Our Product Pick
Markem-Imaje USA (Kennesaw, GA) has developed new back coating that minimizes the friction and drag between the thermal transfer ribbon and the printhead, thereby "doubling life of the printhead." Available on the company's Label MI Ribbons, it also reduces build-up of harmful electrostatic discharge, which can damage printer components. As another benefit, it prevents dust in industrial environments from migrating onto the ribbon, resulting in higher print quality and fewer reprints. Three versions of Label MI Ribbons are offered: entry-level Prime Choice, top-end Performance Range, and self-adhesive Premium Selection. "Regardless of your choice of thermal transfer ribbon, you can rest assured that you get the best quality code, more production uptime, optimized cost, and first-class global support," stated Mike Kirk, Product Marketing Manager at Markem-Imaje USA.
Markem-Imaje's Label MI Ribbons
HP Visits Manhattan
A pair of powerful players have joined forces to address brick-and-mortar retail: HP Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) and Manhattan Associates (Atlanta, GA). An integrated, pre-certified package combines the new Active Store Solution by Manhattan with hardware for POS by HP (including the fixed HP RP9 and mobile Elite x3). As their goal: standardized form factors and seamless operating systems (including Windows 10).
In May, Manhattan unveiled its cloud- and mobile-native Active Store Solution, part of Active Omni. It provides one "Responsive UI" design across Windows, Android, and iOS. Significantly, it fuses customer engagement capabilities, such as clienteling, selling, and service, with fulfillment capabilities, such as in-store pick-up and ship-from-store. In making their announcement, the two new partners quoted research that found 68% of stores simultaneously employ mobile and fixed POS.
"Manhattan Active Store Solution gives retailers the flexibility to adapt to changing customer needs and to select hardware based on business, not technical, factors," proclaimed Brian Kinsella, VP of Product Management at Manhattan Associates. (As many readers know, Manhattan also has Active Supply Chain and Active Inventory as part of its Active Solutions Suite.) Added Aaron Weiss, VP and GM of Retail Solutions at HP Inc., "We look forward to driving the next generation of innovation in stores with Manhattan Associates."
Manhattan's Active Store Solution Supports HP's Hardware, Such as RP9
In Second Gear at Shift4
Payment processor Shift4 (Las Vegas, NV) has brought its "Dollars on the Net" Gateway--with certification for EMV--to two of the major ISVs in POS: Oracle (Redwood City, CA) and Heartland Commerce (Atlanta, GA). A member of the Oracle Partner Network, with Gold Status, Shift4's Oracle Payment Interface supports Opera, RES 3700, LES 9700, and Simphony 1 and 2. As part of Global Payments, Heartland Commerce now encompasses four key hospitality software providers: Dinerware, Digital Dining, PC America, and Xpient Solutions.
Shift4's U.S. EMV certification with Oracle and Heartland supports both Chip-and-PIN and Chip-and-Signature, in conjunction with USB, Serial, Ethernet, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi. As payment terminals, Shift4 currently supports Ingenico Group's iPP320, iPP350, iSC Touch 250, iSC Touch 480, iCMP, iSMP Companion, and iWL250 and Verifone's MX 915 and MX 925. All such devices accommodate NFC/Contactless for mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.
"Shift4's EMV strategy is unmatched by any other payment gateway," asserted J.D. Oder II, President and CTO of Shift4. "We did all of the hard work and development necessary to ensure that our merchant customers won't be stuck with one cookie-cutter solution for EMV--but rather our comprehensive solution that offers EMV with choices, and the layered security of point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization across all of the major devices, systems, and processors." As with most payment processors, Shift4 has heavily recruited POS ISVs.
J.D. Oder II, President/CTO, Shift4
Worth Your While
NRF's Big Show
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Impinj-ing on Retail
In news of interest to integrators, Impinj (Seattle, WA) has unwrapped its new Speedway R120 RAIN RFID Reader. A single port and antenna allows the Speedway R120 to fulfill specific, smaller applications such as smart fitting rooms, interactive product displays, inventory management, and point-of-sale. It handles up to 200 items per second, with EPC UHF RFID. (At comparable price to handheld readers: $795.)
