Our Product Pick
AML (Euless, TX) has presented its interactive kiosk for retail, named Monarch. With dimensions of 10.5 in. (W) x 8.3 in. (H) x 1.9 in. (D), weighing 2.15 lbs., Monarch runs Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro, with Intel Atom E3815 Single-Core CPU at 1.5 GHz and 2-GB RAM. It features 10-inch projected capacitive touchscreen, two-dimensional barcode scanner, stereo speaker, and 2 x USB 2.0. Notably, it can be operated on standard Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) via RJ-45. Finally, Monarch may be equipped with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and Dual-Core CPU. "Monarch brings to the retailer an affordable kiosk with a small footprint, a desktop operating system, a user experience that is familiar and intuitive to most consumers, and with power consumption so low it can be powered over their network connection," enthused Mike Kearby, President of AML.
Monarch by AML
A Case of Consistency--Toshiba and Motorola
A deeper relationship has been forged between two market behemoths, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions (Research Triangle Park, NC) and Motorola Solutions (Schaumburg, IL). With this move, Toshiba has signed Motorola's Global Systems Integrator Agreement and has joined Motorola's Partner Empower Program. As such, Toshiba will resell products such as barcode scanners, scales, mobile computers, and wireless networking to its customers in POS, of which it holds the world's biggest share (as the former IBM Retail Store Solutions). In turn, Motorola Solutions serves as Innovation Partner in Toshiba's Together Commerce Alliance Program.
While the two firms have worked together previously, new consistency will being immediate benefits, Ted Clark, Global Business Partner Channel Leader for Toshiba GCS, told RRN.Com. With "similar terms, similar expectations, and similar processes on how we work together, identify, and develop opportunities," Clark predicted improved integration of their complementary technologies, more layers of value-add, and in particular, increased selling of maintenance services. The two teams have met "to see what we can do together based on what we've done together in different regions of the world, and how we can replicate those things on this new global level," he noted.
At present Toshiba GCS sells 50% through the channel (that's 80% for Motorola Solutions). "As their reseller, we bring real value," suggested Clark. "Take scanner/scales, which must be weight certified. Different states have different criteria, and we have all those. Also, history has shown that things we develop for large customers quickly mature and become sellable by our partners. Take our grocery application, ACE, which became 'partnerized' for the channel. I expect more of this." In the words of Patricia Pepper, VP of Worldwide Services for Toshiba GCS, "We know how to facilitate bringing multiple technology, software, and services companies together."
Ted Clark, Global Business Partner Channel Leader, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions
[Editor's Note: Zebra Technologies has finalized its purchase of Motorola Solutions.]
Bematech Takes Up Boxing
Seeking to leverage the breadth of its hardware, and growing relationships with software developers, Bematech (Bethpage, NY) has rolled out its Omnibox-iPad. "A complete package, fully operational with the tablet," as described by Rafael Ottmann, Bematech's Operations Manager, Omnibox-iPad comes in three versions (without iPad). Omnibox-M1, "Mobile Basic Bundle," has cash drawer, receipt printer, tablet stand, and card reader. Omnibox-M2, "Mobile Value Bundle," adds portable Bluetooth barcode reader, while Omnibox-M3, "Mobile Retail Bundle," adds handgun Bluetooth barcode scanner. All hardware except tablet stands and card readers comes from Bematech.
A longtime supplier of hardware to the channel, including many years as Logic Controls, Bematech will take its new product to market through its four distributors--ScanSource, BlueStar, Ingram Micro DC/POS, and Metropolitan Sales. Individual SKUs have been assigned and pricing falls in the $400 to $800 range. In addition to benefits from its uniform hardware, the company emphasized certification efforts by leading software players in this area, identifying firms such as Aldelo, ShopKeep, Lightspeed, and POS Lavu, some of whom will white-label this product for their VARs.According to Juliet Derby, Bematech's President, reaction to Omnibox-iPad has been extremely positive. "We're going to have several of these bundled solutions going out, not just iPad, all under the banner of Omnibox," relayed Derby. "It will be a big year for solution selling at Bematech."
