This Week’s Product Pick
GenPOS (LaSalle, QC, Canada) has unwrapped its full-featured Eclipse PF15P "Perfect-Flat" touch monitor. It carries an all-glass, 15-inch, multi-touch projected capacitive screen with spill and dust-resistant zero-bezel. With 1024x768 resolution, 250 cd/m2 brightness, 600:1 contrast ration, and 8 millisecond response, Eclipse PF15P offers USB connectivity with dual video interface, both VGA and DVI. An aluminum housing and sturdy base furnishes cable management as well as stable touch operations. Options include 8.4-inch and 10.4-inch secondary customer displays, magnetic-stripe reading (MSR), and wall mounting. GenPOS offers both its Authorized Reseller and Certified Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Programs.
GenPOS Eclipse PF15P
At the Speed of LightCloud
Another market move for LightSpeed (Montreal), which has launched LightSpeed Cloud, its new web-based inventory management and POS package. As basis for this new platform, LightSpeed acquired MerchantOS (Olympia, WA), an ISV in POS, and now has established its own HTML5-based interface, making the new solution device-agnostic so retailers may run sales, inventory, and reporting from their web browser and computer of choice. LightSpeed Cloud joins LightSpeed Pro, the company's flagship POS for Apple.
In answering questions from resellers on its company blog, LightSpeed confirmed that LightSpeed Cloud basically rebrands MerchantOS, with all of its features and functionality (with more coming). Approximately 2,400 customers of MerchantOS will eventually transition to LightSpeed Cloud, with no need to switch to Mac, it was underscored. Development and operations teams for this new effort will be expanding, in addition to existing staff, according to Ivan Stanojevic and Justin Laing, Co-Founders of MerchantOS.
"With LightSpeed Cloud, our product suite now allows an entirely new set of retailers, regardless of platform, to more efficiently manage their businesses," declared Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of LightSpeed. "This new technology, particularly LightSpeed Cloud for iPad, positions LightSpeed at the forefront of the POS industry with an expanded product offering to help us achieve even greater growth and deliver an even better solution to retailers of all sizes." Currently, LightSpeed powers 15,000 store locations worldwide, representing more than 100% growth from one year ago.
LightSpeed Cloud Arises From MerchantOS
NEC Corporation of America (Irving, TX) has joined the POS Partnership Program run by Kitchen Brains (Stratford, CT). This new partnership integrates Kitchen Brains' Quality Production Management (QPM) System for foodservice preparation with NEC's popular POS terminals for quick-service and fast-casual segments. NEC joins NCR and Micros as members of the POS Partnership Program, which provides software, documentation, support, and marketing services.
Known for its cooking timers and process controllers, Kitchen Brains has moved into wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) networking and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for management of necessary kitchen and restaurant functions. This includes control of refrigeration and cooking, along with accompanying oversight of equipment and remote reporting. Linked with POS, Kitchen Brains' QPM System draws upon sales transactions, employee hours, and scheduling of large catering orders for future delivery--all of which, of course, affect inventory and operating costs.
"We have enjoyed strong relations with NEC over the years," indicated Christian Koether, VP at Kitchen Brains. "Formally strengthening our relationship with the execution of our POS Partnership Program will enable both our firms to address new market opportunities, creating this 'win, win, win' for NEC, Kitchen Brains, and our customers." NEC reports more than 400,000 POS systems installed worldwide.
TwinPOS by NEC Corporation of America
Worth Your While
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ALL IN THE FAMILY
A Small Story at APG
APG Cash Drawer (Minneapolis) has unveiled its newest model, designated Vasario 1313, with compact footprint for use in mobile POS environments. Measuring 13.1 in. (W) x 13.1 in. (D) x 3.9 in. (H), or 335 x 335 x 100 mm, Vasario 1313 comes in black or beige with single media slot, plastic roller wheels, and standard-duty molded tills for the U.S. (four bill, four coin) or Europe (five note, eight coin). "A cost effective choice, the 1313 doesn't sacrifice quality or dependability," stated APG.
Additional features include APG's 320 (24 V) and 420 (12 V) interface options, two-year warranty, and four function lock (locked closed, locked open, online, and manual open). Cycle life has been tested to extend beyond one million transactions. Vasario 1313 will ship by the end of this month with availability through the company's distribution channel.
