Our Product Pick
Koamtac (Princeton, NJ) has unwrapped its new barcode scanner with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the KDC280. Offered with laser, imager, or CCD, and intended for use with smart devices, the KDC280 has 8-MB RAM for storage of 400,000 UPC Codes. A work time of five days results from single charge. In compact format, with OLED display, it comes with an IP-65 rating and 5-ft./1.5-m drop resistance. An SDK supports iOS, Android, Windows, and Tizen OS.
Koamtac KDC280 Scanner
An Entire Code
Code Corporation (Salt Lake City, UT) has launched its new service-focused program, entitled "Code Complete." It seeks to facilitate product selection, deployment, and maintenance. A longtime supplier of scanning technology to our channel, Code has divided this program into three parts: "Connect" (e.g., site surveys, customer meetings, workflows), "Select" (e.g., choice of product, installation, training), and "Protect" (e.g., updates, warranties, RMA's).
"We know that each company has different needs in terms of products, service, and support," explained John Deal, VP of Product Strategy for Code. "By creating this comprehensive suite of solutions to support our customers before, during, and after rollout, we've helped them get the most out of their investment." Added Jennifer Braun, Program Manager, "We care about our customers, and we want them to expect more out of us than just shipment of products."
Elsewhere, Code and Honeywell (Fort Mill, SC) have resolved their patent infringement lawsuit. Under terms of the settlement, Code will pay an annual royalty fee--as well as one-time lump sum payment--to license certain patents of Honeywell. "We acknowledge the value of Honeywell's patent portfolio relating to barcode scanning technology," stated George Powell, President and CEO of Code Corporation. "Having access to this technology will benefit Code's customers."
George Powell, President and CEO, Code
In Apple's Eye: Paytronix
Paytronix (Newton, MA) has put into beta test its Apple Pay with Loyalty ID. A pair of sites in an unidentified fast-casual restaurant chain now enable customers to pay with Apple Pay, and simultaneously earn and redeem rewards on the Paytronix Platform. Cited as benefits: speedy "tap and go" with NFC, auto-prompt for recruiting non-members, and the use of one-time, unique codes for secure transactions. (While Paytronix declined to identify the fast-casual chain, it demonstrated integration with Apple Pay for Panera Bread at the recent National Retail Federation Show.)
"For the brand, this solution reduces the complexity, and more importantly the time, required for the cashier to process an order, one key metric for quick-service and fast-casual chains," observed Todd Michaud, CEO and Founder of Power Thinking Media (Atlanta, GA). "For the customer, it brings loyalty functionality into the Apple Passbook, which means one less app they must navigate at check-out, greatly improving their ease-of-use. In turn, this will lead to greater adoption, providing marketers with additional data to improve the program's effectiveness."
"I've seen the Paytronix Apple Pay with Loyalty ID in action at one of Paytronix's largest fast-casual customers," reported James Park, CEO of Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh. "It's convenient for both the cashier and the guest to transact with a simple phone tap. We can't wait to get it in our stores." More to come from Paytronix, disclosed its President Andrew Robbins.
Beta Test for Apple Pay With Loyalty ID
Worth Your While
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Bixolon Puts "R" in the SLP-TX400
Bixolon America (Gardena, CA) has introduced its new desktop thermal label printer, assigned SLP-TX400R. In addition to text, graphics, and barcodes, the 4" SLP-TX400R embeds UHF EPC Class 1, Gen 2 RFID. It features maximum print and encoding speed of 7 in./178 mm per second at 203 dpi. A Unified Label Utility configures the RFID.
With media roll diameter of 5.1 in./130 mm, the SLP-TX400R measures 8.4 in. (W) x 12.2 in. (D) x 7.7 in. (H), and weighs 6.3 lbs. It has multi-interface support, including USB, Ethernet, and Serial, with optional Bluetooth and 802.11 Wi-Fi. A Smart Media Detection adjusts for Gap Media, Black Mark Media, and Short Length Media. Options include auto-cutter and high-volume external label holder.
"With omnichannel retailing moving at warp speed, there's the critical need for stores to gain efficiency, visibility, and accurate inventory tracking to stay competitive," indicated John Kim, Director of Marketing for Bixolon Co. Ltd. (South Korea). "A great buying experience can be ruined by inventory or delivery errors. Our SLP-TX400R ensures the fastest desktop label printing with the right RFID data encoded in every tag." Included is the custom label design program, Label Artist.
