Our Product Pick
Toshiba America (Irvine, CA) has unwrapped its new industrial label printer, the B-EX6 (for 6"). In direct-thermal and thermal-transfer, the B-EX6 features print speed as high as 12 in./305 mm per second with resolution of 203 or 300 dpi. About 13 in. (W) x 18 in. (D) x 12 in. (H) and 44 lbs., it features bi-fold cover to reduce footprint and opening space, with side window and end-user LCD. It includes USB, Ethernet, and Bluetooth, with an optional built-in label cutter. "Our B-EX6 combines ease-of-operation functionality with premium capabilities while lowering customers' operating costs," commented Michio Suzuki, GM of the Auto ID Business Group. "We believe our new flagship model is the best label printer in its class."
Toshiba B-EX6 Label Printer
Epson Hangs Left on Yellow
It's oddly named, yet so-called Left on Yellow (Marietta, GA) has enriched Epson America's cloud-based OmniLink Merchant Services. OMS, readers will recall, was debuted early this year, at the National Retail Federation Show (NRF) in New York, as the logical next step for Epson's OmniLink thermal printer series, which embeds functionality of the PC. It will assemble an ecosystem of "value-add" ISVs spanning inventory, merchandising, workforce management, loss prevention, social media, and, of course, POS. As one example, take Spendgo (San Francisco, CA), which last week launched its new customer relationship management (CRM)/loyalty platform exclusively with Epson OMS.
At its heart, Epson OMS captures, manages, and distributes data sent from the POS to the printer, without need of integration work. "What Epson did not have, until we formed this partnership with Left on Yellow, was the capability to receive data on the printer, perhaps from an online ordering partner, and insert that data back into the POS," RRN.Com was told by Joel Doherty, Global Business Development Leader for Epson's Business Systems Division (Long Beach, CA). Another key benefit of Left on Yellow's core technology, called the "BUS," addresses custom firmware, or elimination thereof, noted Doherty.
"For example, we wrote custom firmware that runs on the printer for Spendgo," explained Doherty. "It handles some of the in-store workflow in presenting coupons/offers and managing the in-store tablet content as well. A single version of our firmware, developed with Left on Yellow, will fetch all the logic, rules, content from the BUS, eliminating the need for such customization. With this, we add tremendous value for all partners and brands. A single version of firmware is critical to meeting the mass market goals of delivering advanced data and cloud services." Expect more news on OMS.
Joel Doherty, Global Business Development Leader, Epson's Business Systems Division
A Hungry API Named Omnivore
A team of technologists has established its "Universal" Application Programming Interface (API) for POS, dubbed, like their company, Omnivore (Hayward, CA). Started in 2014, the group, led by CEO and Co-Founder Mike Wior, former Engineering Executive at Wells Fargo, has brought into the fold Oracle-Micros, NCR Aloha, POSitouch, Agilysys-InfoGenesis, and Dinerware. CTO and Co-Founder Mike Taczak developed the Omnivore API, while SVP of Sales Matt Haselhoff, formerly with Heartland Payment Systems, knows the channel and POS.
"App developers want the ability to communicate directly with diverse POS systems," expounded Wior. "Restaurants want a seamless end-to-end solution. Suppliers want real-time consumer engagement opportunities. Omnivore was designed to bridge those gaps. The key that will differentiate restaurants from each other in the future is the customer experience they offer, and the technology they employ to achieve it. With that in mind, there was a real need for an API like Omnivore to provide a new level of connectivity."
On its website, Omnivore lists two dozen supported apps in hospitality, in areas such as reservations, order/delivery, customer relationship management (CRM)/loyalty, payments, and business intelligence. Examples include Cake, MenuPad, ToGo Technologies, Simply Seated, and Zapper. From its beginning, Chris Sullivan, Co-Founder of Outback Steakhouse and OSI Restaurant Partners, has shaped and supported Omnivore. Sullivan is Omnivore's first investor and uses the Omnivore platform throughout his restaurants.
