Our Product Pick
Ingenico (Atlanta, GA) has unveiled its new payment terminals with antimicrobial protection. Augmenting its smart-terminal Lane/7000 and tablet-form Moby/M70, the Lane/7000 AM and Moby/M70 AM have antimicrobial additives (approved by EPA) put into coatings and glass used for the devices' screens. This provides clean surfaces for use in waiting rooms, at checkout counters, in pharmacies, and at other overlooked areas where patients and families are exposed to disease-spreading microbes. "In healthcare facilities, doctors, nurses, and staff constantly take precautions like wearing protective clothing and using sterile tools to protect patients--the same level of care should be given to making waiting rooms and checkout areas safe for patients," cited Irfan Nasir, Head of Solutions Development and Deployment for Ingenico. Another use: food and beverage environments.
Moby M/70 AM by Ingenico
An Acceleration of Vend POS
It's always difficult to gauge the real interest in the channel on the part of the new generation of cloud purveyors of POS. If you dig deep enough, you'll often uncover an eventual roadmap for direct sales. An exception appears to be Vend (San Francisco, CA), which has established its Accelerator Program for "payments resellers" (i.e., ISOs, Agents, and VARs). Established in New Zealand in 2010, and in North America in 2013, Vend focuses on inventory-based retail, delivered via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). It has 25,000 stores served worldwide.
As its Director of Business Development, Vend has Jake West, formerly of Mercury Payment Systems. In speaking with RRN, along with Nicola Fahy, Marketing Manager for North America, West emphasized his company's intent to boost its channel/direct breakdown to 80%/20%. It launched its Accelerator Program in Q4 2018, with four categories of partners--Advisor, Reseller, Expert, and Developer. It offers monetary opportunities for ISOs, Agents, and VARs in the form of upfront spiffs, share of monthly recurring revenue (with no claims on the payment processing portion), and addition of implementation services.
As further characteristics of this offering from Vend, West and Fahy emphasized the agnostic nature of their payment gateway, which allows choice of processor (e.g., CardConnect, EVO, North American Bancard, Payroc, Worldpay). Also, an Application Programming Interface (API) enables integration to third-party providers, most recently gift card and loyalty platform, Factor4, LLC (Broomall, PA). In naming its Accelerator, Vend sought to acknowledge the fast-moving merger of payments and POS, according to West and Fahy.
An Accelerator Program Seeks Payments Resellers
Star Micronics Stands Up
Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ) has extended its product family of mCollection--which includes printers, cash drawers, and scales--with the introduction of mUnite stands. Intended to save counterspace, and simplify cable management, mUnite stands merge individual peripherals into one frame. A trio of models are available: mUnite 3 for the printer mC-Print3, mUnite POP for the receipt printer/cash drawer combo mPOP, and mUnite POS for the printers TSP143III/TSP654II.
Constructed from durable steel, in black or white color, the mUnite stands are compatible with any tablet enclosure featuring either 75-mm or 100-mm VESA mounts. A range of common tablet enclosures, as well as VESA mounts, if wanted, will be provided by Star Micronics America, fitting iPad, Samsung Tab, Microsoft Surface Go, and Microsoft Surface Pro. In addition, Star Micronics America will furnish blank customer-facing branding plates for display of company logos.
"We are providing a flexible solution stand that can accommodate any tablet and is seamless in both form and function," indicated Michael Hanson, EVP at Star Micronics America. "The mUnite POS solution stands provide the versatile, modern, practical cable management that the industry needs." Early out of the gate in addressing the mobility wave, with Software Development Kits (SDKs) for iOS and Android, and its CloudPRNT, Star Micronics America debuted its mCollection in August 2018.
Star Introduces mUnite Stands for POS
Worth Your While
NRF 2020 Vision
ALL IN THE FAMILY
CipherLab Spells Out RS51
CipherLab USA (Plano, TX) has unboxed its new rugged touch computer for transportation, logistics, direct store delivery, and field mobility, designated as the RS51. An upgrade of its previous RS50, and Android Enterprise Recommended, the RS51 has Android 8.0. Measuring 6.4 in. (L) x 3.1 in. (W) x 1 in. (D), and weighing about 12 oz., the RS51 features 4.7" capacitive touchscreen (720x1280), 802.11 WLAN, Bluetooth 4, GPS, and 4G LTE. Users in the field may access Gmail and Google Maps through Google Mobile Services (GMS).
