Week of May 15, 2023
Michael Kachmar, Editor
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Our Product Pick
Custom America's Daytona POS
Epson Snips Ribbon
A celebration marked the opening of the new Epson Campus at 3131 Katella Avenue in Los Alamitos, CA. As headquarters for Epson America in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America, the facility comprises 150,000 square feet of space across two buildings connected by an architectural bridge. Attending the ceremony, among others, were Los Alamitos Mayor Tanya Doby, Epson America President and CEO Keith Kratzberg, and Seiko Epson Director Koichi Kubota.
As forward-looking characteristics, in support of the Epson 25 Renewed Corporate Vision, it provides for an innovative hybrid work program--involving more than 80% of employees--as well as accompanying hoteling. An Executive Briefing Center highlights technologies across the product lines of Epson America. As environmentally focused, it has rooftop solar panels for entirety of energy needs, reduced lighting requirements due to large windows and motion sensors, water conservation capacity as well as drought tolerant landscaping, and charging stations for EV.
"The innovative Epson Campus embodies the lessons we've gleaned from relocating during a global pandemic. By leveraging Epson technologies, we've optimized the space to boost productivity and foster collaboration, while prioritizing sustainability, community engagement, and employee work-life balance," proclaimed Keith Kratzberg. "Our newly established Executive Briefing Center serves as a hub for Epson team members and partners, providing an environment in which we can envision and develop effective strategies for future business achievements."
Epson Opens Its New North American Headquarters in California
Ingenico Scales APEX
A new app for its AXIUM Platform has been launched by payment processor Ingenico (Atlanta, GA). Entitled the AXIUM Payment Experience, or APEX, it reduces development time and cost for the Android-based hardware and software in AXIUM. It also provides a bridge from third-party apps to the Ingenico Payment-Platform-as-a-Service (PPaaS). It's secure, customizable, and scalable, notes Ingenico.
As such, it employs Ingenico's North American Unified Application Programming Interface (NUA). A standardized API that works across North America, NUA allows for easy integrations to customer services such as gift cards, loyalty programs, and customer relationship management (CRM). It also allows customers of Ingenico to create cross-border solutions across multiple countries--and for segments such as retail, grocery, restaurant, and hospitality--across North America.
"The end-to-end process of creating a market-specific payments app can be a lengthy and costly process, taking up to 12 months when including the required value-add functionality for specific merchant segments and their associated consumer customers," related Peter Stewart, Head of North America for Ingenico. "With APEX, our customers are provided with a strong and secure base of payment functionality, so they can focus on adding unique features that bring value to both their merchant customers and the consumer, for less cost and time and in our modular licensing model." In January, Ingenico applied its AXIUM Retail Core (ARC) to all terminals in North America.
Ingenico Launches Its AXIUM Payment Experience
Worth Your While
ALL IN THE FAMILY
A newest member of Smart POS at PAX Technology (Jacksonville, FL), the E600Mini, offers smaller footprint than its predecessor E600, as well as the latest Payment Card Industry (PCI) PTS 6 Certification. Measuring 4"/101 mm (W) x 9.1"/230 mm (L) x 3.1"/79 mm (D), weighing 1.2 lbs./0.54 kg, the E600Mini carries 7" (1024x600 or 1280x720) merchant-facing and 3" (480x320) customer-facing touchscreens, 2"/50 mm thermal printer, and 6100 mAh long-lasting battery. It runs Android 10.
As computing, E600Mini has 64 bit Octa-Core Cortex A55 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB Flash, and 128 GB MicroSD. It accepts payment via MSR + Chip & PIN + NFC Contactless. As wireless, there's 4G WAN + 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.1. In operation, four buttons: Power, Volume+, Volume-, and Quick Scan. It comes with comm hub and charging base.
"This is an ideal mobile solution," emphasized Andy Chau, CEO of PAX Technology. "Our E-Series has reimagined the payment tablet, creating a portable, all-in-one device capable of meeting merchants' ever-changing business needs." As suitable markets, in particular, PAX identified restaurants, delivery companies, and merchants-on-the-go.
