Our Product Pick
Denso ADC (Long Beach, CA) has shipped its new handheld wireless UHF RFID terminal, the BHT-1281. Weighing 1.3 lbs., with pistol grip, it furnishes simultaneous scanning of multiple tags, scanning in 360 degrees, and scanning of tags facing in different directions, according to the vendor--with range of 16 ft./5 m. (It also reads barcodes.) It runs Windows Embedded CE 6.0, with ARM Cortex A8 CPU at 800 MHz, 512-MB RAM, and 2-GB ROM. Features include Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11 Wi-Fi, 3.5" color display, 35 keys, and eight-hour Li-Ion batteries. "Our BHT-1281 RFID terminal offers outstanding performance in a cost-effective package," enthused David Keller, Sales Manager at Denso ADC.
Denso BHT-1281 RFID Reader
Posiflex's First KIS
With an eye towards today's customer expectations, and tomorrow's Internet of Things (IoT), Posiflex will purchase one of the heavyweights in self-service solutions, Kiosk Information Systems (Louisville, CO). Under terms of this cash transaction, Posiflex will pay approximately $105 million. "By combining Posiflex's and Kiosk Information Systems' dual-value proposition, we are confident in emerging as the leader in this growing market [i.e., for collection and utilization of data from the POS]," commented Owen Chen, CEO of Posiflex (New Taipei City, Taiwan).
Of particular importance, Posiflex cited the end-to-end capabilities of Kiosk Information Systems, which encompasses engineering, manufacturing, software development, and field services. A broad portfolio of standard and custom models by Kiosk Information Systems are currently deployed among Top 100 retailers and Fortune 500 companies across the range of self-service vertical markets. No operation or organizational restructuring is expected as part of this transaction, according to Posiflex. Tom Weaver, CEO of Kiosk Information Systems, will now sit on the Board of Directors for both Posiflex and Kiosk Information Systems.
"We firmly believe that joining forces with Posiflex fully supports our growth objectives and represents the best interests of our customers and employees," asserted Weaver. "Having overnight access to Posiflex's international presence and complementary technology resources adds distinct competitive advantage and differentiation. This combined scale opens new doors to growing world markets and further advances Kiosk's ability to provide comprehensive and state-of-the-art solutions."
Thin Man Self-Service Station by Kiosk Information Systems, Now Part of Posiflex
Atop POSBANK: Apexa G
POSBANK USA (Carson, CA) has unwrapped its newest terminal for POS, dubbed Apexa G. With 15" projected-capacitive touchscreen, and bezel-free, fanless design, it brings Intel Celeron Quad-Core J1900 CPU at 2 GHz, 4-GB RAM, and SSD. In keeping with today's style, it mirrors the look of tablets, with very thin profile for the display, rather than traditional POS.
As differentiation for the Apexa G, Greg Feeback, VP of Sales and Marketing for the Americas at POSBANK USA, cited I/O ports located on the top for better cable management, three-year depot warranty (with one-year advanced exchange), black or white casing, and pedestal and wall-mountable options. As I/O, there's 6 x USB, 5 x Serial, 1 x Ethernet, and 1 x VGA. An expansion module is offered.
With overall dimensions of 14.3 in. (W) x 13.1 in. (H) x 8.3 in. (D), and weight of 11.7 lbs., Apexa G has an MSRP of $1,160 (with O/S, MSR, and Shipping). As O/S, there's Windows 7, Windows 8.1, POS Ready 7, and Windows 10. A full range of peripherals are offered, including customer-facing displays (2x20 VFD and 10", 12", 15" LCDs). "A definite game changer," in the words of Feeback. An i5 version will be forthcoming.
New Apexa G Terminal From POSBANK USA
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A Busy Day for Bixolon
Bixolon America (Torrance, CA) has unboxed its next-generation thermal 3" receipt printer, the SRP-330II. It replaces the SRP-330. Upgrades include dual (USB 2.0 + Serial, USB 2.0 + Parallel, USB 2.0 + SD) or triple (USB 2.0 + Ethernet + Serial) interface models, print speed of 8.6 inch/220 mm per second, and print resolution choice of 180 dpi (Model SRP-330II) or 203 dpi (Model SRP-332II). Physically, the SRP-330II measures 5.7 in. (W) x 7.8 in. (L) x 5.7 in. (D) and weighs 3 lbs., with anti-jam guide, auto-cutter, drop-in paper loading, and typical sensors for paper end, cover open.