As technical specifications, CipherLab's RS51 has Octa-Core CPU at 1.8 GHz, 2-GB RAM, 16-GB Flash, and 32-GB/64-GB Micro-SD. As data collection, there's 1D/2D scanner, 13-megapixel camera, and HF NFC/RFID. It meets IP-65/IP-67 ratings for water and dust and has 6-ft./1.8-m drop resistance with 4000-mAh (12 hr.) or 5300-mAh (16 hr.) rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. As supporting software, there's ReMoCloud, Android Deployment Configurator, Wireless Mobile Deployment System, and BarcodeToSetting.
"The RS51 series is truly a device that's built to stay relevant for a long time," declared Steven Liau, Chairman of CipherLab (Taipei, Taiwan). "RS51's advantages combined with value-added software puts your operation ahead of the game." As expected, accessories (i.e., cables, charging and communication cradle, batteries, pistol grip, vehicle mount) are backward compatible with the earlier RS50.
CipherLab's RS51 Rugged Touch Computer With Android 8.0
Printek Dispatches VehiclePro 420
Printek (St. Joseph, MI) has unwrapped its new in-dash or center-console thermal printer for police and fire departments, the 4" VehiclePro 420. An enhanced version of its VehiclePro 400, the VP420 features maximum print speed of 5 in./127 mm per second at 203 dpi. An easy-to-read control face and drop-in paper loading facilitate operation, even in emergency situations, noted Printek. With Serial RS-232 and USB, it runs from vehicle power with "Auto ON."
Weighing 2.25 lbs./1 kg, the VP420 fits standard console dimensions of 3 in./76 mm (H) and 5 in./127 mm (D). With 256-MB Flash/512-MB RAM, VP420 accommodates detailed and graphic print jobs, such as ticketing and "rip and runs." It has maximum paper roll diameter of 1.75 in./44 mm (core size of 0.75 in./19 mm), with dual tear bars. A metal case provides an IP-54 rating for water and dust, with operating temperature range of 0 to +122 Degrees F (-18 to +50 Degrees C).
As integration, there's web-based set-up tools, with support for Windows, iOS, and Android O/S. In addition, in case of replacement, emulations include CPCL, ZPL, and ESC/POS. As wireless, both Bluetooth 4 and 802.11 WLAN are offered. "Our VP420 is just one of the many new mobile thermal printers Printek plans to launch over the next year," disclosed Chris Yeager, Director of Marketing at Printek.
Printek's VehiclePro 420 Thermal Mobile Printer
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[Editor's Note: After many, many years in Long Island, NY, starting as Logic Controls, Bematech U.S. has relocated its office and warehouse to Orlando, FL. Its new address: Bematech U.S., 404 Sunport Lane, Suite #550, Orlando, FL 32809.]
A Hyper Digital Play
An enhanced omnichannel solution by ISV Retail Pro International (Folsom, CA) draws upon the "True Cloud Commerce" by VTEX (Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Sao Paulo, Brazil). Addressing brick-and-mortar, and the midsized segment, this offering builds upon the recent acquisition of UniteU Technologies--longtime digital commerce partner of Retail Pro--by VTEX. Over the last few months, VTEX has integrated Retail Pro, with several customers in beta test, according to the two parties.
"The VTEX and Retail Pro systems already unify data and other disparate systems seamlessly, invisibly, and effortlessly around the needs of customers," observed Kerry Lemos, CEO of Retail Pro International. "We're focusing next on new initiatives that will give our retailers even greater customer experience advantages. Features such as starting a cart online and finishing in-store, seamless buy-online-return-to-store workflows, and the ability to offer other advanced unified commerce scenarios are being developed to help them compete in and dominate their markets."
"A newer generation of solutions market themselves as 'built from the ground up' for both stores and online, but these technologies are miles wide and an inch deep," remarked Alex Soncini, GM of North America with VTEX. "Retail Pro is not only miles deep, but they also support an incredible breadth of retail complexities across more than 130 countries and have been doing it for 30 years. Their team's experience and worldwide presence are the perfect complement to our rapid expansion in the Americas." As customers, VTEX has such brands as Sony, Motorola, Staples, L'Oreal, Pandora, and Invicta.
