Michael Kachmar, Editor

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Our Product Pick

An upstart, Hisense, has stepped forward with its rugged tablet POS, designated HM518. As features, it has true-flat projected capacitive 10" touchscreen, integrated card reader, standard docking station with I/O expansion, and sturdy hand strap. Also included: five-megapixel camera, Bluetooth Version 4, and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. As technical specifications, it has Intel Celeron N2807 CPU, 2-GB RAM, and 32-GB eMMC, and runs Windows 8.1 Pro or Embedded. A full suite of ports are fashioned, with durability ratings to IP-54 and MIL-STD-810G. A major electronics manufacturer in China, Hisense has started to distribute its POS in the U.S. through CRS, Inc. (Saint Paul, MN) and Ready POS (Beaverton, OR).

Hisense HM518 Tablet POS


Honeywell Sweetens Partner Program

As we enter 2016, Honeywell Sensing and Productivity (Ft. Mill, SC) has enhanced its Performance Partner Program. This channel effort commenced in 2015, driven in large part by the desire to bring more consistency for VARs of both Honeywell and Intermec (which Honeywell bought in 2013). Now, following the purchase of Datamax-O'Neil (in 2015), Honeywell has acted again. Also emphasized in this go-round will be specialization of technologies and increased focus on training, RRN.Com was told by Axel Reichert, Director of Marketing.

In the case of specialization, Honeywell has established three categories: printing, scanning, and workflow solutions (packaged offerings of hardware, software, and services). Extra tools, support, and resources have been dedicated in these three areas, disclosed Reichert. And following the launch of Performance Partner in 2015, which standardized pricing, parameters, and policies for VARs, Honeywell has made behind-the-scene improvements in program processes for 2016.

As structure, Honeywell's 2016 Performance Partner Program keeps three tiers: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. As is normally the case, placement in tiers has been based on sales factors such as sales volume, technical prowess, and commitment to selling Honeywell. Those classifications were announced earlier, and according to Reichert, "a lot more partners moved up then down." (Not directly addressed in Performance Partner, of course, are the thousands of "Associate Partners" involved with Honeywell.) "We believe totally in the channel," Reichert told RRN.Com.

Axel Reichert, Director of Marketing, Honeywell Sensing and Productivity

When the Hero Comes

In May 2016, Retail Management Hero (RMH) will arrive. Intended as the replacement for Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS), which will accept no new customers starting on July 10, 2016, and ends life on July 31, 2020, RMH has been co-developed by Retail Hero (Surrey, BC, Canada) and Retail Realm (Napa, CA). In the manner of RMS, it specifically targets the SMB. Recently, Tony Winters, Director of Products and Projects for Retail Realm, shared some details with RRN.Com.

Capabilities: "RMH includes all of the features that retailers love in RMS," said Winters. "Many of the hot keys, for example, are the same in RMH as RMS. In completely rewriting the interface, we've made major improvements in the back office, especially to purchase order processing, inventory control, and accounts receivable. The POS includes user-defined color schemes, completely new technology that will be portable across platforms, as well as sophisticated Software Development Kit (SDK). In addition, RMH supports the majority of the hardware supported by RMS."

On Transition: "A fully compatible, seamless database structure maintains all master data [for RMS and RMH]," said Winters. "Also, all stores do not have to migrate at once. In other words, across multiple stores it's possible to have one store with terminals on RMH and another store with terminals on RMS. It will not be possible, however, to mix RMH and RMS in the same store. Also, RMH integrates with the current RMS Headquarters (HQ). RMH's own HQ functionality is planned for Q4 2016."

For the Channel: "RMS resellers may sign up to become RMH resellers, which includes certification," said Winters. "They can sign up to start this process via the RMH website. Also, Retail Realm's Early Adopters Program provides partners with an early working version of the software and access to the SDK. The good news is that pricing for RMH will be the same as for RMS. Such details are also on the RMH website." [Editor's Note: That's www.rmhpos.com.]

RMH Transaction Screen


Worth Your While

NGA Show 2016
National Grocers Association
Feb. 28 - March 2
Las Vegas

Transact 16
Electronic Transactions Association
April 19-21
Las Vegas

WERC 2016
Warehousing Education and Research Council
May 15-18
Providence, RI

NRA Show 2016
National Restaurant Association
May 21-24




Busy Bees at Revention

ISV Revention (Houston, TX) has launched its new loyalty program for hospitality, cleverly dubbed "Honeycomb." A cloud-based, cardless platform, it integrates with all of the company's software products, including Revention POS, Hunger Rush, and the newly released Self-Service Ordering Kiosk. A customer can earn rewards based on dollars spent, items purchased, number of visits, or any combination of the three. Also celebrated are special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and first-time users.