Mike Wior, CEO and Co-Founder, Omnivore
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Honeywell's Disruption: Digimarc
Honeywell has added Digimarc Barcode scanning functionality to its Xenon 1902. By incorporating Digimarc Discover software as an option, the Honeywell Xenon 1902 will allow cashiers to read Digimarc enhanced packages from any angle, thereby reducing stress and risk of injury, improving operational efficiencies at the front-of-store, and reducing the time consumers spend waiting in line, according to the two parties. Via patented watermarking technology, Digimarc Barcode repeats an imperceptible pattern repeatedly encoded into consumer goods packaging. It carries the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).
"Offering the option to read Digimarc Barcodes with our Xenon 1902 handheld scanners brings added value to our customers who need high-performance, disruptive data capture technologies," enthused Stan Zywicki, GM, Printing and Scanning, Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (Ft, Mill, SC). "Our scanners have set the bar high by supporting traditional one-dimensional barcodes, two-dimensional barcodes, and now Digimarc Barcodes. They are the ideal choice for retailers looking to enhance worker safety and improve the shopping experience for consumers."
Incorporating "six-generation" Adaptus Imaging Technology 6.0, in handheld format, Xenon 1902 weighs 7.5 oz. It has advanced decoding architecture and custom sensor, according to Honeywell, providing extended depth of field, faster reading, and improved scanning performance on poor quality and low contrast barcodes. It comes in wireless, with base station and Bluetooth Version 2, and the company's Shift-PLUS power management system for 14 hours of Li-Ion battery life. Sean Calhoon serves as VP of Product Management at Digimarc.
Honeywell Xenon 1902 Handheld Scanner
More "e" for NETePay
"Datacap has been primarily focused on enhancing the payments experience for brick-and-mortar merchants by providing POS integration partners with reliable payments solutions supporting an industry-leading feature set," declared Justin Zeigler, Head of Product Strategy at Datacap Systems. "We're excited to add a multi-processor, out-of-scope e-commerce solution so that our partners can offer a seamless omnichannel experience to their merchants with little to no development on their side" (Next, Datacap will target "new levels of payment mobility," RRN.Com was told.)
Not surprisingly, given its focus on payments and associated products such as customer relationship management (CRM)/loyalty, as well as its geographic location, Monetary has several veterans of Mercury Payment Systems (now part of Vantiv Integrated Payments) as key executives. This includes President and Co-Founder, Shelley Plomske, and Lisa Blandford, VP of Operations. Both Dion Gonzales, VP and Co-Founder, and Jeff Dorchester, VP of Marketing and Co-Founder, came from Loyl.me, which was acquired by Monetary in 2016.
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CipherLab Sees 'Cloud-in-Hand'
CipherLab USA (Plano, TX) has engaged VAR Serialio (Cedar Park, TX) to offer an inventory and tracking system for reusable and recycled assets. Including software, hardware, and services, this bundle utilizes the CipherLab 1862 Bluetooth UHF RFID Reader and Serialio's Cloud-in-Hand Software. "A perfect match," Luis Wu, VP and GM of CipherLab USA, told RRN.Com. According to experts, RTI (Reusable Transport Items) suffers an annual shrink rate of up to 25%--largely solvable with RFID, according to the two new partners, CipherLab and Serialio.
"CipherLab's 1862 UHF RFID Reader is currently unmatched in flexibility and features, with fast and convenient connectivity to iOS, Android, and Windows, via Bluetooth Version 4," indicated Dave Boydston, President and Founder of Serialio. "Apps for iOS and the CipherLab 1862 can be built using BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) without the headache of Apple's Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad (MFi) certification. Using the 1862 also enables any iOS application to get UHF UPC scans posted via keyboard simulation with [our] SerialMagic Keys." Early in 2011, Serialio christened the first mobile Android UHF framework.