Omnibox Mobile Retail Bundle for iPad
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Ode to Joya X2 at Datalogic
Datalogic (Eugene, OR) has unveiled its Joya X2 self-shopping device, which features two-dimensional as well as linear barcode reading. With handling of standard labels, smartphone displays, and electronic shelf tags, Joya X2 allows customers to check products they have scanned, access store offers, and perform checkout at self-payment stations. It may also function as standard mobile computer for inventory management, queue-busting, and customer service on the part of retailers.
Weighing 9 oz., and measuring 5.8 in. (L) x 2.8 in. (W) x 1.7 in. (D), Joya X2 has top and bottom rubber bumpers and six fully programmable keys in matching color patterns of blue, green, red, or orange. As technical characteristics, it includes Windows CE, XScale PXA310 CPU at 624 MHz, 256-MB RAM, and 512-MHz Flash. Joya X2 Plus, versus Joya X2 Basic, adds touchscreen display and 1-GB Flash (as well as 4-GB SD Card). With 2300-mAh rechargeable Li-Ion batteries for full-shifts, it withstands drops to concrete of 4 ft./1.2 m.
As communications, Joya X2 has Bluetooth Class 2+EDR, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and USB. It supports "Shop Evolution," Datalogic's self-shopping solution, as well as third-party software (with an SDK). Also, Wavelink Avalanche may be pre-loaded and pre-licensed. "Self-shopping devices continue to gain traction in the retail marketplace," summarized Francesco Montanari, VP and GM of Datalogic Mobile Computers. "The Joya X2 provides an exciting shopping experience, while reducing operational costs, improving customer service, and growing loyalty to the retailer."
Datalogic Joya X2 Self-Shopper Adds 2D
SATO Revs the Engine
SATO America (Charlotte, NC) has unboxed its new high-performance print engines for labeling, designated S84-ex (four inch print width) and S86-ex (six inch print width). Both thermal-transfer/direct-thermal and direct-thermal-only models are offered, with 203-, 300-, and 600-dpi resolution and speed ranging from 6 inch/152 mm per second to 16 inch/406 mm per second. Ruggedness addresses high-volume, 24/7 mission-critical environments for case, pallet, and individual product identification.
Interestingly, these engines incorporate LCD and LED displays which change colors from blue to orange to help operators monitor print status. A simple stand-alone mode provides independent operation via LCD control while tool-less design and locking side covers allow for easy replacement of print head and platen rollers. Likewise, easy access to the back of the printer helps maintenance. Lastly, the S84-ex may be ordered with ribbon saver.
"As applications or environments may change, customers desire communication flexibility; amongst many other new features, the S84/86-ex models incorporate built-in communication ports, including LAN, and optional WLAN and Bluetooth," proclaimed Bob Linse, President of SATO America. "Adding flexibility and convenience, the S84/86-ex models provide customers with expansive storage, printer settings, and formats via SD slot or front-side USB port communications. SATO launched its first print engine here in the U.S. market in 1985, and has never relinquished its commitment to continual improvement. Release of the S84-ex and S86-ex series further builds upon our legacy."
S84/86-ex Barcode Print Engines by SATO
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Putting the QSR in the V-R100
Casio America (Dover, NJ) and MicroSale (Tampa, FL) have joined forces to address the market in quick-service restaurants (QSR). For this effort, MicroSale has developed dedicated software, entitled TabPOS, which will fit Casio's Android-based POS, including the V-R100. Described as "feature rich," this TabPOS furnishes sales, payment, inventory, cloud reporting, phone order and delivery functionality, and customer relationship management (CRM).
"Quick-service restaurant owners seek POS systems that are not only cost-effective, but also help their businesses run more efficiently," indicated Larry Sampey, GM of Casio's System Products Division. "With TabPOS by MicroSale, Casio's Android terminals provide another level of speed, flexibility, and ease-of-use." A longtime ISV, MicroSale sells through VARs in North America and the Middle East.
Introduced in 2012, Casio's V-R100 was the first Android-based All-in-One for POS. It features 10-inch color touchscreen, high-speed thermal printer, Ethernet and Serial, and built-in swivel 2x20 customer display. As benefits of Android, Casio cites increased security, flexibility, and reliability (no hard drive, no cooling fan, and running off Flash ROM). Overall, V-R100 offers an open platform for ISVs, with accompanying software development kit (SDK). Casio also offers the 15-inch V-R7000.
