Our Product Pick
Koamtac (Princeton, NJ) has debuted its family of data collection and charging accessories for the new Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2. It includes the KDC470 Scanner, an integrated SmartSled, and Charging Cases/Cradles. With Bluetooth Version 2.1+EDR, the KDC470 furnishes one- and two-dimensional barcode reading, rechargeable 1130-mAh Li-Ion battery, and an IP-65 rating for water and dust. It attaches to the Galaxy Tab Active2 with custom SmartSled. Both may simultaneously charge via one- or four-slot Charging Cradle. A five-slot Battery Charger is also offered. "There is the constant need for field, warehouse, construction, and delivery workers to be able to efficiently and dependably collect data,” expounded Hanjin Lee, President and CEO of Koamtac.
Koamtac Charging Case for Samsung Tab Active2
A Phoenix Rises at Ingram Micro
Another seismic shift in electronic payments, with Ingram Micro (Irvine, CA) buying The Phoenix Group (St. Louis, MO). As one of the major specialty distributors focusing on payment terminals and related services, established in 2001, The Phoenix Group handles the roster of leading vendors--Verifone, Ingenico, Pax, MagTek, Equinox, Exadigm, and Dejavoo. It brings immediate strength in the "fast-growing, high-value electronic payments space," to quote Jeff Yelton, VP and GM of Advanced Solutions at Ingram Micro.
It follows an earlier, similar move into payments by ScanSource, which purchased POS Portal in July. As readers may recall, Yelton served as President of ScanSource POS and Barcode from 2005 to 2012. Accompanied by Scott Rutledge, former CEO, The Phoenix Group will operate as an integrated division of Ingram Micro. Terms of the deal were not announced by Ingram Micro, the largest distributor of IT.
"The Phoenix Group has earned all major network, PCI [Payment Card Industry], and P2PE [Point-to-Point Encryption] certifications," emphasized Yelton. "It also provides our partners with immediate access to the payment processing keys necessary for electronic payments [of which there are 500]." In his remarks, Rutledge cited advantages of an "end-to-end solutions portfolio, including lifecycle services, cloud-based offerings, and world-class supply chain" from the new ownership by Ingram Micro.
Jeff Yelton, VP and GM of Advanced Solutions at Ingram Micro, and Scott Rutledge, Former CEO of The Phoenix Group
Lighthouse Shines on RM
Lighthouse Network (Allentown, PA) has named Jay Shavitz as President and GM at Restaurant Manager, LLC (Silver Spring, MD), the former ASI. Established in July, Lighthouse Network has drawn together four well-known brands in POS: Restaurant Manager, Future POS (Butler, PA), POSitouch (Warwick, RI), and Harbortouch (Allentown, PA). An industry veteran, Shavitz founded VAR Infinity POS Systems, which started selling Restaurant Manager in 2000. He joined ASI in 2005. His most recent role at Restaurant Manager was VP of Product Development.
"The Restaurant Manager POS product line has long been recognized as the ideal business application for independent restaurants and regional chains," declared Jared Isaacman, CEO of Lighthouse Network. "Shavitz's product knowledge and passion for the POS business is a tremendous asset to Restaurant Manager as the worlds of POS and payment processing converge." Harbortouch, founded by Isaacman, led the move of payment processors, and “POS-as-a-Service,” into the realm of traditional POS."Jay has been an instrumental part of the Restaurant Manager team for nearly a decade and there is nobody better equipped than him to oversee the company's efforts," stated departing owner Alex Malison. "I am confident that Restaurant Manager is in great hands with Jay as President and General Manager." Noted Shavitz, "We are in an amazing new period for the POS industry. It is an honor to take this position at Restaurant Manager and lead our dedicated staff and sales partners." A major new version of Restaurant Manager Software is planned for 2018.
