Our Product Pick
Ingenico (Alpharetta, GA) has displayed its new payment terminal, based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and entitled APOS. With 5.5" capacitive touchscreen, and signature-capture capability, it accepts the range of payment types, including MSR, NFC, EMV, and Mobile Wallets. It incorporates 2" thermal receipt printer, five-megapixel rear camera, and one- and two-dimensional barcode scanner. As mobility, it packs Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G/4G WAN, and GPS. As security, the company cited PCI-PTS 4.0. A pair of 2600-mAh Li-Ion batteries are included in weight of 16 oz. "We are pleased to introduce this first Android-based payment terminal," stated Jacques Guerin, EVP of Smart Terminals and Mobile Solutions for Ingenico Group.
Android Payment Terminal by Ingenico
Netsurion's Next Move
A pair of security leaders in IT--Netsurion (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and EventTracker (Columbia, MD)--have merged. Active in our channel, Netsurion (the former Vendor Safe) supplies managed security services, while EventTracker has developed its proprietary solution for so-called security information and event management (SIEM). A combined capability will better protect enterprise business information, payment systems, and on-premise public and private Wi-Fi networks in vertical markets such as retail and hospitality, according to the two parties.
Under terms of this agreement, Providence Equity Partners, a majority shareholder of Netsurion, has furthered its investment. Reportedly, Netsurion and EventTracker will continue to operate as distinct brands and deliver their products and services in the same manners they have historically. Kevin Watson, CEO of Netsurion, will lead things, and A.N. Ananth, CEO of EventTracker, will continue in his current role. [Editor's Note: In discussions with RRN.Com, executives at Netsurion have shared plans for an upcoming enhanced channel offering. Stay tuned.]
"Our two businesses complement each other in many ways," observed Watson. "As a combined firm, we are better positioned to serve our customers as the sophistication of network breaches increases. Over the past year, we have seen more network intrusions take place that require the type of security SIEM brings. Unfortunately, many small and multi-location businesses cannot afford and do not have the knowledge to manage such complex systems. Providing a managed network security service coupled with a managed SIEM product will enable us to best protect our clients from current and emerging threats."
Kevin Watson, CEO, Netsurion
Tailwind Pipes Up
A relative newcomer to the U.S., Tailwind Solutions Ltd. (based in Scotland), has unveiled its new "FlexiPole Tablet Stand" for the iPad Air/iPad Air2/iPad Pro 9.7"--with security technology by Kensington. It features an ability to flip 140 degrees and swivel 330 degrees between customer and operator for point-of-sale environments. Similarly, it may be rotated between portrait and landscape orientation. A trio of poles are offered: Complete (standard), Compact (low profile), and Contour (for wall mount).
A Kensington "SecureBack" encloses and protects the tablet. In addition, Kensington's "ClickSafe" Lock and Tether--exclusive to Tailwind Solutions--fastens the tablet to the FlexiPole Stand. (A quick-release latch allows the tablet to be passed to the customer.) Finally, the tablet can be charged in place without removing the SecureBack, and an optional headphone jack for card reader is available.
"This is an exciting time for Tailwind," declared Hester Middleton, Managing Director of Tailwind Solutions. "Our FlexiPole Tablet Stand will allow us to move into new sectors where our expertise will benefit new customer types. Security and chic appearance are at the heart of our product set, which makes it the perfect solution to keep your tablet safe, whether against bumps and scratches or theft, while enhancing your countertop." Founded in 2006, Tailwind Solutions has entered distribution in the U.S. via BlueStar (Hebron, KY), POS Portal (Sacramento, CA), and ScanSource POS and Barcode (Greenville, SC).
New FlexiPole Tablet Stand by Tailwind Solutions
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NRF's Big Show
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Bematech Goes Wide
Bematech (Bethpage, NY) has stocked its new All-in-One POS, the SB1015W. With true-flat, bezel-free, fanless design, the SB1015W has 15.6" 16:9 widescreen LCD (1366 x 768). Either resistive or projected-capacitive touch is offered. Overall, it measures 15.9 in. (W) x 12.1 in. (H) x 9 in. (D) and weighs 13 lbs.
