Our Product Pick
Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (Fort Mill, SC) has unveiled its new rugged mobile computer, the CK75. For flexibility, it supports both Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 or Android 6.0 Marshmallow. In dimensions of 9.3 in. (L) x 3.2 in. (W) x 2 in. (D), and weight of 19.75 oz. with battery, the CK75 has Texas Instruments Dual-Core OMAP CPU at 1.5 GHz, 2-GB RAM, and 16-GB Flash. It furnishes 3.5" touchscreen, high-performance two-dimensional imager, five-megapixel camera, and numeric or alphanumeric keys. It has Bluetooth Power Class 1.5, Version 4, and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. As ruggedness, the CK75 holds an IP-67 rating for water and dust, with 8-ft./2.4-m drop resistance. With heater-equipped offering, the CK75 can operate in cold storage and freezer environments.
Honeywell's CK75 Rugged Mobile Computer
Exhibiting Cubism at Bixolon
Bixolon America (Torrance, CA) has showcased its 3" cube-shaped receipt printer, christened the SRP-Q300. Shipping this spring, the SRP-Q300 has dimensions of approximately 5 x 5 x 5 inches and weight of 2.7 lbs., employing external power source. With thermal technology, and either top- or front-exiting configuration, it features print speed of 8.7 in./220 mm per second at 203 dpi. A triple interface provides USB 2.0/Ethernet/Bluetooth Low Energy Version 4. As an option, there's 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (and Bluetooth Class 1 MFi). As expected, it supports iOS, Android, and Windows, with Energy Star Certification.
"Online ordering is fueling significant growth in restaurants today," noted John Kim, Director of Marketing for Bixolon America. "The SRP-Q300 with B-Gate connectivity hub enables printing from web and cloud-based applications. So, all the restaurant has to do is attach the printer to the Internet and it prints online order receipts as they come in--with no PC or integration required. It's a very cost-effective way for smaller restaurants to support online ordering without a big hardware investment."
Designed to fit under the printer's base, B-Gate powers up to four peripherals via USB, such as cash drawers, barcode scanners, scales, customer-facing displays, and card readers (MSR/NFC). In addition, B-Gate enables wireless kitchen order and label printing by the company's impact and barcode models while simultaneous printing guest receipts at the POS. A cable for USB and tablet stand enable Mobile POS. A major player in the channel, Bixolon also promotes its lightweight mobile printer, the SPP-R210, and its receipt printer with "Liquid Barrier," the SRP-F310II.
Bixolon's SRP-Q300 Receipt Printer
All Aboard ExpressCloud, Urges OpenEdge
OpenEdge, the integrated payments branch of Global Payments (Atlanta, GA), which combines the former PayPros and Accelerated Payment Technologies, has launched its "EdgeExpress Cloud" for ISVs. An integration platform, designed to streamline payments integration with SaaS, Deployed, Mobile, and E-Commerce," EdgeExpress Cloud reduces software development cycles via its "feature rich" Application Programming Interface (API), according to OpenEdge. It extends "EdgeShield" by OpenEdge, which furnishes point-to-point encryption (P2PE), tokenization, EMV, PA-DSS 3.0, and "PCI Assure."
"EdgeExpress Cloud is the embodiment of a promise OpenEdge has made to our software development partners--to easily support their software and permit 'anytime-anywhere' commerce," relayed Sid Singh, Global Payments' President of Integrated Solutions and Vertical Markets. "Our engineers have developed a world-class platform accessible through very simple APIs that furthers our strategy of technology-led, software-driven payments innovation." At present, OpenEdge cites 2,000 technology partners across 60 industry verticals.
"As a long-time technology partner with OpenEdge, we've seen a variety of platforms and solutions. New West is extremely impressed with EdgeExpress Cloud," testified Dan King, President of ISV New West Technologies (Portland, OR). "This latest offering helps us embrace a future that will run on Cloud and Mobile. It gives us more control and fits a variety of software situations depending on how we choose to build our products." A focus on Microsoft Dynamics AX for New West Technologies.
