This Week’s Product Pick
ROAM (Boston) unwrapped its RP750x mobile card reader for both MSR and Chip & PIN (as well as Smart Card and NFC). This new model connects with iOS, Android, and J2ME-based devices via Bluetooth and Audio Jack. Fully encrypted, it's certified for Visa Ready, EMV Level 1 & 2, and PCI PTS 3.1 SRED. In physical terms, RP750x has somewhat larger dimensions than the credit card, weighs about 3 oz., and features backlight display and raised keycaps. The company supports its devices through the cloud for remote configuration and management. "With the launch of our RP750x Chip & PIN solution, we're now covering all of the bases of global mobile payment acceptance for new M-POS players," claimed Ken Pauli, CEO of ROAM, an Ingenico Company.
ROAM RP750x Mobile Card Reader
Sculpting the Tablets at HP
Another take on the tablet, this time from HP, and this time configured with the channel in mind. Competing down in the lower tiers, HP's TX1 POS Solution will be distributed through the vendor's normal channels of distributors, VARs, and ISVs, with adequate margin opportunities, RRN.Com has learned. It builds around the new HP ProPad 600, with Windows 8, Intel Atom Quad-Core Processor (32 or 64 bit), and 10-inch multi-touch display with Gorilla Glass.
Available in May, TX1 POS follows the familiar bundled approach of ProPad 600, tablet stand, receipt printer, cash drawer, card reader, and optional barcode scanner. As expected, the ProPad 600 may be swiveled for the customer's signature and detached for mobility. A large part of the vendor's recent success in POS may be attributed to its core strengths in computing, and in addition to processing power the ProPad 600 carries state-of-the art capabilities across storage (up to 64 GB), battery power (8380 mAh), and screen resolution (built-in Micro HDMI and 1920x1200 WUXGA). Extra features include front and rear cameras, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 + LE.
In speaking with RRN.Com, Cory McElroy, Strategy and Planning Manager for HP's Retail Solutions Business Unit (Houston, TX), confirmed that the HP TX1 will compete directly against the many variations of fixed-station iOS-based POS. As competitive advantage, he points to the continuity of Windows for VARs and ISVs. Of course, the HP TX1 will also benefit from its place in the company's powerful retail portfolio, which also includes the HP MX10 comprised of HP ElitePad and Retail Expansion Dock for Mobile POS. "Small businesses need simple, affordable solutions that help them efficiently drive their business forward," confirmed Ray Carlin, VP and GM for HP's Retail Solutions Business Unit. With HP's latest moves in tablet POS, it will be interesting to see who ultimately provides them.
New HP TX1 POS Solution
A National POS Buyback Program has sprung from Revention Point-of-Sale Solutions. This allows restaurateurs to receive up to $15,000 for trading in their current POS technology in exchange for that of Revention. Eligible equipment for trade-in includes any and all POS and POS-related technology, regardless of make, model, or provider, according to the hard-charging ISV.
"The biggest obstacle restaurants and bars face when trying to switch POS vendors is their current investment in old technology," observed Jesse Mund, Director of Sales for Revention. "This new program is designed to alleviate that stress and allow existing restaurants to take advantage of the newest technology. The program has proven extremely successful regionally. To date, we've exceeded $1 million in trade-in value with our Regional Buyback Program. We're excited to roll out this campaign nationally, and expect to buy back over $10 million in used point-of-sale systems over the next 12 months."
Revention also announced plans to move into larger space at 1315 W. Sam Houston Parkway North, Suite 100, in Houston. This new headquarters triples the size of the previous facility, occupied since the company's founding ten years ago, with corresponding staff increases in every department. It includes an advanced repair center, operations center for customer service and installation, conveyor-based assembly, dockside shipping/receiving, and demonstration rooms. Moving date has been set for March 14.