In terms of technology, the SB1015W has Intel Celeron Quad-Core J1900 CPU at 2 GHz, DR3L RAM (up to 8 GB), and 2.5" SATA Hard Disk Drive/SSD. A full suite of I/O ports includes USB 2.0 x 4, USB 3.0 x 2, Serial RS-232 x 2, Ethernet RJ-45 x 1, VGA x 1, and Audio x 1. As environmental considerations, there's an operating temperature range of 32 to 104 degrees F, with 8% to 80% relative humidity. A solid base with extra wide hinge ensures stability, according to Bematech.
"The terminal packs great features and value into a sleek and sturdy design," reported Bematech. "It delivers an economical POS solution while providing excellent performance and reliability. It also facilitates options for quick and professional mounting of integrated magnetic-stripe reader (MSR) and VFD/LCD customer display."
Bematech's SB1015W POS Terminal
Alpha Role for TSC America
TSC Auto ID Technology America (Brea, CA) has unwrapped its direct-thermal, mobile printer at 2", designated the Alpha-2R. With dimensions of 5.3 in. (L) x 3.5 in. (W) x 2.2 in. (D), and weighing approximately 12 oz., the Alpha-2R prints receipts and tickets at 4 in./102 mm per second at 203 dpi. It features maximum roll diameter of 2 in./50 mm, along with rechargeable 1620-mAh Li-Ion battery for 17 hrs. of work time on single charge (given two-minute intervals).
As connectivity, the Alpha-2R has USB 2.0, Serial RS-232, Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth 4.2 + Apple MFi, NFC, and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. It carries 32-Bit RISC CPU, 64-MB RAM, and 128-MB Flash, and supports "out-of-the-box" common emulations for ZPL, EPL2, ESC-POS, and CPCL. It has buttons for on/off, feed, and cover open, and printer and battery status LEDs. It's Energy Star 2.0.
In terms of durability, with plastic construction, the Alpha-2R has an IP-42 rating for water and dust (an optional protective shell boosts this to IP-54). It withstands 5-ft./1.5-m drop specifications to concrete. "A great combination of small size, light weight, and high durability at an economic price," according to TSC, which also offers the 3" Alpha-3R and 4" Alpha 4-L. A two-year standard warranty is extended, with the full family of options (e.g., belt clip, vehicle mount, charge station).
TSC America's 2" Alpha-2R Mobile Printer
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Epson Gets Zapped
Epson America (Long Beach, CA) has received certification by mobile marketing and payment platform, Zapper (Austin, TX). Approval covers the OmniLink TM-T88V-i "smart" receipt printer and the TM-m30 "cube" receipt printer from Epson America. Founded in 2011, Zapper serves more than 12,000 businesses worldwide. It markets through the Apple Store, Google Play, and Windows Phone, and partners with Squirrel Systems, Maitre'D, and Revel, among other softwares in POS.
When the customer requests the check, it's printed with an accompanying QR Code at the bottom for Zapper. To pay, the customer scans the QR Code through the Zapper App. In addition, Zapper will leverage Epson's "ePOS" framework to manage tasks (as well as payments) from the customers' smartphones and tablets. As readers will recall, Epson's OmniLink, with embedded processor, supports web-based printing from any mobile device with no print drivers, plug-ins, or PCs. It also enables mobile devices to communicate directly with peripherals connected to OmniLink TM-T88V-i, such as bump bar, kitchen display, or up to 20 slave kitchen printers.
"Zapper offers a great full-featured marketing and loyalty solution which provides patrons and vendors with a quick, secure, and smart way of making mobile payments," expressed Tom Kettell, Director of Commercial Channel Sales at Epson. "Together, we can provide an integrated solution allowing customers to control their dining experience from their personal smartphones and enable restaurants to increase repeat business." Earlier, in September, Epson received approval for its TM-T88V and TM-T20II receipt printers and its TM-U220 kitchen printer by hospitality VAR, Sidewerks (Los Angeles, CA).