Rewards are earned in real-time, noted the ISV, and may be tracked through the website or mobile app. In the case of the retailer, loyalty programs can be established independently for different regions, with look-up parameters including membership id, phone number, or e-mail address. Available reports include new enrolled customers, customer rewards, customer points, and customer orders.

"The flexibility of the Honeycomb loyalty solution is the best I've seen," claimed Laura Gaudin, Director of Product Management for Revention. "The number of earned points and reward configurations is unlimited. Businesses can create a unique and robust loyalty program that benefits all of their loyalty members." As one would expect, an Application Programming Interface (API) ties to third-party online ordering systems or other POS.

Rules Page of Honeycomb Loyalty Scheme by Revention

A Better Weigh by Detecto

Detecto (Webb City, MO) has debuted its DL Series of price computing scales with integral thermal printers. Providing 5,990 PLU's, the DL Series "is economical, durable, user-friendly, and incorporates all of the essential features needed for legal-for-trade weighing and label printing," according to Detecto. A bright green, easy-to-read LED display with four panels ensures visual accuracy for both operator and customer (on both sides of the scale), along with one dot-matrix screen for text. It comes with or without pole display.

As additional specifications, there's 30 lb. x 0.01 lb. or 60 lb. x 0.02 lb. capacity, 12.8 in. (W) x 8.9 in. (D) stainless steel platform, and four connectivity ports (USB, Ethernet, RS-232 Serial, and Cash Drawer). A wide variety of labels may be printed in different styles and sizes: barcodes, logos, QR Codes, safe handling images, ingredients, weights, date formats with month, day, or time, nutritional facts, and discounts. Detecto supplies label rolls.

A set-up utility CD for PC is included with the DL Series. It simplifies exporting and importing of PLU's to and from Excel (with drag-and-drop graphics and automatic population of keys). "Our software and networking capabilities allow you to make updates to multiple scales for your facility," continued Detecto, "and customized reporting features provide you with all the information you require to make business decisions for your store." A global dealer network supports Detecto.

Detecto DL Series of Scales With Printer

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Equinox Plays Ace

Equinox (Scottsdale, AZ) has engaged Acceo Solutions (Montreal, Canada) in support of its next-generation payment terminal, the Luxe 8000i. Under this partnership, Acceo's processing software, Tender Retail, will run directly on the Equinox Luxe 8000i. As benefits, this platform has "decentralized" architecture, full-featured capability, and compliance with EMV, according to Acceo.

"For the first time, Acceo's Tender Retail integrated payment software will operate directly on the PIN-entry device," declared Joey Vaccaro, VP of Business Development and Strategic Alliances at Acceo. "We are delighted to be part of this exciting new product launch." A leading supplier of accounting, management, banking, and e-commerce solutions, Acceo (formerly GFI Solutions) purchased Tender Retail back in 2012.

According to Drazen Ivanovic, CEO and President of NBS Payment Solutions, parent of Equinox, the combination of the Luxe 8000i and Tender Retail "improves the checkout experience while mitigating the costs and complexities associated with annual PCI compliance." Introduced several weeks ago, the Equinox Luxe 8000i looks nifty with horizontal layout, sleek lines, high-gloss finish, 5" or 7" touch display, and top face-mounted card readers. It fulfills all the traditional functions in payment processing, with multiple encryption keys and connectivity choices, while looking to satisfy customer engagement activities such as advertising, coupons, surveys, and even self-service.

Next-Generation Luxe 8000i Payment Terminal by Equinox

Moki Meets Mimo

A pair of relative newcomers--Moki (Lehi, UT) and Mimo Monitors (Princeton, NJ)--have joined forces to further the cause of tablets for retail and business environments. Their solution combines the device management capabilities of Moki with the rugged hardware of Mimo. In addition to its tablets running Android, Mimo supplies barcode scanners and credit card readers. It currently distributes through BlueStar (Hebron, KY) and Ingram Micro (Santa Ana, CA).

"Consumer-grade devices are difficult to manage at scale and don't stand up to the day-to-day beating like Mimo's commercial-grade systems do. However, consumer-grade devices offer retailers so many new opportunities and price points that they continue trying to make them work anyway," observed Tom Karren, CEO and Co-Founder of Moki. "The combination of Mimo's affordable commercial-grade devices and Moki's best-in-class tablet management solution changes all of this. This potent combination opens up the doors that many organizations have been trying to break through for years."

"We make great hardware--but surprisingly, this can be problematic for our customers. They quickly see the value these devices bring and want to deploy them in massive numbers--only to start asking themselves how they can manage so many devices at scale. Moki gives them a way to do that, no matter how many devices a customer has," corroborated David Anderson, CEO of Mimo Monitors. Moki was founded in 2012, Mimo 2008.