Sid Singh, President of Integrated Solutions and Vertical Markets, Global Payments
Dan King, President of New West Technologies
Worth Your While
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Printronix' Seat at the Table
Printronix Auto ID (Brea, CA) has broken new ground for itself with its new thermal desktop label printer, designated the T400 (for 4"). In compact, clamshell design, measuring 7 in. (W) x 6.5 in. (H) x 7.6 in. (D) and weighing 4.3 lbs., the T400 features print speed of 6 in./152 mm per second at 203 dpi and 4 in./102 mm per second at 300 dpi. Notably, it incorporates 32-Bit RISC CPU, 64-MB RAM, and 128-MB Flash.
As print languages, there's EPL, ZPL, and ZPL2. As communications, standard USB 2.0, Serial RS-232, and Ethernet 10/100 Base T, with optional 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. A wide range of security protocols are cited (e.g., WEP 40/128, WPA PSK, Enterprise AES CCMP), along with large media roll diameter of 5". Indicators include transmissive gap sensor, black mark reflective sensor, and head open sensor. A rugged construction is cited, with one-year warranty.
"Introduction of the T400, our first desktop category offering, demonstrates our commitment to deliver on our pledge to bring our customers printing solutions with exceptional value," declared Plamen Petkov, GM at Printronix Auto ID. "The T400 is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of healthcare, retail, shipping, and receiving applications. We are thrilled by the opportunity it presents for us to expand our footprint."
T400 Desktop Barcode Printer From Printronix Auto ID
Scanner Lights Up Bematech
An enhanced one- and two-dimensional barcode scanner, stocked as S303D, has been unwrapped by Bematech U.S. (Bethpage, NY). In gun format, at 5 oz. and 7 in. (H) x 2.7 in. (W) x 4.2 in. (D), the S303D has manual or automatic trigger, bi-color indicators (red and blue), and 617-nm aiming/illumination LED. In addition, scan mode, interface mode, and beeper tone are programmable, with USB (selectable HID or Virtual COM), and supporting counter stand.
As depth of field, the S303D provides 2 in. to 5.5 in./50 mm to 140 mm for Code 39 (5-mil), and 1.8 in. to 13 in./40 mm to 330 mm for EAN 13 (5-mil). As optical system, it cites 1280 High x 80 Vertical Pixels; as print contrast, 30% @ UPC/EAN 100%; as scan angle, 38 degrees horizontal/24 degrees vertical. Additional benefits include low power consumption, drop resistance of 5 ft./1.5 m, and accompanying 6-ft./2-m cable.
"An omnidirectional reading design eliminates the need to align barcodes with the scan pattern or pause between scans," indicated Bematech. "Fast point-and-shoot scanning is possible even on damaged and poorly printed barcodes [or cell phone screens]. The over-molded housing and secured cable protects the 2D scanner from drops and shock damage." With this release, the Bematech S302D has been discontinued.
S303D 2D Scanner From Bematech
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Epson: Onward With OmniLink
A pair of new partners for the embedded-PC, "smart printer" OmniLink technology from Epson America (Long Beach, CA). Addressing digital ordering by restaurant customers, the first, Onosys (Cleveland, OH), has entered Epson's OmniLink Merchant Services (OMS) Platform. Debuted in 2016, and based in the cloud, OMS has assembled an ecosystem of "value-add" ISVs in inventory, merchandising, workforce management, loss prevention, social media, and, of course, POS. In addition to Onosys, this includes DTT Surveillance, Expensify, Fishbowl, GuestDNA, GuestMetrics Livelenz, Mobivity, NimbleSchedule, PnP Loyalty, 7Shifts, Spendgo, Tacit Innovations, and Transaction Tree.
"Onosys is Epson's first OMS certified digital ordering partner and we are in the process of rolling out our integrated solution to several major restaurant brands today," reported Gregg Brunnick, Director of Product Management for POS Printers and Robotics at Epson America. "These brands will have the ability to leverage Onosys' fully customizable, enterprise-wide, digital ordering platform, along with advanced analytics, sourced from our OmniLink receipt printer data, and independent of their system for POS." Started in 2003, Onosys serves Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, and Boston Pizza. It provides ordering, loyalty, and payments, with $1 billion in total food sales.