"Consumers want more flexible and personalized shopping experiences," remarked John Meilahn, VP of Global Sales at APG Cash Drawer. "Retailers are addressing this need by going mobile, with thin/tablet-based POS solutions. At APG, we continue to expand our product offering to meet the emerging demand that coincides with such mobile POS configurations."
APG Cash Drawer's Vasario 1313
Wide-Eyed at LaneHawk
Datalogic ADC (Eugene, OR) has enhanced its "bottom-of-basket" loss prevention product, LaneHawk LH4000. New features for this vision-based system include better lighting within the target area, higher resolution imager, and better field of view, according to the company. LaneHawk's camera measures only 3.9 in. (depth in check stand) x 8.2 in. (height of outer frame) x 12.6 in. (length of outer frame), so spacers have been provided for existing cut-outs which may be bigger.
With machine vision technology called ViPR, for Visual Pattern Recognition, the LaneHawk LH4000 can identify individual items based on their product packaging without seeing the barcode. Once items are sighted, the unit allows the cashier to add the UPC directly to the current transaction. Equipped with logging capabilities, this system can generate weekly reports of items missed at the bottom of the shopping cart in support of employee training and anti-fraud measures.
"Revenue losses from unpaid merchandise or shrink add up over the course of the retailer's day-to-day business," counseled Joe Guy, GM and VP of the Business Solutions Group at Datalogic ADC. "Datalogic employs advanced technology to develop innovative solutions that help retailers stop bottom-of-basket shrink. The LaneHawk LH4000 will help recover 85% to 90% of BOB losses, which for the average store can add up to $20,000 per year."
Datalogic Enhances LaneHawk Loss Prevention System
[Editor's Note: Datalogic ADC also has adopted Wavelink's Speakeasy voice-picking application. Covered products include Datalogic's Lynx PDA, Elf PDA, Memor pocket mobile computer, and Skorpio X3 mobile computer. All may be outfitted with industrial-grade headsets for use in warehouse environments.]
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New Siblings in Labeling
Brother Mobile Solutions (Broomfield, CO) has teamed with Niceware International (Brookfield, WI) to deliver an integrated, turnkey package for barcode labeling. Initial plans will pair Brother's PT-9700 desktop label printer series and thermal transfer laminated media with Niceware's NiceLabel Designer Pro and PowerForms. This system has been configured for durability of labels, error-free printing, and generation on demand at the point of use, according to the two parties.
Dave Crist, SVP of Sales and Marketing for Brother Mobile Solutions, emphasized that "our innovative tape technology and laminated, thermal transfer labels are critical parts of the solution and key drivers of the Brother-Niceware alliance." In addition, Niceware's software and custom middleware address complex interface and tracking needs, including enterprise resource planning (ERP). In particular, the printers and tapes meet the high-speed labeling demands of manufacturing environments, with suitability for diverse industrial products from circuit boards to large chemical drums.
"Regulatory and compliance issues in verticals like healthcare and manufacturing have challenged Auto ID printer manufacturers and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to deliver increasingly sophisticated industry-compliant solutions," observed Crist. "Our collaborative partnership with Niceware provides best-in-class software and best-in-class laminated label printers to enterprises with the most demanding and complex labeling requirements." This solution will be sold within the Niceware and Brother Mobile Solutions distribution channels in North America.
Niceware Design Software Paired With PT-9700 by Brother Mobile
KoamTac's Sled Ride With PCI
KoamTac, Inc. (Princeton, NJ) and Hybrid Paytech (Montreal) have joined forces to offer bundled mobile payment solutions. Specifically, Hybrid Paytech will provide its PCI-compliant transactional software for use with KoamTac's KDC400 Series of scanning/card-reading smart sleds. Significantly, this package will support the four major operating systems: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, or Windows.
"While our barcode sleds with magnetic-stripe reading (MSR), paired with the latest smartphones and tablets, already offer some of the industry's most robust mobile payment solutions, our partnership with Hybrid Paytech allows us to address the broader range of enterprise customers who require PCI compliance," explained Hanjin Lee, CEO/President of KoamTac, which has been particularly active of late. Earlier this month, the company addressed RFID with its KDC450. Just before that, Mark Schmidt, formerly of Honeywell Scanning & Mobility and Metrologic Instruments, joined as COO.
