Our Product Pick
UTC Retail (Rochester, NY) has unboxed its 2190 All-in-One POS. With 15" resistive or projected-capacitive touchscreen, and Intel Skylake Dual-Core CPU at 2 GHz, the 2190 features fanless, bezel-free design, and Windows O/S. A full suite of ports includes USB 3.0 x 4, USB 2.0 x 2, RS-232 x 3, LAN x 1, Cash Drawer x 1, and VGA x 1. Overall, it measures 15 in. (W) x 8.9 in. (D) x 12.6 in. (H). Optional features include SATA or SSD, an integrated customer display, secondary 10" customer-facing display, and MSR. "The 2190 extends our long-standing history of delivering truly durable POS platforms to the retail marketplace," proclaimed Sam Villanti, President and CEO of UTC Retail.
UTC Retail's Model 2190 POS
EVO-lution for Sterling Payment
Another testament to the key role of integrated payments: Sterling Payment Technologies (Tampa, FL) has been brought into the fold of EVO Payments (Melville, NY). Founded in 2001, Sterling has been one of the most active payment processors in the channel for POS, focusing on VARs and ISVs. (For its part, EVO has presented "Snap.") "We are excited to bring our existing merchant customers as well as our product offerings and network of dealers and distributors to EVO," shared Paul Hunter, President and CEO of Sterling Payment Technologies.
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. According to early reports, Paul Hunter will continue to manage the Sterling team, which will be responsible for EVO's integrated solutions offerings in the U.S., and will continue to operate as Sterling Payment Technologies. Hunter also joins the executive team at EVO, as champion of integrated payments. [Editor's Note: And consolidation continues, as Moneris U.S. was bought by Vantiv in 2015.]
"With a focus on innovation and service, the combined companies will work together to provide POS dealers, resellers, developers, and merchants with the most advanced payment solutions in the market," declared James Kelly, CEO of EVO. "In addition, connecting Sterling to our global processing infrastructure enables us to seamlessly export Sterling's product capabilities to our international markets. Importantly, we can also support Sterling's existing partners by providing them with opportunities to expand outside of the U.S. I am delighted to welcome Paul Hunter and his team to the EVO organization."
James Kelly, CEO, EVO Payments, New Owner of Sterling Payment Technologies
Elo Pulls It Together
Elo (Milpitas, CA) has combined peripherals to form its new point-of-sale/self-order kiosk solution, under the banner of mPOS. At its center, it employs the company's I-Series projected-capacitive touchscreens, in 10" or 15" Android or Windows. In addition, it adds 3" thermal receipt printer (Star Micronics' TSP100 or TSP650, or Epson America's TM-88), two-dimensional scanner (Honeywell's N3680), and credit-card cradle (for Verifone's e355 or Ingenico's iCMP). As specifications, Elo's I-Series has Qualcomm Snapdragon ARM Quad-Core CPU at 1.7 GHz, 2-GB RAM, 16-GB Flash, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.
Using the "flip" philosophy for the touchscreen, in order to accommodate use by the customer or sales associate, as well as integrated cable management, Elo's mPOS conserves counterspace. It offers electronic signature capture and the opportunity for upselling and digital promotion capability. In addition to price check, the two-dimensional scanner reads mobile phone screens for in-store loyalty coupons. Its printer and card reader may be placed in associate-facing or customer-facing orientations.
"Demand for self-service is growing, and retailers are looking for practical ways to leverage popular point-of-sale peripherals," remarked Craig Witsoe, CEO of Elo. "Our customers will love the simplicity, practicality, and aesthetics of this new platform." With this system, retailers can provision content and manage devices remotely via its centralized web portal, Elo noted. In addition, Elo's cloud-based management software, EloView, can lock down the O/S. Elo, of course, also offers its sleek, payment-processor-friendly PayPoint All-in-One.
