Our Product Pick
Gamber-Johnson (Steven's Point, WI) has unwrapped its new protective case for the smartphone-size LUXE 6200m payment terminal by Equinox Payments (Scottsdale, AZ). Configured of ABS plastic, Gamber-Johnson's case weighs only 3.2 oz./90 g. With access to buttons and ports on the LUXE 6200m, it features an industry-standard AMPS hole pattern, allowing users to attach belt clip and/or handle. It also offers an attachment point in the top corner for lanyard. As part of its line card, Gamber-Johnson also has point-of-sale mounts for iPad and the countertop Equinox LUXE 8500i. "Gamber-Johnson has extensive experience building products that withstand the harshest conditions, while also providing improved user ergonomics, so the addition of this product is the natural progression to grow our business," remarked Garrett Neta, Product Marketer for Gamber-Johnson.
Gamber-Johnson's Case for Equinox LUXE 6200m
Elo: Follow Me to Tennessee
Elo Touch Solutions has announced plans for its new state-of-the-art facility in its birthplace of Knoxville, TN. Scheduled to open in late summer 2021, it will encompass 87,000 square feet, consolidating the company's warehouse, repair, and product customization functions currently located in Milpitas, CA and Rochester, NY, along with its existing supply chain, tech support, and sales functions currently located in Knoxville. It seeks to reduce lead times and create efficiencies for many customers and channel partners in the U.S.
"Knox County is thrilled about the expansion of Elo. The company is a technology leader that is bringing job opportunities and income to our community," stated Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. "This expansion is just another example that Knox County is fast becoming a place where tech can grow." Initially, Elo's new facility will employ 80 people, with plans to grow.
"Expanding Elo's footprint in the Knoxville area, near where we invented the first touchscreen 50 years ago, is a point of pride and a testament to the American innovation story," stated Craig Witsoe, Elo's CEO (and resident of Knoxville). "With the construction of our new facility in Hardin Valley well underway, Elo is deepening our roots in East Tennessee and reminding many that the Knoxville area is the birthplace of the touchscreen." A new Elo product is installed every 21 seconds worldwide;; in 1971, by comparison, just 25 units of the Model E-100 Elograph touchscreen tablets were built in employee basements in Knoxville.
Elo Opening New 87,000-sq.-ft. Knoxville Center in Late Summer 2021
Angela Leet Will Lead QSR
QSR Automations (Louisville, KY) has named Angela Leet as its CEO, following the sudden death in March of its Founder and CEO--and her husband--Lee Leet. "At the company's inception, I was there when those first lines of code were being written for our kitchen display software," internally posted Leet to QSR. "It was done on my kitchen table in Texas. It was incredible to see Lee really go after his dreams fearlessly. He created and defined the fast-casual kitchen display market segment. It was an accomplishment to behold and admire." And if that's not ambitious enough, of course, there's the completion of our new technology campus."
"Since taking the reins as CEO, I've already started implementing my 100-day plan," continued Leet. "I'm inspired to walk alongside the QSR Automations family. I've already worked to install our former Chief Financial Officer Anthony Griffin as the Interim President and Joshua Nord as our VP of Software Development. We are expanding the executive leadership team by adding the key position of VP of Product Strategy. And if that's not ambitious enough of our next milestone, of course, there's the completion of our new technology campus."
As an independent business owner, Angela Leet has operated her consulting firm focused on the area of construction management, ALEETCO. She earned her Master's of Engineering from the University of Louisville and her Master's of Business Administration from the University of Houston. Active in the Louisville Metro Council, and philanthropy, she unsuccessfully ran for Mayor of Louisville in 2018.
Angela Leet, CEO, QSR Automations
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APG Has Connections
APG Cash Drawer (Minneapolis, MN) has worked with Conexxus (Alexandria, VA) to establish industry-standard protocols for weighing in-lane cash totals, in support of APG's SMARTtill. It adds to the XML protocols in other areas, such as payments, which Conexxus has developed for the convenience store and retail fueling market. Via its tray, APG's SMARTtill weighs coins and notes for cash management.
"Industry standards are wins for both suppliers and merchants," shared Linda Toth, Managing Director of Conexxus. "Using a 'write once, implement many' philosophy for base-line functionality and connectivity, suppliers can focus on innovation and other differentiating factors. The specification created by the Intelligent Cash Drawer Working Group, chaired by APG Cash Management Solutions, is no exception." FYI: Conexxus succeeded the NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Technology Standards Project from the 1990's.
"The success of our business relies on our ability to react quickly and effectively to the needs of our partners," declared Bob Stone, Global VP of Product at APG Cash Drawer. "Adherence to the Conexxus standards will allow us to support our software integrators and customers as they push the boundaries of cash management technology for the benefit of retailers and the hospitality industry." At APG, Frederic Beuve serves as the Director of Global SMARTtill Technology, based in the UK.