Site of New Revention Facilities
Worth Your While
Modex: Supply Chain Conference
Toshiba Connect 2014
ETA Annual Meeting & Expo
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Et Tu, for Harry Tu
One of the most prominent ISVs in hospitality, Aldelo (Pleasanton, CA), has released its solution for iPad and iPad Mini, dubbed Aldelo Touch. Available on the Apple App Store, Aldelo Touch reportedly furnishes the same full functionality as the developer's other products, such as customizable menu panels, complex order entry, kitchen print routing, and table management. If desired, users may choose to employ the software as stand-alone solution, without PC, or in conjunction with their Aldelo POS. Also, Aldelo Touch seamlessly integrates with Aldelo's EDC payment processing platform.
"We are proud to release Aldelo Touch," remarked Harry Tu, President of Aldelo. "Aldelo Touch is not an average iPad POS app. Features typically found on the traditional restaurant POS are fully instilled into Aldelo Touch, giving our mobility solution a full restaurant POS experience. Whether you are running a small donut shop, or a full-service fine dining steak house, Aldelo Touch has features and capabilities to accomplish your objectives."
According to its posting on the Apple App Store, Aldelo Touch will be offered for $10 per month subscription fee, with no software purchase, set-up charges, or contract requirements. A minimum commitment of three device subscriptions per store has been established. Finally, 24/7 live support and back-office reporting in the cloud are provided at no charge. Aldelo, of course, supplies its Aldelo POS and XERA POS through its network of more than 400 dealers, with 80,000 installations in 15 countries.
Aldelo Touch for iPad
TSC Fires Off MX240
TSC America (Pomona, CA) has unveiled its new MX240 Series of industrial thermal barcode printers. It consists of three models: MX240 (203 dpi at speeds of 14 inch/second), MX340 (300 dpi at speeds of 12 inch/second), and MX640 (600 dpi at speeds of 6 inch/second). All come powered by 536 MHz CPU, with standard features such as 4.3-inch color touch display with six menu buttons, 600-meter ribbons, and 8-inch outside-diameter media rolls for high-volume printing.
A full suite of ports includes built-in Ethernet, two USB hosts for keyboard and scanner connections, and USB 2.0, Parallel, and Serial. An industry-standard GPIO port is available as an option. As memory, the MX240 Series carries 256 MB SDRAM and 128 MB Flash (expandable to 32 GB), with so-called TSPL-EZ firmware, which incorporates three printer languages: TSC, TPLE (Eltron), and TPLZ (Zebra). Along with peel-off kit and heavy-duty cutter, options include Bluetooth and 802.11b/g/n.
Measuring 11.8 in. (W) x 15.5 in. (H) x 20 in. (D), and weighing approximately 40 lbs., the MX240 Series has been specifically designed for mission-critical applications in manufacturing, logistics, shipping, and product identification. A die-cast print mechanism and frame are enclosed in an aluminum cover with large, clear media view window. Worldwide shipping of the MX240 Series will begin on March 14, according to TSC America, where Kevin Aie serves as CEO and Dave Lundeen as VP of Sales & Marketing.
TSC's MX240 Series
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A Key for Loyalty by LOC?
About this time last year, we introduced our readers to LOC Enterprises (Cincinnati, OH), and its novel approach to loyalty. A recent phone call with Chuck Furedy, Chief Sales Officer (and thirty-year veteran of the former Symbol Technologies), has revealed the company's interest in broadening its partnerships to include the community of POS ISVs and VARs. Already engaged in discussions with retailers and POS OEMs, the company has refocused on its potential as the "Universal Consumer ID." As benefits, it lists easier customer enrollment--an ongoing problem with loyalty programs, which typically fall below 10%--as well as increased engagement and communication via the ensuing network. As its goal, think Facebook, or LinkedIn, but for Retail. (It's important to note that LOC itself does not provide loyalty programs, rather the mechanism.)
In going to market, LOC now has two plans. The first, LOC Card, targets Tiers 1 and 2, with $1 charged per customer profile per year, and the physical or virtual card supplied at no cost. The second, LOC Quick Connect, operates under the monthly subscription model now commonly employed to reach Tiers 3 and 4 (and without the physical card). In either case, the consumer pays no fee, and LOC maintains the infrastructure for tracking account balances and placement of offers. A level of security is also provided, since each consumer gets assigned his or her unique identifier in the system.