Jay Shavitz, President and GM, Restaurant Manager LLC, Part of the Lighthouse Network
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APG Tills TCP/IP
APG Cash Drawer (Minneapolis, MN) has added TCP/IP connectivity to its SMARTtill cash management solution. With this capability, the built-in Ethernet of SMARTtill--rather than its Serial or USB--enables networking of the POS via LAN. Introduced to the U.S. in 2016, SMARTtill holds weighable coin and note departments. Each time the SMARTtill drawer is closed, the cash value (by denomination and total), plus transaction details (transaction number, cashier, date, and time) are electronically reported to the SMARTtill Manager.
Also, with TCP/IP, SMARTtill enables other types of "host-to-slave" configurations, whereby back-office software or cloud systems can control and monitor the hardware without need of integration with the application for POS. In addition, SMARTtill can be used in conventional peripheral set-up, and thus opened from local printer, network printer, or host. As one intended application, in particular, APG cites mobile POS.
"Retailers will now be able to accept cash at a dedicated cash check out location while still maintaining cashier accountability," explained Stephen Bergeron, VP of Global Marketing at APG Cash Drawer. "No longer will cash paying customers need to stand in line with customers paying by credit, debit, and mobile wallets. Retailers can reduce the POS hardware required to handle cash transactions, freeing up more valuable counter space to display products, and cash transactions are consolidated to a single SMARTtill device."
APG Cash Drawer Adds TCP/IP Capability to Its SMARTtill Cash Management Solution
Zebra Technologies Corporation (Lincolnshire, IL) has unveiled its new enterprise smartphone for the SMB: the TC20. In dimensions of 5.3 in. (L) x 2.8 in. (W) x 0.6 in. (D), and weighing 6.9 oz. (keyboard model slightly longer and heavier), the TC20 carries 4.3" capacitive touchscreen, one- and two-dimensional scanner (SE2100 or SE4710), eight-megapixel rear camera, and pairing with the company's UHF RFID Sled (RFD2000). It runs Android 7 (Nougat), with ARM Cortex CPU at 1.4 GHz, 2-GB RAM/16-GB Flash, and 128-GB Micro-SD Slot.
As communications, the TC20 has Bluetooth 4.2 (BLE) and 802.11a/b/g/ac/d/r WLAN. A rechargeable 3000-mAh Li-Ion battery provides 10 hours field time per charge (with additional PowerPack). As ruggedness, the TC20 has Gorilla Glass, an IP-54 rating for water and dust, and 4-ft./1.2-m drop resistance. Accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor are built-in, with scan on each side buttons.
Intended specifically for retail and hospitality, according to Zebra, the TC20 furnishes Zebra's OneCare/LifeGuard for Android, Mobility DNA, and Workforce Connect Push-to-Talk Express. "Until now, small-and medium-sized businesses had limited options: either struggling with the risk and frustration of using consumer devices or running their operations manually with pen and paper," suggested Joe White, SVP of Enterprise Mobile Computing for Zebra Technologies. A better choice, he terms the "cost-effective" TC20. A snap-on trigger handle is offered.
Zebra's TC20 Rugged Enterprise Smartphone
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A "Starring" Role for Tupyx
Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ) has teamed up with e-Nabler Corp. (San Juan, Puerto Rico), developer of eMobile POS Software, to offer cloud printing for orders submitted via e-Nabler's mobile "order ahead" and "stored-value" app, called Tupyx. Allowing orders to be printed directly on dedicated Star Micronics' kitchen printers, it frees up counterspace, as there is no need for additional tablets or computers. In operation, it eliminates the need for double data entry.
"Tupyx paired with the simplicity of the Star Micronics' cloud printing technology is a powerful yet affordable solution that enables restaurants to offer the convenience of mobile ordering while streamlining the order process and staying organized in the kitchen," related Christophe Naasz, Business Development Director of Star Micronics America. "Staff can simply fulfill and stage the next printed order for delivery or pick-up instead of trying to figure out and prioritize between different order flows." So far, e-Nabler has certified the Star Micronics' Models TSP650, TSP700, TSP800, and SP700 for Tupyx.