In the second case, prominent provider of tablet POS, Lavu (Albuquerque, NM), has certified Epson's TM-U220-i OmniLink for use as Kitchen Display System (KDS) Controller. In May 2016, readers may recall, Epson leveraged two of its most popular printer models, one impact (TM-U220-i) and one thermal (TM-T88V-i), for use as OmniLink KDS. In addition, it debuted proprietary KDS Application Software and Configuration Utilities. In so-called "Direct-Connect" KDS, targeted at small restaurants, these models, in Version VGA, plug directly into the monitor. Designed for larger operations, in "Multi-Station KDS," TM-U220-i and TM-T88V-i, Version COM, draw upon the new OmniLink-i Expansion Box to serve up to nine kitchen posts (e.g., Hot, Cold, Drink, Dessert). "We have been working closely with Epson since the pre-release of the KDS solution to ensure Lavu would be ready," shared Steve Brown, Director of Sales at Lavu.
OmniLink TM-U220-i for Kitchen Display System by Epson America
New Currents at Harbortouch
Interesting moves by Harbortouch. First, it has enlisted cloud-based purchasing and inventory control of food supplies by Sarbari. It will be offered as an add-on for Harbortouch POS, with an additional monthly charge for end-users, based on functionality, RRN.Com was told. Founded in 2009 by food distribution veteran Sebastian Serra, Sarbari automatically generates purchase orders and consolidates the back-office in this area. Both firms are based in Allentown, PA.
"One of our goals as a company is to work with other technology innovators to provide our customers with tools that complement the POS systems and payment processing services we're delivering," related Brian Jones, EVP of Sales and Marketing at Harbortouch. "Sarbari fits the bills perfectly, and Harbortouch customers that utilize both products will see results they can measure and improve upon every month." A pioneering proponent of "POS-as-a-Service," Harbortouch charges monthly for software, hardware, installation, and support--with no upfront cost--and associated payment processing.
Also, Harbortouch has allied itself with TouchTunes (New York, NY), one of the leading in-venue music and entertainment platforms, currently employed at 65,000 bars and restaurants in the U.S. "We are excited to bring this unique new business opportunity to our operators," enthused Ross Honey, President and CEO of TouchTunes. "Harbortouch is a leader in their market and they are the perfect partner for our operators who can now offer their venues an affordable way to upgrade their business to state-of-the-art POS."
Sarbari Purchasing and Inventory Control System
ThingMagic, now part of Jadak (Syracuse, NY), has enhanced its ThingMagic UHF RFID with updated firmware and expanded functionality for its Mercury Application Programming Interface (API). Specifically, support has been added for "bare metal" processors--simple micro-controllers that do not have an O/S--as well as popular prototyping platforms such as Arduino and the cleverly dubbed Raspberry Pi. Additionally, the Mercury API has been extended to allow programming of license keys. This update includes numerous improvements in technology: tighter duty cycle control, increased number of logical antennas, "on-the-fly" control of reader parameters, truncation of Gen 2 EPC, more defense against ghost tags, save/restore of radio hop to avoid interference, and configurable metadata fields. The Mercury API supports Java, C++, and C. "Our upgraded module firmware and expanded functions improve developer and user ease for better control and greater flexibility--along with greater throughput," suggested Harinath Reddy, Director of RFID Innovation at Jadak.
ThingMagic Mercury 6e UHF RFID Module
Sterling RPowers Up
Sterling Payment Technologies (Tampa, FL) has partnered with RPOWER Point of Sale (Scottsdale, AZ) to offer integrated EMV for hospitality. Utilizing the popular combination of NETePay Middleware from Datacap (Chalfont, PA) and the VX 805 Terminal from Verifone (San Francisco, CA), this solution, handily, includes tip adjustment. In recent years, Sterling has been one of the most active payment processors in the channel for POS, while, for its part, RPOWER has addressed foodservice as an ISV since 1994.
"Sterling is proud to be partnering with RPOWER to deliver an innovative and secure EMV solution to the market," contributed Rich Peterson, President of the Integrated Point of Sale Division at Sterling Payment Technologies. "Protecting our customers' data will always be our top priority. We're committed to providing EMV solutions that are secure, dependable, and easy to deploy." Added Jami Interdonato, VP of Business Development at RPOWER Point of Sale, "Sterling makes EMV compliance easy and affordable for users of RPOWER."
In January 2017, Sterling Payment Technologies was acquired by another aggressive payment processor, EVO Payments (Melville, NY). A continuation of the trend started by the purchase of Mercury Payment Systems by Vantiv in 2014, followed closely by the purchase of PayPros and Accelerated Payment Technologies by Global Payments. And such consolidation continues, as Moneris USA was bought by Vantiv in 2015. (Just this week, Clearent (Clayton, MO) completed its buy of Payment Alliance International's (PAI) Merchant Services Division.)