"The partnership we have formed with KoamTac provides great leverage and value for both companies," added Kevin Conabree, Head of Global Partnerships at Hybrid Paytech. "In this business climate where mobile payments are in high demand and growing quickly, we can aid KoamTac in finding new verticals for their highly regarded products, and in turn, create more growth for our own product offering within enterprise markets." Hybrid Paytech promotes itself as one of the first mobile payment companies to have developed PCI-approved debit and credit applications over the four consumer-based OS.
KoamTac KDC425 Barcode Sled on iPad Mini
SkyeTek, Inc. (Denver), one of the leaders in embedded RFID reader modules, has established its inventory and asset management software platform, MetaFi. Utilizing the company's hardware, MetaFi provides manufacturers, distributors, and retailers with real-time inventory information from the field. Users may customize their experience with product types, locations, and event alerts through the robust took kit, according to the company. Specific focus may include yard management, vendor managed inventory, consigned inventory, and field maintenance. An entire system consists of three components: hosted MetaFi server, web-based MetaFi console, and mobile MetaFi agents. "The market demands an asset management solution that doesn't take months to customize and deploy, can be configured by the user, and can be set up in weeks," maintained Daniel Frydenlund, Group Chairman of FKR Acquisitions, which owns SkyeTek. "That is exactly what MetaFi offers."
TSC Auto ID Technology America (Pomona, CA) has entered distribution through Ingram Micro's Data Capture/POS Business Unit. Ingram Micro now has inventory of TSC's full-line of barcode printers, which span desktop, industrial, and portable. "Our new relationship with Ingram Micro will expand our access to Value-Added Resellers throughout the U.S. and Canada," stated David Lundeen, VP of Marketing for TSC, which also distributes its products through BlueStar.
Blue Horseshoes Fit Dynamics AX
Blue Horseshoe (Carmel, IN) will transfer ownership of its Warehousing for AX (WAX) and Transportation for AX (TRAX) software to Microsoft, where they will be added to Dynamics AX, their primary framework. Corresponding warehouse and transportation management capabilities within WAX and TRAX empower channel partners to deliver packaged, end-to-end, vertical solutions for manufacturing, distribution, and retail, according to the two parties, which did not release terms of the transaction. Sale includes Advanced WAX and Advanced TRAX, which were developed by Blue Horseshoe to further extend the capabilities of Dynamics AX.
Beyond their core capacity to improve inventory control and inbound/outbound warehouse operations, Blue Horseshoe's twin software packages also furnish benefits such as embedded RF, freight reconciliation, and rate, route, and load planning. Capabilities are embedded within the Microsoft Dynamics AX framework, designed to create breakthrough improvements with seamless integration. In the past, Blue Horseshoe has served as Microsoft Dynamics Distribution Industry Partner of the Year, Microsoft President's Club Member, and finalist for the Microsoft Dynamics Regional Independent Software Vendor of the Year, so the two firms are no stranger to each other.
"Blue Horseshoe's advanced supply chain solutions not only support our direct customers, but have also proven beneficial to many other Microsoft Partners and their clients," reflected Chris Cason, President of Blue Horseshoe. "Our company is excited about the collaboration with Microsoft and our ability to continue to grow and advance within the supply chain industry." In addition to Microsoft Dynamics AX, Blue Horseshoe has focused on support for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, with all that entails.
Transportation for AX, Developed by Blue Horseshoe
Leaf Sprouts E-Check App
DoubleBeam (Pasadena, CA) has created an e-check app for local merchants which runs on the POS tablet from newcomer Leaf (Boston). Offered in the Leaf Appstore, this new application allows merchants to accept checks from customers and have the associated funds delivered into their merchant accounts as quickly as the next business day, according to DoubleBeam, which targets mobile payment, data capture, and marketing services. It utilizes the built-in camera on the LeafPresenter POS.