"By partnering with Star Micronics, we can now offer a completely seamless order process for pick-up or delivery at home, office, or in-seat at a venue," enthused Joel Vazquez, President of e-Nabler. "Our Tupyx mobile 'order ahead' app enables restaurants and venue operators to tap into the quickly growing mobile commerce market and customers spend much less time waiting in line, or no time at all, as the orders may also be queued up for delivery." A close, longtime relationship exists between e-Nabler Corp. and Star Micronics America.
A Combination of Star Micronics Receipt Printers and Tupyx Mobile Order App by e-Nabler Corp.
NCR: Aloha, HotSchedules
NCR Corporation (Duluth, GA) has integrated the popular workforce management functionality of HotSchedules (Austin, TX) into Aloha POS. With this agreement, HotSchedules will become a certified third-party provider of NCR, and NCR will become a part of the HotSchedule's Global Partner Program. HotSchedules and NCR will also work together on co-marketing opportunities and product updates, reportedly.
"HotSchedules and NCR already share thousands of customers that integrate our labor solutions with NCR Aloha POS," observed Tammy Troutman, Senior Director of Channels at HotSchedules. "Through this strategic integration, HotSchedules will leverage information captured in the restaurant's POS to help managers make smarter, more informed decisions that are based on historical data and actionable intelligence--mapping staffing and inventory solutions against sales spikes, traffic patterns, and menu item performance." Founded in 1999, with two million users across 130,000 locations in 26 countries, HotSchedules entitles its platform "Clarifi."
"The restaurant industry is undergoing the rapid digitization of all business processes and it's important that restaurant brands align themselves with platform-based technology providers who can enable and integrate best-of-breed solutions," counseled Don Zimmerman, VP and GM of Hospitality Solutions for NCR Corporation. "Integrating HotSchedules with NCR Aloha brings together two market-leading solutions and offers our mutual customers the simplicity and visibility they need to manage their entire restaurant operations." At the recent National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show in Chicago, IL, NCR also displayed its NCR Mobile Payments based on the P97 PetroZone Platform.
Swap Shift Capacity by HotSchedules
Revention (Houston, TX) has released its new Advanced Delivery Module, which includes integrated Google Enterprise Mapping. It shares information between its point-of-sale, its online ordering site "HungerRush,” and mobile ordering apps. It calculates estimated drive time based on current traffic conditions, and allows managers to determine performance and customer service problems. A store's delivery zones can quickly be modified and updated, according to the hospitality ISV. It also tracks the mileage for each driver based upon the route recommended by Google. "Synchronization of delivery area between all ordering channels is key to creating the best customer experience,” relayed Laura Gaudin, Director of Product Management for Revention. "The metrics we can now provide is an added bonus.”
Revention's Delivery Module
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
SATO Plays Heavy Metal
SATO America (Charlotte, NC) has addressed encoding and printing on metal tags for RFID. Used in combination with materials from Metalcraft (Mason City, IA), SATO's industrial thermal printer, the 4" CL4NX, encodes such tags from the top, thereby increasing accuracy. Metalcraft's tags--designated as "Universal Mini Onsite Printable"--also include their new thermal-transfer-receptive topcoat to provide high-quality printing in harsh environments. Tags are fully customizable, and offered as blanks or with four-color graphics, as well as adhesives.
"The SATO CL4NX also offers an exclusive cloning feature that makes printer set-up faster and easier," elaborated Gary Krause, Senior Director of Marketing for SATO America. "Users simply insert the USB drive loaded with the cloned package file into the printer, install the package file, load the tags, and they are ready to print." Added Jared Doerfler, Business Development Director at Metalcraft, "When customers need to print more tags in the future, they don't have to reconfigure their settings."