MicroSale Develops TabPOS Software for Casio's Android-Based V-R100
A Retail Equation for Genius
A major step into retail for the Genius Customer Engagement Platform from Merchant Warehouse (Boston, MA), with recent adoption by Tomax Corporation (Salt Lake City, UT). Integration with cloud-based Tomax Retail.net brings more than 15,000 specialty, general retail, grocery, and pharmacy locations in the U.S. Via the Genius Customer Engagement Platform, it now accepts multiple payment methods--whether card, NFC, QR Codes, or mobile wallets (i.e., LevelUp, PayPal, Google Wallet, Softcard, and now Apple Pay). Users select an appropriate icon on Genius.
"Tomax sees Merchant Warehouse's Genius Platform as a disruptive payment solution, providing a single payment framework for omni-channel integration," affirmed Eric Olafson, CEO of Tomax. "Payment terminals will play a major role in the future of the customer experience. The extensible architecture of the Genius Platform will allow us to interact with the payment terminal dynamically to support new, innovative customer use cases."
"Tomax is an important partner for Merchant Warehouse," testified Henry Helgeson, CEO of Merchant Warehouse. "Both companies understand the importance of operating in the cloud, maintaining high security standards, and preparing for the future, no matter what the payments landscape has to offer. Tomax and Merchant Warehouse share a mindset when it comes to serving merchants, preparing them for an integrated, omni-channel experience that's convenient for consumers and encourages long-term loyalty."
Merchant Warehouse's Genius Customer Engagement Platform Enlists Tomax
Harbortouch (Allentown, PA) has launched Harbortouch Tableside for the iPad. This app integrates with and mirrors the existing POS. When orders are entered on the tablet, they are relayed directly to the kitchen or bar. As benefits, the developer cited increased speed of service, quicker table turns, and more accurate ordering. After the free trial period of 30 days, merchants will pay $19.99 per month for the first iPad and $14.99 for each additional iPad. Once they download the app from the iOS App Store, and log-in, the merchant's iPad will automatically connect and sync to their Harbortouch POS. As an add-on, no contract is required for Harbortouch Tableside.
Last month, Harbortouch announced it has reduced the length of the service agreement for its flagship free POS program from five years to three years. The monthly cost will stay at $69, and there are no up-front charges for the hardware, software, installation, or training. "When we announced the latest generation of our Elite POS system, everyone was expecting us to raise the price due to the numerous improvements included in the new equipment," shared Jared Isaacman, CEO of Harbortouch. "Instead, we have gone in the opposite direction and lowered the overall cost of ownership."
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Heartland Exercises Xpient
Making another strong move in hospitality, Heartland Payment Systems (Princeton, NJ), the fifth largest payment processor in the U.S., has scooped up Xpient Solutions (Charlotte, NC). Xpient provides restaurant management software, including POS, to 11 of the top 25 quick-service and fast-casual restaurant brands, including Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, Panera Bread, and Panda Express. Earlier in August, RRN.Com readers will recall, Heartland Payment Systems purchased Leaf (Boston, MA), which supplies purpose-built tablets for POS.
"We have historically competed against large companies like Micros, now owned by Oracle, and Radiant, now NCR," observed Christopher Sebes, CEO of Xpient. "The Heartland acquisition of Xpient brings with it the stability of a large, public company and a product-focused mindset that will enable Xpient to emphasize product development and technology advancement. Now our employees will have the opportunity to grow as members of this larger company, and Heartland and Xpient customers will benefit from the new lines of business we will be introducing."
"Integrating Xpient into the Heartland organization allows us to bring the benefits of a sophisticated system for large operators to our small and mid-sized restaurant customers," declared Bob Carr, CEO and Chairman of Heartland Payment Systems. "This integration allows them to better manage many more aspects of their business." Drive-thru, front counter, and mobile applications were mentioned, as well as kitchen and back-office. Xpient's leadership team will reportedly remain intact.
Christopher Sebes, CEO, Xpient, Now Part of Heartland Payment Systems
What Happened at Home Depot
Home Depot has released details from an investigation of its recent massive data breach, which may be of some interest. Apparently, criminals used one third-party vendor's user name and password to enter the perimeter of its network. These stolen credentials did not provide direct access to the company's point-of-sale devices; hackers then acquired elevated rights that allowed them to navigate portions of the network and to deploy unique, custom-built malware on its self-checkout systems in the U.S. and Canada.