"Running your small business has become much more complicated than it should be, and many times that's because merchants are forced to work the way their technology works," suggested Aron Schwarzkopf, Leaf's Founder and CEO. "By building our own POS tablet that includes the latest technology, and then opening the platform for creative developers to solve common challenges merchants face, we're making sure they can work the way they want. DoubleBeam's e-check app is an excellent example of that."
A second generation of LeafPresenter, introduced in May, carries an improved camera capable of reading one- and two-dimensional barcodes, second camera on the front of the tablet, high-definition display, and more efficient battery. With an eye on retail, quick-service, and restaurants, Leaf has "purpose-built" its tablet with customized form factor, Android, and Wi-Fi, and has recently evinced interest in the reseller channel. "Leaf has done a great job focusing on the needs of SMBs and building an open and accommodating platform," commented Ted Tekippe, CEO of DoubleBeam.
LeafPresenter POS Tablet
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A Fruitful Choice for Loyalty
Jamba Juice Company has chosen Spendgo (San Francisco) to power its new loyalty program. Following successful testing of the Spendgo package in over 30 locations, "My Fruitful Rewards" will be rolled out in Q1 2014 for hundreds of Jamba Juices across the U.S. It allows customers to register and earn rewards by typing their phone number into an easy-to-use touchscreen terminal, provided by Spendgo, and positioned at the front counter.
This "virtual hub" supplies digital copies of receipts, loyalty cards, and deals and promotions. Once the customer has earned enough points for rewards, they are messaged in real-time with the option to cash in or save for future visits. Jamba Juice SVP and Chief Brand Officer, Julie Washington, observed, "While there are a wide variety of companies who claim to offer a loyalty solution, none could offer the combination of integration ease, line-item awarding, behavioral targeting, and powerful customer engagement of Spendgo."
"My Fruitful Rewards is the type of program Spendgo was created for," proclaimed Ivan Matkovic, Spendgo's CEO. "Jamba's guests are valued customers, and with the Spendgo solution, they can be rewarded in a fast, intuitive way as they make Jamba Juice a greater part of their everyday life." Founded in 2010, Spendgo has more than 100 deployments in California, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, and Utah--mainly Jamba Juice, Round Table Pizza, and Dickey's Barbeque Pit.
Dedicated Loyalty Terminal From Spendgo
EAS: Notes From Underground
Checkpoint Systems (Thorofare, NJ) has offered its newest loss prevention system, dubbed Evolve Exclusive F10, which hides antennas out of sight under the entrance doorway. Already tested and deployed by leading retailers of apparel, jewelry, and accessories, this system furnishes accurate reading of electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags across maximum width of 40 feet and height of 6 feet, according to the vendor. Operating with very low power, its antenna panels withstand the heavy weight associated with high traffic in mall environments.
Falling under Checkpoint's Intelligent Merchandise Availability Program (iMap), which spans hardware, software, consumables, and services, Evolve Exclusive F10 features an assortment of alarm detection notifications. These include external audible signals, flashing lights, pager notifications, and other options that follow the retailer's loss prevention policies. In addition, it extends compatibility with Checkpoint's VisiPlus Overhead Sensor to facilitate system management and counting of visitors.
"We configured this new 'invisible' EAS solution by partnering with some luxury brands for whom creating positive shopping experience for customers was as important as protecting their merchandise," relayed Farrokh Abadi, President and COO of Shrink Management and Merchandise Visibility Solutions for Checkpoint Systems. "We are proud to meet such requirements with regard to merchandise protection as well as the aesthetics and design of their floor space." Earlier, this spring, Checkpoint Systems launched its Evolve Exclusive E10, bridging both RF and RFID capability for EAS.
Checkpoint Systems Puts EAS Antenna Under the Entrance Floor
An increased number of restaurant owners (39%) have sought capital for their businesses this year compared to last year, according to new analysis by the Capital Access Network. A sample of more than 13,000 Loan and Merchant Cash Advance applications were examined to derive results. A total of 34% of these applications were requests for general working capital, it was found. Units in this category increased 53% this year compared to last year. Another 32% of requests were for capital to buy either equipment or inventory. Unit requests for inventory purchase capital have jumped 15% this year and unit requests for equipment purchase capital have risen 4%. Lastly, 11% of the requests were for capital for remodeling projects or facilities upgrades. Units within this category have elevated 6% from last year. "Restaurants are serving up growth again," concluded Daniel DeMeo, CEO of Capital Access Network. "Upgrading and replacing equipment, stocking up on inventory, renovating facilities, opening new locations, and advertising were the reasons cited for half of our restaurant funding requests over the past two years. We're also seeing increased interest in alternative financial products that can help restaurant owners capitalize on these business growth opportunities."