"Our goal was to design a hassle-free and cost-efficient POS solution that offers low TCO throughout the printer's lifetime, which I believe we've accomplished," reported John Kim, Marketing Director at Bixolon America. "We've included a paper-saving mode that reduces the overall length of the receipt. An added feature of the SRP-330II is 'Easy Tracking,' a label plate located on the bottom of the printer which supports a QR Code that links to a technical support site."
A busy season for Bixolon America, which also has debuted two thermal label printers: the 2" SLP-TX220 and 4" SLP-DL410. SLP-TX220 has print speed of 6 inch/152 mm per second and resolution of 203 or 300 dpi. SLP-DL410 has print speed of 5 inch/127 mm per second and resolution of 203 or 300 dpi. Both have features such as Smart Media Detection, Smart Bluetooth Auto Switch, Apple MFi Certification, and Bixolon Label Artist.
Bixolon Ships Enhanced SRP-330II
TMS: Get Your Groovv On
Another payment processor, Total Merchant Services (Woodland Hills, CA), has solicited VARs and ISVs in POS. Under its "Groovv" brand, TMS now offers two versions of POS: An All-in-One (via Elo's PayPoint) and so-called "Flex" (via Samsung's Galaxy Tab E). A longtime player in payments, TMS currently handles $12 billion in charges annually. Significantly, it recently exhibited at the RetailNow Show of the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) in Grapevine, TX. Target: SMBs.
Elo's PayPoint, or Groovv All-in-One, integrates flip-to-sign 13" touchscreen, receipt printer, cash drawer, barcode scanner, card swipe with EMV/NFC, and customer-facing display--in one sleek white casing with 13.5 in. x 15.7 in. footprint. All three systems--iOS, Android, and Windows--may be accommodated. More downstream, Groovv Flex collects Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6" touchscreen, an EMV/NFC payment device, and metallic, foldable, portable stand. Software spans checkout, inventory, reporting, and customer relationship management (CRM).
"We know many merchants have considered upgrading from classic registers and terminals to advanced point-of-sale systems, but they think they can't afford a solution or don't have the time to deploy and learn a complicated system," postulated Joe Kaplan, CEO of Total Merchant Services. "That's why we've made it easy and very affordable--even free in many cases--for merchants to implement our Groovv POS." Suggested price for the Groovv All-in-One is $1,395 for up to 5,000 SKUs (exclusive of set-up fee); for Groovv Flex, $649 for up to 5,000 SKUs (exclusive of set-up fee). Groovv POS Software, with rewards and loyalty, costs $39.95 per month per station.
Groovv Flex by Total Merchant Services
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Epson Grows mSelective
Epson America (Long Beach, CA) has commenced its new Envision mSelect Partner Program. As its name indicates, this extension of Envision focuses on VARs and ISVs in tablet POS. It brings the marketing, training, and sales support benefits of Envision, along with further price incentives on Epson America's portfolio of mobile printers, such as TM-m10/30, Mobilink, and OmniLink. "Epson's mSelect Program is the latest example of our ongoing commitment to the growth and success of the reseller channel," stated Tom Kettell, Director of Commercial Channel Sales for Epson America.
In making its announcement at the recent RetailNow Show of the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) in Grapevine, TX, Epson America named four early participants in mSelect: Cirra Systems (Park City, UT), Masterpiece Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA), Salido (New York, NY), and TAP Portal (Grandville, MI). Cirra, Masterpiece, and Salido supply restaurant management systems--in the case of Masterpiece, Japanese--while TAP addresses payment and back-office functions. TAP cleverly calls its platform BYOP, for "Bring Your Own Processor."
