Our Product Pick
TSC America (Brea, CA) has extended its entry-level, desktop, direct-thermal label printer series with the Models DA210, DA310, DA220, and DA320. With 4" print width, double-wall clamshell design, and 5" outside diameter (O.D.) media bay, this family includes the new performance tracking features--including bad dot detection--of the company's "Thermal Printer Head ID." Described as "the best low-cost labeling solution," Models DA210/DA310 employ USB 2.0 or optional Bluetooth Version 4. As an upgrade, Models DA220/DA320 also employ Serial RS-232, Ethernet, USB Host, and 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN. Additionally, Models DA220/DA320 furnish 128-MB Flash and 64-MB RAM. Maximum print speed: 6 in./152 mm per second at 203 dpi.
TSC Extends DA200 Desktop Label Printer Series
Posiflex Flexes Its RT Series
Just in time for the National Retail Federation (NRF) Show in New York City, Posiflex USA (Hayward, CA) has debuted its new line of POS, entitled the RT Series. In two classes, mid-range RT2000 and high-performance RT5000, these new terminals feature fanless, bezel-free design, with clean cable management and internal access via tool-free back cover. Each comes in two choices of projected-capacitive touchscreen: 15" with ratio of 4:3 (RT2015/RT5015) and widescreen 15.6" with ratio of 16:9 (RT2016/RT5016).
In terms of power, the RT2000 is equipped with an Intel Celeron J1900 Quad-Core CPU at 2 GHz, 4-GB RAM, and 64-GB Solid-State Drive, while the RT5000 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-6300U Skylake Dual-Core CPU at 2.4 GHz, 4-GB RAM, and 128-GB Solid-State Drive. As O/S, there's Windows 7, POSReady 7, Windows 8.1 Industry, and Windows 10 IoT. In dimensions of 14.4 in. (W) x 8.1 in. (D) x 12.7 in. (H), and weight of 11.9 lbs., the RT Series has the full suite of ports and optional peripherals for POS.
"The POS terminal is no longer just a cold and hard business tool--it has evolved to be an extension of the brand, offering a more dynamic in-store shopping experience," explained Owen Chen, President and CEO at Posiflex Technology (New Taipei City, Taiwan). "The new RT Series radiates simplistic elegance and looks flawless on the countertop without any screws to be found on its surface. Its modern and stunning design can blend into any store decoration, while the terminal still offers the quality, performance, and long-term durability that our customers expect from Posiflex."
Posiflex Debuts its RT Series in 4:3 and 16:9
TSYS Takes Cayan
Another indication of the key role of integrated payments: Cayan (Boston, MA) has been brought into the fold of TSYS (Columbus, GA). Founded in 1998 as Merchant Warehouse, Cayan has been one of the most active payment processors in the channel for POS. A portfolio company of Parthenon Capital, it's best known for its Genius Customer Engagement Platform (which handles MSR, EMV, and NFC). It serves more than 70,000 merchants and 100 partners in the U.S. (On its part, TSYS processed about 25.5 billion transactions in 2016.)
"Acquisition of Cayan strategically complements our merchant goals to become a leading payment solutions provider to small- and medium-size businesses in the U.S. by delivering best-in-class services and solutions," declared M. Troy Woods, Chairman, President, and CEO of TSYS. "TSYS already has tremendous scale and distribution capabilities. Addition of Cayan's unified commerce solutions puts us in a strong competitive position to jointly offer a broader set of value-add products and services to our partners and merchants."
"Cayan and TSYS are aligned in our strategy to provide cutting-edge payment solutions and a robust product offering to merchants across the U.S.," contributed Henry Helgeson, Co-Founder and CEO of Cayan. "We're excited about the opportunity to bring innovative products to a broader customer base." An all-cash transaction valued at $1 billion is expected to close in Q1 2018. An obvious question: Who's next?
M. Troy Woods, CEO of TSYS, and Henry Helgeson, CEO of Cayan (Purchased by TSYS)
Worth Your While
NRF's Big Show
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Star Cloud Gathers (Apps)
Star Cloud Services, a subsidiary of Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ), has added two new solutions: PromoPRNT and Digital Signage. As app warehouse, so to speak, Star Cloud Services is compatible with all printers from Star Micronics America, as well as its mPOP terminal. In its early stages, Star Cloud Services emphasized Digital Receipts, Customer Surveys, and Device Management. Value-add is the play.
As its name describes, PromoPRNT allows retailers to add promotions to their customer receipts. It consists of two parts: Promo Maker, with templates for design and creation (i.e., logos, text, and icons), and Promo Manager, with campaign scheduling, delivery, and business analytics for results. As part of Star Cloud Services, PromoPRNT is provided at no cost. A Software Development Kit (SDK) supports iOS, Android, and Windows for Star Cloud Services.
