This Week’s Product Pick
KoamTac, Inc. (Princeton, NJ) has unveiled its 3-Key Model for the KDC350 barcode data collector. Available with one or two-dimensional imager, KDC350 furnishes Bluetooth Class 2, rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, and bright one-inch OLED display. With weight of just 3 oz., KDC350 extends IP-65 ingress protection, five-foot drop survivability, and optional GPS, NFC, and long-range reading. All KDC products come with KTSync software (keyboard wedging, application generation, database look-up, and inventory management features) as well as Software Development Kit (SDK). "The KDC350 3-Key still has everything our clients love about the KDC350--but without the alphanumeric keypad," explained Hanjin Lee, CEO/President of KoamTac. "While the keypad is compact and convenient for combining data entry with scanning, some people just want the simplicity of having only three keys to navigate, so now we're giving them that choice with the KDC350 3-Key."
KDC350 3-Key by KoamTac
POSBANK: Paths to Processing
With its footing established in our channel, including distribution through Synnex's STORESolv, POSBANK USA (Gardena, CA) has recently focused on payment processing for its family of POS terminals. This week, the company announced its strategic partnership with Mercury (Durango, CO), which will address the hospitality industry in concert with POSBANK USA's POPS for Restaurants software package. In the past few months, POSBANK USA also has forged relations with Merchant Warehouse (Boston), and its Genius Customer Engagement Platform, PAX US (Jacksonville, FL) for credit card devices, and Datacap Systems (Chalfont, PA), for modems.
"Integrating our POPS Restaurant with Mercury Payment Systems adds incredible value to the VAR, ISV, and merchant customer by providing them with best-in-class PCI-compliant payment technologies without any hidden fees," noted Steven Eun, CEO of POSBANK USA. Beyond simple payment, POSBANK USA expects to leverage Mercury's trio of value-added programs--MercuryGift, MercuryLoyalty, and MercuryReach--RRN.Com was told. Mercury moved aggressively into such services with its purchase of Sundrop Mobile midway through 2012.
Datacap Systems, of course, serves as the bridge for Mercury, as well as every other major processor. In August, POSBANK USA adopted its "dsiPDCX" payments interface to achieve "out of scope" for PA-DSS. "POSBANK USA has entered this market with rock solid POS," testified Terry Zeigler, CEO/President of Datacap Systems. "Coupled with immediate support for all payment processors, POSBANK USA should quickly become one of the industry leaders in this space."
POSBANK USA Booth at NRF Show
Pioneer POS has opened its first service center in Canada, located in Burnaby, British Columbia, just east of Vancouver. This new facility includes test lab, repair depot, and warehouse, RRN.Com was told by Gee Singgih, CEO at Pioneer POS. It supplements service centers at the company's headquarters in City of Industry, California, as well as South Carolina, the UK, France, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
"As Pioneer continues to expand globally, it simply made sense to enhance our unmatched customer service in North America, and specifically Western Canada, as we also look to open another service center to more easily support Eastern Canada in the future," related Singgih. "These will provide quicker turn-around for repairs for our resellers north of the border, and eliminate the paperwork required to clear customs. We also plan to open our new service center in Germany by November 2013."
Of late, Pioneer POS has announced several significant partnerships with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). First, Xpient Solutions (Charlotte, NC) has chosen the Pioneer POS StealthTouch as exclusive recommended terminal hardware for its Xpient Xpress for quick-service and fast-casual restaurants, as first reported in RRN.Com. Secondly, the Pioneer POS Stealth S-Line, with built-in Epson receipt printer, has been approved for use with Retail Pro (Folsom, CA). "Pioneer POS is proud to have our S-Line POS terminal put through the certification process at Retail Pro International's headquarters by its expert technical staff," reported Scott Johnston, Director of ISV/Channel at Pioneer POS. "By passing with flying colors this will confirm confidence for resellers, as well as users that are looking for more integrated options."