Elo's POS/Kiosk Bundle for mPOS
Worth Your While
NRF's Big Show
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Equinox Heats Up
Equinox Payments (Phoenix, AZ and Toronto, Canada) has unwrapped its new modular terminal, entitled the Luxe 6000m. In smartphone size, designed for versatility, with 32-bit, 500-MHz CPU, it supports an array of communications: multi-port cable, Bluetooth BLE 4.2, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and 4G LTE, and combinations of each. Power is supplied via wired connection or battery module, with optional integrated receipt printer. The range of payment schemes are addressed: magnetic-stripe reader (MSR), EMV, and NFC. Significantly, Luxe 6000m meets PCI PTS 5.0.
"The Luxe 6000m extends a consistent customer experience wherever payment happens: at the checkout, in the aisle, tableside, or on the road," indicated Rob Hayhow, VP of Equinox Payments. "Payment and value-added applications are leveraged across the entire Luxe product family, reducing the complexities associated with certifying and supporting multiple purpose-built devices." At last year's National Retail Federation (NRF) Show in New York, Equinox debuted its Luxe 8000i terminal, with horizontal layout and 5" or 7" touch display.
Also, Equinox Payments has added industry veteran Bohdan Myroniw as its VP of Strategic Alliances. Prior to Equinox, Myroniw served as Director of Business Development for Verifone's AJB Division from 2002 to 2016. Before that, he was Associate Director for Fujitsu Consulting. "I'm thrilled to be joining Equinox at such a pivotal point in the company's trajectory," enthused Myroniw. "The Luxe product family is a true game-changer and I am looking forward to working with such a talented team as we engage our partners and help them implement an improved customer experience wherever payments happen."
Luxe 6000m Modular Payment Solution
Lift-Off at SpacePole
A holy trinity of mobility, customer engagement, and omnichannel retail has given rise to an increasing need for mounting and security solutions. A number of vendors have set their sights on our channel, prominent among them, SpacePole (Atlanta, GA). An arm of Ergonomic Solutions, which is based in the U.K. and manufactures its hardware in Denmark, SpacePole has fulfilled over five million installations, and in retail, has 60% of the Global Top 50. It will be exhibiting at this week’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Show in New York City.
Addressing both tablets and payment terminals, SpacePole offers the full range of modular enclosures, mounts, poles, and accessories. In speaking with RRN.Com, company spokespeople emphasized two products for the NRF Show: its new Dock & Charge and its Vario Sled. As its name describes, in fixed position, the Dock & Charge holds and refreshes an Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy. A lightweight casing, with necessary accessories for payments, the Vario Sled supports tablet-based "away from till" customer engagement. At NRF, SpacePole also will preview its new SpacePole Stack, RRN.Com was told.
"[Today’s retail] has put the consumer firmly in charge as the technology driver," according to SpacePole, "and solutions need to be found that maximize hardware investment at a time of almost continuous change. Tablets are now the platform of choice for enhanced in-store customer services. Ranging from mPOS to virtual merchandising, and all points in-between, they require technology mounting solutions to enable the applications that deliver the customer experience that today’s retailers are striving for."
A Sample of SpacePole’s Product Family
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Up in the Stars
Auto-Star Compusystems (Medicine Hat, AB, Canada) has signed up for AllReceipts from Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ). With this integration, Auto-Star's Star-Plus Software will be combined with Star's TSP100ECO 3" thermal receipt printer, and AllReceipts. A longtime player in the channel for POS, Auto-Star Compusystems addresses grocery, pharmacy, and natural/health retailers. AllReceipts was introduced in 2015, for use with any version of the Star TSP100.
With the addition of AllReceipts, customers store and manage their receipts digitally by scanning the receipt's QR Code. An e-mail address or other personal information is not required, and the app is free for download, with management of information in the cloud. Befitting its model number, the Star Micronics TSP100ECO has advanced power management circuitry for reduced energy consumption, while vertical and horizontal receipt compression reduce paper usage by up to 70%.
"We are very pleased to welcome Auto-Star to the growing list of POS application providers, who see the value in the ecosystem we are creating," related David Salisbury, VP of Sales and Marketing at Star Cloud Services, Inc. "With shoppers being encouraged to forgo their wallets, and instead use their phones when shopping, adding a digital receipt service that works on the one device you never leave at home simply makes sense." Added Robert Symmonds, President and CEO of Auto-Star, "Integration was simple and painless for our developers and our customers are enthusiastic to start using the solution."