PAX Technology's E600Mini Smart POS
Aldelo Dishes Up AI
An early implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for hospitality software provider Aldelo L.P. Its new feature, designated as AI-Based Menu Item Completion, which functions similar to web search engine auto-completion, simplifies the menu creation process for Aldelo Express POS. Instead of manually typing the full name of every menu item during the menu creation process, AI-Based Menu Item Completion presents several menu item naming options from which operators may choose. It improves consistency and conformity.
"Aldelo's mission has always been to support business owners with state-of-the-art cloud-based point-of-sale solutions," expressed Jeff Moore, VP of Operations with Aldelo. "Every time an Aldelo Express POS user manually inputs a new menu item, the AI technology will learn from the new item and incorporate additional suggestions that are available to all operators. This means that over time the AI-Based Menu Item Completion feature will become even more powerful and beneficial for everyday business owners."
As such business benefits, Aldelo cites improved order entry, guest check clarity, and viewing of item-level reports. It's offered to new and existing users of Aldelo Express POS, at zero additional cost, through Aldelo Pay and approved Aldelo Partner Merchant Services. Also offered as part of the package: Aldelo's Masa+ Suite of online solutions, including ordering via QR Code, digital payments, loyalty/rewards, 24/7 technical support, and unlimited licenses of Aldelo Express POS.
Aldelo Offers AI-Based Menu Item Completion
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Hearing Voices at Oracle-Micros
A pathway to acceptance of voice ordering for restaurants employing Oracle-Micros Simphony POS has been cleared by SoundHound (Santa Clara, CA). A member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, SoundHound for Restaurants, with its "Smart Ordering Voice AI," enables stores to accept voice orders across common touchpoints: from customers over the phone, via menu kiosk, or at the drive-thru. It learns the restaurant's menu and can answer questions, accept modifications, and even upsell.
"Restaurants are looking to voice technology to help drive sales, support employees, and create a great customer experience. SoundHound's Smart Ordering Voice AI allows them to do just that with minimal onboarding and at a reasonable cost," reflected James Hom, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of SoundHound. "We're delighted that Smart Ordering is now available in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, where our technology can be accessed by thousands of restaurants looking for smart ways to do more with less."
Significantly, SoundHound for Restaurants allows customers to speak naturally when placing their order--as if speaking to another person. It handles multiple customers simultaneously and in real-time, helping to avoid frustration and order abandonment. It is particularly suited to the increased demand for take-out, as well as ongoing staff shortages, according to SoundHound and Oracle-Micros Simphony POS.
SoundHound Smart Ordering Voice AI Now on Oracle-Micros Cloud Marketplace
A "Lofty" Goal for Sato
A closer relationship between Loftware (Portsmouth, NH) and Sato (Charlotte, NC and Tokyo, Japan) furthers labeling with High-Frequency (HF) RFID and NFC. It employs NiceLabel by Loftware with the Models CT4-LX Desktop Printers and CL4-NX Industrial Printers by Sato. As markets, this solution addresses the clothing, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors; in particular, pharmacy, electronics, and automotive.
As many readers recognize, RFID HF (at 13.56 MHz) is the most widely used RFID technology with common access control, document tracking, and ticketing applications, with read ranges of 11.8"/30 cm. There are two types of tags: Passive RFID HF ISO-15693 and NFC ISO-14443-A. An NFC Data Exchange Format links electronic devices at 1.6"/4 cm or less.
"We are thrilled to collaborate with Sato to assist companies adopting smart labeling with RFID," shared Paul Vogt, VP of Partner Strategy at Loftware. "Customers in many industries are turning to RFID for end-to-end traceability and streamlining, and Sato is at the forefront of the solutions they need. With Loftware NiceLabel and Sato RFID printers, companies can now encode a wide range of RFID tags and it's easier than ever to implement RFID into established workflows."