Rich Peterson, President of the Integrated Point of Sale Division, Sterling Payment Technologies
A Stitch in Time for Lightspeed
Another reach into inventory for one of the players in iOS POS, with Lightspeed (Montreal, Canada) soliciting the services of Stitch Labs (San Francisco, CA). An operations platform encompassing sales, purchasing, and fulfillment, in the cloud, as expected, Stitch Labs "will allow our customers to expand into new channels," according to Jean-Paul Chauvet, President at Lightspeed. As examples of breadth, Stitch Labs ties to e-commerce (e.g., Amazon, Magento, Shopify), other point-of-sale (e.g., SparkPay, Square, Vend), shipping/delivery (e.g., DCL Logistics, ShipStation, SPS Commerce), and accounting (e.g., In Dinero, Xero, QuickBooks).
"This partnership enables us to help the tens of thousands of retailers who rely on Lightspeed to improve their inventory management with our seamless operations command center," emphasized Brandon Levey, CEO at Stitch Labs. "Together, we can serve as forward-thinking partners to retailers who want automated systems to streamline their operations so they can focus on strategic planning, customer satisfaction, and growing their businesses." Interestingly, Lightspeed was founded in 2005 to address Mac POS. In March 2016, it debuted its Lightspeed eCom for the SMB in North America (the former SEOshop).
As an early beneficiary, Lightspeed cited footwear purveyor, Freda Salvador (San Francisco, CA). "We started working with Lightspeed because of their multi-warehousing functionality, which was critical to the launch of our second store in Los Angeles," recounted Theresa Luke, Operations Manager at Freda Salvador. "Stitch is going to give us even more transparency and visibility into managing Lightspeed amongst our other channels as it centralizes our systems and data."
Inventory Management by Stitch Labs
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A High IQ for Infinea
A significant play by Infinite Peripherals, Inc. (Elk Grove Village, IL), in the form of enterprise-grade "mobile peripheral management," entitled "InfineaIQ." With InfineaIQ, customers can supervise their deployments of attached Infinite Peripheral devices from one central console, resulting in higher visibility, increased control, and reduced support costs. As many readers will recall, Infinite Peripherals was early out of the gate with processing/scanning sleds for Apple iOS. Its family includes Infinea Tab, Infinea Tab M, Infinea X, Infinea Omni, and Infinea mPOS (and Linea Pro).
In the cloud, of course, InfineaIQ supplies diagnostics and resulting analytics. It may be tailored to any workflow by customizing the data, device views, reports, and brand elements, according to Infinite Peripherals. Suitable for "10's, 100's, or 1000's of peripherals," it facilitates asset management through automatic data collection and update assignment tags. Analytics is supported by metadata and IQ Extensions.
"[Whether for] supply chain management, inventory management, or Mobile POS, having full visibility into mobile peripheral devices is something that our customers require to be successful when running mission-critical business workflows," observed Jeff Scott, CEO and Co-Founder of Infinite Peripherals. "The InfineaIQ solution will provide our customers with the ability to centrally track assets and collect statistical information, as well as remotely update firmware and configuration settings on connected peripherals. This all results in improved uptimes and lower total cost of ownership for our customers."
Mobile Peripheral Management Via InfineaIQ
Customer Engagement of the A.I. Kind
Punchh (Mountain View, CA) has brought so-called chatbot technology, and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), to its customer engagement platform. By mimicking human conversation, this allows consumers to earn and redeem points with restaurant loyalty programs and order food through systems such as Facebook Messenger and Amazon's Alexa. It readily supports third-party apps and the merchant's existing system for POS, according to Punchh.
"Consumers love to use messaging and voice-based apps," elaborated Shyam Rao, CEO of Punchh. "With our new technology, we are meeting consumers where they already are and offering an entirely new way to connect and engage with their favorite restaurants. And this is only the beginning of what is possible for restaurants using chatbot technology." In the future, he predicts advances in payments, consumer feedback, and delivery of entertainment in restaurants from messaging apps.