Auto-Star Compusystems Added to Roster of ISVs for Star Micronics' AllReceipts
[Editor's Note: Also, Star Cloud Services has partnered with loyalty provider, Thirdshelf (Montreal, Canada). "Together with SCS, Thirdshelf is developing the first benchmarking framework for relational retail," stated Antoine Azar, CTO of Thirdshelf. "Independent merchants will, for the first time, be able to see how they stack up to other similar businesses and will receive automated guidance from Thirdshelf's marketing bot on how to improve."]
Swipe, Dip, or Tap Your Points
A handy way to pay with loyalty points has been configured by Verifone (San Jose, CA) and Fidelity Information Services (Jacksonville, FL). It links an app, Verifone Points Redemption, to an existing plan, the FIS Premium Payback Network. Merchants may download the app from the cloud-based Verifone Commerce Platform, enlisting the participation of third-party loyalty providers, and consumers pay with loyalty points linked to their credit or debit cards at the POS--swipe, dip, or tap.
Under this scheme, the Verifone device automatically prompts the consumer when enough points are available to pay for their items, eliminating "the hassle of vouchers or ordering gift cards." A yes-or-no prompt is quick and easy and specifically designed not to slowdown the checkout process, according to the two parties. The connection between Verifone and FIS is being powered by the "Coin" payments hub by Modo (Richardson, TX). It will be demonstrated at this week's National Retail Federation (NRF) Show in New York City.
"We are helping merchants and consumers realize the value of loyalty programs by bringing points redemption to the shopping experience right where it counts--at the checkout," expounded Glen Robson, EVP of Verifone Solutions. "With FIS' loyalty solution accessible through the cloud on our devices, merchants have a simple way to enhance the checkout experience by offering their customers immediate savings on in-store purchases using points." At present, the FIS loyalty network includes thousands of gas stations and 8.5 million consumers.
Verifone Points Redemption Now Supported by FIS
Squirrel Systems (Burnaby, BC, Canada) has completed certifications for EMV with solutions from multiple gateway providers, including Cayan, Datacap, Elavon, Merchant Link, Shift 4 Corporation, and Vantiv. With connection to multiple banks and processors, this integration also supports the variety of payment devices from major manufacturers, spanning Chip-and-PIN and Chip-and-Signature, whether wired or wireless. It also supports Apple Pay and Android Pay NFC. "Squirrel is proud to have partnered with leading gateway providers to give EMV solutions in the U.S.," volunteered Joe Cortese, VP of Product Development at Squirrel Systems. "As a leader in Canada successfully implementing EMV for many years, our customers can trust our proven technology platform. Another benefit of working with Squirrel is the knowledge we can share with our customers about optimizing the operational impact when using an EMV payment solution, making it easy for staff and guests alike."
A Know-It-All Store by Zebra
As another step in its steady march to the Internet of Things (IoT), Zebra Technologies (Lincolnshire, IL) has unveiled its smart store, employing technology designated as "SmartSense for Retail." It combines UHF RFID, video, and micro-location to identify and track inventory, employees, and customers in real-time. An associated analytics engine processes data to facilitate optimal stocking levels, detect and identify misplaced merchandise or assets, pinpoint theft, and enhance store promotions and product placement activities.
"In today's omnichannel world, product availability is critical," advised Bob Sanders, SVP and GM of Data Capture Solutions at Zebra. "Many retailers have in-store inventory visibility challenges, with perpetual inventory accuracy running at about 60%. This is simply not adequate to deliver a consistently satisfying customer experience. Successful retailers need to use every store and supply chain resource to immediately deliver what customers want and need. With 'SmartSense for Retail,' brick and mortar retailers can gain visibility that's truly visionary--helping them immediately locate merchandise and respond to customer requests, while reducing missed sales opportunities."