In physical dimensions of 6.9 in. (L) x 7.5 in. (W) x 1.2 in. (D), weighing 1.5 lb./0.7 kg, Speedway R120 furnishes USB Type A Host, USB Type B Device, RS-232 Serial, and 10/100/Base-T Ethernet. It meets ratings of IP-52 for water and dust and MIL-STD-810G for shock and vibration. Optimized for one read zone, it may be expanded to eight read zones with the Impinj R120 Port Pack of Antenna Hub and General Interest Input/Output (GPIO) Adapter.
It joins the two-port Speedway R220 and four-port Speedway R420. "Our customers have asked for a one-port reader that delivers Speedway's proven performance and reliability," indicated John Frederiksen, Senior Director of Product Management for Impinj. "Speedway R120 extends the value of the family, allowing businesses to choose the model that best meets their needs, while also providing the portfolio which easily scales as business needs change." Speedway R420 expands to 32 read zones and up to 1,100 items per second.
Impinj's Speedway R120 RAIN RFID Reader
ECRS Wields Qaliber
Seiko Instruments USA (Torrance, CA) will field its top-exit 3" Qaliber RP-E10 thermal receipt printer through ECR Software (Boone, NC). Initially, it will be added to the Express Market Kiosk by ECRS. In compact cubic design of 5 in. x 5 in. x 5 in., weighing 2.9 lbs./1.3 kg, Qaliber has maximum print speed of 13.8 in./350 mm per second at 203 dpi. Additional benefits include service life ratings of 93 miles of printing and over 2 million cuts, oversized end-user LEDs, and USB/Serial/Powered USB/Ethernet. It returns the cutter blade to home position when the paper cover is opened, for safety.
"As more retailers and resellers are looking to expand their options to fit the needs of today's consumers at the point of sale, it made perfect sense to establish this partnership with ECRS," reported Yoshi Murakami, GM of Seiko Instruments USA. "We are excited that our Qaliber receipt printer will now be offered in this Express Market solution offered by ECRS to further an area, such as self-service, in which many consumers have now come to expect as the norm." A longtime supplier to our channel, Seiko also offers its front-exit RP-E11.
"We wanted to bring this solution to market for our retailers who demand the fastest checkout experience possible," reflected Pete Catoe, Founder and CEO of ECRS. "These retailers will clearly appreciate the combination of the Seiko receipt printer, which provides class-leading speeds with our very fast and capable Catapult Transaction Server POS and Self-Service Software. It's a wonderful partnership."
Qaliber RP-E Series Receipt Printer by Seiko Instruments USA
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A Pit Stop With Code
Code (Salt Lake City, UT) has collaborated with Wayne Fueling Systems (Austin, TX). It brings validation of Code's CR5000 presentation scanner with the flagship Wayne NAMOS POS. "This important relationship enables us to expand Code's market-leading barcode reading to the retail fueling industry," testified Garrett Russell, VP of Sales-Americas and Global Marketing at Code. "It reinforces our commitment to provide comprehensive, industry-leading solutions."
Introduced in 2015, the Code CR5000 measures 6 in. (H) x 3.5 in. (W) x 2.8 in. (D) and weighs 11 oz. With single blue targeting bar, it employs wide field of view and dual-field optics--and state-of-the-art data formatting--to handle one-dimensional, two-dimensional, and postal symbologies from surfaces such as food packages, driver's licenses, and mobile phone screens. Additional benefits include hands-free or manual triggering, reduced power consumption, and programmable LED and audible tone good-read indicators, along with durability of multiple drops to concrete of 5 ft./1.5 m. A three-year warranty is extended.