What's in it for the reseller? First off, share of the recurring revenue, with the figure of 20% cited by Furedy. "A lot of these guys don't have POS, they have cash registers," he continued, "but they want to connect with their customers just like anybody else. So we're giving the resellers an opportunity to sell their POS, including the two-dimensional scanners needed to read off smartphones." As always, there's also the point of differentiation, and something new, and novel, to discuss.
LOC Envisions Universal Consumer ID
A Shot of Jamison RFID
Jamison RFID (Hagerstown, MD) has pushed further into our channel with its embrace of Barcoding, Inc. (Baltimore). Jamison RFID addresses the need for portals, housing structures, mounting components, and custom designed enclosures in its namesake industry with over 6,000 warehouse, retail, and supply chain customers in North America. Its roster of partners already featured system integrators such as Atlas RFID, Barcom, Lowry, Millennium Technologies, Rush Tracking Systems, and, just recently, Quest Solution.
"After launching our new, dedicated RFID practice, RFID by Barcoding, earlier this year, we've continued to grow our partner network of leading technology providers whose solutions complement our integration expertise," related Tom O'Boyle, Director of RFID at Barcoding, Inc. "With Jamison's RFID portals, we can provide customers with additional hardware options to ensure a complete, end-to-end implementation of an RFID system that maximizes efficiency, accuracy, and connectivity." Under terms of this agreement, Barcoding, Inc. will demonstrate the full line of Jamison RFID in its Chicago-based Technology Integration Center.
"As a leader in supply chain automation and mobility solutions, Barcoding, Inc. brings a unique understanding of radio frequency communication as well as experience deploying and supporting reader technology," volunteered Anthony Dublino, Jamison RFID Director of Commercial Sales, North America. "The company's commitment to identifying and connecting the potential benefits of RFID with the real world needs of its customers makes Barcoding, Inc. the ideal partner to round out our portfolio of RFID-related offerings." An industry veteran, Dublino came to Jamison RFID last summer.
Custom Portals for the Supply Chain
Radiant RFID (Austin, TX) announced that Virtual Asset Tracker, or VAT, the company's flagship asset-tracking software, has shipped Version 5.2.3, with quick-search functionality--fast, unified search capability across assets, employees, locations, and departments from the web dashboard. In addition, fixed reader notification now supports asset and employee pairing and automated messaging. Further, VAT 2Go, Radiant RFID's companion app for iOS and Android devices, now accommodates QR Codes as well as one-dimensional barcodes. VAT 2Go enables fast, accurate item-level inventory, according to the developer, enabling users to perform main day-to-day tasks including asset inventory, search, and replacement from the convenience of their mobile devices. Significantly, it assigns GPS coordinates to assets. This app works in conjunction with the main VAT platform with data replicated to all other desktop and web clients. Overall, VAT Version 5.2.3 builds upon Version 5.2.2, the system-wide upgrade released in Q4 of 2013 that greatly improved speed and performance while incorporating many new features, including enhancements to Mobile Storekeeper, Asset Status Check, and Centralized Receiving and Delivery.
CounterPoint Colors Magento
Users of NCR's CounterPoint POS should take note of MCP Connect, recently developed by C&K Systems (Chesapeake, VA) and InteractOne (Cincinnati, OH). It bridges CounterPoint to Magento, the popular, powerful e-commerce platform (part of eBay, incidentally). Previous offerings available for NCR CounterPoint in this area have largely focused on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
In comparison, the new MCP Connect allows retailers with NCR CounterPoint to build custom, flexible websites in Magento, with accompanying omni-channel benefits such as more store traffic, higher conversion rates for online buyers, and overall increased revenues for retailers, according to C&K Systems and InteractOne. A dedicated team for MCP Connect has been assembled, following joint development. It includes certified NCR CounterPoint technicians, certified Magento enterprise developers, web design specialists, and e-commerce marketing experts.