APG, and Conexxus, Establish Industry-Standard Protocols for Weighing In-Lane Cash Totals. (Shown: APG's SMARTtill)
Sonim Steps Up
Sonim Technologies (Austin, TX) has shipped its new rugged handheld mobile computer/scanner, designated RS60 SmartScanner. With Android 10 O/S, the RS60 carries Qualcomm Octa-Core CPU at 2.2 GHz, 4 GB RAM/64 GB ROM, and 256 GB MicroSD. In dimensions of 7.6 in. (L) x 3.6 in. (W) x 0.6 in. (D), weighing 14 oz./0.4 kg, it features keyboard, 1D/2D barcode scanner, 6" full-high-definition (FHD) touchscreen, and 5-MP front-facing camera and 13-MP rear-facing camera.
For use in demanding environments, such as field service, warehousing/logistics, and construction/utilities/public safety, the RS60 has an IP-67 rating for water and dust and an MIL-STD-810G rating for durability. An 8000-mAh removable Li-Ion battery supports multiple shifts. As communications, there's Bluetooth, 802.11 Wi-Fi, NFC, Push-to-Talk, and GPS. A high-performance front-facing speaker delivers alarms/alerts. A two-year warranty is included by Sonim Technologies.
"With the RS60 we are providing an essential productivity tool for anyone who needs the features of both a handheld computer and a scanner in a very durable package," reflected John Graff, CMO at Sonim. "The RS60 is also compatible with our extensive line of rugged accessories and includes the SonimWare suite of enterprise mobility software (EMS) to increase efficiency, security, and device management in the field." In North America, Sonim distributes its products through Synnex (Greenville, SC) and Crossover (Brampton, ON, Canada).
Sonim's RS60 SmartScanner Handheld Computer
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MicroTouch Makes Its Move
A pair of distributors for the revived touchscreen brand, MicroTouch: BlueStar (Hebron, KY) and Metropolitan Sales (Lynbrook, NY). Acquired by TES America (Holland, MI) in January, MicroTouch, the first company to patent and commercialize capacitive touch technology, slowly faded into the background following its purchase by 3M in 2001. Now it has hired two touchscreen channel veterans to shepherd its re-emergence: Bill Nulf as VP of Channel Sales and Barbara Van Gennep as Channel Program Director. A full line of Open Frame, Slimline Kiosk, Desktop Series, All-in-One Series, and Digital Signage goes to market.
"We manufacture all of our own products at our facilities in Xiamen, China; Tainan, Taiwan; and Milpitas, CA," observed Nulf. "As such, we have focused control over the supply chain, manufacturing process, and logistics chain. It brings significant advantages to the end customer as we can quickly react to changes in market conditions." (In addition, he points to customization opportunities from manufacturing control.)
"We are excited to be teaming up with such an iconic brand as MicroTouch. With their broad-based and innovative product line, MicroTouch is exactly what the industry needs today," suggested Alan Sweet, GM at Metropolitan Sales. "Couple that with an experienced management team that aligns with our approach to the market, I see many years of growth for these products and our collaboration with MicroTouch."
At MicroTouch: Bill Nulf, VP of Channel Sales, and Barbara Van Gennep, Channel Program Director
Payment Logistics Frames Things
A partnership between ISV Adatasol (Cleveland, OH) and Payment Logistics (San Diego, CA) has brought processing for EMV and NFC to the picture framing and artwork gallery vertical market. It incorporates the Paygistix Gateway by Payment Logistics with the FrameReady POS Software by Adatasol. As hardware, there's customer-facing multi-lane terminals, wireless terminals with built-in printer, and traditional countertop devices--currently supplied by PAX Technology (Jacksonville, FL).
"Paygistix not only shields our clients from liability associated with counterfeit card fraud, but it also minimizes the scope of PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance as if they were using a stand-alone credit card payment terminal," related Dan Weiss, President of Adatasol. "We've worked hard to make this reality." A full-function software program, FrameReady has Work Orders, Contacts, Inventory/Products, Invoices, and Purchase Orders (P.O.).
"When you are working with a mature POS system, like FrameReady, that incorporates nearly 20 years of features and functionality, an off-the-shelf payment solution just doesn't work," relayed Matt Bruno, VP of Strategic Sales at Payment Logistics. "By working together with FrameReady's team, we have been able to develop and customize our Paygistix solution to fit the unique needs of the many FrameReady users based in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Bermuda." A player in the channel of VARs, ISVs, and ISOs, Payment Logistics was founded in 2003 by brothers Britton Niglio, Managing Partner, and Dustin Niglio, CEO.
