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Handheld Group (Corvallis, OR) has rolled out three new expansion packs for its popular rugged PDA, the Nautiz X8. A "Long-Range Bluetooth EP" allows communications of up to 1,000 ft./300 m for forestry, surveying, and construction. A "Barcode EP" carries Zebra's SE4750 scan engine and aimer LED for field-service, warehousing, and logistics. A "Basic EP," or empty add-on cap, allows customization of your choice with interfacing provided. All cap versions were designed to retain the IP-67 rating for water and dust of Nautiz X8. "An outstanding screen and exceptional durability, connectivity, processing power, and battery life," are additional attributes of Nautiz X8, according to Jerker Hellstrom, CEO of Handheld Group.
Expansion Packs for Nautix 8 From Handheld Group
An Appetite for ISVs at Bixolon
Bixolon America (Torrance, CA) has received certification from two leading restaurant POS ISVs--Focus POS (San Antonio, TX) and Future POS (Butler, PA). Each has completed testing of its software packages with three popular printers, Models SRP-350plusIII, SRP-330, and SRP-275II, from Bixolon America. As additional certifications, Bixolon America holds restaurant ISV Aldelo (Pleasanton, CA), specialty retail ISV CAP Software (Ft. Worth, TX), and social-media loyalty-program ISV FanDine (Burnaby, BC, Canada).
"Our latest printers offer solutions for advanced POS and Mobile POS with iOS or Android," elaborated John Choi, Product Manager for Bixolon America. "With these new certifications, the sky is the limit while we continue to grow and try to increase market share." In addition to receipt printing, Choi cited couponing, ticketing, and kitchen and bar item-ordering as benefits.
"As an ISV, we appreciate the constant innovation in hardware manufactured by Bixolon America," enthused Mike Hamm, COO of Focus POS. With long histories, and many brand names as customers, both Focus POS and Future POS have developed wide networks of VARs. "These certifications are critical to both our partners and to Future POS," emphasized Alex Giocondo, Director of Operations at Future POS. In the driver's seat, the ISVs.
High-Speed SRP-350plusIII Thermal Printer From Bixolon America
A Circle of SaaS for Vivonet
A leader in SaaS for POS, Vivonet (Burnaby, BC, Canada), has snapped up Syrus Restaurant Information Services (Columbus, OH). Syrus supplies its back-office SaaS for 2,500 customers in North America. A privately held company, which is majority owned by Marlin Equity Partners, Vivonet did not disclose the terms of this all cash transaction. As major partners, it lists HP, NCR, Partner Tech, Posiflex, and Toshiba.
"Syrus has an impressive list of customers in the foodservice industry," relayed Alaa Pasha, CEO/President of Vivonet. "Their SaaS platform integrates with the leading point-of-sale systems in the market and we intend to extend and enhance that support for all of their great partnerships. We were also attracted to the unmatched level of customer service provided by Syrus. Furthermore, Syrus's multi-tenant architecture and SaaS delivery model makes this the perfect match for the Vivonet SaaS POS."
"We are extremely pleased to be part of Vivonet," remarked Jim Karam, CEO/President of Syrus. "The new combined company will provide Syrus the resources to enhance our product suite, present more value to our customers, and provide Vivonet customers with an integrated solution for labor, inventory, and ordering. Our historic focus on the customer and high touch service model complements Vivonet and their high NPS for customer service." NPS, readers of RRN.Com will recognize, stands for "Net Promoter Scores."
Alaa Pasha, CEO/President, Vivonet
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Very Sticky at Epson, NCR
An improved labeling solution for foodservice has emerged from NCR (Duluth, GA) and Epson America (Long Beach, CA). It combines NCR's Sticky Media with the Epson TM-L90 Plus, which is capable of liner-free printing. "By working together, NCR and Epson are able to provide restaurants with a great solution to manage customer orders," reported Eddie Noel, SVP and GM of NCR Interactive Printer Solutions. In addition to eliminating waste, it reduces the need for multiple receipts, stickers, labels--or tape, according to the two parties.
Measuring 5.5 in. (W) x 5.8 in. (D) x 8 in. (H), weighing 4.1 lbs., Epson's TM-L90 Plus has print width of 3 inch/76 mm, and maximum print speed of 5.9 inch/150 mm per second at 203 dpi. A number of new features are touted, including support for 58-mm label size (as well as 40-mm and 80-mm); paper-saving mode that adjusts top and bottom margins automatically; an intuitive On/Off switch; and built-in USB. Also, it may operate as standard thermal receipt printer.