Shipped in 2014, SATO's CL4NX measures 10.7 in. (W) x 12.6 in. (H) x 18 in. (D) and weighs 33 lbs. It furnishes 3.5" full-color LCD, 600-MHz CPUs, print speed of 10 in./254 mm per second at 203 dpi, memory of 2-GB ROM/256-MB RAM (for Linux O/S) and full suite of I/O (USB 2.0, Ethernet, Serial RS-232, Bluetooth Version 3, and 802.11a/b/g/n). A large side window makes it easy to check label and ink-ribbon levels, and the wide-angle printhead opening provides 60-degree access for tool-free maintenance. A bi-fold cover design reduces the overall area required for operation in restricted places. "An extremely reasonable price point," was quoted by SATO America for the CL4NX.
CL4NX Industrial Barcode Printer From SATO
Verifone Has M/Chip on Shoulder
"Just in time for the peak holiday shopping season," in its words, Verifone (San Jose, CA) has committed to Mastercard's "M/Chip Fast" across its next-generation and heritage payment terminals. Debuted in 2016, M/Chip Fast reduces read times for cards with EMV (at two to three seconds, making it similar to MSR). Visa has similar technology, termed "Quick Chip." Both are delivered through software update.
Verifone's Point and FIPay stations, and MX, VX, and Engage terminals, as well as its new Carbon, will all support Mastercard's M/Chip Fast and Visa's Quick Chip for EMV. This means consumers no longer have to wait for the full round-trip authorization to return to the card. In grocery, for example, they will be able to tap or dip and remove cards from the terminal while the cashier continues to scan items. Another critical environment cited by Verifone: quick-service restaurants (QSR).
"Retail is evolving and our merchants want to offer better, engaging checkout experiences to their customers," expressed Joe Mach, President of North America at Verifone. "M/Chip Fast effectively prioritizes the parts of transactions that are critical to security. Quicker transaction speed with enhanced payment security are ideal when time is of the essence such as the holiday shopping season when checkout lines are especially long. Verifone is committed to supporting new technologies for EMV like M/Chip Fast."
Verifone Hastens Mastercard's M/Chip Fast
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Do the Bossa Nova
An entity called Bossa Nova will field its service robots in 50 Walmart stores across the U.S. Streamlining, perhaps eliminating, overnight inventory taking by employees, they capture images of store shelves and use artificial intelligence (AI) to calculate the status of each product, including location, price, and out-of-stocks, as well as compliance with planogramming. Not coincidentally, earlier this year, Bossa Nova announced its collaboration with the barcode-replacing digital watermarking technology from Digimarc (Beaverton, OR).
"Access to data is the foundation of a truly seamless omnichannel retail business," indicated Martin Hitch, Chief Business Officer at Bossa Nova (San Francisco, CA). "Our solution provides visibility into on-shelf inventory and helps the retailers improve store operations to better serve their customers, whether in-store or for online pick-up. Walmart is retail's innovation leader and we're excited to be a part of their advanced technology initiative." First placing its autonomous robots in retail stores in 2013, Bossa Nova has since registered approximately 710 miles and 2,350 hours of inventory scanning, according to its totals.
"We have worked closely with Bossa Nova to help ensure this technology, which is designed to capture and share in-store data with our associates in near real-time, works in our unique store environment," remarked John Crecelius, VP of Central Operations at Walmart. "This is meant to be a tool that helps our associates quickly identify where they can make the biggest difference for our customers." As an added benefit, the terabytes of data collected by Bossa Nova will be used to further power the supply chain of Walmart.
Walmart to Deploy Stock-Taking Robots by Bossa Nova
A Box of Sweets at SuiteRetail
SuiteRetail (San Mateo, CA) has deployed its POS for boutique candy retailer, Sugarfina. Opening its first location in 2013, Sugarfina has grown to 40 locations in the U.S. It previously implemented Oracle's NetSuite as its enterprise resource planning (ERP), and turned to SuiteRetail, makers of SuitePOS, the leading front-end for NetSuite.