Also, Code has launched its new multi-tiered service plan, designated "CodeOne." It has five segments: Standard, Elevated, Peak, Spares Pool, and GoLive Onsite. As expected, these vary in coverage and pricing. "Each organization is unique, with specific needs, not only in terms of the technology they require but also the support they need to get the most from their investment," elaborated Jeff Shoop, Code's Director of Service and Support. A tailored solution may also be constructed.
Code's CR5000 Endorsed by Wayne Fueling Systems
Raising Castles at POSDATA
POSDATA Group (Gig Harbor, WA), distributor of payment processing (as well as integrator of data collection), will now handle Castles Technology International. An initial line card includes "next-generation" terminals such as the Castles' MP200 and VEGA3000. Both furnish such features as compliance to 4.x PCI PTS, EMV Level 1 and 2, certification with First Data Omaha, USB/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/4G LTE, and color displays with optional touchscreens.
"POSDATA Group's forty-one years of proven expertise, reliability, and personalized support aligns with Castles' devotion to payment technology that promotes ingenuity and 21st century thinking," suggested Winston Fong, CEO of Castles Technology International (and former VP of Sales and Marketing at Uniform Industrial Corporation from 2011 to 2015). Based in Taipei, Taiwan, Castles Technology has offices in Atlanta, GA. Under the radar in the U.S., it has considerable success in Asia and the Middle East.
"We look forward to a successful relationship with Castles Technology," expressed Bill McCubbins, EVP at POSDATA. "We are gearing up to have all services in place to support North American deployments of Castles' products, and to satisfy our mutual customers." In 2016, readers will recall, Compsee expanded its mission and rebranded itself as the POSDATA Group.
Castles Technology's VEGA3000 Terminal
Squirrel Systems (Burnaby, BC, Canada) has showcased its Squirrel Enterprise POS. A new system architecture accommodates hundreds of terminals processing very high transaction volumes in parallel, across multiple food and beverage concepts in one hospitality business, according to the company. A set of revenue center management tools has been developed to improve reporting and speed of service in such complex operations. It furnishes real-time front-of-house capabilities and support for unattended end-of-day processes, inclusive of 24/7. So-called standalone terminal mode enables merchants to continue serving guests in event of network crash. Finally, more payment processor choices have been offered, resulting in wider array of EMV. "A customizable, flexible, and reliable hospitality management platform designed to streamline operations and elevate the guest experience," in the words of Jason Leeson, President of Squirrel Systems. It will enter general release in Q3 2017.
Squirrel Systems Enterprise POS
Retail Pro's Crystal Ball
A stalwart in retail IT, ISV Retail Pro International (Folsom, CA), has presented its new merchandise planning software, entitled, simply enough, Retail Pro Planning. Added to the firm's price list, Retail Pro Planning has sales forecasting, inventory management, "open to buy" capability, and companion consulting services. As benefits, Retail Pro cited "improved forecasting accuracy, turn, and cash flow, and increased sales and profit."
"Inventory is a retailer's biggest asset, and changes to a retailer's inventory and purchasing decisions have huge implications for their bottom line," observed Kevin Connor, Director of Product Strategy at Retail Pro. "If a retailer is not prioritizing planning strategy, they will fail to keep up with the growing demands of the omnichannel market. A comprehensive planning solution gives them the ability to adapt to consumer trends, increase sales, and reduce the amount of inventory markdowns. In today's industry, retailers can no longer afford to sit back and let it happen, they need to take a forward-thinking approach."
As an example, Retail Pro Planning more than doubles Gross Margin Return on Investment, stated the ISV. With its reseller network, Retail Pro now serves 9,000 customers with 54,000 stores and 159,000 POS. It focuses on specialty retail, with Retail Pro 9 and Retail Pro Prism. Peter LaTona serves as VP of Channel Sales for North America at Retail Pro.