Zapper Mobile Marketing and Loyalty App
An Assist for DL-Axist
Auto-Star Compusystems (Medicine Hat, AB, Canada) has endorsed the DL-Axist PDA with Android from Datalogic (Eugene, OR). It will be recommended for use with Star-Plus POS. A long-time ISV, established in 1982, Auto-Star focuses on grocery, pharmacy, and health and natural foods. It sells through select VARs in the U.S., including Chicago Cash Register (Chicago, IL), Integra Systems (Laredo, TX), Marceco (Grand Rapids, MI), Prairieland POS (Pana, IL), and Retail Management Solutions (Olympia, WA).
"The Star-Plus POS platform is a powerful and flexible solution that gives retailers the ability to maximize their productivity," testified Tom Burke, VP of Product Marketing for Mobile Computers at Datalogic. "It is the ideal solution for the DL-Axist PDA device." In addition to Star-Plus, Auto-Star also offers its Star-Lite (for lower tiers) and Star-Link (for retail chain management).
Introduced in May 2016, Datalogic's DL-Axist measures 6.2 in. (L) x 3.1 in. (W) x 0.7 in. (D), and weighs approximately 12 oz. with battery. It carries 5" multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, one- and two-dimensional imager, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, and 3G/4G WAN. In terms of ruggedness, the DL-Axist has Corning Gorilla Glass 3, an IP-67 rating for water and dust, and drop resistance of 6 ft./1.8 m to concrete with optional rubber boot. It includes the company's proprietary "SoftSpot," or user-definable "floating soft trigger," which can be positioned anywhere on the display, as well as its aiming "Green Spot."
Auto-Star Compusystems Approves DL-Axist PDA From Datalogic
CitiXsys (New York, NY) has released its updated vertical software, iVend Optical Retail. As befitting its target, it helps optometrists and eyeglass retailers to manage lenses, frames, contact lenses, and sunglasses--and, importantly, to link them to customers' prescriptions. It also provides reports that track fashion trends and facilitate stocking the right style, color, and size assortment, as well as review transactions by prescription vs. nonprescription. In all, iVend Optical Retail comprises seven integrated software modules: iVend Enterprise, iVend POS, iVend Mobile POS, iVend eCommerce, iVend Loyalty, iVend Pass Book, and iVend Reporting and Analytics. Described as highly scalable, it includes Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Software Development Kit (SDK). "Optical retailers face growing competition from department stores, discount stores, and online vendors," noted Paula Da Silva, SVP of Sales for CitiXsys. "To stay competitive, they need to leverage their own data to better understand customers and their buying patterns. iVend Optical Retail gives this visibility, as well as tools to manage their businesses more efficiently and profitably."
Extending the Realm (to Payments)
Retail Realm (Napa, CA) has enhanced payment processing for Microsoft Dynamics AX with its aptly named "RR mAX Pay." Compatible with Dynamics AX 2012, AX7, and Dynamics 365, mAX Pay is certified with the Universal Transaction Gateway by Shift4 (Las Vegas, NV), which has been approved for PA-DSS. It was demonstrated at the recent Microsoft Dynamics U.S. Industry Summit in Coronado, CA.
As many readers know, Retail Realm serves as the distributor in North America for Microsoft Retail Management System (RMS), and its recently debuted successor, Retail Management Hero. As benefits of RR mAX Pay, Retail Realm cited connectivity with major payment processors, direct connection to American Express, security (with tokenization, point-to-point encryption, or P2PE, and EMV), and support for popular payment devices such as Ingenico's iSC Touch 250 and iSC Touch 480 and Verifone's MX 915 and MX 925. It joins other extensions for Dynamics AX by Retail Realm: mAX Essentials, mAX Market, and mAX Mobile.