A great deal of flexibility was need for the shopping experience at Sugarfina, according to SuiteRetail. A customer selects from among 150 artisan candy varieties, with additional costs for combinations and packaging. In order to guide the customer through this process, SuiteRetail fashioned its new module for SuitePOS, dubbed "Dynamic Options." It also added several other features to optimize checkout.
"SuiteRetail listened to how our business works and went above and beyond our requirements. The POS is very easy to use and streamlines our checkout process for both clerks and customers," reported Ryan Nelson, VP of Retail at Sugarfina. "They are super passionate and knowledgeable when it comes to retail and I couldn't imagine a better partner to support our rapid growth." In addition to Oracle NetSuite, SuiteRetail has application programming interfaces (APIs) for SAP, Quickbooks, Acumatica, FinancialForce, and Salesforce.
Candy Boutique Sugarfina Deploys SuitePOS by SuiteRetail
A snapshot of our channel in 2016:
-- 35% of the SMBs served by VARs/ISVs have upgraded to EMV (up from 17% in 2015)
-- 50% of VARs/ISVs offer at least 3 POS Solutions (up from 43% in 2015)
-- 74% of the SMBs served by VARs/ISVs show interest in Upgraded POS
-- 29% of the SMBs served by VARs/ISVs have requested an Omnichannel Payment Solution
-- 57% of VARs/ISVs offer Mobile POS (another 36% show interest)
-- 59% of VARs/ISVs now offer SaaS POS
-- 22% of the SMBs served by VARs/ISVs now pay by SaaS POS
At Service for Mi9
Energetic ISV Mi9 Retail (Miami, FL) has engaged Ernie Eichenbaum as its SVP of Global Professional Services. He most recently served as Regional Manager for Ultra Consultants (2014 to 2017). Previous roles have included VP of Consulting and Operations at NexDimension Technology Solutions (2012 to 2014), COO at Merino Services (2010 to 2012), and VP of Strategic Initiatives at Infor Global Solutions (2006 to 2010). At Infor, he led the roll-out of its e-commerce offering.
"Mi9 Retail is positioned for ongoing growth in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific Region," propositioned Eichenbaum. "The technology is superior to what's otherwise available in the market. As we continue to build out and enhance our global solutions and delivery platform, we are strictly focused on making our software easy to integrate, efficient to operate, and cost-effective to own."
"Ernie is a great addition to our leadership team," commented Neil Moses, CEO of Mi9 Retail. "His track record of building high-performance service and delivery teams for leading enterprise software companies comes at the ideal time for Mi9. We are delighted to have him on-board and know that our customers and partners will quickly recognize the value he brings."
Ernie Eichenbaum, SVP, Global Professional Services, Mi9 Retail
LeBlanc Stars at TABS
Toshiba America Business Solutions (Irvine, CA) has promoted Ted LeBlanc, former Director of Sales for the Eastern Region, to VP of U.S Dealer Sales. Before joining Toshiba America Business Solutions, or TABS, in 2007, LeBlanc served as Director of Dealer Relations for Sharp Electronics (2005 to 2007). Earlier positions have included President of Panasonic Digital Document Company (2003 to 2004) and EVP of Direct Sales for Konica Minolta Business Technologies (2001 to 2003).
"Throughout his tenure at Toshiba, Ted LeBlanc has established himself as an impactful sales leader who consistently exceeds expectations," contributed Larry White, CRO at TABS. "Ted has the perfect blend of sales experience and expertise to successfully grow our reseller channel." In addition to copiers and digital signage, TABS is known for its thermal barcode printers, including desktop, industrial, and portable models.
"I look forward to supporting the continued expansion of Toshiba products and solutions within our exceptional reseller channel," shared LeBlanc. "Toshiba has been consistently recognized for our high level of customer service and I look forward to ensuring that we continue that rich tradition." (A side note: Scott Maccabe, President and CEO of Toshiba America Business Solutions, also serves as President and CEO of Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, which inherited the POS of IBM Retail Store Solutions.)
Ted LeBlanc, VP of U.S. Dealer Sales, Toshiba America Business Solutions
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