In support of this lofty goal, SmartSense for Retail employs four purposely-placed sensors, all based on RFID: Backroom, Transition Point, Sensing Network Appliance, and Point-of-Sale Lane. In order to track employees and customers, as well as inventory and mobile devices, the Sensing Network Appliance adds video to RFID. A trio of applications, supported by centralized management console, includes Inventory Management, Omnichannel Enablement, and Loss Prevention. Increased store sales are estimated at 20%. All this falls under Zebra's self-proclaimed "Enterprise Asset Intelligence" (EAI).
Employees and Customers Tracked by Zebra's SmartSense for Retail
Counting to 10 at StayLinked
In what it claims to be an industry first, StayLinked Corporation (Tustin, CA) has released its Terminal Emulation for Windows 10. In support of the Universal Windows Platform--which spans Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile--StayLinked TE appears in the Windows App Store. It will be accompanied by StayLinked SmartTE for Windows 10, which transforms "green screens," scheduled for Q1 2017. Already certified are devices from Honeywell, Zebra Technologies, and Panasonic.
"We're excited about working with Microsoft to bring Terminal Emulation to a whole new range of devices," observed Dan Hogan, President of StayLinked. "The idea behind the Universal Windows Platform is that you can run the same application across multiple devices, something we've espoused for years. We're thrilled to fulfill customers' need for this Windows 10 TE."
Unveiling host-based, thin-client emulation in 2002, StayLinked has developed centralized session configuration, control, and management of wireless emulation sessions (Telnet/SSH), terminal emulation application modernization (SmartTE), and terminal-emulation-related business intelligence (StayLinked iQ). It supports DOS, Windows CE, and Windows Mobile, as well as iOS and Android. Earlier this year, StayLinked hired Kevin Hoostal, formerly of Psion-Teklogix (now part of Zebra) and LXE (now part of Honeywell) as its Channel Development Director.
StayLinked Releases Terminal Emulation for Windows 10
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Mounts for POS
A Winged Oracle
Oracle Retail (Redwood City, CA) will deploy its Xstore Point-of-Sale for the Red Wing Shoe Company. Named for its hometown of Red Wing, MN, this popular brand of work and hunting boots, made in the U.S., has approximately 450 locations and 170 mobile truck-based stores. It plans to increase this by 25% to 30% over the next five years. As integrator, Red Wing has chosen BTM Global (Minneapolis, MN).
"Oracle ensures our customer experience and retail operations are world class, and scales with us as fast as we are growing," reported Marc Kermisch, VP and CIO at Red Wing Shoes. "The Oracle Retail Xstore solution delivers rich functionality that reflects Oracle's deep retail focus. It works across mobile, tablet, and stationary platforms in a manner that is intuitive to our employees." In particular, inventory planning and order fulfillment becomes central in the case of the truck-based stores, which serve commercial job sites, according to Red Wing.
"Oracle empowers retailers to deliver a flexible, rich customer experience and to optimize retail operations across multi-store formats," indicated Ray Carlin, SVP and GM of Oracle Retail. "We are honored to be part of the success story at Red Wing Shoe Company, and we look forward to the company's growth as they bring their unique brand to more consumers worldwide." As readers will recall, Oracle purchased the former Micros Retail Xstore Java POS in 2014.
Red Wing Shoe Company Deploys Oracle Xstore POS
NEC's Big Gulp: TWINPOS G5100
NEC Corporation of America (Irving, TX) will be the new exclusive point-of-sale provider to 8,600 7-Eleven stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. With this, 7-Eleven becomes the first customer for the customized-for-Tier 1 TWINPOS G5100. As part of this solution, NEC also will offer full-service desk and maintenance support for the next five years. Its middleware collects operational status of the POS.
Offered in three configurations--desktop with 2x20 VFD, desktop with 10" customer-facing LCD, and pole-mount--the TWINPOS G5100 runs Windows 10 Iot. As processing, there's entry-level Intel Celeron J1900 CPU at 2.4 GHz, mid-range Intel Core i3 CPU at 2.7 GHz, and high-end Intel Core i5 CPU at 3.3 GHz. Additional features include 15" capacitive touchscreen with bezel-free design, full suite of ports (USB 2.0 x 4, Powered USB x 2, COM x 2, RJ-45 LAN, Cash Drawer x 1), and optional Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. Access to key components such as hard disk drive, random access memory, and power supply facilitate maintenance, according to the manufacturer.