Retail Pro Planning Empowers Retailers
Hey Bro', Here Comes "IIoT"
A bit more consolidation in our channel, this time between two VARs/ISVs, with TrackX (Denver, CO) snapping up broTECH (Riverside, CA). With an eye towards the "IIoT" (so-called Industrial Internet of Things), TrackX will pay $2.5 million for broTECH. It calls its solution Global Asset Management for the Enterprise, or "G.A.M.E." With broTECH, it now gains support for iOS and Android.
"Joining forces with broTECH will be a tremendous benefit to TrackX customers, partners, and shareholders," predicted Tim Harvie, President and CEO of TrackX. "Acquiring broTECH adds proven and complementary technology, a strong customer base, and experienced leadership. Its sales and engineering teams will accelerate our growth, improve our competitive position, add several new customers with incremental revenue, and expand our technical resources."
"After working together in serving the interests of common customers, it became obvious that this consolidation would realize greater value to the companies we serve," added Chris Brumett, CEO of broTECH (and now Chief Technology Officer at TrackX). "With so many synergies, this transaction represents a win for our customers, our employees, and our shareholders." Both executives worked at an early player in asset and yard management employing RFID, Fluensee, from 2005 to 2013: Harvie as President and CEO, Brumett as COO.
Tim Harvie, President and CEO of TrackX
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Toshiba Stays Forever 21
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions (Research Triangle Park, NC) has been chosen as the sole retail IT supplier by major specialty retailer Forever 21. As such, it will provide point-of-sale hardware, networking equipment, and support services. It includes the Toshiba TCx 300 Terminals and SureMark Printers. Beginning in 1984, and based in Los Angeles, CA, Forever 21 has approximately 830 locations globally.
"Toshiba understood our desire to maximize the value of our retail investment, and more importantly, they are delivering expert staff to standardize and manage all of the various store technology and services across our corporate stores," relayed Alex Ok, President of Forever 21. "We selected Toshiba as our end-to-end global provider with the goal to reduce our complexity and costs, so our store teams can continue their focus on meeting the needs of our customers." A dedicated project management office--for all equipment, including other OEMs--has been established at Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions.
"Toshiba is proud to have been selected by Forever 21, a company known for its tremendous growth and now ranked as the fifth largest specialty retailer in the U.S., as its single point of contact for all retail services, store equipment standardization, asset management, and maintenance across all regions," commented Eugene Shvartsman, Executive Director and GM for North America at Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. "Our goal is to leverage the exceptional retail talent and smart technologies that Toshiba has in place to provide Forever 21 with the very highest level of availability and performance." As the successor to IBM's Retail Store Solutions, Toshiba GCS calls its technology "Brilliant Commerce."
Everything Toshiba for Specialty Retailer Forever 21
Appetize: Big League POS
Concessions player Appetize (Playa Vista, CA) has deployed its point-of-sale at four additional major league ballparks: Rockies' Coors Field, Royals' Kauffman Stadium, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, and--hallowed ground to your editor at RRN.Com--Yankee Stadium. They join previous installs at Dodger Stadium, Mets' Citi Field, and--hope they lose--Fenway Park and the Red Sox. Founded in 2011, with 200 employees, Appetize offers PC-on-a-Cash Drawer and Elo's PayPoint.
"Appetize has been a great partner that has driven both innovation and efficiency within our operations," reported Mike Morris, CIO at Legends Hospitality, the foodservice provider for Yankee Stadium. "Using Appetize has helped us to enhance the fan experience by providing more flexible ordering and payment solutions that improve the speed of service to our customers." As part of its functionality, Appetize has cloud-based inventory management.
"Our transformative POS has gained massive traction nationwide, including triple-digit-percent growth year-over-year since launch in 2011. We are now poised to seize market leadership," declared Kevin Anderson, Chief Strategy Officer at Appetize. "In every venue we launch, GMs see immediate revenue growth, vastly improved guest ordering experience, massive cost savings, and turnkey profit increase. That capability is driving our strong referrals."