Epson America also has welcomed Fishbowl (Alexandria, VA) to its OmniLink Merchant Services (OMS). Based on the OmniLink family of printers, which embed functionality of the PC, OMS allows Fishbowl to source data directly from the POS for its analytics and marketing automation system. "The lack of a simple, easy-to-use, access point for all restaurant data has been an industry challenge," suggested Dev Ganesan, CEO of Fishbowl. "By leveraging rich insights from the data, restaurant operators can acquire new customers and retain existing ones through more relevant content and engagement." Fishbowl becomes the tenth ISV in Epson's OMS, which is headed by Joel Doherty, Global Business Development Leader for Epson's Business Systems Division. His nickname is "Cloud Man."
Epson America's TM-m10 Mobile Printer
[Editor's Note: Epson's New Partner, Fishbowl, should not be confused with inventory ISV Fishbowl, located in Orem, UT.]
Janam Rides the Wave
Janam Technologies (Woodbury, NY) has brought Wavelink Terminal Emulation (TE) to one of its popular mobile computers, the XG3. With support for multi-modal data capture, Wavelink TE furnishes data transfer via the XG3's keyboard, barcode scanner, or touchscreen. It offers mobile access to host via protocols such as IBM 5250 and 3270, as well as VT100, VT110, VT220, VT320, and HP. It also enables voice inputs when used in conjunction with Wavelink Speakeasy.
Doug Lloyd, VP of Global Sales Operations at Janam, described Wavelink TE as "comprehensive and battle tested." With support for more than 10 million mobile devices worldwide, it extends compatibility with virtually every major supply chain system. "Our long-term partnership with Janam ensures mission-critical mobile deployments are fully operational and worker productivity is optimized," indicated Steve Bemis, VP of Mobile Productivity for Wavelink (South Jordan, UT).
Introduced in 2015, Janam's rugged, gun-shaped XG3 has low weight (1.3 lbs.), ergonomic design (battery in the handle for better balance), large touchscreen (resistive 3.5"), choice of keypads (34-key numeric and 57-key alphanumeric), and long battery life (Li-Ion 5200-mAh). It has ARM Cortex A8 CPU at 1 GHz, 512-MB RAM, and 1-GB ROM, and runs Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5. A choice between Honeywell's Adaptus N5600 two-dimensional imager and Zebra's SE965 one-dimensional scanner has been offered. It also has Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11 Wi-Fi, Voice-over-IP, and an IP-65 rating.
Wavelink Terminal Emulation for Janam's XG3
Retail Realm (Napa, CA) has announced worldwide distribution of Retail Management Hero. Co-developed by Retail Realm and Retail Hero (Surrey, BC, Canada), Retail Management Hero has been designated as the next-generation replacement for Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS)--which stopped mainstream sales and support in July. "We designed RMH to give retailers everything they valued in RMS without installation headaches or complicated data migration," stated Afshin Alikhani, Chairman of Retail Realm. "The RMH interface was completely rewritten for both the front office and back office as well as with major improvements to Purchase Order Processing, Inventory Control, and Accounts Receivable. The POS includes user-defined color schemes, completely new technology that is portable across platforms, and also sophisticated Software Development Kit (SDK)." Similar to the case of Microsoft RMS, Retail Management Hero targets the SMB, with more functionality than tablet POS (Clover, Vend, NCR Silver, etc.) and less cost than full-blown POS (Retail Pro, NCR CounterPoint, Microsoft Dynamics AX, etc.). It supports Windows 10.
Worldwide Distribution for Retail Management Hero
"Lite" Thinking at USAePay
Seiko Instruments (Torrance, CA) has received certification for its Qaliber Lite Model RP-D from payment processor USAePay (Los Angeles, CA). Debuted in 2013, the 3" Qaliber Lite Model RP-D features an innovative cubic design with small footprint of approximately 5 in. x 5 in. x 5 in., weight of 1.9 lbs., both top load and front load access for flexibility, and USB, Serial, Powered USB, or Ethernet. It prints receipts at 8 inch/200 mm per second at 203 dpi, with standard-sized paper rolls, variable print speed settings, full graphics capability, and an anti-jamming cutter design. It comes in "onyx" black or "ice" white.
"We are honored to add another outstanding manufacturer of printers to our growing list of compatible hardware," remarked Vlad Galyuz, VP of Product Development at USAePay. "Seiko Instruments will bring a compact counter-top presence to our full-featured iOS App. We're excited to work with Seiko Instruments moving forward and look to bring our customers quality printers from their stable of innovative solutions."