New Bezel-Free Infinity From Pioneer POS
Worth Your While
NACS Show 2013
Customer Engagement Technology World
IAAPA Expo 2013
NRF 103rd Annual Conference & Expo
ALL IN THE FAMILY
"Just in Time Color," by Epson
Epson America (Long Beach, CA) has unveiled its new ColorWorks TM-C3500 label printer, designed to meet the high-mix, low-volume requirements of manufacturers. Measuring 12.2 in. (W) x 10.3 in. (H) x 11.1 in. (D), and weighing 26 lbs., TM-C3500 utilizes Epson's patented MicroPiezo inkjet technology with banding reduction mode and automatic nozzle checking. Its four-color system, with individual cartridges, achieves printing speeds of up to four inch/second (100 mm/second) at resolution of 360 dpi and two-inch print width.
A wide range of media may be accommodated, from plain, synthetic, and matte to glossy stock, in either roll-fed or fanfold, die cut, or continuous formats. Standard features include USB 2.0 and Ethernet 10/100 Base-T, LCD display, auto-cutter, and easy paper loading. All major label software applications are supported, according to Epson, and the printer ships with everything necessary to get started.
"To meet customer needs, improve supply chain management, and increase brand recognition, manufacturers are differentiating their products with a higher mix of distinct, full-color labels," observed Andy Scherz, Senior Product Manager at Epson. "By leveraging the new printer's on-demand color technology, four-color ink capability, and increased print speed and image quality, manufacturers can reduce total labeling costs by up to 50%, including elimination of pre-printed color label inventory and waste." Within the U.S., more than half of all labeling jobs fall under orders of 50,000 or less, estimated Epson.
Epson ColorWorks TM-C3500 Inkjet Label Printer
Somewhere in the Middle With X 40
TouchSystems (Hutto, TX) has debuted its X 40 multi-touch screen with 40-inch, wide-aspect form factor. Components include NEC's X401S HD LCD, 3M's Dispersive Signal Technology (DST), and USB I/O. It also carries carbon footprint meter, scheduler, and internal temperature sensors with self-diagnosis tools and fans to improve performance and decrease costs.
A slim design (about two inches deep) makes this product attractive for retail and hospitality, according to the vendor. Technical characteristics include 500 cd/m2 brightness, 3500:1 contrast ratio, 16:9 aspect ratio, 1920x1080 resolution, and 8 ms typical response time. Design is further enhanced by an Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) slot and the standard suite of connectivity schemes. A warranty covers three years for parts and labor, including backlight.
"Many of our customers want a multi-touch, large-format solution," indicated Carol Nordin, President of TouchSystems. "They either can't or don't wish to use our larger sizes, 46 and 55 inches, but require something larger than our 32-inch multi-touch screens. Our 40-inch display is the perfect solution for them and offers touch capability that will last for years to come."
X 40 Multi-Touch Screen by TouchSystems
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Skim Spotting Away
A new entry, Termtegrity (Chicago), seeks to fight skimming of payment terminals with its new program, "SpotSkim." Delivered as Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS, SpotSkim allows merchants to inventory, inspect, and document that their payment terminals have not been modified or tampered with. It simplifies and automates this critical, often overlooked process, according to Nambratha Kongara, Head of Operations for Termtegrity, which offers the product direct or through its network of resellers.
As expected these days, SpotSkim starts with the merchant's smartphone or tablet, used to take photos of terminals and point of sale systems. Such photos, established as "known good state," along with their location and any other identifying information, will be stored on secure servers at Termtegrity, "separating the chain of custody for visual evidence." For subsequent filings, barcodes may be assigned for this function.
Periodically, following prompts, merchants compare new photographs to the reference images to detect any difference which may be potential indicators of compromise, including changes to hardware or placement on the counter. SpotSkim also allows merchants to run reports showing the status of each device in inventory along with its inspection history. Such reports offer evidence of compliance for internal or external auditors. "The idea for SpotSkim came from reading about two high-profile skimming attacks at Level 1 merchants in 2011 and 2012," the company posted on its blog. "These attacks substituted POS equipment at high-traffic retail locations with compromised devices that illicitly captured large amounts of cardholder data."