Measuring 6.4 in. (L) x 3.8 in. (W) x 5.8 in. (H) and weighing 18.3 oz., the CipherLab 1862 supports EPC Global UHF Gen2. It has read range from near contact to 16.5 ft./5 m and write range of up to 5 ft./1.5 m. It carries an IP-64 rating for water and dust and resists multiple drops to concrete from 5 ft./1.5 m. In the sled format of the 1862, the mobile computer snaps onto custom mounts at the top. In addition to RFID, one- and two-dimensional barcodes are handled, with simple switching.
CipherLab Teams With Serialio for RFID
Lightspeed: Roll Over, Rover
Lightspeed (Montreal, Canada), one of the leaders of retail management iOS, has incorporated the property management system (PMS), called Rover, of StayNTouch (Bethesda, MD). This new two-way interface allows transfer of guest and billing information between the hotel's and restaurant's POS. After beta test overseas, it will roll out at hotel/restaurant locations in the U.S. over the next few months, according to the partners. It employs smartphones and tablets.
"Both companies share the goal of using cloud-based technologies to improve the guest experience while improving operational efficiency," commented JP Chauvet, President of Lightspeed. "Guests checking into the hotel, then ordering from the hotel restaurant, will see a continuity in service experience that will lead to better impressions, better reviews, and referral to friends." Lightspeed now has 38,000 end-users in retail and hospitality processing $14 billion in transactions each year.
"Cloud-to-cloud integration with Lightspeed is a boon for hotels looking for a painless way to connect restaurant operations to their PMS," related Jos Schaap, CEO and Founder of StayNTouch. "We're very pleased to be working with another company that is also focused on the mobile experience, excellent software interface design, and cloud architecture." Prior to StayNTouch, Schaap spent 17 years at Micros Systems (now Oracle Hospitality), as SVP. As CTO and Co-Founder of StayNTouch, Gopkumar "Gop" Sarangdharan, also worked as Software Development Manager for Micros Systems, not coincidentally,
Property Management System of StayNTouch
Agilysys (Alpharetta, GA) has released its new inventory and procurement software for hospitality, Stratton Warren System Version 9.1. It manages the entire inventory and procure-to-pay process, and integrates with leading financial and point-of-sale products. It allows firms to optimize their buying power by aggregating the purchasing of all departments and locations for mission-critical items, as well as for hundreds of incidentals. It also supports procurement e-commerce and eliminates time-consuming and error-prone paper documents. As key enhancements, Stratton Warren System Version 9.1 has: one-click capability to "receive all" purchase orders; automatic item clean-up and purging; ability to attach and retrieve supporting bid documentation; notification e-mails for expiring bids; toggle sort view on bid dates; ability to add, modify, and view internal notes during processing of warehouse requisitions; enhanced approval process to include "ASAP" and "emergency"; and enhanced compliance capabilities. Optional modules include barcoding, menu and recipe analysis, retail, and e-commerce SWS Direct. SWS can be deployed as either on-premise or software-as-a-service (SaaS). "SWS allows aggregation of purchases across departments and locations to lower costs, while helping purchasing staff make more intelligent decisions," suggested Rehan Jaddi, SVP of Customer Support and Service Solutions for Agilysys.
Agilysys Enhances Stratton Warren System
Zebra Awards Stripes to ISV
Another software vendor, Reflexis Systems (Dedham, MA), one of the successful developers in workforce management and associated store execution systems, has joined the ISV Validation Program at Zebra Technologies (Lincolnshire, IL). Under this certification, an interface, Reflexis MyWork, has been successfully tested for compatibility with two popular mobile computers from Zebra, the MC40 and TC70. It allows end-users in retail and hospitality to respond to reports and notifications from sources such as Task Manager from Reflexis and from third-party platforms through the Reflexis StorePulse. Significantly, this includes legacy applications which are not mobility-enabled.