"We wanted to reach tech-savvy customers with a POS system that would streamline operations and improve customer engagement," relayed Raj Kapoor, CIO and SVP at 7-Eleven. "Providing an engaging digital in-store experience is something we are investing in for the long-term and NEC has the best POS hardware and software to take us there." Added Shin Takahashi, CEO of NEC Corporation of America, "It is exciting to see our longstanding collaboration with 7-Eleven benefit stores in the U.S."
7-Eleven Gets Customized NEC TWINPOS G5100
All hail the CMO. According to Gartner's CMO Spend Survey 2016-2017, CMOs now oversee or heavily influence the customer experience, technology spending, and even P&L performance. In over 30% of respondents, some part of such critical functions report to the CMO. Extending the trend from the 2015-2016 survey, digital commerce continues to be an important driver of growth, and 62% of companies report digital commerce rolls up to the CMO. Almost half of respondents' sales teams (42%) report to the CMO (although most likely fractional responsibility). Further, marketers are now heavily dependent on technology, with 27% of their expense budget allocated to it, equal to 3.2% of overall revenue. (Compared with CIO technology spend of 3.4% of overall revenue.) Fully 75% of marketing leaders said they own or share responsibility for P&L, up from 73%. And not surprisingly, those marketers with P&L responsibility have 20% higher budgets. "Over the past several years, we've witnessed an expansion of the CMO mandate, from what was largely a promotional role to what is now often seen as the growth engine for the business," summarized Jake Sorofman, Research VP at Gartner.
Harbortouch Dials Up CDO
Harbortouch (Allentown, PA) has drafted Alex Bogachek, former VP of Engineering for Revel Systems, as its Chief Development Officer, or CDO, in charge of software. Prior to his role at Revel Systems, which spanned January 2013 to August 2016, Bogachek served as Director of Software Development and Technology for data center infrastructure management firm, SynapSense Corporation, preceded by Director of Enterprise Solutions and Senior Manager of Wireless Infrastructure at MERA. He has his MS Degree in Computer Science and MBA in Organizational Leadership from Nizhny Novgorod University in Russia.
"Over the past few years, Harbortouch has become an increasingly technology-focused company, with the release of innovative new POS software platforms and other complementary technology solutions," reflected Jared Isaacman, CEO of Harbortouch. " Mr. Bogachek will be a critical asset to the team as we take our efforts to the next level, improving our current products and developing exciting new technology solutions." At present, Harbortouch offers software/hardware bundles for Salon & Spa, Retail, Hospitality, QSR & Delivery, C-Store, and Spirits. It employs the "Free POS" model.
Alex Bogachek, Chief Development Officer, Harbortouch
He Sets Strategy for SS&T
Strategic Systems & Technology Corporation (Atlanta, GA), prominent reseller of mobility, barcoding, and RFID, has enlisted Joe Savino as its VP of Strategic Development. Savino joins SS&T after eight years with Zebra Technologies and Motorola Solutions. At Zebra, He served as Vertical Sales Manager, then Director of Sales, with particular focus on the manufacturing industry in the Eastern U.S. (January 2008 to December 2016).
"Joe's track record for successfully developing and executing sales strategies, combined with his vision for growing the organization, make him an invaluable addition to Strategic Systems," commented David Bissonnette, EVP at SS&T. "He is a talented and driven leader who shares Strategic's commitment to delivering substantial business value to our customers. I'm delighted to welcome him to our senior executive team."
"This is an exciting time for the company," contributed Savino. "Strategic has created a corporate culture that attracts great talent. This team has built a tremendous reputation with clients and industry partners alike. The organization is extremely well positioned to expand, both geographically and through new solutions. We have aggressive growth plans, and I'm pleased to help this effort."
Joe Savino, VP of Strategic Development, Strategic Systems & Technology Corporation
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