SpotSkim Checks Integrity of Payment Terminals
PayPros Leaves Your Mark
PayPros (Newark, CA) has launched branded payment apps for software developers, dubbed PayPros Business Application Branding and Integration Solutions. Accomplished via reusable presentation layer components and templates, this User Interface (UI) is dynamic, thereby alleviating "one-off" development for individual brands, according to the payment processor. PayPros handles all branding work, and transaction data integration flows through the web-based PayPros Access.
"A payments partnership should provide software developers with differentiation and enhance their product line," suggested Eddie Myers, President of PayPros. "PayPros Application Branding and Integration Solutions make it possible for developers to add payment functionality to their offerings with minimal effort." Elements of this platform include an online portal, virtual terminal, invoicing, transaction management, and reporting capabilities.
iHealthSpot (Margate, FL), one of the leading developers of medical business systems, is an early adopter of branded PayPros Business Applications. CEO Mary Hall comments, "An easy online payment solution was a critical part of our product offering to physician practices. The integrated payment gateway, virtual terminal, and branded portal allows patients to pay for physicians' services, and seamlessly blends with our branding and dashboard, increasing the functionality of our product."
Bill Pay Portal for iHealthSpot
Agilysys (Alpharetta, GA) has released InfoGenesis Mobile Version 2.0, its full-featured Mobile POS for food and beverage. Built on Android, with seamless integration with InfoGenesis POS, Mobile Version 2.0 features numerous enhancements, according to its developer. These include: support for table service and pay-at-service environments; "on-the-fly" menu-item customization using typed special instructions; virtual check display which incorporates additions and modifications as they are entered; room charge authorization on open checks; ability to print itemized checks and drafts wirelessly; payment collection via cash, room charge, or credit card (with Shift4); and off-line functionality that ensures transactions are not lost in the event of network outages. A sleek modern design coupled with an intuitive User Interface (UI) make the system easy for staff to learn, with minimal administration required. Screens, items, tables, and check type configurations are handled centrally within the InfoGenesis POS system. "InfoGenesis Mobile combines a wide range of capabilities with exceptional flexibility and reliability, so that servers can work smarter and more efficiently," declared Maris Berzins, VP of Development for Applications at Agilysys. "This feature-rich solution helps increase order accuracy, speed of service, and, ultimately, check amounts."
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Tags Are It at Barcoding
One of the leading system integrators in our field, Barcoding, Inc. (Baltimore), sees more profits in consumables and has marshaled the forces to find them. Called "Consumables by Barcoding," this new division will supply labels, tags, ribbons, printheads, wristbands, and custom media from various sources for the firm's end-users, and help bring more focus to its existing business in this area. Even RFID will be addressed, through Barcoding's recent purchase of Miles Technologies (Lake Zurich, IL).
An experienced staff has been assembled to provide guidance, each of whom brings decades of relevant experience: Stephen Johnson, Northeast Director of Sales, former North American Director of Sales at Conductiv; Dave Vickers, Media Solution Specialist, former Eastern Regional Account Manager at Miles Technologies; and Henry Cerrato, Senior Sales Account Executive, former Director of Sales and Marketing at Integrated Barcode Technology. In addition, Barcoding has added Christopher Kenney as Account Executive, recipient of the 2012 Inside Sales Representative of the Year Award at Honeywell Scanning & Mobility.
A major advantage for Barcoding lies in its volume-buying discounts with vendors and paper converters, which get passed along to end-users, RRN.Com was told by Stephen Johnson. Perhaps more importantly, Johnson emphasizes his company's ability to "start from the application up," and help the end-user develop effective solutions for the supply chain. Beyond serving as an example of business growth, Johnson reminded RRN.Com that the system integrator functions as both prime contractor and subcontractor, and welcomes the opportunity to work with POS VARs expanding their reach into Auto ID.