Adapt-IQ Tablet From Mimo Monitors

Code Corner

Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ), continuing its push into Mobile POS, has introduced PassPRNT, its new print application for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Used with the company's product line of thermal printers, PassPRNT receives print data from native and web-based applications--including FileMaker Go--using its URL scheme and sends it via Bluetooth. With automatic switching from host application to PassPRNT, there's "one-tap" operation. As printers supported, Star Micronics America specifies the SM-S230i, SM-T300i, SM-T400i, TSP650II BTi, TSP700II BTi Label, SP700 BTi, and TSP800II BTi. Star's PassPRNT is now available in the Apple App Store.


PAR's Best Punchh

ParTech, part of PAR Corporation (New Hartford, NY), has adopted the mobile loyalty and customer relationship management solution from Punchh (Mountain View, CA). A turn-key solution, Punchh offers consumer engagement through private label mobile apps for loyalty, gift cards, gaming, sweepstakes, surveys, and social media. It will be integrated with PAR's Brink POS Software. PAR purchased Brink in 2014.

"Mobile consumer engagement provides new and powerful opportunities for restaurants to grow their businesses," reflected Paul Rubin, VP of Brink POS at PAR. "By integrating PAR's Brink POS into a broader ecosystem of mobile products and capabilities from Punchh, we will continue to deliver the most innovative solutions to our customers. We welcome Punchh into our ecosystem community and look forward to a successful partnership that drives value for our customers."

"Our collaboration with PAR allows us to deliver a world-class technology solution which will greatly improve the experience for our customers and their guests," enthused Vic Mahadevan, CEO of Punchh. "We are thrilled to partner with Brink POS from PAR to help drive guest engagement for restaurant operators, and more importantly, provide them with the analytical tools and insights they need to grow their business." An early leader in its field, Punchh has customers such as Arby's, Schlotzsky's, Rita's Italian Ice, TGIF, and Dairy Queen.

PAR's Brink POS Software Tied to Mobile Loyalty and CRM by Punchh

Signage Goes Mainstreet

A forward-looking VAR, Mainstreet Inc. (Grand Prairie, TX), has embraced digital signage with SignStix (Harrogate, U.K.). In making their announcement, the two companies emphasized the role of digital signage in rejuvenating the brick-and-mortar shopping experience while bridging online and physical channels. A turn-key digital signage solution may be customized for individual needs and budgets, driven by SignStix SaaS, and encompassing interactive displays, digital menu boards, ultra-high-definition video walls, and way-finding stations.

"A fully scalable solution for retailers across international regions [from the partnership]," predicted Nick Fearnley, CEO of SignStix. In particular, SignStix points to easy set-up, reduced computing needs, greater energy efficiency, and elimination of bulky hardware or complex wiring. In addition, the digital signage system readily ties to third-party technologies such as iBeacon, Queue Management, and POS.

"Mainstreet is immersed in retail and the technologies at the heart of every retail store," exclaimed Keith Highlen, National Account Manager for Mainstreet. "SignStix' innovative, low-cost digital signage solution is ideal for retailers who want to deploy content across their entire enterprise." As major partners, Mainstreet lists HP, Epson America, Janam Technologies, AML, and Elo.

Mainstreet Inc. Adopts Digital Signage Platform From SignStix

Key Advertiser Links

Be sure to visit these vendors for the latest in channel products and offers for resellers.

POS & Peripherals
Elo Touch Solutions
Partner Tech
Pioneer POS

Barcode & Transaction Printers
Brother Mobile

Cash Drawers

Cyber Security for POS
Signature Systems/PDQ

Data Collection
Code Corporation

Integrated Payment Solutions
Datacap Systems
iPayment Inc.

Keyboards & Mobile POS
Cherry Americas, LLC

Receipt Printers
Bixolon America
Star Micronics

Thermal Printers
Seiko Instruments USA

Touchscreens & Monitors
Elo Touch Solutions


A Salesman Walks into Wahlburgers . . .

A trio of complementary channel players--Retail Control Solutions (Needham, MA), POSitouch (Warwick, RI), and J2 Retail Systems (Irvine, TX)--has secured the high-profile contract for Wahlburgers, the eponymous restaurant chain by Mark, Paul, and Donnie. In an example of "keep your eyes open," it came about when Rob Cotton, Account Executive for Retail Control Solutions, dined at Wahlburgers, and asked about POS. "[Another] vendor put in standard quality equipment and installed it in an inferior way, exposing sensitive terminals to environmental stresses by not protecting them from harsh kitchen conditions," recounted Cotton. "Not surprisingly, Wahlburgers had problems."