"We've done extensive development within Dynamics AX to support seamless payment processing in an omnichannel organization," remarked Rachel Smith, VP of Sales for Retail Realm. "With mAX Pay, retailers can leverage additional functionality, such as gift card, EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer), eWIC (Women, Infants, and Children), HSA/FSA (Health Savings Accounts/Flexible Savings Accounts), club memberships, hosted payment page, and customer-not-present, as well as the ability to use and/or combine multiple manufacturer devices within their organization." In his remarks, Daniel Montellano, VP of Strategic Business Development for Shift4 (another of the processors targeting our channel), called this solution "secure, feature-rich, and flexible."
Retail Realm's mAX Pay for Microsoft Dynamics AX
A Wizard of Advertising at DT
DT Research (San Jose, CA) has enhanced digital menu boards with its new media wizard for advertising. "This new capability can help food establishments generate revenue and ease compliance with the upcoming menu-labeling requirements from the FDA," suggested Daw Tsai, President of DT Research. As readers will recall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Menu Labeling Requirement Act, set to go into effect on May 5, 2017, requires any foodservice concern with 20 or more locations to display calorie counts and nutritional information.
As part of Multi-Screen Appliances (MSA) by DT Research, which work with its physical system players and WebDT Content Manager, the new media wizard allows end-users to import existing files to each display "zone." Utilizing an Excel file (.xls, ,.xlsx, and .txt), it applies the media order, duration, and any other designated "attribute." It supports MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and remote CSV, and offers an Application Programming Interface (API) for POS.
In addition, it furnishes high-definition capacity for advertising and promotions, adds DT Research. Here, end-users may choose resolution for the LED between 80 x 80 to 8000 x 8000, or use the default resolution, which is 1920 x 1080. In terms of scheduling, parameters include frequency, start time and end time, or continuous "loop" mode. As expected, sales may be tracked back to the time the advertisement or promotion played in order to measure impact. Somewhat quietly, DT Research targets verticals and goes to market through the channel.
DT Research Addresses New FDA Menu Labeling Rules
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A Larger Slice of the Pie for Paytronix
Paytronix Systems (Newton, MA) has juiced up the rewards program of restaurant chain, Shari's Cafe & Pies. Most notably, by implementing Paytronix Data Insights, Shari's Cafe & Pies has expanded enrollment of guests under the age of 45 in its Cafe Club Rewards Program by 30%, according to the two parties. Billed as the largest chain of family-type restaurants in the Pacific Northwest, with nearly 100 locations open 24/7 in California, Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, Shari's established its Cafe Club Rewards Program in August 2014. It has elements in-store, online, and via mobile apps.
With many of its restaurants in or near college towns, Shari's saw an opportunity. Utilizing Paytronix Data Insights, it explores elements such as visit frequency, menu items ordered, and key time periods. It then employs segmentation and creates custom offers to drive changes in behavior, in order to boost activity and sales totals. As specific examples, Shari's sends promotions following local football games, or discounts for late-night eating. [Editor's Note: Munchies]. In recent campaigns, it has tracked increases in customer visits of 14% to 44%.
"We recognized a need to attract a critical younger demographic that was missing from our loyalty base, and Paytronix has really helped to do just that--providing much more visibility into our customers' behavior and a means to attract and retain those younger guests by targeting individual age groups with offers relevant to them," confirmed Carrie Henderson, Marketing Manager for Shari's Cafe & Pies. "The guests we engage with Paytronix come in to see us more often, choosing our restaurant when there are a lot of other choices competing for their business." [Editor's Note: Lee Barnes serves as Head of Paytronix Data Insights.]
Paytronix Data Insights Informs Shari’s Cafe & Pies
ICE Time for Oracle Micros
In time for the holidays, barely, Sionic Mobile (Atlanta, GA) has put forth integration of its ION Commerce Engine (called ICE) with Oracle Hospitality's Micros POS. It provides cardless, "three-digit checkout," enabling restaurants to process mobile payments, while customers, in their turn, accumulate and redeem their rewards. In addition to ICE, Sionic Mobile has its own GeoSense iBeacon Network and Mobile Rewards Marketplace. It claims more than 100,000 retail and restaurant locations participating in the Mobile Rewards Marketplace.