Bixolon's SLP-TX400R RFID Label Printer
TC25: Baby Zebra
Zebra Technologies Corporation (Lincolnshire, IL) has unveiled its ruggedized smartphone for the SMB, designated TC25. In dimensions of 5.3 in. (L) x 2.8 in. (W) x 0.6 in. (D), weighing 6.9 oz., the TC25 carries 4.3" capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass. It's powered by 64-bit Octo-Core ARM CPU at 1.4 GHz, 2-GB RAM, and 16-GB Flash, with Android 7. A rechargeable 3000-mAh Li-Ion battery provides 10 hours of use.
As data collection, the TC25 has one- and two-dimensional scanner, on-screen keyboard, and eight-megapixel auto-focus rear camera. As communications, it has Bluetooth 4.2 BLE, full 802.11 Wi-Fi, and LTE WAN. As ruggedness, it meets IP-65, MIL-STD-810G, 4-ft./1.2-m drop resistance, and operating temperature range of 14 to 122 Degrees F.
"As an alternative to outdated, and often inaccurate, pen and paper systems, as well as flimsy and fragile consumer devices, the new TC25 provides smaller businesses with competitive advantage," proposed Joe White, VP and GM, Enterprise Mobile Computing, at Zebra Technologies Corporation. In order to facilitate use in the SMB, Zebra has pre-installed DataWedge, which transfers barcode data to existing apps, and "walkie-talkie" Workforce Connect Push-to-Talk Pro. In addition, Zebra OneCare SV and LifeGuard supports the TC25.
Zebra's TC25 Rugged Smartphone for the SMB
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Epson On the Trec2go
Epson America (Long Beach, CA) has been chosen for its OmniLink TM-T88VI thermal receipt printer by online ordering specialist Trec2go (Salt Lake City, UT). Selected for its "ePOS Print and Server Direct Print" technologies, with built-in USB and Ethernet, plus Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the OmniLink TM-T88VI measures 5.7 in. (W) x 5.8 in. (H) x 7.7 in. (D), weighs 3.5 lbs., and features maximum print speed of 13.8 in./350 mm per second at 180 dpi. It will be used to manage tasks as well as orders that come directly from customers' smartphones and tablets, according to Trec2go and Epson America.
Unlike some apps, online orders may arrive in the same list as in-store orders with Trec2go. It also supplies the merchant's customers with an option to receive physical receipts in addition to an e-mail notification (printing by the OmniLink TM-T88VI). Set-up of Trec2go takes place via the Epson Printer App or Epson "NetConfig." Established in 2016, Trec2go supplies custom branded apps as well as website ordering.
"Trec2go recognized the need for a more efficient and convenient mobile and online ordering solution," remarked Tom Kettell, Director of Commercial Channel Sales at Epson America. "They have the technology and skill to take the ordering experience to the next level. Together, we can create a more appealing online ordering experience for customers while simultaneously enabling merchants to maximize their business potential." Added Frank Sherman, President and Co-Founder of Trec2go, "The flexibility, durability, and other rich features of Epson's OmniLink TM-T88VI printer allows us to work alongside most POS."
Online Order Specialist Trec2go Selects Epson's OmniLink TM-T88VI Thermal Receipt Printer
A P2PE Pipe
A trio of payment players--Bluefin (Atlanta, GA), Datacap Systems (Chalfont, PA), and Monetary LLC (Denver, CO)--has joined forces to address Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE). A solution comprises Datacap's popular payment middleware (i.e., NETePay), Monetary's payment/marketing platform (i.e., Connected Commerce), and Bluefin's Decryption-as-a-Service (i.e., Decryptx). As expected, it achieves compliance with the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) for P2PE.
"Monetary is dedicated to providing innovative payment solutions to our client base, but always with an eye on security," expressed Shelley Plomske, CEO and Co-Founder of Monetary LLC. "Partnering with Bluefin and Datacap to provide our clients with PCI-Validated P2PE, the gold standard in payment security, will offer best-in-class solutions for the dealers and developers we work with." (Jeff Katz, renowned for integrated payments pioneer Mercury Payment Systems, now part of Vantiv/Worldpay, was Co-Founder of Monetary LLC.)
"A new payments gateway that's leveraging our NETePay integrated payments platform to process transactions through multiple processors and EMV-certified devices," was how Justin Zeigler, Datacap's Director of Product Strategy, discussed Monetary LLC. "Via our partnership with Monetary, new and existing integration partners of Datacap can immediately take advantage of feature updates like simple-to-implement omnichannel payments, cross-platform tokens, and of course, validated P2PE." With its recent release of NETePay Version 5.07, Datacap Systems has included new features such as remote updates/processor changes, "as-a-service" delivery, store and forward with PCI, batch report viewer, and pay-at-the-table (via PIN Pads by Ingenico).