"Epson is proud to respond to customer feedback and launch new features with our industry-leading NCR Sticky Media-certified TM-L90 Plus LFC (Liner-Free Compatible) printer," reflected Tom Kettell, Director of Commercial Channel Sales at Epson America. "Our printer, coupled with patented NCR Sticky Media solutions, will help our mutual customers improve operational efficiencies and increase customer satisfaction." Last month, Epson America launched its cube-shaped Tm-m10 and Tm-m30 (at 2-inch/58-mm and 3-inch/76-mm print width, respectively). Both feature the company's "ePOS" technology for easy set-up with iOS, Android, and Windows (i.e., "mobile friendly"), and with swivel casing for either top load or front load.
A New Solution for Foodservice Labeling Employs Epson's TM-L90 Plus and NCR's Sticky Media
Sailing With Beacons at Blue Calypso
Blue Calypso (Richardson, TX), which furnishes mobile shopping engagement technology, has unwrapped its new Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon. Leveraging Apple's iBeacon protocol, the KIO Sentrix broadcasts proximity-specific signals to the consumer's smartphone, whether iOS or Android. Significantly, it runs off AC power (approved by FCC and CE). If no electrical outlet is available, it may run off rechargeable battery pack.
"Beacons are a powerful way for retailers to enhance and streamline the path-to-purchase for store visitors," heralded Andrew Levi, CEO of Blue Calypso. Examples include welcome notification, special offers in specific store departments, timed promotions, and product demo videos. Blue Calypso's KIO Sentrix mobile shopping app allows access for consumers.
In addition to the new beacons, the company's developer toolkit has been prepared for third-party solution providers. KIO Sentrix collects key shopper metrics for the retailer--such as post-click engagement, store foot traffic, pre- and post-visit engagement, demographics, and buying triggers--presented in dashboard format. Blue Calypso is currently launching several in-store trials with a variety of retailers, including the recently announced partnership with Minyard Sun Fresh Market in Dallas, TX.
Blue Calypso's KIO Sentrix Beacon
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Synnex: It's "Store-in-a-Box"
A "Store-in-a-Box" has been offered by NEC (Irving, TX), ISV Bepoz (Fort Mill, SC) and Synnex (Greenville, SC). Distributed by Synnex, this bundle loads Bepoz POS onto NEC's 15" VP5 touchscreen terminal. This platform includes several features typical of higher priced solutions, according to the team of vendors, including an Intel Celeron Quad Core CPU, 2-GB RAM and 320-GB HDD, fanless and bezel-free design, three mounting configurations, and Embedded POSReady 7.
In June, NEC certified the VP5 POS for Bepoz (as well as the TWINPOS G5). An upstart from Australia, Bepoz addresses retail, hospitality, and ticketing, with particular emphasis on the SMB. With more than 5,000 installations worldwide, it claims an intuitive user interface, comprehensive analytics, and an easy room charge process for restaurants and hotels. It has both "Entrepreneur" and "Corporate" Versions.
"We're pleased to offer a POS system that incorporates NEC's well-known, high-quality technology at a very competitive price point," indicated Matt Worley, VP of Retail Solutions for NEC Corporation of America. Added Tim Flachman, COO for Bepoz America, Ltd., "Combining the power of Bepoz POS software with NEC retail hardware through Synnex Corporation is a win-win solution that is sure to be a hit with SMB retailers." A range of peripherals may also be ordered through Synnex, naturally.
NEC's VP5 Touchscreen Terminal Loaded With Bepoz POS Software
Printronix Finds Its Voice
Printronix has been chosen as the first global distributor of the voice-driven productivity and automation solution from so-called "AccuSpeechMobile" (part of Vangard Voice Systems). This mobile voice-user-interface will be combined with the printer product line from Printronix. It supports iOS, Android, and Windows, either on-premise, hosted, or in the cloud. Both companies are based in Irvine, CA.
"Our partnership with AccuSpeechMobile helps customers streamline operations, reduce costs, and sharpen their competitive edge," suggested Ron Gillies, VP of Sales and Marketing, Americas, at Printronix. "We can now aggressively provide customers with an integrated and automated mobile voice solution. When introducing AccuSpeechMobile into their supply chain environment, businesses will optimize their existing systems without changing applications or putting at risk their current infrastructure for IT."
"A shift in voice productivity adoption in the supply chain market," has been observed by Bob Bova, CEO/President of AccuSpeechMobile. "Market trends show the move away from costly, time-worn, server-dependent voice solutions. Alternatively, customers of AccuSpeechMobile, such as Tootsie Roll, Black & Decker, and Oakley, are easily and cost-effectively voice-powering their distribution operations solely from their mobile devices."