Mercury Still Rising
Mercury (Durango, CO), one of the channel's leading providers of payment processing and loyalty solutions, has strengthened its executive team with two appointments: Brett Narlinger as EVP of Sales and Pattie Money as SVP of Human Resources. Narlinger most recently served as EVP of Bank of America Merchant Services, which he helped found and which grew to become the largest merchant acquirer in the U.S. Prior to that, he spent 15 years with First Data as SVP, overseeing all enterprise and national portfolio accounts.
"I've been fortunate enough to work for two industry-changing companies, and Mercury's vision and reputation for world-class service and simple payments integration is inspiring," testified Narlinger. "I'm extremely pleased to join the team and help expand sales into new markets that will bring value-added services that empower local businesses."
Money previously served as VP of Human Resources for Monotype Imaging Holdings, where she helped lead the firm through high growth, acquisitions, and successful public offering. "We are very excited to have Pattie and Brett join the executive team," shared Matt Taylor, CEO of Mercury. "Their broad breadth of professional experience and proven success in building relationships in their respective positions make them tremendous assets to Mercury." The Nilson Report has ranked Mercury as the sixteenth largest merchant acquirer in the U.S. in 2012. Just four years ago, Mercury was ranked twenty-sixth on the same list.
New Executives: Brett Narlinger and Pattie Money
A Key to Merchant Warehouse
Merchant Warehouse (Boston) has engaged Russell Harty as SVP for Key Accounts and Partner Channels. With more than 20 years in the payments industry, Harty will focus on evaluating new partners and expanding the footprint of Merchant Warehouse solutions, including its Genius Customer Engagement Platform. "We're delighted to have an industry leader like Russell on board," said Greg Cohen, Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer for Merchant Warehouse, citing his extensive sales and management experience.
"Technology presents an incredible opportunity for merchants of all sizes today, but not all know how to leverage these capabilities in the most effective way. Merchant Warehouse recognized this struggle and developed solutions that let merchants evolve with the payments space," volunteered Harty. "Merchant Warehouse is a great example of a company that can effectively respond to their customers' needs and I'm really looking forward to being part of the team."
Harty joins Merchant Warehouse from Hibu, where he worked as Head of U.S. Sales Operations, Payments Division. Previously, he was SVP for Retail and Retail Banking Solutions for Ingenico, where he was responsible for tier one, mid-tier, channel, and banking business development and sales. He also held senior leadership roles relevant to the channel at VeriFone and Triton.
Russell Harty, SVP, Key Accounts and Partner Channels, Merchant Warehouse
CognitiveTPG Rolls Out New VP, Nigel Ball
CognitiveTPG (Ithaca, NY) has enlisted Nigel Ball as its new VP of Sales and Marketing. An industry veteran to POS, Ball will oversee the company's sales, product management, marketing, and business development teams. He will report to Kyle Turner, CEO/President of CognitiveTPG, which supplies receipt printers and label printers.
Ball brings more than 35 years in management of global sales and marketing to his new position. Prior to joining CognitiveTPG, he served as Executive Director for Desko, the manufacturer of passport scanners and readers, as well as VP of Sales and Marketing for Cherry Electronics, one of the largest and best known manufacturers of keyboards and automotive switches. An English-born native, Ball holds an MBA from The Open University in Milton Keynes, UK.
"Nigel is very well respected and very knowledgeable about the industry and our sales channels," reflected Turner. "He brings a tremendous amount of experience from not only our main industry, the retail sector, but from many diverse industries and niche markets as well. Having worked with Nigel on some collaborative projects in the past, I know him to be results driven and personable. Nigel's experience will blend nicely with our vision."
Nigel Ball, VP of Sales and Marketing, CognitiveTPG
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