An Omnichannel Solution From Retail Pro and VTEX
Talus Lifts With CardFlight
With an eye towards payments in the SMB, Talus (Dallas, TX) will distribute the SwipeSimple technology by CardFlight (New York, NY). It includes the SwipeSimple Mobile App, SwipeSimple Terminal or SwipeSimple Register, and SwipeSimple Merchant Web Dashboard. As first integration for SwipeSimple Terminal, CardFlight has supported the A920 and A80 payment devices from PAX Technology (Jacksonville, FL).
"Talus' reputation as a technology-driven, merchant-focused firm makes them a natural fit for CardFlight," espoused Derek Webster, Founder and CEO at CardFlight. "We are proud to be working with their experienced, innovative team to help small and medium business owners accept payments and manage their businesses securely and effortlessly. Our partnership with Talus will bring our reliable, straightforward technology to more entrepreneurs than ever before, helping them to scale and manage their businesses with ease."
Started in 2013, CardFlight has now partnered its SwipeSimple Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) with 10 of the top 30 merchant acquirers in the U.S. On its website, it recruits ISOs, VARs, and ISVs. "We're grateful that our reseller partners have brought SwipeSimple to more than 50,000 small businesses across the United States," expressed Marla Knutson, SVP of Strategic Partnerships at CardFlight. It recently rolled out Level 2 Interchange Qualification support for SwipeSimple.
A Partnership in Payments for the SMB
Loftware (Portsmouth, NH) has released its Loftware Spectrum for Medical Device. It addresses the challenges of labeling in this specialized, regulated environment (i.e., UDI, EU, MDR, 21 CRF Part 11). Available in the cloud or on-premise, it extends design, production, quality assurance, and business intelligence functionality. In order to provide necessary visibility, audit tracking, and control of the process, it employs an easy-to-navigate, configurable workflow framework with e-signature capability. A set of six pre-built, wizard-based applications are presented, with label templates for GS1 and library of stock symbols. For oversight and consistency, Spectrum for Medical Device provides layering capabilities--allowing relevant stakeholders to review and approve portions of the label. As common in this vertical, there's multi-label layouts. "We understand the challenges involved in meeting evolving regulatory requirements as medical device companies implement, deploy, maintain, and scale their labeling operations globally. [We] fully address the unique needs of this market," suggested Josh Roffman, VP of Product Management for Loftware.
Loftware Offers Spectrum for Medical Device Software
An Aptito for Crypto
In July, retail and hospitality software Aptito POS will begin accepting the list of major cryptocurrencies. Aptito, part of Net Element (Miami, FL), will accept such payments through its Netevia Gateway. As Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Aptito now supports merchants in 15 countries, including the U.S. It appears in Apple's AppStore.
A trio now leads cryptocurrency (listed here in order of market capitalization): Bitcoin, with $161 billion; Ethereum, with $28 billion; and XRP with $17 billion. An upcoming cryptocurrency, dubbed Libra, has generated particular interest in retail. An emerging Libra Association, based in Geneva, Switzerland, includes heavyweights such as Mastercard, PayPal, PayU, Stripe, and Visa. As marketplaces, it has: Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook, Farfetch, Lyft, Spotify, and Uber.
"We are delighted to launch cryptocurrency payment acceptance for Aptito's clients through our proprietary Netevia Gateway," announced Andrey Krotov, CTO at Net Element. "Our scalable and future-ready platforms are on the cutting-edge of global alternative payments trends." Net Element was ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in North America on Deloitte's 2017 and 2018 Technology Fast 500. It also owns transaction processor the TOT Group.
Aptito POS Accepts Cryptocurrency Payments
A Single Tap at HotSchedules
HotSchedules (Atlanta, GA), which supplies workforce and back-office solutions for the restaurant and hospitality industries, has added "Shift Ratings." With it, employees can anonymously rate their shift with one tap in the HotSchedules Mobile App. Also, employees can select from configurable reasons why the shift was rated as "good, bad, or neutral." It adds to existing employee engagement tools such as surveys and broadcast messages offered by HotSchedules (which has partnered with many of the leading software and hardware players in POS).
"One of the hardest things to get from staff members is honest feedback. I love that the Shift Ratings feature provides them with a safe and anonymous way to address real-time issues that management can use," testified Erik Zepeda, Assistant GM at Salt Lick BBQ (Driftwood, TX). "The quiet voices have a chance to be heard and the loud voices have a more constructive outlet. This update just adds to the ways that HotSchedules has already revolutionized scheduling."