New Division Focuses on Consumables
FDA Finally Finalizes UDI
U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finalized rules for its Unique Device Identification (UDI) system for medical equipment, first proposed in July 2012. Once fully implemented, the UDI system is expected to have many benefits for patients, the healthcare system, and device manufacturers. It should enhance identification of recalled devices, improve reporting and investigation of so-called "adverse events," and set the foundation for an efficient, secure global distribution chain, according to the FDA. As an added benefit, it will document device use in electronic health records as well as clinical information systems.
It relies on two key components. An unique number is assigned by the manufacturer to the version or device model, the UDI. This features information about the product and manufacturer, its expiration date, reference and lot numbers, barcode, and critical instructions for use. A second component, administered by the FDA, and called the Global Unique Device Identification Database, will serve as reference catalogue for every device with an identifier. With public access, no identifying patient information will be stored, the FDA reports.
As one would expect, focus will fall first on high-risk medical devices, with many low-risk devices exempt. In general, high-risk devices (Class III) will need to carry UDI on their label and packaging within one year. Manufacturers will have three years to address most moderate-risk devices (Class II). Suppliers of low-risk devices (Class I), not exempt from UDI requirements, will have five years to prepare. FDA worked with industry, the clinical community, and patient and consumer groups in the development of this rule.
A Label Standard for Critical Information for Medical Devices
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Datalogic, Ducks Suit Up
Datalogic ADC has become an official sponsor of the Oregon Ducks sporting teams, including football, from the University of Oregon. Both entities reside in Eugene, Oregon, and Datalogic hires many of the college's graduates each year, according to Bill Parnell, CEO of Datalogic ADC. At this writing, the Oregon Ducks are the second-ranked college football team in the country, according to the latest poll from the Associated Press.
"We know that many of our VARs and end-users are college football fans and we thought it would be fun to work with the Ducks," Jose Vega, Marketing Manager for Datalogic ADC, shared with RRN.Com. "As a sponsor, we will work with the Ducks to help increase Datalogic's brand awareness through various activities. Datalogic has sponsored other sports programs but this is the first time we have done something with college football. It's great having an exciting team with its national following right in our backyard."
"There are so many possibilities with this relationship," continued Vega. "We are working with the football team to provide scanners to help manage their equipment, for example. The Ducks are known for their many uniforms and they have tons of gear. Barcode scanners are perfect to help them keep that under control, and other things will be developed."
Datalogic Sponsors Oregon Ducks Football
ISVs Take the Cake at Bematech
Bematech (Bethpage, NY) has supplied its kitchen technology for the Golden Crown Panaderia in Old Town in Albuquerque, New Mexico, an award-winning bakery and storefront restaurant. After evaluating several solutions, reportedly, Golden Crown installed four kitchen display stations equipped with Bematech's LS6000 KDS Controllers, KB1700 Bump Bars, and assorted monitors. As part of this upgrade, Golden Crown Panaderia also selected Restaurant Pro Express from pcAmerica (Pearl River, NY).
With compact footprint and two mounting tabs, Bematech's LS6000 has no moving mechanical parts, internal cables, disk drives, or fans. A heavy-duty die-cast case withstands the hazards of restaurant environments, and the module and the module draws less than 1.5 W. The KB1700 Bump Bar carries stainless steel switches that last for more than three million cycles and comes enclosed in highly durable, UV-resistant plastic that prevents color fading. When the customer orders at the counter, the system sends the data through one of three food prep stations through the LS6000--pizzas, sandwiches, or salads--reducing wait time and increasing consistency of delivered items, according to Chris Morales, Owner of Golden Crown Panaderia.
Bematech also announced its partnership with hospitality ISV, MicroSale (Las Vegas), which has integrated its solution to work with the SB9011D All-in-One POS. This fanless terminal has an Intel Dual Core CPU at 1.8 GHz and 4 GB RAM, as well as 15-inch resistive touchscreen, and limits the number of I/O ports to reduce cost. "Bematech recognizes the need for a low-cost, straight-forward point of sale solution in the hospitality industry," remarked Wladimir Alvarez, President of the International Division of Bematech, which is based in Brazil.