Also, Star Cloud Services has included, via its dashboard, so-called "POS Signage" by Sophatar (San Jose, CA). A monthly subscription service, offered "at low cost," this allows retailers to create in-store digital signage based on the line items shown by printer receipts (by Star). With suggestions for hardware, such as displays and media players, Sophatar's POS Signage furnishes "set and forget" operation, retrieval of images based on textual descriptions and UPC's, and automatic linking to social media content such as tweets and Instagram.
Star Adds PromoPRNT to Its Cloud Services
Datalogic Catches Skorpio X4
Datalogic (Eugene, OR) has unveiled its enhanced mobile computer, the Skorpio X4. Significantly raising the performance of the Skorpio X3, the X4 has Texas Instruments' OMAP4 CPU at 1 GHz, 1-GB RAM, and 8-GB Flash. It runs Windows Embedded Compact 7 or Android 4.4. As features, it has one- or two-dimensional barcode scanner, 3.2" color touchscreen, and choice of three keyboards (50-key alphanumeric, 38-key functional, and 28-key numeric).
As communications, the Skorpio X4 carries 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN, with MIMO (Multiple Input/Multiple Output) antennas for extended coverage. As WPAN, there's Bluetooth Version 4 with BLE for Android, and Bluetooth Version 2.1+EDR for Windows. Also, in Android, wideband audio improves speech recognition. A standard 3.7-V, 3,000-mAh Li-Ion battery pack for the handheld Skorpio X4 delivers 11 Watt Hours, and 3.7-V, 5,200-mAh Li-Ion battery pack for the pistol-grip Skorpio X4 delivers 19 Watt Hours.
Weighing approximately 14 oz., without pistol grip, the Skorpio X4 has an IP-64 rating for water and dust and 6-ft./1.8-m drop resistance. As expected, it furnishes the company's "Green Spot" for good-read feedback and "SoftSpot" for customizable soft trigger. "We designed this next-generation Skorpio X4 to allow full compatibility with the previous Skorpio X3 accessories and with existing WinCE applications," noted Tom Burke, VP of Mobile Product Marketing at Datalogic.
Datalogic's Skorpio X4 Mobile Computer
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Clearent Hits the SPOT
An interesting vertical move by payment processor Clearent (St. Louis, MO), with the purchase of SPOT Business Systems (Draper, UT). A leading dry cleaning ISV, and partner of Elo and Epson America, SPOT becomes the flagship property in the new division, Clearent Software Holdings. Expect more purchases of ISVs, according to Dan Geraty, Founder and CEO of Clearent. (Details of this deal were not disclosed.)
"We've considered acquisition offers from a number of potential buyers over the years, but we believe that joining the Clearent team is the best way to take the business solutions we've created at SPOT to the next level," shared Mark Jones, Director of Operations for SPOT Business Systems. "With this acquisition, we will retain a high level of operational autonomy, which means our customers will enjoy the same level of service. At the same time, we'll have an opportunity to enhance our business offerings through a host of resources from Clearent."
Also, in December, Clearent achieved Payment Card Industry (PCI) Validation for its Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE). It allows merchants to take the Self Assessment Questionaire P2PE with up to 90% fewer questions than other SAQ Versions, indicated Clearent. As certified hardware, there's Pax, Dejavoo, and ID Tech. At present, Clearent serves 45,000 merchants with $14 billion in processing volume.
Clearent Buys Dry Cleaning ISV, SPOT Business Systems
Raising the Sale at Elavon
A new partner agreement between ISV SalePoint (Columbus, OH) and payment processor Elavon (Atlanta, GA). Its solution will be jointly marketed by SalePoint and Elavon. As some readers know, the full suite of applications are offered by SalePoint--iVend by CitiXsys (for omnichannel), Trovato (for POS), Retail Interact (for merchandising), KioskWorks (for self-service), and ShopperWorks (for mobility). It also addresses enterprise resource planning (ERP).
"SalePoint has been providing retailers with omnichannel solutions for over 30 years and efficient card processing has been a key component of our offering," relayed Paul Streicher, President of SalePoint. "Elavon is consistently rated among the top five global payment providers and offers secure solutions that comply with industry standards. With data breaches on the rise, payment security has become critical to our retailers who are also interested in reducing the cost of PCI Compliance. Elavon meets these needs."
"Our partnership with SalePoint further expands our presence in the integrated payments space," expounded Jana Franks, SVP and GM at Elavon. "SalePoint, teamed with Elavon, will provide merchants with secure, flexible payment processing that will allow retailers to protect their customers while complying with the every-changing requirements of PCI and EMV. "With an added benefit of layered security technology, we are able to help businesses build trust among their customers whether in-store, online, or on-the-go."