Sato and Loftware Partner on Labeling With HF RFID and NFC
A function which enables tipping on the customer-facing screen has been unveiled by Snack POS (New York, NY). When the customer is ready to pay, the customer-facing screen will display the total amount due, along with options for tipping. Customers can choose from preset tip percentages or enter custom amounts. The tip amount is then added to the total bill and transaction completed. A software update adds this function to installed Snack POS. "We are very happy to offer this new feature to our customers," commented Shmuly Preizler, CEO of Snack POS. "We understand the importance of making the checkout process as seamless and efficient as possible, and we believe that adding tipping to the customer-facing screen is another step in the right direction."
Snack POS Adds Tipping on the Customer-Facing Screen
As the splitting of NCR continues, it has been disclosed that David Wilkinson, currently EVP and President of NCR Commerce, will lead "RemainCo" (as yet unnamed entity for retail and hospitality). As head of "SpinCo" (as yet unnamed entity for banking and ATMs), NCR has chosen Tim Oliver, currently NCR's SVP and CFO. A final execution of this plan is expected in Q4 2023. "I look forward to working with Tim and David to execute a smooth and effective transition as the companies take their final form," said Michael Hayford, Current CEO of NCR.
David Wilkinson, NCR, to Head "RemainCo"
GoDaddy Tells SMB: Let's "Chat"
A Small Business Generative AI Prompt Library has been compiled by GoDaddy (Tempe, AZ). With 35 prompts, it seeks to help small-to-midsized businesses to leverage tools such as OpenAPI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard. Examples of prompts include: "Ask me 2 to 5 questions to understand my business and recommend my growth strategy"; "Act as my marketing expert for SMB"; and "Act as my social media expert."
"Generative AI levels the playing field for small businesses by giving them an incredible amount of power and knowledge, normally reserved for large corporations, right at their fingertips," proposed Geoff Clawson, VP of Product, Websites and Marketing, at GoDaddy. "That's why GoDaddy created the Small Business Generative AI Prompt Library. It gives small businesses the ability to accomplish a variety of tasks quickly and easily. We've taken the mystery out of writing effective prompts for small businesses." (A quote, too, was sent from ChatGPT!)
As its plans, GoDaddy will add new prompts to the library throughout 2023. It continues to work on "many new ways" for small businesses to harness Generative AI, and has already added smart features into products, such as adding relevant slogans to videos and recommending marketing calendars based on the customer's location and business. In another effort in the SMB, GoDaddy has partnered with Worldpay from FIS (Jacksonville, FL) on the omni-commerce solution, "Commerce 360."
GoDaddy Launches Artificial Intelligence Prompt Library for OpenAPI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard
A Spa Day for Payments
An embedded payment processing functionality has been added to Meevo Spa and Salon Software by Millennium Systems International (Parsippany, NJ). Established in 1987 by Chairman John Harms, MSI's Meevo Software has 100,000's of users in more than 36 countries. A cloud-based platform, with full functionality, Meevo spans necessary elements of client management, business operations, and marketing.
"We are excited to expand our service offering to include embedded payment processing," proclaimed Sebastian Vos, CEO of Millennium Systems International. "Meevo customers can now benefit from appointment booking, inventory management, e-mail marketing, payment processing, and more, coupled with our superior support team. MeevoPay provides unparalleled payment protection with built-in risk mitigation tools that block fraudulent activity, improve authorization rates, and keep client data safe and secure at all times."
"What a monumental achievement for MSI," celebrated Matthew Scudder, Chief Payments Officer for MSI. "We've already heard from several MeevoPay clients who love the ease of onboarding, increased performance, and simplified process for reconciliation. We look forward to the next stage of MeevoPay and continuing our commitment to innovations that support the businesses we serve."