Payment Logistics Serves ISV FrameReady
Tippy (Fort Lauderdale, FL) has joined fintech innovators in the fast-track Mastercard Start Path. A cashless solution, compatible with iOS and Android O/S, it instantly deposits tips into the service professional's account, at the salon or spa, and significantly increases tipping totals, according to Tippy. With Mastercard, Tippy will seek to grow its footprint into other suitable verticals, such as hospitality, health/wellness, and tourism. It recently completed its set of application programming interfaces (APIs), and, as advances in its payment technology, specifically cited QR Codes and Mastercard's Click-to-Pay. "Our main focus and goals for our service professionals have always been high tips, immediate access to funds, and overall empowerment through new financial tools," enthused David Tashjian, CEO of Tippy. "With Mastercard's Start Path, we have the opportunity to accelerate the growth of our platform."
Tippy Joins Mastercard's Start Path Accelerator Program
Avalara (Seattle, WA) has released its new solution for sales tax calculation, dubbed Avalara Content Generation for POS. Intended for brick-and-mortar, as well as online retailing, based in the U.S., Avalara Content Generation for POS automatically updates tax content as rates and rules change. It tracks factors such as sales tax holidays, locations in multiple jurisdictions, and threshold taxes. As benefits, the software developer includes reduced compliance risk, streamlined compliance for the variety of checkout systems, increased efficiency by elimination of current manual systems, and an overall improved customer experience. "It easily tracks the most complex tax scenarios," summarized Sanjay Parthasarathy, Chief Product Officer at Avalara.
Avalara on GitHub
An Appetite for Payments
Appetize (Los Angeles, CA), which focuses on sports arena and entertainment venue POS, has debuted its accompanying payment processing capability, simply titled, Appetize Payments. As benefits, it eliminates the need for third-party services, provides transparency in pricing, and offers an integrated point of contact and support for both payments and cloud-based POS, cites Appetize. Since its launch, more than 50% of new customers have signed up for Appetize Payments, including Hale & Hearty, FC Cincinnati, and Allen Eagle Stadium.
"We launched Appetize Payments due to increasing demand from our enterprise customers for a more streamlined and transparent payment solution," detailed Kevin Anderson, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of Appetize. "Offering our own payments solution in addition to our industry-leading software suite reduces friction, and will ultimately allow our customers to focus on growing their business. This is an important next chapter in the evolution of our platform."
Appetize Payments offers free enrollment in interchange saving programs to reduce card brand fees and in-person installation if onsite assistance is required. There is no long-term commitment or early termination fees, according to Appetize. As expected, it accommodates all payment types: Dip, Tap, Scan, RFID, and Contactless NFC. Also, Loaded Value and Gift Cards.
Appetize Adds Proprietary Payment Processing
A Domestic Zebra
Zebra Technologies Corporation (Lincolnshire, IL) has unveiled its first wireless label printing solution specifically designed for the small office/home office (SOHO) market. A bundle includes thermal printer, software, and labels. A Model ZSB-DP12-2 has 2.25 in./58 mm print width and MSRP of $129.99. A Model ZSB-DP14-4 has 4 in./102 mm print width and MSRP of $229.99. At maximum print speed of 4.25 in./108 mm per second, each may produce up to 73 address labels per minute (at 300 dpi resolution).
In keeping with its focus on the SOHO, the ZSB Series includes compact, lightweight desktop form factor (7.2 in. L x 5 in. H x 5 or 7 in. W); drop-in, recyclable (or compostable) label cartridges; and guided set-up configuration (via Bluetooth). A browser-based label designer supports Windows or MacOS, with pre-made templates for iOS/Android (with Mobile App). It features compatibility with all major shipping carriers, shipping services, and key e-commerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Shopify. Availability provided by select e-commerce marketplace platforms, and office products and consumer electronics retailers.
"Zebra is applying the lessons learned from our rich history pioneering the thermal printing market and introducing the SOHO market's first end-to-end solution consisting of a label printer, software, and eco-friendly label cartridges," proclaimed Mike Millman, SVP and GM of Zebra Technologies' Specialty Printer Group. With consumer demands growing, small businesses can't afford to 'plug-and-pray,' so we designed the intuitive ZSB Series with virtually unjammable supplies to provide a reliable and stress-free label printing experience that allows these companies to focus on growing their business."
Zebra's ZSB Series Thermal Label Printer for Small Office/Home Office
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On Fast Break at Fiserv
Fiserv (Brookfield, WI) has enabled payments via QR Codes for PayPal and Venmo at the NBA's Phoenix Suns Arena in Arizona. It includes Fiserv's systems: Clover (POS), Bypass (Mobile POS), and Carat (Omni-Commerce). With it, consumers initiate payment by scanning the QR Code with their PayPal or Venmo App, and will receive digital receipts.