SalePoint Embraces Elavon for Payments
CardFree (San Francisco, CA), one of the many mobile wallet providers, has released its Universal Application Programming Interface (API). According to the developer, it cuts across all relevant channels--mobile, online, and in-store (i.e., point-of-sale, tablet, kiosk, and digital menu boards), up to and including third-party solutions (e.g., mapping and navigation services, delivery, etc.). In addition to digital wallet capacity, its API bridges to other areas of digital commerce, such as order ahead, loyalty, payment, and customer relationship management (CRM). In conjunction with the Universal API, CardFree also offers its Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK). "Since inception, CardFree has embraced that digital wallet and commerce initiatives cannot be limited to the physical device that is the flavor of the day," reflected Jon Squire, Founder and CEO. "Our platform was specifically built to ensure flexibility and expansion into any, and all, relevant channels."
CardFree's Dunkin' Donuts Wallet
Bluebird: Who's the BOS?
Bluebird has launched its new software framework, dubbed "BOS" (for Business Optimizing Solution). Intended to streamline the spectrum running from application development through deployment of devices (in support of the company's mobile computers and business tablets), BOS addresses "an enterprise's specific need for features and special functions," according to Bluebird. With worldwide footprint, Bluebird has headquarters in Seoul, South Korea (with an office in Atlanta, GA).
Segments of the new system include the BOS Software Development Kit (SDK), BOS Extension, BOS Provisioning, BOS Staging, BOS Voice-over-IP (VoIP), BOS Kiosk, BOS Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), and BOS Terminal Management System (TMS). Each of these should be self-explanatory for readers of RRN.Com. With considerations of barcode scanning, fingerprint recognition, and RFID, Bluebird's BOS SDK supports C++/C# for Windows as well as Java for Android, it should be noted. All SDK's may be downloaded from the Bluebird Knowledge Station.
On its website, Bluebird lists its Business Partner Program. It also goes to market via distribution in North America (including ScanSource). Its CEO, Lee Jang-Won, was selected to attend this year's prestigious Korea-U.S. Business Summit in Washington, DC. As Market Development Manager, there's Calvin Cho; as Channel Manager, Steve Sohn. Its customers in the U.S. range from pcCashdrawer to the Dept. of Defense.
Bluebird's EF500R Mobile Touch Computer
Mi9 Wears Its Bling
Mi9 Retail (Miami, FL) has formed its Specialty and Luxury Group Practice. It encompasses account management, sales, technical pre-sales, consulting, and support personnel, according to the ISV. A busy time for Mi9 Retail, which has added Ernie Eichenbaum as its SVP of Global Professional Services and Robert Barbour as its SVP of Global Sales and has received strategic investment from General Atlantic.
"We have identified an opportunity and a need to cater to our specialty retail clients, including jewelry and luxury, in a focused and highly differentiated manner that is sensitive to market nuances," reported Neil Moses, CEO of Mi9 Retail. "These clients typically run smaller-scale operations and have unique product and services needs from other markets we serve, such as hardware or fashion and apparel."
As readers may recall, in January 2016 Mi9 Retail snapped up jewelry specialist Applications Systems Corporation (Boston, MA). As part of the deal, ASC brought its 100-member User Group. Earlier, in November 2015, Mi9 Retail purchased its rival, Raymark Xpert Business Systems (Montreal, QC, Canada). Its products include Mi9 Merchant and Intelligence, Mi9 Unified Store, and Mi9 e-Commerce.
Mi9 Forms Specialty and Luxury Group Practice
Key Advertiser Links
Mounts for POS
Jesta Turns On
A longtime ISV, Jesta I.S. (Montreal, QC, Canada) will deploy its Vision Suite Platform in support of omnichannel at Electronic Express. With 16 stores in Tennessee and Alabama, Electronic Express has emerged as one of the prominent merchants of consumer electronics and major appliances. Founded in 1983, it established its online presence in 1999.
It will leverage the full capabilities of Vision Suite, including merchandising, point-of-sale, gift card/loyalty, distributed order management, warehousing, financials, and business intelligence. "We were essentially operating in silos," detailed Sam Yazdian, CEO of Electronic Express. "Providing the best customer experience is our top priority, but we were running on legacy systems that did not talk to each other, and it was preventing us from growing and delivering on our promise of distinguished shopping experience for our customers."
"Electronic Express is a unique retail business that has been very successful in navigating a tough environment by making a large assortment of products available to its customers, at their choice of shopping channels," observed Arvind Gupta, COO at Jesta I.S. "After a rigorous evaluation process, we are delighted to be chosen as Electronic Express's technology partner. I look forward to implementing best business practices, supply chain agility, and unified customer view."