A New Team of Payment Players Addresses PCI-Validated Point-to-Point Encryption
Microsoft (Redmond, WA) has enhanced its Dynamics 365 for Retail in two main areas: employee productivity and inventory management. With such new functionality, store associates may be re-assigned to shifting tasks, such as helping customers, running transactions, performing stock counts, or receiving orders in the store. In addition, it delivers inventory status information within the individual store, other stores in the network, or in the supporting warehouse. As categories, it displays Reserve, Incoming, and Total Inventory. Also, an improved order fulfillment functionality streamlines the process with marketplaces and buying services."A notification capability lets associates know when tasks require their attention," mentioned Alysa Taylor, GM of Business Apps and Strategy at Microsoft.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail
AI Visits Agilysys
A real-world example of AI and Big Data in our channel: Agilysys (Alpharetta, GA) will resell data analytics by Xuvi (Las Vegas, NV). In an effort to improve guest loyalty and increase profitability, the BeamStudio Platform by Xuvi will be offered with the POS and Property Management Systems (PMS) by Agilysys. Underlying BeamStudio is Xuvi's patent-pending guest valuation scoring index, SpendScore.
A combined system will feature an offer campaign creation tool with machine-learning capabilities for continuous evolution, according to Agilysys. Along with historical analysis, it will provide real-time predictive analytics with floor views showing business and guest status, (and messaging for out-of-bounds and suspicious events). Also, its centralized dashboard will show key performance metrics and staffing and inventory level recommendations.
"Xuvi's BeamStudio, combined with Agilysys' PMS and POS, will help hotels and casinos with guest modeling, dynamic pricing, and marketing automation, as well as understanding the true net worth of their customers," enthused Arun Rajaraman, CEO of Xuvi. "We look forward to working with Agilysys to help operators make the most of their data wherever it resides." A longtime leader in gaming, resort, cruise, and corporate foodservice IT, Agilysys supplies InfoGenesis POS and rGuest Stay and Visual One PMS.
Agilysys Resells Advanced Data Analytics by Xuvi
A New Tack (for PIN)
A uniform PIN should result from cooperation between the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (Wakefield, MA) and the Accredited Standards Committee X9 Inc. (Annapolis, MD). As many readers know, these two groups currently maintain separate standards for PIN. Depending on its affiliation, an organization may follow either the PCI SSC PIN Security Standard or the ASC X9 TR39 PIN Standard. (In some cases, both.)
In response to industry feedback, the two standards groups will now collaborate. A newly formed PCI PIN Assessment Working Group has been formed, consisting of payment brand representatives, ASC X9, and PCI SSC. It seeks to ensure that the resulting standard satisfies requirements of both ASC X9 and PCI SSC. (With 100 companies as members, ASC X9 has accreditation by the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI).
"I am enthusiastic about X9 joining the PCI PIN Assessment Working Group and the opportunity to unify X9 TR39 with the PCI PIN Security Standard," commented Steve Stevens, Executive Director for ASC X9. "A resulting PCI PIN Standard will simplify network security audits, reducing their cost." Added Troy Leach, CTO at the PCI SSC, "Our two organizations have always enjoyed a strong working relationship, and this is an issue we are confident we can address."
In Pursuit of Uniform PIN by Standards Groups
Key Advertiser Links
Mounts for POS
School of Cardknox
Cardknox (Lakewood, NJ), an up-and-coming player in integrated payments, has achieved certification for electronic benefits transfer over the new card-based eWIC System. A few lines of code changed, Cardknox's gateway, with tokenization and EMV Chip Card, can be quickly integrated with the merchant's POS. As many readers know, eWIC is now required in over 20 states in the U.S., with the rest slated to switch over in stages by 2020. It updates the funding program for "Women, Infants, and Children" (WIC).
"Cardknox is solution-oriented in its approach, which is why we're always on the lookout for any unmet needs in the payment industry, which is constantly changing," contributed Yanky Weiss, CTO at Cardknox. "We're delighted to have successfully certified our gateway for eWIC processing. As more and more merchants look to upgrade to eWIC processing, we hope to be their valuable resource."
As part of its recent activity, Cardknox now supports the so-called "zero integration" Augusta EMV countertop card reader by ID TECH (Cypress, CA). "Augusta is the perfect complement to the services we provide," observed Mark Paley, Director of Partner Sales at Cardknox. It handles both MSR and EMV Chip Cards (Level 1 and 2) with fast processing time via Visa's "Quick Chip" and MasterCard's "M/Chip."