Golden Crown Panaderia in Albuquerque's Old Town Adopts Bematech KDS and pcAmerica POS
Online shopping remains the topic of discussion for many, but major retailers surveyed by TimeTrade reveal in-store sales are still driving an overwhelming majority of revenue and will continue to do so over the next twelve months. However, mobile purchases should double over the next year as the debate shifts from e-commerce vs. brick-and-mortar to how online, mobile, and physical channels work together to influence purchases. And it's not about price, at least not entirely. According to 68% of retailers surveyed, the best way to combat showrooming is by improving the in-store experience or making it easier for customers to quickly find what they're looking for. A more personalized customer experience represents the number-one thing lacking today, according to 60%. Moreover, the role of retail associate continues to evolve: 80% of retailers surveyed feel sales increase by 25% to 50% when customers are assisted by product experts. Finally, more than two-thirds of retailers report that customers expect service in five minutes or less or they will abandon the purchase and shop elsewhere. "Showrooming and price matching are real challenges, but they're causing retailers to lose focus of what really matters," concluded Gary Ambrosino, President of TimeTrade. "Whether the customer actually buys or just browses--in-store or elsewhere--hinges on the retailer's ability to make that customer feel valued, to give then undivided attention, and to quickly connect them with the very best resource to help them find what they need, when, where, and how they need it."
A Silver Lining for LightSpeed's Cloud
LightSpeed (Montreal), one of the leading purveyors of Apple-based POS, has enlisted Kevin Falk as its Chief Technology Officer. Falk comes from Vivonet, which he co-founded and served as CTO. At Vivonet, he designed and created Halo, one of the very first web-based POS solutions for the restaurant industry. He also was responsible for Zata, the sales intelligence platform and benchmarking tool for the retail and hospitality industries.
"Kevin is a strong and proven industry talent, with the expertise and leadership skills required to oversee the future growth of LightSpeed's technology platform," commented Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of LightSpeed. "Further, Kevin's track record in product strategy, development, and innovation will be instrumental as we continue to build the next generation of retail tools to enable our clients to deliver the ultimate customer engagement." No stranger to the cloud, prior to POS, Falk built Autoprise, Inc., supplier of web-based collision shop management solutions, which was sold to an unspecified mid-cap publicly traded company in 2006.
Just recently, LightSpeed launched LightSpeed Cloud, its new web-based inventory management and POS package. As basis for this platform, LightSpeed acquired Merchant OS (Olympia, WA), an ISV in POS, and subsequently rebranded its technology and began the transition for its 2,400 existing customers. LightSpeed Cloud joins LightSpeed Retail, the company's flagship POS for Apple. With an eye towards the U.S., LightSpeed has established offices in SoHo in New York City, where many of its installations are located.
Kevin Falk, CTO, LightSpeed
Panini Gets New Topping
Panini (Dayton, OH and Torino, Italy), one of the leading players in check capture systems, has promoted Michael Pratt to CEO. He replaces John O'Malley, who has left the company to pursue other interests. "Michael has earned the respect of our key stakeholders, including customers, partners, employees, and shareholders," recounted Stefano Cassina of Panini's Board of Directors. "We are delighted to entrust the leadership of Panini to his capable hands."
Pratt joined Panini in July 2007 as Director of Marketing for North America. Promoted to Global Chief Marketing Officer in March 2009, he helped drive expansion and diversification, according to the company. Prior to Panini, Pratt served in successful senior executive roles with Standard Register, AT&T, and NCR.
"I am absolutely thrilled to be entrusted with the leadership of this outstanding company," relayed Pratt. "Our focus will be on market driven execution with an unwavering commitment to customer centricity. Our strategy will be based on optimized execution in our core business of payments truncation, combined with accelerated development of solutions in emerging payment markets. We have the customer base, channel partners, talent, assets, brand, quality, and technical innovation to achieve new milestones in the continuation of Panini's remarkable sixty-eight-year history."
Michael Pratt, CEO, Panini
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