Printronix T2N Thermal Barcode Printer
Mobeam (Palo Alto, CA) has released its software development kit (SDK) for Android. A collection of self-service tools, the Mobeam SDK license will be offered free for an initial period of 120 days. As many readers will recall, Mobeam's patented light-based beaming technology allows front-counter laser scanners to read barcodes directly from the customer's smartphone, whether UPC, EAN, Code 128, Codabar, or GS1 DataBar. It currently supports smartphones from Samsung. "Although we are actively working on the major opportunity areas such as mobile payments, we have no monopoly on ideas," volunteered George Garrick, CEO of Mobeam. "We hope that making this technology available will lead to many exciting new applications [such as transmitting barcode-based content in travel, transportation, manufacturing, and healthcare, according to Mobeam]. In addition, we will be reaching out to companies with existing shopping and promotion apps since our beaming technology will enable those apps to communicate directly with the POS scanner."
George Garrick, CEO, Mobeam
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
There's No Stopping Revel
Revel Systems (San Francisco, CA), purveyor of i-Pad POS, has received an investment of approximately $13.5 million from Roth Capital Partners. This was Revel's C-3 investment round, the follow-up to the Series C-1 round led by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in November 2014 and Series C-2 round led by Intuit in December 2014. This brings Revel's Series C round to approximately $110 million.
"We came to understand that Revel's cloud-based POS platform is uniquely positioned to control payments and commerce, not just in the physical store, but across the whole omni-channel," declared Gordon Fallone, Managing Director at Roth Capital Partners. "We have recently seen Revel displace Micros and NCR in some of the largest global enterprise chains. It is unusual to find a company with huge technology leadership and no effective competitors, and Revel's growth potential and market positioning are amazing."
"We were not able to accommodate Roth's investment in the C-1 or C-2 rounds, but we are pleased that we could do it now," commented Lisa Falzone, Co-Founder and CEO of Revel Systems. "Given our accelerating organic growth in SMBs and enterprises and our strategic relationships with industry leaders like Intuit and Apple, we now have to prepare for growth that is beyond our earlier predictions." Her company's early interest in the POS Channel seems to have waned, however, with no presence at this year's Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) Show. An invitation for resellers appears on its website, with roster of 15 in the U.S.
More Funding for the Purveyor of iPad POS
Microscan Wants Proof
A strategic move for Microscan Systems (Renton, VA), one of the leaders in industrial barcode scanning and machine vision technology, with its purchase of Label Vision Systems (Peachtree City, GA). Founded in 1993, LVS develops and markets label inspection, print inspection, and barcode verification systems--both in-line and off-line models. It will be integrated with Microscan's family of products under the brand name, LVS. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"There are many advantages to acquiring the trade and assets of LVS," explained Scott Summerville, President of Microscan. "The leadership team at Microscan has a strong interest in developing and investing in LVS's technology and products to support the market, which is expanding due to regulatory trends and corporate quality initiatives. We will have the opportunity to accelerate the expansion of LVS products and solutions into key international markets, and to leverage the substantial synergies between LVS and Microscan sales, technology, and operations."
And now there's peace between Microscan Systems and Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA), with litigation ended. A patented cross-license agreement allows both companies to continue producing current models of their handheld barcode readers. Used in direct part mark (DPM), these products need sophisticated lighting techniques to enable decoding, the patents for which are addressed by this new settlement. "I'm pleased that we reached an agreement so that both companies can focus on the needs of the marketplace without the distraction of litigation," shared Robert Willett, CEO/President of Cognex.
LVS 7500 Thermal Label Inspection System From Label Vision Systems, Now Part of Microscan
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Paytronix Dipped in Fondue
A growing foodservice chain, The Melting Pot Restaurants, dedicated to fondue, has moved its gift card program over to Paytronix (Newton, MA). An original system had been designed so that when franchisees sold gift cards, they were required to maintain that liability. As Melting Pot adds 15 to its existing 125 locations, it decided to improve the process of tracking each gift card from sales to redemption.
"It was always a tricky process to total the monthly figures in spreadsheets and move the appropriate money to each of our various restaurants in order to match the gift card activity they'd performed," recounted Scott Pierce, CFO for Front Burner Brands, the restaurant management company handling The Melting Pot Restaurants. "With Paytronix, it's easy for me and each restaurant to run reports. With one click, the software lets each franchisee see its store's exact outstanding gift card liability." Previously, it took his team one day of work each month to rectify things, according to Pierce.
A Streamlined Gift Card Process for The Melting Pot
Golden Margaritas for PAR
ParTech, Inc. (New Hartford, NY), a subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation, has rolled out its Brink POS software for Pancheros Mexican Grill. This fast-casual brand operates 65 restaurants in 19 states, with plans to open an additional 10 by the end of 2015. As major factors in making its decision, Pancheros Mexican Grill cited comprehensive integration capacity and ease of deployment.