In accordance with the stampede to recruitment of developers, Zebra Technologies kicked off its ISV Validation Program in July 2016. It furnishes best practice guidelines, testing, and access to technology resources at Zebra. It spans the entire product suite of Zebra Technologies: mobile computers, scanners, thermal printers, RFID readers, payment systems, wireless infrastructure, and mobility management software products. Bob Woodward serves as Director of Global Partnerships-Software for Zebra Technologies.
"Achieving validated status is a significant step for our mutual customers," contributed Brett Walker, VP of Global Alliances and Solution Consulting for Reflexis. "We continue to see a shift toward Android as a preferred operating system across retail and this important proof-point demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our world-class solutions work on the leading devices from Zebra." In business for 15 years, Reflexis has 200 major companies as customers.
Reflexis Joins Zebra's ISV Validated Program
RITE Fit for RMS?
Having decided to divest, Retail Technology Experts (Miramar, FL) has found the buyer for its efforts in Microsoft's Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS). It carries an associated customer base of 200 retailers in the U.S. Endowed in 2002, the new owner, Retail Information Technology Enterprises, or RITE (Sartell, MN), won the Microsoft/Retail Realm Circle of Excellence Award for Growth for 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2016. As part of this acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, RITE also has acquired some of the intellectual property of Retail Technology Experts.
"This is part of our ongoing strategy to help usher as many small and medium retailers as we can into the next evolution of retail technology," explained Rick Feuling, CEO at RITE. "The need for these merchants to leverage technology as part of their competitive strategy has never been greater." At latest count, RITE services approximately 100 stores across the U.S.
"I have known Rick Feuling for almost 10 years," noted Mahendran Ramanathan, President of Retail Technology Experts. "We had other offers but we chose RITE because of my confidence in their ability to service your needs to your satisfaction." Established in 1991 as Business Automation Consultants, Retail Technology Experts also handled Retail Pro and NCR CounterPoint.
Retail Information Technology Enterprises (RITE) Bulks Up Its Efforts in Microsoft's Retail Management System (RMS)
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At Play in Fields of Clover
Another installation for First Data's Clover POS, in the form of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and CenturyLink Field. Led by VAR Bypass (Austin, TX), it involves hundreds of Clover POS, and marks the fourth major deployment for Clover and Bypass since July. "Implementation at CenturyLink Field is an important step forward for our Clover family of solutions as it underscores the flexibility of the devices, as well as illustrates how they can be used to improve customer loyalty and satisfaction," emphasized Dan Charron, EVP and Head of Global Business Solutions for First Data (New York, NY).
In addition to tablet-based systems located throughout the venue's concession stands, restaurants, bars, and suites, this deployment also includes Bypass's back-office management tools and insights engine for food and beverage operations. Based in the cloud, of course, such functionality has real-time reporting and secure payments technology. First Data also can provide sports teams with "game-changing" analytics to help improve sales, marketing, and business development efforts. Founded in 2010, Bypass serves 160 professional and collegiate sports venues and national restaurant chains.
"We want our fans to get their food and drinks quickly, so they spend more time enjoying the game and less time waiting in line," relayed David Young, GM and VP of Operations for CenturyLink Field. In describing the new system, CenturyLink noted, in particular, line busting via Clover Mobile, acceptance of EMV/NFC, and touchscreen familiarity for concessionaires and customers. Overall, CenturyLink Field and CenturyLink Field Event Center hosts more than two million people per year at football games, soccer matches, and concerts.
Bypass Deploys Clover POS for Seattle Seahawks
Uncorking Salesforce in POS
As if it wasn't big enough, Salesforce has moved further into POS, courtesy of SuiteRetail (Kemblesville, PA). A new contract serves the wine offerings of high-end retailer Bespoke, under brands of Recuerdo Wines, Resolute Wines, and Galleries & Gardens. Already, Bespoke had adopted Salesforce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Data. Only thing left: POS. A full-service provider, SuiteRetail provided its SuitePOS for Salesforce.