In addition, approximately 53 million e-mail addresses were also taken in the breach. These files did not contain passwords, payment card information, or other sensitive personal information. Home Depot is notifying affected customers in the U.S. and Canada, who should be on guard against phishing schemes designed to gather personal information in response to phony e-mails. Also, Home Depot offers free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, to customers who used payment cards at its stores from April to September.
As previously disclosed, the malware used in the attack had not been seen in any prior attacks and was designed to evade detection by antivirus software, according to Home Depot's security partners. As the company announced on September 18, the hackers' method of entry has been closed off and the malware has been eliminated from its systems. Going forward, Home Depot reportedly has implemented enhanced encryption of payment data by Voltage Security, and continues roll out of EMV Chip-and-PIN in the U.S. We will examine the impact on VARs in upcoming editions of RRN.Com.
Home Depot Releases Findings of Data Breach Investigation
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On the Runway at Honeywell
Not every product needs to be revolutionary. At last week's Pack Expo in Chicago, for example, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility (Ft. Mill, SC) offered two useful solutions for the distribution center--the sled/armband holder for its Dolphin 70e Mobile Computer and the compact Thor CV31 Vehicle Mount Computer (successor to the popular Intermec CV30). In making its announcement, the company emphasized increased efficiency, productivity, and accuracy from use of these new devices, while simultaneously maximizing previous investment.
Described as more hygienic than conventional wearables, the rubber sled/armband for the Dolphin 70e stretches slightly as the arm moves for comfort and stability and works in conjunction with corded or Bluetooth-connected ring scanners, with audio interface to the company's line of headsets. An entire configuration weighs about 1 lb. As benefits, the Dolphin 70e delivers 4.3-inch display, flexible touchscreen keypads, Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
In the case of the CV31, driver visibility has been improved by more than 20% compared to competing devices, according to the vendor. Overall, CV31 measures 7 in. (W) x 7.5 in. (H) x 2.2 in. (D), with 6.5-inch LED backlight display. It's powered by Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 Dual-Core CPU at 1.5 GHz, 1-GB RAM, 16-GB Flash, and Windows Embedded Compact 7. It features an internal 30-minute back-up battery and ignition control, keeping drivers productive by eliminating reboots as well as re-connect idle time after vehicle battery swaps. A simple touch connects to Vocollect SRX2 headsets and mounting and connector placement mirrors the Intermec CV30.
Wearable Warehouse Technology From Honeywell Scanning & Mobility
J2, Cafeteria Worker
An issue in the education market is the need to support student identification cards used for meals and purchases. One recent approach was demonstrated by ITC Systems (St. Louis, MO) at the Nanaimo Campus of Vancouver Island University in Canada. For this deployment of POS, ITC employed software from Volante Systems (Toronto) and the J2 225 Terminal from J2 Retail Systems (Tustin, CA). J2's 225 carries 14-inch touchscreen with 16:9 wide aspect ratio, Intel Atom Dual-Core D2550 CPU at 1.8 GHz, 2-GB RAM, Windows 7, and flat-fold design.
"We were looking for a point-of-sale system that would integrate with our inventory system," explained Melissa Townsend, Manager of Food Services at VIU. "Based on that, we felt the Volante system which ITC supplies was the best fit. When integration is complete, we will have detailed reporting that will be very exciting." Added Danny Trieu, Senior Software Support at ITC Systems, "The J2 hardware is user-friendly, reliable, and easy to operate. Staff are happy to have made the move to J2."
Significantly, the Volante POS ties into Multiplan Gold from ITC Systems, which replaces cash in the campus food services. Account holders are able to buy meal plans as well as add funds to their campus cards through the web, 24/7. It also integrates with the Multiplan Matrix Manager to provide administrators with device- and application-specific reports. Vancouver Island University plans to extend this solution to its other campuses in Duncan, Powell River, and Parksville-Qualicum.