Founded in 1998, InteractOne was the 14th Magento Enterprise Partner (there are now more than 400). A Platinum NCR Retail Sales and Service Partner, C&K Systems serves more than 500 companies and 2,500 retail locations, primarily along the Eastern Seaboard. Focused on specialty retail, and led by Kevin Bowden, Founder and CEO, it handles Retail Pro as well as NCR CounterPoint.
Magento Front End, Accessible by MCP Connect From C&K Systems and InteractOne
3M Puts the Touch on Android
3M Touch Systems (Methuen, MA) has collaborated with Ideum (Corrales, NM) to add Android O/S to large-format, multi-touch configurations such as game tables and kiosks. As first example, Ideum's "Platform 46 Coffee Table" will run Android Version 4.1 ("Jellybean") on Intel's x86 architecture and the 3M Model C4667PW. This 46-inch projected-capacitive display has bezel-free, full HD 1080-Pixel LCD with chemically strengthened glass surface and IP-54 waterproof rating. An aluminum pedestal completes the table and holds the PC.
"We think developers will be excited about the ease of authoring on the popular Android platform and the amazingly fast performance on our tables," declared Jim Spadaccini, CEO of Ideum. "Native Android O/S support expands the possibilities for our multi-touch tables giving developers new options and providing end customers new and dynamic software solutions." Additional offerings from Ideum are planned throughout the year, including systems with dual-boot Android/Windows 8.
In keeping with such third-party recruitment, 3M Touch Systems has launched the 3M Multi-Touch Developer Network, an online resource for customers searching for solutions in key markets such as retail, hospitality, travel, business, and entertainment. "Our customers continue to seek out high-quality multi-touch software solutions to assist them in achieving their customer engagement goals through interactive technologies," reported Diego Romeu, Global Business Unit Manager, 3M Electronic Solutions Division. "But because the application possibilities are virtually endless, 3M strives to help customers find qualified developers."
Ideum's Platform 46 Coffee Table
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Shelfbucks Sez Stop Here
Upstart Shelfbucks, Inc. (Austin, TX) has finalized the rollout of its presence-sensing promotion platform for retail in its hometown Tarrytown Pharmacy, one of 3,500 stores in the Health Mart national chain. Intended to combat showrooming, in particular, Shelfbucks' modules have been optimized for iBeacon, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Near-Field Communications (NFC). Shoppers in this historic pharmacy receive real-time offers and coupons via their smartphones and the retailer's app, which are immediately redeemable at the cashier.
"Shelfbucks provides Mark and his team with real-time, actionable data on in-store shopper brand preferences and sales, enabling him to successfully adjust his store's promotion and pricing strategies," commented Erik McMillan, CEO of Shelfbucks, speaking of Mark Newberry, Owner of Tarrytown Pharmacy. "Mark's ability to quickly act on real-time shopper demand assures that his customers will always have access to the right products, at the right price, at the right time. Our platform enables Mark to improve his customer experience while significantly increasing incremental category sales, profit, and return visits from his most valuable shoppers."
Earlier, in January, Shelfbucks hired Catherine Lindner, former VP of Retail Marketing of Walgreens as its Chief Merchant Officer. A heavy-hitter, obviously, Lindner spent fifteen years with the $24 billion merchandiser. Her new employer was founded as Bricktrends, Inc. in February 2013 and relaunched in October 2013 as Shelfbucks. In his statement, McMillan looked to "expand our company's relationships within retail, consumer packaged goods, and shopper marketing industries."
Personalized Promotion Platform for Historic Pharmacy
Calling Doctor Motorola
Voalte (Sarasota, FL) has called upon Motorola Solutions (Schaumburg, IL) to supply mobile computers for hospital environments. Specifically, the Motorola MC40-HC will be employed in conjunction with the Android-based Voalte One Platform. A new phrase has emerged to describe the role of Auto ID in healthcare, "Barcode Medication Administration," or BCMA, which requires the combined two-dimensional scanning and smartphone capabilities of devices such as the MC40-HC.