"Prior to SuitePOS, our sales associates were forced to oscillate between two systems. One to transact, and one to look up the customer's history," recounted Paul Leary, President and Partner at Bespoke. "SuitePOS has brought together their POS solution and the CRM platform of Salesforce into this single turnkey app. Sales associates can now look up the customer's journey, and with one click, be ready to take the transaction. This facilitates an even more efficient and personalized customer experience and that just makes good business sense."
"This was largely made possible by the fact SuitePOS is built explicitly for Salesforce and uses common objects that we use and are native to the Salesforce platform," continued Leary. "We've always understood the benefits of running our entire business on Salesforce. SuitePOS was the next step in that evolution and the results are obvious: We've enhanced our customer experience, reduced the complexity of our IT infrastructure, and all this is housed in sleek iPads."
Another Win for SuitePOS for Salesforce
Yes, retailers understand that today's consumers expect seamless, personalized shopping across all channels. Some findings of the 2016 Digital Commerce Survey, conducted in North America by Boston Retail Partners, offers insights into retailers' priorities and plans in response. In order to engage customers, for example, 40% are very focused in improving personalization, 50% will have customer identifying technology in their store within two years, and 58% plan to utilize geolocation within two years. In terms of tracking, 46% are improving the mobile shopping experience, 75% will host a single shared cart across channels within three years, and 50% will offer "start anywhere, finish anywhere" within five years. Finally, in the area of unification, 56% are focused on consistent brand experience across channels, 73% plan to utilize an order management system at the center of their unified commerce platform within three years, and 38% are adding new roles and employee initiatives to accommodate omnichannel tasks. "It is promising to see that retailers are laser focused on delivering the seamless, cross-channel experience customers expect," observed Jeffrey Neville, VP at Boston Retail Partners.
Knights of Logue Court
ScanSource, Inc. (Greenville, SC) has promoted Paul Constantine and Tony Sorrentino to Co-Presidents of Worldwide Barcode, Networking, and Security. Buck Baker, who formerly served as President of Worldwide Barcode and Security, has been named President of Worldwide Communications and Services, where he will lead ScanSource Catalyst and ScanSource Communications. In addition, Mike Ferney, formerly President of Worldwide Communications and Services, has been named Innovation Architect for ScanSource, Inc.
In addition to their new responsibilities, Constantine and Sorrentino will continue in their respective roles as President of ScanSource POS and Barcode and President of ScanSource Networking and Security. Both joined ScanSource in 1999, and progressed through merchandising roles in ScanSource POS and Barcode. Prior to his current title, Constantine served as VP of Solutions and Services, then VP of Merchandising for ScanSource Security. For his part, Sorrentino also served as VP of Merchandising for ScanSource Security.
"We are very fortunate to have such an established team of leaders at ScanSource," shared Mike Baur, CEO of ScanSource, Inc. "Their level of experience, knowledge of the business, and depth of relationships are instrumental to the continued growth and success of the company. I am proud of their dedication to the company, as they continue to drive our business and growth strategies."
New Co-Presidents of Worldwide Barcode, Networking, and Security: Paul Constantine and Tony Sorrentino
Big Brother for Retail
Brother Mobile Solutions (Broomfield, CO) has enlisted Michael Lowey as its Director of Retail Sales. Lowey brings more than two decades of experience in POS and Auto ID. His career includes time as VP of National Account Sales at Zebra Technologies, Global Client Executive at Fujitsu America, and Director of Key Account Sales at Datamax-O'Neil Corporation (now part of Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions).
"Mike has worked with many of the existing resellers and alliance partners of Brother Mobile Solutions, and he has strong relationships with many of the retailers in our target markets," remarked Greg O'Connell, VP of Sales for Brother Mobile Solutions. "Mike will work closely with the field sales team to grow our footprint in the retail vertical, with particular emphasis on the Rugged Jet."
Michael Lowey, Director of Retail Sales, Brother Mobile Solutions
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