Airport restaurateur Hojeij Branded Foods has served as early adopter, with support from POS VAR, Postec (Roswell, GA). A portfolio of popular brands, ranging from Arby's and Chick-fil-A to Cat Cora's Kitchen and P.F. Chang's, are managed by Hojeij across 14 airports. Initial installation took place at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with nationwide rollout scheduled. "Accepting digital payments from millions of Mobile Rewards App users, then thanking them instantly in their preferred miles, points, or other rewards is very appealing," reflected Regynald Washington, CEO of Hojeij.
"Integrating our ICE platform directly with Oracle Micros not only provides lightning-fast mobile payments processed by J.P. Morgan Chase, but also leverages our proven security and fraud prevention tools," indicated Ronald Herman, Founder and CEO of Sionic Mobile. "We've designed this new solution to be the fastest digital checkout in the market while rewarding guests instantly, which encourages repeat business and builds brand loyalty even in an airport environment. We look forward to working with the teams at Postec and HBF." [Editor's Note: A small fee is charged to merchants for use by customers of the Mobile Rewards App, which Sionic Mobile shares with its partners.]
Sionic Mobile Ties Its M-Commerce Platform to Oracle Micros
Is omnichannel like the weather (everybody talks, but nobody changes)? According to the 2016 Merchandise Planning Survey by Boston Retail Partners, 71% of retailers do not have formal omnichannel demand planning processes and 38% will keep brick-and-mortar as an individual channel. In identifying problems, 44% of retailers indicate that improving analytics is a top priority and 21% feel that disparate systems and processes are their biggest planning obstacles. Yet, to take one example, only 41% plan to upgrade their omnichannel demand planning systems within two years. What integration issues are retailers facing, one might ask? According to the survey, 63% have integrated their planning organization across channels (but 75% feel they need improvement), 70% have integrated business processes across channels (but 83% feel they need improvement), and 53% have integrated planning systems across channels (but 77% feel they need improvement). "The good news is that retailers recognize that there is a problem," counseled Gene Bornac, VP at Boston Retail Partners. "The bad news is that getting the budget and resource commitments to upgrade systems is a huge challenge." Sounds familiar.
Elevation at EVO
EVO Payments (Melville, NY) has elevated Jeff Rosenblatt to Vice Chairman, from his current role of President. Concurrently, the payment processor has split into two reporting regions: North America and Europe. In connection, Brendan Tansill, former EVP, Business Development, Strategy and Latin America, has been promoted to the position of President of North America, while Darren Wilson will continue to serve as EVO's President of Europe and International.
"Jeff is a co-founder of EVO and a recognized leader in the payments industry," commented Ray Sidhom, Chairman of EVO. "As President, he has been instrumental in establishing EVO as a leader in payments processing, both domestically and internationally. In Jeff's new position, he will continue to provide support based on his 30 years of experience in the payments industry."
"We are very pleased to announce these two new appointments," added Jim Kelly, CEO of EVO. "Brendan's leadership at EVO played a key role in our expansion plans and this new role aligns well with our strategy of continued growth. These changes, along with Jeff's leadership in his new role, will ensure EVO's continued long-term success."
Jeff Rosenblatt, Vice Chairman, EVO Payments
Macro Sales at Microscan
Microscan (Renton, WA) has raised Christoph Wimmer to the position of Director of Customer Experience and Electronics Vertical. In this new post, Wimmer will be responsible for global sales operations, which includes ancillary functions such as customer service, technical support, and order management. "Christoph's first-hand experience with our customers, his passion for people, and his persistent execution of complex solutions makes him a great choice for this role," shared Scott Summerville, President of Microscan.
Wimmer joined Microscan three years ago, and most recently served as Global Business Development Manager, Electronics Vertical. Prior to Microscan, he worked from 1998 to 2014 at National Instruments, entering as Application Engineer and culminating as Program Manager for Embedded and Control Systems. Started in 1982, and part of Spectris plc, Microscan addresses barcode reading, machine vision, and verification technology. A Partner Alliance Program holds VARs and Distributors.
Christoph Wimmer, Director, Customer Experience and Electronics Vertical, Microscan
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