Voalte One encompasses voice calling, alarm and alert integration, and secure text messaging--all supported by the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth offered by the MC40-HC. In addition to the primary function of care coordination, inventory management will also be enhanced, according to the two parties. In choosing the MC40-HC, Voalte cited factors such as ergonomic design, touchscreen, enterprise durability, and remote device management possibilities. Intended specifically for healthcare, MC40-HC obviously has disinfectant-ready housing.
"Our strategic relationship with Motorola Solutions and expansion to the Android client are testaments to the growing demand for secure communication in healthcare," exclaimed Trey Lauderdale, Founder and President of Voalte. "We're delighted to take the next step with Motorola to continue improving care coordination and enhancing the overall patient experience." Voalte also announced a major infusion of capital with $36 million in Series C funding led by Bedford Funding, one of the leading technology-based private equity firms.
Motorola's MC40-HC for Healthcare
[Editor's Note: Back to retail, where Motorola Solutions has invested an unspecified amount of cash in Revionics (Austin, TX), which pursues end-to-end merchandize optimization. "Revionics has a compelling suite of retail software solutions that provide quantifiable returns on investment for retailers," suggested Reese Schroeder, Managing Director for Motorola Solutions Venture Capital. "I see strong continued momentum in the growth of its business."
Feeling Loopy at Boston College
PXT Payments (Boston) has deployed its "looped in" mobile payment system at Boston College's Conte Forum. This new system ties into QuestVenueManager, the POS employed for the basketball and hockey arena. It allows students and parents to key in their secure "looped in" PIN on their smartphone rather than hand over their credit card. A digital receipt is issued, along with monetary rewards for participation, which may be redeemed at the arena or local merchants in the program.
Fans at Conte Forum can also test out the app's money transfer function. Via this "friend-to-friend" feature, people waiting in line together at the concession stands can send money for the food they want to one person's "looped in" account. By the time it's their turn, the one friend can pay for the whole order at once, getting them all back to their seats faster. This may prove valuable for BC's hockey games, with the team highly ranked nationally year after year, but not so much for basketball games, where that's definitely not the case. [Editorial Disclosure: My son attends BC, so I know.]
"There are many ways any school can use this mobile payment system, and all schools are different," elaborated John Regan, CEO of PXT Payments, which was founded in 2004. "We are interested to see which features become favorites at Boston College, and to help the college tailor the payment system to suit its campus culture." Fenway Sports Management, which handles BC's merchandizing, consulted on this project.
Mobile Platform From PXT Payments
More than four-fifths of professionals (84%) say they are working to increase their "career capital" in an effort to enjoy greater opportunities for growth, have the ability to influence decisions at work, increase their credibility among colleagues and peers, and reach their goals (cited by 57%, 56%, 53%, and 51%, respectively). And this new research from Accenture finds two out of three (67%) believe knowledge or competency in particular areas contributes the most to career capital, while nine out of ten (91%) agree that the most successful employees will be those who can adapt to the changing workplace. More than half of all respondents (57%) have asked for or negotiated pay raises, and three out of four (77%) who have done so have received one. Slightly less than half (44%) have asked for promotions, and more than two-thirds (68%) who have done so have received one. Nearly three out of four respondents (72%) report that experience rates higher than education in their current jobs. Looking ahead, respondents believe the most marketable skills will be the ability to multi-task, speak more than one language, be team players, and navigate most computer applications (cited by 57%, 54%, 54%, and 53%, respectively). Approximately half of respondents (48%) report they are satisfied in their current jobs. Of those not satisfied, feeling underpaid was the primary reason for dissatisfaction (cited by 37%), not surprisingly, followed by lack of opportunity for advancement (cited by 25%). "The focus on developing career capital helps engage and energize employees who will maintain competitive advantage as they grow and reach their goals," concluded Adrian Lajtha, Chief Leadership Officer for Accenture. "In this rapidly evolving business environment, leading companies will continue to sharpen and develop their peoples' skills through innovative training and leadership development programs that prepare them for the future."