Vancouver Island University Deploys J2 225 and Volante POS
Use of technology in restaurants grows, according to the National Restaurant Association. A third of consumers say they are more likely to employ technology-related options when eating out compared to two years ago. A majority of smartphone owners say they use their devices for several restaurant-related tasks at least a few times per year, such as looking up basic information about a restaurant (e.g., location and hours of operation), viewing menus, reading online reviews, obtaining rewards and special deals, and ordering take-out or delivery on restaurant-branded apps. Half also say they look up nutritional information on their devices several times per year, and one-quarter use their phones to pay for meals at that frequency. Of consumers not employing technology, half say it's because they prefer dealing with people. This is particularly notable among younger consumers, surprisingly, where six in ten of 18-to-34-year-olds cite this reason, versus only four in ten of those older than 65. In addition, 15% say they don't use these options more often because they don't know how, 12% say the restaurants they patronize don't offer these options, and 5% say they don't use tech options because they don't trust them to work correctly. "While overall usage of restaurant technology is still more common among diners in the millennial generation compared with baby boomers, the age gap generally levels out when it comes to frequent users," disclosed Hudson Riehle, SVP of Research for the National Restaurant Association. "As restaurants integrate more customer-facing technology, usage among consumers is growing. When done right, it can help a restaurant's productivity and the customer experience."
Food Order App for McDonalds
Ms. $100 Million
Revel Systems (San Francisco, CA), one of the most visible players in iPad POS, has secured approximately $100 million in Series C funding from the private equity firm of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (New York City). This includes an initial $65 million from WCAS and an additional $25 million line of credit. Sanjay Swani, General Partner and Co-Head of WCAS Information/Business Services, will join Revel's Board of Directors. Since its debut four years ago, Revel Systems has installed 10,000 POS. It charges $3,000 up-front, and $49 monthly fee per terminal.
"We couldn't have picked a better partner to launch Revel into the next phase of growth," reflected Lisa Falzone, Co-Founder and CEO of Revel. "Their deep investment expertise in the B2B services and payments industries, plus their proven track record for fueling company growth, will help us further cement Revel as the industry standard POS solution for both small businesses and enterprise customers. Our industry leadership and strategic position in the commerce space have allowed us to attract this top investor and have helped us achieve what appears to be the highest valuation in our industry."
According to press reports, Revel will use the funds to expand internationally and increase staff dramatically from its current total of 200. An IPO should come within the next two to three years. Its interest in the channel appears wobbly, however. Despite winning the "Innovative Solution Award" at the 2012 Retail Solutions Providers Association Show, it only lists twelve resellers on its website, and failed to exhibit at RSPA 2014.
Lisa Falzone, Co-Founder and CEO, Revel Systems
Omni-ID (Rochester, NY) has elevated Tony Kington, Managing Director of Europe, to COO. As background, Kington joined QinetiQ, Ltd. in 2004 to direct the initial development of the company's RFID efforts--which ultimately led to the formation of Omni-ID. He served as GM of QinetiQ, Ltd. until 2007.
"I am very pleased to announce the promotion of Tony Kington to Chief Operating Officer of Omni-ID," remarked George Daddis, Jr., CEO of Omni-ID. "Over the past few years, Omni-ID has experienced a significant increase in demand for our products--and Tony is the ideal person to lead our product delivery process from start to finish. As one of the first employees of the company, and a key member of the leadership team, Tony has a great breadth of expertise in many aspects of the business. He has made significant contributions to Omni-ID's operational processes, setting the groundwork for future growth."
"I've always been highly enthusiastic about the options that RFID technologies can provide for increased process efficiency and asset visibility. What's even more inspiring is seeing the broader market acceptance and growth in industrial application, outside of retail," relayed Kington. "I'm thrilled to be on the front lines of this revolution. Our business continues to grow at an exponential pace--as a matter of fact, more than double the rate annually of overall industrial RFID. It is critically important that we also continue to align our product development processes and delivery mechanisms to support that growth."
Tony Kington, COO, Omni-ID
AB&R: Gone to Texas
AB&R (Phoenix, AZ), the former American Barcode and RFID, has enlisted Ty Boland as its Regional Account Manager for Texas. Previously, Boland spent thirteen years at Intermec, leaving with the title of Printer Media Senior Account Executive. Between Intermec and AB&R, he worked for four years as Southwest Territory Account Manager at Informs.
"We've seen a significant increase in business from Texas and wanted to pro-actively support our client's growing needs," commented Mike Stryczek, CEO of AB&R. "Boland's dedicated focus on Texas will allow the AB&R team to further develop our brand of proven supply chain solutions. We look forward to the advantages that adding this key position in the field will bring to Texas."
Ty Boland, Regional Account Manager, Texas, AB&R
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