A cloud-based solution, Brink POS has native loyalty programs, online and mobile ordering modules, and shared customer database across the enterprise. Pancheros plans to implement both the loyalty program and online and mobile ordering in the next phase of this deployment. According to the two parties, remote training and implementation simplified matters.
"PAR has been an excellent partner; they understood our requirements and worked with us to achieve a seamless deployment of Brink POS," testified Barry Nelson, VP of Operations at Pancheros. "Uniformity across our brand is vital to our success. We were looking to implement a solution that would give us greater real-time visibility across the brand and one that we could deploy quickly. PAR and Brink POS Software have exceeded our expectations." Last month, Pita Pit USA also selected PAR's Brink POS software for its 250 restaurants across the U.S. Another 100 locations are planned with PAR Brink POS.
PAR's Brink POS Software Deployed for Pancheros Mexican Grill
Information Technology in the U.S. added 70,500 new jobs in the first half of 2015, employing nearly five million people in total, according to the "IT Employment Midyear Update" from CompTIA. The U.S. IT industry has now generated job gains in 14 of the 18 months between January 2014 and June 2015. Most facets of IT employment remain strong, with the largest gains during the first half of 2015 recorded in IT services (up 2.4%) and software (up 1.5%). Both tech manufacturing and telecommunications grew at rates under 1%. CompTIA's latest IT jobs analysis includes one cautionary note. Unemployment for computer and mathematical positions moved higher in back-to-back months, hitting 3.4% in July (which is still significantly lower than the overall national jobless rate of 5.3%). Overall, job postings for IT occupations increased 20% during Q2 2015 compared to Q1 2015. "Continuing trends of 'everything-as-a-service,' 'software-defined everything,' and the proliferation of applications and devices needing integration and support have spurred hiring," summarized Tim Herbert, SVP of Research and Market Intelligence at CompTIA. As top sectors with hiring plans, he included healthcare, defense, retail, and finance.
TSYS Finds Its Watson
Acquirer TSYS (Columbus, GA) has named Patricia Watson as its Senior EVP and CIO. A 17-year veteran of the financial services industry, Watson most recently served as VP and Global CIO for The Brinks Company. Earlier, she rose to the role of Senior Technology Executive at Bank of America. She succeeds Ken Tye, who has ended his 44-year career with TSYS.
"Patty is well respected throughout the financial services industry, and brings an impressive roster of skills and successes, as well as demonstrated leadership," commented M. Troy Woods, CEO/President of TSYS. "As a concerned and active advocate for the people in her community, and the world, she clearly reflects the heart of TSYS. I'm thrilled to welcome her to the TSYS executive leadership team, and I know she will set the enterprise technology agenda to enable and deliver future global growth at TSYS."
Also, TSYS has introduced its TSYS Analytics Intellisuite, comprised of business intelligence dashboards ("Consumer AI") and customer engagement platform ("TSYS Targeted Messaging"). "We view analytics as a key focus for future innovation and are working to address the time and usability challenges many issuers have today with their existing dashboards and reporting tools," expounded Kim Ohlrogge, Group Executive of Global Product for TSYS. Additional elements for commercial, fraud, compliance, and rewards are slated for release later this year through early 2016.
Patricia Watson, Senior EVP and CIO, TSYS
Officer Stripes at Teklynx
Teklynx Americas (Whitefish Bay, WI), one of the longtime leaders in software for barcode and RFID, has elevated Doug Niemeyer to GM. Before his promotion, Niemeyer served as Sales Director for Teklynx Americas. He succeeds Laura Henderson, who has moved into an advisory role.
"As GM, I introduced new strategies that increased sales and motivated the team, and hiring Doug five years ago was one of the key parts of that plan," proclaimed Henderson. "I'm proud of Teklynx Americas' growth, excited about my role as an advisor, and thrilled to welcome Doug into my former position because he demonstrates similar leadership capabilities and understands the importance of the team we've worked tirelessly to create." Before coming to Teklynx six years ago, Niemeyer was VP of Sales and Marketing of marketing services provider, The Frantz Group.
"It's an honor to have the opportunity to help lead Teklynx into its next generation in addition to spurring its continued growth in the Americas," contributed Niemeyer. "I plan to dedicate ample time to our team, ensuring Teklynx Americas' employees are challenged, think critically, and are constantly striving for success. A team that's engaged and genuinely interested in the overall success of our business, and that of our customers, will result in major growth over the coming decade."
Doug Niemeyer, GM, Teklynx Americas
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