Another Link in JDA's Chain
JDA Software Group (Scottsdale, AZ), entitled "The Supply Chain Company," has enlisted Kevin Iaquinto as its EVP and Chief Marketing Officer. Iaquinto brings extensive experience in the computer software industry for public relations, brand management, demand generation, and business development. Before JDA, he served as CMO for Deltek, helping to grow company revenues by more than 40%. He cut his teeth in the supply chain as Senior Director of Global Marketing Communications at Manugistics, which JDA bought in 2006, and has led additional marketing teams at companies such as Software AG, WebMethods, Global Crossing, and Mercator Software.
"We are very pleased to gain the unique leadership, experience, and high energy that Kevin brings to our team," remarked Hamish Brewer, CEO of JDA Software. "Kevin is a recognized, award-winning marketing executive with a proven background in building and repositioning global software brands to increase market awareness and help generate revenue growth. We are confident Kevin's extensive experience in marketing strategy and brand development will help us significantly enhance the JDA brand worldwide and achieve our growth objectives."
"I am thrilled to join JDA and become part of a talented, market-leading team," stated Iaquinto. "JDA is the world leader in delivering supply chain solutions, and there is a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the JDA brand by creating strategic, compelling, and differentiated marketing campaigns that engage our customers, alliances, and prospects. I look forward to working with the entire JDA team to take our brand recognition to great heights and realize the full potential of the huge opportunity in front of JDA."
Kevin Iaquinto, Chief Marketing Officer, JDA Software Group
Man of Thiele at Paytronix
Paytronix Systems, Inc. (Newton, MA), a provider of loyalty, gift, comp, and e-mail solutions for restaurants, has named industry veteran Jim Thiele to the new position of Director of Business Development. Based in Atlanta, Thiele will manage sales for the Southeastern U.S. in addition to driving overall strategies. In his remarks, Thiele emphasized expansion "into new verticals and new channels" for the company, which has established integrations with Positouch, Micros, Xpient, SpeedLine, and Digital Dining.
Most recently, Thiele served as National Sales Director, Eastern Region, for Tillster (formerly EMN8), developer of digital ordering and customer engagement programs for the quick-service and casual-dining markets. Prior to Tillster, he was National Sales Manager for Panasonic USA, responsible for both POS and Wireless Headsets. He also spent time as National Account Manager and Channel Partner Manager for NCR.
"Jim Thiele comes to Paytronix with an understanding of the importance of customer engagement to the retail, restaurant, and hospitality industries," relayed Andrew Robbins, President of Paytronix. "His knowledge, experience, and personal connections will be invaluable to Paytronix's growth as we continue to augment our industry-leading reward programs with game-changing mobile and customer analytics offerings."
Jim Thiele, Director of Business Development, Paytronix
A Chair for Murai
Kevin Murai, CEO/President of Synnex Corporation (Fremont, CA), has been appointed Vice Chairman of the Global Technology Distribution Council (St. Petersburg, FL), the consortium of the world's two dozen most powerful technology distributors. Previous to coming to Synnex in 2008, Murai served as President and COO of Ingram Micro, where he filled numerous senior management roles over nearly twenty years. In total, GTDC members engage more than 500 vendor partners and post annual sales exceeding $130 billion.
"Kevin's comprehensive knowledge and experience in the technology distribution industry will be of tremendous value to the GTDC and its members," indicated Tim Curran, GTDC's CEO. "He's long been an advocate for the channel, highly regarded by the vendor community as well as solution providers and peers across the world. He joins our leadership team at an ideal time as distributors continue to build on their momentum and services expertise at the center of today's global IT supply chain."
"I'm honored to serve as Vice Chairman of the GTDC," stated Murai. "The role of technology distributors is evolving and diversifying faster than ever--connecting and serving all points in the channel in ways that are remarkably dynamic and instrumental to overall industry success. I'm delighted to contribute to the GTDC's growth and expanding influence as we continue to innovate and strengthen partnerships worldwide."
Kevin Murai, CEO/President of Synnex, Recently Named Vice Chairman of Global Technology Distribution Council
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