"In today's increasingly digital and mobile world, Fiserv and PayPal have been superb partners by helping us transform how our fans make purchases at Phoenix Suns Arena," testified Dan Costello, Chief Revenue Officer and SVP of Business Innovations with the Phoenix Suns. "By offering QR Code payments via our new Clover device, we will be able to continue putting our fans first with innovative and convenient commerce offerings to elevate the game day experience." In his remarks, Frank Keller, SVP of Commerce at PayPal, emphasized the suitability of PayPal and Venmo QR Code payments in the wider SMB.
"With consumer preference shifting towards touch-free interactions, it's critical that businesses are able to connect physical and digital commerce," commented Devin McGranahan, Head of Global Business Solutions at Fiserv. "By enabling consumers to pay digitally via QR Codes and popular digital wallets like PayPal and Venmo, businesses are providing added convenience and choice as in-person shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences resume." FYI: Integrated payments (think Mercury Payment Systems), fall under McGranahan.
Fiserv Brings PayPal and Venmo QR Code Payments to Phoenix Suns Arena
Up A Notch
A firm called Notch, formerly known as ChefHero, has introduced its online foodservice supply chain solution. A roll-out has taken place in its home city of Toronto, as well as Chicago, and Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio in TX. It offers complete supply chain aggregation for restaurant chains, as well as distributors, according to the ISV, and eliminates "the notoriously wasteful, paper-driven process" of ordering wholesale foods. (Its new name refers to the notch on the chef's knife, which facilitates shearing and sharpening.)
App-based (what isn't these days), so-called Notch Connect allows users to shop nearly 100,000 SKUs, track orders, compare prices, get real-time inventory updates, and plan/forecast. It supports mobility, with iOS and Android O/S, via any web browser. Also, it integrates seamlessly into major accounting systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP).
"When the pandemic hit, our revenues went down by 80% and we had to rebuild our business model to digitize all aspects of the restaurant supply chain," reported Jordan Huck, CEO at Notch. "We listened and focused on developing software to help our partners cut costs. Notch is already taking off because it's the innovation the industry has been waiting for to save them time and money like never before."
Notch, Formerly ChefHero, Debuts Its Online Foodservice Supply Chain App
Not So Fast -- Reluctance
-Perhaps consumers in the U.S. are not as confident in social purchasing as commonly thought, with only 13% using social media to complete their purchase, and only 5% saying it is the preferred method to complete their purchase of goods or services.
-More than half of consumers, 56%, surveyed stated they would not want to give payment details over social media platforms, signaling to brands that payment security across all channels is an element of critical importance to omnichannel success.
-Nearly 80% of consumers 65 years and up said they would absolutely not give any payment details over social media platforms.
-While younger generations expressed more comfort in social shopping, not surprisingly, there's still great reluctance, as only 11% of those aged 25 to 34 stated that they regularly provide payment details over social channels.
-Despite lock-down orders during the pandemic, in-store was still the preferred channel for consumers. More than one-quarter of consumers, 27%, felt most secure when shopping in-store. Only 22% of those 55 years and up said they will shop with online marketplaces.
Source: "Omnichannel Payments Consumer Trust Survey," by Semafone (Boston, MA).
Half of Consumers Will Not Share Payment Details Over Social Media
A pair of accomplishments at Code Corporation (Salt Lake City, UT). In one case, the company has promoted Joe Croce to VP of Sales for North America. "Code has recently marked record-breaking growth and accelerated market expansion," noted CEO Kent Hansen. "Much of this progress can be attributed to the business savvy, strategic direction, and leadership of Joe Croce." Croce joined Code Corporation in 2017.
Also, Emily Scales, Sr. Channel Marketing Manager at Code Corporation, has been chosen as one of the 2021 Women of the Channel by CRN. "CRN's 2021 Women of the Channel acknowledges accomplished, influential women whose dedication, hard work, and leadership accelerate channel growth," contributed Blaine Raddon, CEO of the Channel Company (which owns CRN). "We are proud to honor them for their many accomplishments and look forward to their continued contributions to the IT channel." Scales joined Code Corporation in 2019.
At Code: Joe Croce, VP of Sales for North America, and Emily Scales, Sr. Channel Marketing Manager
Appearing at CBS: Presley
Custom Business Solutions (Irvine, CA) has enlisted Anthony Presley as its Chief Technology Officer. In this new role, he will lead continued development of the company's cloud-based NorthStar POS Software. He most recently served as Managing Partner at workforce management ISV, TimeForge. Earlier, he served as Chief Products Officer at grocery ISV Truno, which spun off TimeForge in 2020.
"Our commitment to building the technology needed for restaurants to thrive, especially in uncertain political and economic conditions, is what drives our vision for change," expressed Jeremy Julian, COO at Custom Business Solutions. "Anthony's expertise and entrepreneurial spirit make him the ideal leader to execute on our vision to create the best restaurant technology on the market." He will be based in the company's office in Dallas, TX.
Anthony Presley, CTO, Custom Business Solutions
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