"The compatibility of the Seiko Qaliber Lite Model RP-D receipt printer with USAePay is one that makes perfect sense because of USAePay's dedication to ease of use when it comes to mobile payments," observed Kaz Onishi, VP of Seiko Instruments USA. "We are looking forward to this new relationship with USAePay, especially since both companies are poised for future growth within their respective markets." Founded in 1998 (as GorCorp. Inc.), USAePay focuses on restaurants, event management, collections, and taxi and limo companies.
Seiko's Qaliber Lite Model RP-D Receipt Printer
Unitech Nears the Stratus
IntelliTrack (Sparks, MD) has released its Stratus Mobile App for Android on Unitech's PA700 and PA692A rugged computers. IntelliTrack Stratus addresses various inventory control scenarios, from entry-level warehouses, to retail sites, to so-called industrial tool rooms. Unitech's PA700 and PA692A are the first devices to be approved on Stratus Mobile Android, according to IntelliTrack. (Also, it should be noted, Unitech has added mobile device management via SOTI MobiControl.)
"The IntelliTrack Stratus App takes our rugged Android line to the next level," relayed Brian Silence, Director of Business Development for Unitech America (Cypress, CA). "Packaged together, it's an unbeatable combination of affordability and value. It's sure to make a tangible difference in the tracking of key inventory, helping businesses stock and sell smarter."
In "phablet" format, the Unitech PA700 has 4.7" capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass. Similar to smartphones, the Unitech PA692A has 3.8" capacitive touchscreen, also with Gorilla Glass, as well as Qwerty or numeric keypad. Both devices carry Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 CPU at 1.5 GHz, 1-GB RAM, 8-GB ROM, and 32-GB Micro-SD. A full suite of data collection (one- and two-dimensional scanner, five-megapixel camera, NFC, RFID) and communication (Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 Wi-Fi, GPS, USB 2.0) are included. An IP-65 rating, too.
Unitech's PA692A Rugged Mobile Computer Gets Stratus Mobile Android by IntelliTrack
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Datalogic Puts Touch on Shoppers
Datalogic (Eugene, OR) has added touch technology to its multi-purpose device for retail, designated Joya. Now with 4.3" capacitive display with Gorilla Glass, Joya Touch accommodates self-shopping and gift registry for customers as well as queue busting and inventory and pricing control for store employees. As such, it carries Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 Wi-Fi, and two-dimensional barcode reading (as well as custom colors).
In handheld format, the Joya Touch has dimensions of 5.7 in. (L) x 3 in. (W) x 1.3 in. (D), with weight of 9.7 oz. (A pistol grip is offered.) It has wireless charging capabilities, according to the company, as well as 3.7-V, 3000-mAh Li-Ion batteries. A "boost" feature gives 80 minutes of use after 15 minutes of recharging. It runs Windows Embedded Compact 7, with depth of field of 1.7 in. to 13.8 in./4.3 to 35 cm, depending on barcode density.
In addition to third-party self-shopping software, Joya Touch supports Datalogic's cloud-ready store-to-store middleware, Shopevolution 7. It includes Datalogic's SoftSpot triggering technology, which allows users to position the onscreen trigger button, its Queue Busting App, and its "Green Spot" good-read aim/feedback. "This multi-purpose device is ideal for every retail application, offering customers fun and easy shopping while optimizing the retailer's ROI," emphasized Francesco Montanari, VP and GM of Mobile Computing for Datalogic.
Joya Touch Debuted by Datalogic
Revel Stays Rambunctious
Aggressive as always, Revel Systems (San Francisco, CA), purveyor of iPad POS, has embraced Intuit's QuickBooks POS for Salon and Grocery. It follows earlier success with Intuit QuickBooks POS for Retail and Restaurants, explained the two parties. Co-founded in 2010 by Lisa Falzone, CEO, and Chris Ciabarra, CTO, Revel has 750 employees and about $130 million in funding. It doesn't disclose financials, but claims profitability.
"We're pleased to expand our partnership with Intuit and continue to both power and support small business owners and entrepreneurs," proclaimed Falzone. "With the addition of new features such as integrated scales for grocery store owners and appointment scheduling for salons, we're making the lives of business owners easier and more efficient." As other new features for QuickBooks POS: add-on services and products, employee management, and embedded price barcode labels.