Also, HotSchedules will supply its technology for national bakery chain Nothing Bundt Cakes (Addison, TX). With the opening of Nothing Bundt Cake's 300th location, HotSchedules will improve forecasting functionality around employee scheduling, message owners when employees are entering overtime, and help compliance with labor laws, according to the two parties. "We are eager to help Nothing Bundt Cakes excel in its nationwide expansion plans, and our technology will help new franchise owners succeed from the start," relayed David Cantu, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer at HotSchedules.
HotSchedules Launches Employee Shift Ratings
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Stocking Up on Self-Checkout
Albertsons Companies (Boise, ID), one of the largest food and drug retailers in the U.S., will increase its use of self-checkout by Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions (Research Triangle Park, NC). It currently employs Toshiba's Self-Checkout System 6 across its stores of Acme, Carrs, Jewel, Randalls, Safeway, Shaw's, Tom Thumb, and Vons, and now plans to deploy the new System 7 this year. Additionally, Albertsons plans to deploy Toshiba's TCx Elevate Mobile Operations Manager, which enables store associates to clear interventions, perform overrides, and scan items on the bottom of the basket directly from their mobile device--at both self-checkout and front-end lanes.
"We are empowering our consumers to curate their in-store shopping experiences based on their needs and desires," enthused Anuj Dhanda, EVP and CIO at Albertsons Companies. "Our partnership is resulting in a smoother experience for our shoppers using self-checkout by reducing the interventions they experience. Toshiba's strength in applying machine learning and intelligence to the checkout process across our 2,200-plus stores will enhance how we serve our shoppers and build greater trust with our loyal customers."
Introduced in July 2018, Toshiba's Self-Checkout System 7 has three form factors--kiosk/pay station (Model 6800-1K0), cashless/with bi-optic scanner bed (Model 6800-100), and cash recycling/with bi-optic scanner bed (Model 6800-110)--powered by Toshiba's Checkout Environment for Consumer Service (CHEC) Software. As new features, Toshiba cites enhanced audio tones, language switching toggle, more intuitive onscreen graphics, and conformance with the American Disabilities Act. In addition to its Back Office System Server (BOSS), with Self-Checkout System 7 Toshiba has offered its Enterprise Back Office System Server, or eBOSS. A variety of peripherals may be configured.
Albertsons Deploys Toshiba's System 7
Pursuing Your "Ideation"
SML, one of the leading item-level RFID providers, has established its new "Retail Ideation Space" in Plano, TX. It will serve as the company's primary location for solutions development for RFID. As part of its charter, it will offer so-called "Academy" workshops for tailoring technologies, processes, and integration paths for retailers and brand owners deploying RFID. As such, it will include technology from vendors such as Microsoft, Bluebird, Impinj, NXP, and Zebra Technologies.
In support of item-level inventory management via RFID, SML has its Inspire Tags and Clarity Software. At the Retail Ideation Space, or RIS, it will demonstrate thousands of tagged items for testing across various distribution center and store use cases, according to SML. A "Packing & Trim Ideation Studio" will support hands-on collaboration in both areas.
"By deploying software solutions to thousands of retail stores and delivering billions of encoded RFID tags to retailers, we have learned that if we can assist in an agile engagement process with these retailers we can help them achieve ROI's faster and with less risk," reported Dean Frew, CTO and SVP of RFID Solutions at SML. "In the RIS, retailers will experience complete immersion in various technologies, directly aiding their digital transformation and will be able to accurately assess how adopting these technologies can be simply applied to their business." Also in the works, two additional Retail Ideation Spaces in the UK and China for SML.
SML's Retail Ideation Space for Item-Level RFID
Channel FactoidSatisfied Shoppers
-According to the most recent survey, the majority of consumers say retail technologies and innovations have improved their shopping experience on mobile devices (63%), in-store (66%), and online (80%).
-In particular, consumers are interested in technologies that show whether a product is in stock (55%), help them compare prices or read reviews (49%), make it easier to find a product or its location (47%), or try an item before buying (38%).
-Among consumers, 89% of those who have tried in-app store navigation would try it again, along with 88% of those who have used smart dressing rooms, 86% who have used augmented reality, 83% who have used virtual fit, and 82% who have used virtual reality.
-Also, 69% of consumers who have tried mobile payments have been satisfied, along with 67% who have bought an item online and picked it up in store, and 63% who have engaged self-checkout.