Cardknox Certified for U.S. eWIC Program
If the Shoe Fits . . . Aptos
Aptos, Inc. (Atlanta, GA) has completed deployment of its Singular Commerce Platform for specialty footwear retailer, WSS (for Warehouse Shoe Sale). With 80 locations in CA, focusing on urban districts, WSS has expanded into Phoenix, AZ, and Las Vegas, NV. It displays every style and size of its inventory, allowing customers to browse and engage staff when wanted. It carries the major names (Nike, Jordan, Vans, Converse, Adidas, Puma, etc.).
WSS has cloud delivery of Aptos. Implementation included point-of-sale, order management, customer relationship management, merchandising, sales audit, and digital commerce. A new version of its Singular Commerce Platform has true cloud-native form, with microservices and Application Programming Interfaces (API's). Overall, 1,000 retail brands employ Aptos Singular Commerce.
"Our partnership with Aptos' Singular Commerce Platform allows WSS the opportunity to deliver an exceptional omnichannel experience," declared Rick Mina, President of WSS. Added CFO Jeffrey Porter, "WSS is greatly pleased by the considerable effort and dedication shown by the Aptos team to deliver this near-seamless rollout." It started in early 2017.
Aptos Singular Commerce Platform Adopted by Footwear Retailer WSS
On the Menu for Restaurant IT
-79% of restaurant operators believe advanced technologies are key to success
He Steers by CBS Compass
Custom Business Solutions (Irvine, CA) has enlisted Michael Crouse as its Director of Channel Sales, with responsibility for its Compass Dealer Network. Announced in July 2017, the Compass Dealer Network focuses on CBS' tablet- and cloud-based NorthStar POS. With omnichannel capability, NorthStar spans the five facets of POS: countertop, guest ordering, self-service kiosks, mobile, and web.
"We are pleased to add Michael to the team at CBS, and know his expertise in channel sales will further propel NorthStar in the hospitality, restaurant, food-service, and entertainment industry," reflected Art Julian, CEO of Custom Business Solutions. Prior to CBS, Crouse served as VP of Sales and Business Development for distribution fulfillment platform ZAutomate (2015 to 2017). For 10 years, he worked at Ingram Micro, culminating in the position of Senior Manager of Channel Sales at Ingram Micro Mobility (2013 to 2015).
A reseller itself for more than two decades (of POSitouch), Custom Business Solutions suggested it "knows what it takes to deliver value and results in this channel." It will look for "regional resellers with technical expertise and track record of positively serving customers in the hospitality industry." Such resellers "will work directly with regional restaurant brands that would benefit from the easy-to-install and use-friendly NorthStar."
Michael Crouse, Director of Channel Sales, Custom Business Solutions
Star of CSSI Mid-Atlantic
CSSI Technologies, Inc. (Lewisburg, PA) has engaged William Mosher as its Mid-Atlantic Senior Account Manager. Previously, he served as Senior Account Manager for Mobility at network VAR Procensis (2016 to 2018). Earlier, he was Senior Technical Analyst for Zebra Technologies (2014 to 2016).
"We are pleased to welcome Bill to our growing team at CSSI Technologies," relayed Joe Tosolt, President of CSSI. "Bill's success in guiding customers in adoption and implementation of leading-edge barcoding, RFID, and handheld computing solutions will accelerate our strategy of enhancing customer productivity through technology." Established in 1973 as an accounting software data center, CSSI has evolved to offer barcoding and mobility solutions, custom software development, and sales and support for Microsoft Dynamics GP.
William Mosher, Mid-Atlantic Senior Account Manager, CSSI Technologies
NRF's Cyber Cop
The National Retail Federation (Washington, DC) has recruited Christian Beckner for its cybersecurity efforts. As Senior Director of Retail Technology, Beckner will lead the NRF's CIO Council and IT Security Council. A heavy resume includes time as the Deputy Director of George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (2013 to 2017), Associate Staff Director for Homeland Security Prevention and Protection for the U.S. Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (2007 to 2013), and Senior Consultant for Public Sector Strategy and Change for IBM (2005 to 2007).
"I am looking forward to taking the next step in my career working on behalf of an industry with such a unique set of technology and security challenges," volunteered Beckner. "Retailers work round-the-clock every day against cyber threats, and I want to use what I've learned over the last two decades to help them address these critical issues." Among his assignments in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee: investigating the 2009 shooting in Fort Hood, TX.
"Protecting consumer data is one of retailers' top priorities, and Christian is a proven cybersecurity veteran with the expertise and experience to help us combat this never-ending battle," noted Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the NRF. "His diverse background and in-depth knowledge of technology and security is an unparalleled resource for the retail industry and the consumers they serve." A uniform federal data breach law, in replacement of separate and often conflicting laws in 48 states and the District of Columbia, has been called for by the NRF in the U.S.
Christian Beckner, Senior Director of Retail Technology, National Retail Federation
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