Four More Venues, Including Yankee Stadium, Install Appetize POS
Consumers in the U.S. hold 3.6 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs, according to the 2017 Colloquy Loyalty Census. While growth continues, it's slowed to 15%, compared to 26% in the 2015 Census (when memberships were 3.3 billion). As motivation, 53% of consumers identify "easy to use" as the main reason for participation, besting "gives me great discounts" (39%) and "easy to understand" (37%). Conversely, the top reason for leaving such programs was "it took too long to earn points or miles" (cited by 57%). In terms of markets, retail accounts for 1.6 billion reward program memberships, making it the largest slice of the loyalty pie. Notably, grocery program memberships dropped to 142 million, compared to 188 million in 2015. (A decrease due in part to mergers and acquisitions within the industry.) The travel and hospitality sector, covering airline and hotel programs, plus restaurant, car rental, cruise line, and gaming programs, accounts for 1.1 billion memberships, shows the 2017 Census. "Slowdown in membership growth signals the U.S. loyalty market is maturing and retailers need to up their game on how to attract and retain members within their loyalty programs," counseled Melissa Fruend, Partner at LoyaltyOne Global Solutions. "In order to improve loyalty marketing, brands must optimize the overall experience by creating more personalized and relevant experiences for their best customers."
Monetary Policy Set by Plomske
A start-up with pedigree, Monetary LLC (Denver, CO), has added the tile of CEO to Co-Founder and President Shelly Plomske. Addressing customer relationship management and mobile commerce--flowing from payment processing--Monetary LLC sits in the portfolio of companies held by Jeffrey Katz, who founded Mercury Payment Systems (now Vantiv Integrated Payments). One of its first employees, Plomske ultimately served as SVP and CTO of Mercury Payment Systems (2003 to 2012).
"Shelley's vision and passion have shaped Monetary over the last two years," contributed Katz. "As CEO, she will have an expanded capacity to grow the company and continue development of the Monetary Platform. Her oversight on gateway, acquiring services, and other value-added products will give us the capability to deliver unique solutions to our customer base."
"I am proud of our outstanding team, which has raised the bar in the payment processing industry," shared Plomske. "Over the next few months, I plan to build out our team and our offering. Monetary will continue to add products and services that will redefine and energize POS as the base from which value-added services can develop." At present, Monetary LLC offers its Connected Commerce Platform and Application Programming Interface (API) for POS.
Shelley Plomske, President and CEO, Monetary LLC
JDA Shapes Its Cloud
JDA Software Group (Scottsdale, AZ) has lengthened its executive team with two new hires and one promotion. All three have experience in supply chain Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Desikan Madhavanur has been named to the new position of EVP and Chief Development Officer; Duane Kotsen has been appointed as SVP of Global Consulting and Education Services; and Sharon Mills has been promoted to Chief Customer Officer. In addition, Serge Massicotte, EVP and Chief Technology Officer, has left JDA.
"Demand for our software offerings is strong, our team continues to lead in the digitalization of the supply chain, and our global customers are entrusting us as they drive their transformation efforts," emphasized Girish Rishi, CEO of JDA. "Our announcement today, appointing new leaders to the management team, is another step forward to further strengthen our ability to deliver the supply chain of the future and execute beyond our customers' expectations. Desikan, Duane, and Sharon bring impressive capabilities in driving agile innovation, ensuring customer success, and building high-performance teams. We welcome them." Overall, JDA has 4,300 employees.
Madhavanur joins JDA from CA Technologies, where he served as SVP of Enterprise Products (2013 to 2017). Earlier in his career, he was Senior Product Manager for i2 Technologies, which was purchased by JDA (1999 to 2003). Kotsen joins JDA from Deltek, where he served as SVP of Global Consulting Services (2014 to 2017). He also previously worked at JDA, as SVP of America Services (2011 to 2013) and SVP of Global Consulting Services (2009 to 2011). Prior to her new position as CCO, Mills worked as JDA's Group VP for Professional Services.
New Roles at JDA: Desikan Madhavanur, Duane Kotsen, and Sharon Mills
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