Given their chance, RCS has installed the J2 225 POS terminal from J2 Retail Systems, along with POSitouch software. In addition to its low profile on the countertop, and processing capacity, the J2 225 carries 10" secondary customer display for marketing and promotions. As to software "it's all about the number of touches, how long it takes the server to go through the screens and process an order, and then the check," relayed Cotton, "and POSitouch boasts the fewest." In the back-office, store and enterprise reporting ties to the Mirius Cloud.

In the last six months, some 30 new terminals have gone into locations in Hingham, MA; Lynnfield, MA; Brooklyn, NY; and Boston, MA. (Wahlburgers has sites in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, and Canada.) As new franchises and venues come on stream, somewhere between 150 and 200 stores is envisioned. Each will have an average of seven POS terminals in operation. In 2013, readers will recall, J2 Retail Systems became part of the Aures Group.

High-Profile Restaurant Chain Upgrades Its POS

NCR Strikes Lightning

NCR (Duluth, GA) will exploit its Counterpoint POS software to consolidate point-of-sale and inventory management functions for Delaware North Sport Service, which operates Amalie Arena for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Via this integration, Delaware North expects to improve tracking of detailed item information for apparel and merchandise, such as size, color, and styles, while creating valuable performance matrixes. Additional benefits should include better cost control through tighter re-order points, increased visibility on mark-up ratios, and improved inventory decision making across multiple locations.

"NCR Counterpoint directly addresses the needs of the apparel industry," volunteered Jim-Barry Behar, President of Relentless Solutions (North Miami, FL), which worked with Delaware North on the purchase and installation. "NCR Counterpoint offers a fully integrated retail management system that we were able to tailor to fit the specific business needs of Delaware North's Tampa Bay Lightning and streamline operations within Amalie Arena." Already, concession stands in the arena use NCR Quest Venue Management.

Elsewhere, in grocery, NCR will deploy its new RealPOS XR8, with 6th generation Intel Core CPUs, for Big Y. Covering Southern New England, Big Y will replace non-NCR POS at more than 1,000 lanes in 61 stores with the RealPOS XR8. Measuring 11.8 in. (W) x 4.3 in. (H) x 12 in. (D), and weighing about 14 lbs. (with UPS, 20 lbs.), this cabinet allows front or rear peripheral connectivity for simplified cabling and service. In addition, all input/output is placed behind its locking door to help secure connections, and there's button for NCR Image Recovery.

NCR Counterpoint Enables Apparel Sales for Tampa Bay Lightning

Channel Factoid

It seems the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell sharply in December 2015. The RPI stood at 99.7 in December, down 1.6% from November's 101.3. In addition, December marked the first time since February 2013 that the RPI has stood below 100. Similarly, for the first time in nearly three years, restaurant operators reported net declines in same-store sales. About one-half, 42% of restaurant operators enjoyed gains in same-store sales between December 2014 and December 2015, while 43% experienced declines over that period. Also in decline: customer traffic. "Restaurateurs are facing a range of headwinds in the operating environment, and while some signs are trending in a positive direction, several others remain less promising," advised Hudson Riehle, SVP of Research at the National Restaurant Association. "The sustained period of moderate economic growth, and its regional variations in particular, is taking a toll."


A "Visionary" VP at Microscan

Microscan (Renton, WA) has elevated Dan Barnes from Director of Engineering to VP of Operations. He joined Microscan, which specializes in barcode, machine vision, verification, and lighting solutions, in 1994 as Senior Software Engineer. His promotion follows the recent unveiling of Microscan's latest product platform, MicroHawk Barcode Readers and the revolutionary WebLink UI.

In his new role, Barnes will be responsible for critical functions in supply chain, logistics, manufacturing, quality, service, and commercial activities. He will also lead the company's Lean Six Sigma. "Dan's in-depth knowledge of our technology, process orientation, ability to build a team, and long-term commitment to Microscan makes him the ideal person to join the executive team and lead Operations," commented Scott Summerville, President of Microscan.

Dan Barnes, VP of Operations, Microscan

MagTek Ropes Kamel

MagTek, Inc. (Seal Beach, CA) has drafted Sam Kamel as its EVP of Sales and Business Development. An executive with more than two decades of relevant experience, he last served as SVP of Corporate Strategy for IT distributor Ingram Micro. Previous employers have included Microsoft and McKinsey & Co. A longtime supplier of payment technology, in particular card readers and PIN Pads, MagTek was founded in 1972.

"Sam joins MagTek at a perfect time when we are poised for significant growth across all of the markets we serve," remarked Mimi Hart, CEO and President of MagTek. "We continue to build on a solid team and look forward to having Sam's knowledge and leadership translate into an even more vibrant future at MagTek with talent and contributions coming from each and every colleague and department."

Sam Kamel, EVP of Sales and Business Development, MagTek

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