"QuickBooks POS for Salon and Grocery not only address the unique needs of small businesses in important verticals, but also ensure they never lose the sale and have all the industry-specific tools they need to thrive," maintained Karen Peacock, SVP of Small Business at Intuit. "By integrating with QuickBooks Online, these new iPad POS solutions allow store owners to focus on running their businesses, rather than worrying about their books, with automatic data transfers and instant insight." For merchants at the higher end of the SMB, there's Intuit QuickBooks POS Desktop 12.0.
Lisa Falzone, CEO, Revel Systems
[Editor's Note: Is IBM back in POS? According to reports in the financial press, IBM has entered early talks to buy Revel Systems, an important player in iPad POS. In 2012, IBM sold its historic POS business to Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions.]
Overall, worldwide shipments of Mobile POS grew 62% in 2015 and should show very strong double-digit growth again in 2016, according to "mPOS: It's Real Now" by the IHL Group. Total number of M-POS installed worldwide will be nearly 7 million units by the end of the year, and should grow to nearly 12 million units installed by 2020, predicts IHL. In that time period, retailers will go through at least one, and most likely two, refresh upgrade cycles. "Just as the child goes through growth spurts, the M-POS market is experiencing rapid growth in the enterprise market," counseled Greg Buzek, President of the IHL Group. "As any parent knows, the middle school years brings a more complex time for the child. We are seeing a similar impact in the functionality of M-POS where the uses are moving more from glorified line-busting/simple ECR functions to far more robust functions. M-POS is becoming a crucial component for bringing personalization and a better customer experience to the stores."
Greg Buzek, President, IHL Group
A Pair of Pros at Partner Tech
Partner Tech (Irvine, CA) has hired two senior executives: David S. Smith Jr. as VP of Business Development, and Shane Colvin as Southeast Sales Manager for the U.S. Most recently, Smith served as Regional VP of Sales for Oracle, where he launched the Technical Hardware Sales and Store Installation Division for Micros. On his part, before joining Partner Tech, Colvin was President and CEO of POS VAR, Arlen Terminals Inc.
"We are excited to have two new team leaders that each have over 20 years of experience in retail and hospitality industries," shared Sandra Hsia, President at Partner Tech USA. "David and Shane share our passion for building strong customer relationships, and have the technical proficiency to strategically guide Partner Tech and our customers into the next generation of leading POS solutions. They're welcome additions."
New Partner Tech Hires: David Smith, VP of Business Development, and Shane Colvin, Southeast Sales Manager for U.S.
RSPA Plucks the Grapes
At its recent RetailNow Show in Grapevine, TX, the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) welcomed its new Chairman of the Board, Tom Reichart, VP of Business Development for Vantiv Integrated Payments. Well-liked in our industry, Reichart carries three decades of experience with NCR Corporation, culminating in the role of VP of Channel Sales. In 2006, he joined Mercury Payment Systems, now Vantiv IP.
"Tom is a proven leader and has been a wonderful supporter of, and advocate for, RSPA," reflected Kelly Funk, President and CEO of RSPA. "We are looking forward to working more closely as he assumes this new role. As chairman, he will continue to help accelerate the success of our members." Added Matt Taylor, Group President of Integrated Payments and Emerging Channels at Vantiv, "Given his commitment and experience, there's no better person for the job."
In Grapevine, RSPA also announced the winners of its 2016 Vendor of Excellence Awards. Voting takes place by RSPA members in six categories. Here's the winners: Electronic Payments, Vantiv Integrated Payments (Durango, CO); Hardware Manufacturer, Touch Dynamic (Irvington, NJ); Software, Future POS (Butler, PA); Software & Hardware, CRS Inc. (St. Paul, MN); Technology Distributor, Metropolitan Sales (Lynbook, NY); and Reseller Support Services, Netsurion (Houston, TX). As Incoming Chairman of RSPA, there's Mark Fraker, VP of Marketing for BlueStar (Hebron, KY).
Tom Reichart, VP of Business Development for Vantiv Integrated Payments, Takes Chair at RSPA
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