"We see chatbots as the next big thing in restaurant loyalty programs," contributed Jeff Zuckerman, CMO of fast-casual chain (with 46 sites in 11 states), PizzaRev. "We are extremely pleased to be one of the first to embrace this cutting-edge technology, and believe it is going to give us a fun, new, relevant way to connect with our customers. We look forward to rolling it out soon." At present, Punchh serves 75 restaurant chains, among them TGI Fridays, Moe's Southwest Grill, Quiznos, and Smashburger.
Customer Loyalty Platform by Punchh
According to the 2017 Retail Vision Study, sponsored by Zebra Technologies Corporation, nearly 70% of store decision makers are ready to make changes to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT), and 65% plan to invest in automation technologies for inventory management and planogram compliance by 2021. Retailers are looking to create the necessary seamless shopper experience, with 78% reporting it's important or business-critical to integrate e-commerce and brick-and-mortar. To speed checkout, retailers are planning to invest in mobile devices, kiosks, and tablets to increase payment options. Along such lines, 87% of retailers will deploy Mobile POS by 2021. In addition, 73% of retailers rate managing big data as important or business-critical to their operations. By 2021, at least 75% of retailers anticipate investing in predictive and software analytics for loss prevention and price optimization, along with cameras and video surveillance. Per this survey, the top sources of shopper dissatisfaction include inconsistent pricing between stores and the inability to find desired items, whether out-of-stock or misplaced within the store. In response, 72% of retailers plan to fix such issues by reinventing their supply chains with "real-time visibility" enabled by automation, sensors, and analytics. Finally, 57% of retailers believe automation will re-shape the industry by 2021--helping retailers pack and ship orders, track inventory, check in-store inventory levels, and assist customers in finding items. "Every inch of the retail industry is changing, from the aisles of the warehouse to the shelves of the store," observed Jeff Schmitz, SVP and CMO at Zebra. For the 2017 Retail Vision Study, 1,700 executives were contacted from North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.
Band of Brothers
Brother Mobile Solutions (Westminster, CO) has engaged Greg Korovilas as its new Distribution Sales Manager in the U.S. Prior to Brother, Korovilas worked for Panasonic System Communications Co. (September 2007 to December 2016) in such roles as National Sales Manager of Distribution & NSP Channels, Team Leader of the DMR Channel, and CDW Lead and Senior Partner Account Manager for Channel. At Panasonic, he managed more than $400 million in annual business with their distribution partners. He will be based in Chicago, IL.
"We feel fortunate to have Greg because his skill-set and particular level of channel expertise aligns well with our strategic development plan," commented Greg O'Connell, VP of Sales at Brother Mobile Solutions. "In his short time here, he has already proven to be an asset to our team." In its portfolio, Brother offers its RuggedJet 3 Series, RuggedJet 4 Series, PocketJet 7 Series, TD-2000 Desktop, and QL Label Series.
Greg Korovilas, Distribution Sales Manager, Brother Mobile Solutions
Au Revoir, Jacques; Bonjour, Michel
A change at the top for BlueStar Canada (Montreal), with VP of Sales Michel Sirois elevated to President, following the retirement of Jacques Lapierre. A founder of Intellico, which became BlueStar Canada in 2002, after two dozen years of operation, Lapierre will continue to serve as an advisor. In describing Sirois, he cited "a strong sense of ethics, which is a requirement to be successful in distribution." He added, "Michel is also a long-term friend and his success is dear to me."
Sirois joined BlueStar Canada in January 2014 as VP of Sales. Previously, he served as Canadian Sales Manager (November 2010 to December 2013) and Regional Sales Manager for Eastern Canada (July 2008 to November 2010) for Motorola Solutions (now, of course, Zebra Technologies). He began his career as Sales and Marketing Manager for VAR Industrial Marking Systems (June 1993 to July 2007).
"We are excited to welcome such a seasoned executive as Michel Sirois to the Board of BlueStar Canada," remarked Steve Cuntz, President and CEO of BlueStar (Hebron, KY). "As a VP of Sales for Canada, his influence on our growth and his key sales initiatives had impacts throughout our organization. As we continue to shape the organization to better support our partners, his extensive experience in the channel, both at the reseller and the vendor level, will be a tremendous asset to BlueStar Canada." Ideally, 10% of sales should come from Canada, RRN.Com was told.
Michel Sirois, President, BlueStar Canada
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