Electronic Express Deploys Vision Suite
NCR Pumps It Up
NCR Corporation (Duluth, GA) has conducted payment transactions via EMV for the pump on its NCR Optic Outdoor Payment Terminal. Working with VAR Retail Data Systems (Omaha, NE) and First Data (Atlanta, GA), NCR has outfitted several of the convenience stores of Mirabito, located in Central New York. Of note, the deadline for implementing readers for EMV at the so-called "forecourt" has been extended to October 1, 2012.
"Introduction of EMV payments provides convenience retailers with the unique opportunity to introduce new services and create a compelling customer experience, as well as convert consumers at the pump to in-store shoppers," suggested Tom Chittenden, VP and GM of Retail Solutions at NCR Corporation. "Our goal is to help retailers drive more offers at the pump that today's consumers demand, while remaining flexible for future deployments and technology developments." With NCR's Optic, according to the two parties, the customer experience will be consistent at each store of Mirabito, regardless of pump manufacturer or model, with universal prompting and touch points.
Also, Mirabito can offer mobile payment through contactless integration and enhanced loyalty programs (with integrated barcode scanner). Furthermore, high-definition video displays may be used for in-depth marketing promotions. Overall, Mirabito has more than 100 convenience stores throughout Central New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania. (Estimates have more than 150,000 convenience stores in the U.S.)
NCR Optic Terminal for Pay-the-Pump EMV
Which Wallet Accepted by Banks and Credit Unions?
Android Pay: 82%
Samsung Pay: 77%
Visa Checkout: 45%
Amazon Payments: 41%
Walmart Pay: 29%
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Happy New Year!
A Top Cherry
Cherry Americas (Pleasant Prairie, WI) has named its new VP and GM: Greg Peterson. He comes from distributor Avnet Technology Solutions where he served as VP of Inside Sales for HP Solutions (2005 to 2012), VP of Field Sales for HP Solutions (2012 to 2013), VP and GM of EMC/VCE Solutions (2013 to 2015), and VP of Supplier Solutions (2015 to 2017). He will report directly to Manfred Schoettner, CEO of Cherry GmbH.
"Greg brings over 25 years of experience in the IT industry," remarked Schoettner. "His passion for developing successful organizations, along with his proven leadership skills, will be key as we work to accelerate growth in our focus markets, invest in our sales force, and introduce new product rollouts to drive future growth of Cherry Americas and the entire Cherry Group."
"I'm thrilled to join the Cherry Americas team," contributed Peterson. "I have spent my entire career in technology, and I'm looking forward to being part of the continued success of this outstanding organization." A long-standing supplier of keyboards to our channel, Cherry Americas.
Greg Peterson, VP and GM, Cherry Americas
Mister ED at PCI SSC
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (Wakefield, MA) has enlisted Lance Johnson as its new Executive Director. Previously, he served as COO for mobile wallet provider, Sequent Software (2013 to 2017). Before that, he spent more than 20 years in fraud detection and risk management for Visa.
"We are pleased to welcome Lance Johnson as our new Executive Director," commented Karen Czack, Chair of the PCI SSC Executive Committee. "Lance is a proven leader who has the unique background of both creating and implementing PCI Security Standards. Lance is familiar with the Council, having previously served on its Executive Committee and brings payment security subject matter expertise and a proven track record of developing strategy and driving results."
"I am excited and deeply humbled to be leading the PCI SSC," volunteered Johnson. "The PCI Security Standards are recognized around the globe as the gold standard for securing payment card data. As new payment platforms are developed and adopted at a remarkable rate, it is more important than ever that payment security standards keep pace. The opportunities that lie ahead for the PCI Council are enormous, and I look forward to leading this next chapter in payment security standards development."
Lance Johnson, Executive Director, PCI Security Standards Council
A "Long" Road to Development
Handheld Group (Lidkoping, Sweden and Corvallis, OR) has promoted Myra Long to Director of Development. She joined the company as Program Manager in 2014. Her previous titles include Consultant at Long Engineering & Research (2012 to 2014), Research Engineer at SRI International (2010 to 2012), and Product Design Engineer at Hewlett-Packard (2006 to 2010).
"Myra's technical expertise and systematic approach will be invaluable to Handheld as we continue to broaden our product portfolio with new and innovative rugged mobile computers, and as we bring these new products to market," expressed Jerker Hellstrom, CEO of Handheld Group. "Along with the rest of our product development team, Myra will use her development experience as well as feedback from her customer-facing colleagues to help us track industry trends and new technologies in order to remain highly competitive."
"I'm eager to help shape Handheld's strategic roadmap, ensuring that we maintain our position as a leader in the rugged mobile computing space," enthused Long. "Overseeing consistency in our development, testing, sampling, and quality inspections is integral to developing world-class rugged devices." She is based in St. Petersburg, FL.
Myra Long, Director of Development, Handheld Group
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