-"Consumers are very interested in solutions that take the uncertainty out of shopping," the report noted. "The ability to address these needs is already shaping consumers' decisions on the brands and retailers they shop."
Source: "Consumer View Study" conducted by the National Retail Federation (Washington, DC).
"Yes" to Retail Technology
A Message From the Editor
As we enter another year, our mission stays constant: to fill the need for timely, focused, non-biased news in the channel for POS & Auto ID. If anything, that need grows more pressing in the face of changes in technology, go-to-market strategies, and business models. We look forward to continuing that mission and welcome your suggestions and thoughts on improvements.
Michael Kachmar, Editor
A Master of Omron
A new President and CEO for Omron Microscan (Renton, VA): its current SVP of Engineering and Commercial Operations, Andy Zosel. He joined Microscan in 1997 as Design Engineer and progressed through positions such as VP of Global Marketing (2007 to 2012), VP of Engineering (2012 to 2014), and VP of Engineering and Marketing (2014 to 2018). As readers may recall, Omron purchased Microscan, a longtime developer of machine vision systems, including barcode scanners and verifiers, in December 2017.
"I am excited about the opportunity to lead the Omron Microscan team," contributed Zosel. "Omron has significantly invested in engineering talent. We have our great team and our compelling roadmap of solutions that will help our customers meet the future demands of traceability. Our focus is on delivering the next generation of traceability solutions that will combine Automatic Identification with Omron's unique concept, 'Innovative Automation.'"
"Andy is a proven leader with strong engineering skills and an ability to bring people together. He represents the Omron values of innovation driven by social needs, challenging ourselves and respect for all," commented Junta Tsujinaga, Managing Executive Officer, Product Business Division, Industrial Automation Company, at Omron Corporation (Kyoto, Japan). "His vision for applying Omron IAC's 'Innovation-Automation' concept to traceability solutions is exactly what Omron Microscan needs as the company enters its next chapter of growth."
Andy Zosel, President and CEO, Omron Microscan
A Channel "Tripp" at CitiXsys
A channel push for CitiXsys (New York, NY), developer of iVend Retail Software, with the hiring of William "Tripp" Wallace as its Channel Sales Manager for North America. He joins CitiXsys with most recent experience from Veeam Software, where he served in Sales (2016 to 2018), and NCR Corporation, where he served as Channel Sales Manager (2018 to 2019). He will be based in Atlanta, GA.
"I am very pleased to bring my knowledge of the channel, of inside and outside sales, and of POS to this new opportunity," shared Wallace. "I believe there is tremendous growth potential for both myself and iVend Retail in the U.S. market, and I fully expect for us all to be successful together." At CitiXsys, he will work closely with Chris van Staden, Channel Sales Director, and Alexandre Kaidbey, Director of Pre-Sales and Professional Services for North America.
In October 2018, CitiXsys received $20 million in Series B Funding led by Housatonic Partners (San Francisco, CA), following $20 million in Series A Funding. In addition to its full functionality in inventory, loyalty, and POS, iVend Retail has native connectors to popular platforms for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) such as Sage, SAP, and Microsoft. "Today, more than ever, the boundaries between online, offline, and mobile shopping channels are eroding, causing consumers to ask for more from retailers, and retailers accordingly to ask for more from their technology providers," stated Kamal Karmakar, CEO of CitiXsys.
William "Tripp" Wallace, Channel Sales Manager for North America, CitiXsys
Givex Giveth POS
In business since 1947, Owen Business Systems (Victoria, BC, Canada) has been sold to Givex (Toronto, ON, Canada). As part of this transition, eStream POS XDB by Owen will be integrated into Givex's POS. Also, customers of Owen Business Systems now have access to the ecosystem of products--from gift cards and loyalty promotions to ordering kiosks and kitchen management systems--by Givex.
"Both Givex and Owen Business Systems are dedicated to providing clients with solutions that safeguard their investment of time and money, growing as their business does," proposed Don Gray, CEO of Givex. "I look forward to integration of our technology platforms and wowing our retail partners with the strength of this combined solution from Givex." As readers may recall, Givex similarly purchased POS Canada (Mississauga, ON, Canada), another VAR, in August 2017. Also, in June, Givex acquired Giftcertificates.ca, an online gift card seller, from payment processor Moneris Solutions (Toronto, ON, Canada).
Don Gray, CEO, Givex
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