An Integrated POS/Payments Solution for Spa and Salon by Millennium Systems International
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Up Next for RFT: POS
A move into POS for digital menu board solution provider R.F. Technologies (Buffalo Grove, IL). It now carries the product line of peripherals and terminals from Panasonic (Newark, NJ), including the JS-980 Stingray 4. With 15" touchscreen, Stingray 4 has Intel Core i3-7100U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, and Windows 10 IoT.
"For 34 years, we've been a leader in the drive-thru repair business," remarked Joseph Gierut, President of RFT. "Our customers have asked us to service their POS equipment. Now we can, both through our repair centers and our nationwide network of field technicians."
Also, RFT has stocked digital menu boards from supplier Stream (Murray, UT). Appropriate for use inside and outside the store, displays come in two sizes, 49" and 55", and can be configured as single, dual, and triple displays--with integration to POS. Also for the drive-thru by RFT: headsets, timers, entertainment systems, and surveillance systems.
R.F. Technologies Now Carries Panasonic Stingray 4
Paytronix Butters Toastique
A deployment of the guest engagement platform by Paytronix (Newton, MA) for natural food restaurant chain Toastique (Washington, DC). A central part of the chain's plan to double in size from 16 to 32 locations in 2023, it encompasses loyalty, online ordering, and mobile app. It integrates with an installed Cake POS by Mad Mobile (Tampa, FL).
"Paytronix gives all our stores a boost by providing the ability to bump prices as much as 15% for orders through third parties, such as Uber Eats and Grubhub," manifested Blair Lalor, IT Manager at Toastique. "It's great advertising. The sooner a store builds a history of good reviews, the more those reviews will drive customer traffic." Online orders, first supported by Paytronix, make up 20% of overall sales for Toastique.
"An expanded Toastique loyalty program provides franchisees with the ability to hit the ground running with a guest-centered marketing program the day they open their doors," reported Chuck Tanowitz, Director of Marketing Communications at Paytronix. "And, with the full Paytronix platform at their fingertips, every Toastique franchisee will be able to dive fully into the data on who is shopping where, when, and for what, then implement targeted loyalty campaigns that will get guests visiting and buying more." A subscription service will be launched.
Natural Food Restaurant Chain Deploys Full Guest Engagement Platform by Paytronix
A Sturdy Chain
-A vast majority of surveyed supply chain professionals, 85%, plan to invest in technology in the next year to increase productivity.
-More than half, 53%, plan to increase automation by up to 30%.
-As workforce challenges, surveyed supply chain professionals cite: time to train, 52%; high turnover, 50%; and digital upskilling, 41%.
-At present, barcode scanners, handheld computers, and tablets are used most by supply chain professionals. As most wanted technologies in the next year: wearable computers and automated picking tools.
-As considerations when evaluating new technology, surveyed supply chain professionals cite: uptime/reliability, 69%; ease of deployment, 67%; ease of learning, 63%; and adaptability, 63%.
Source: "Heavy Lift: Supply Chain Trends for 2023" Conducted by Ivanti Wavelink (Salt Lake City, UT).
Supply Chain Looks to Technology
A Message From the Editor
We look forward to continuing our mission, and welcome your suggestions and thoughts on improvements. Wishing you and your family health, happiness, and prosperity in 2023!
Michael Kachmar, Editor
A promotion to Chief Product and Solutions Officer for Joe White at Zebra Technologies Corporation (Lincolnshire, IL). He moves into the role vacated by Bill Burns, who became CEO of Zebra in March. White joined Zebra in 2014 when the company acquired Motorola Solutions' Enterprise Business. Since that time, he has served as SVP and GM of Zebra's Enterprise Mobile Computer Business. He also held executive positions at Symbol, Matrix, and RFID Global Solutions.
"We are excited for Joe to be our next Chief Product and Solutions Officer as he has successfully led the advancement of our mobile computing and robotics automation," contributed Burns. "We are pleased to continue to fill critical positions with internal talent as we extend our focus on succession planning and leadership development. With 20-plus years of industry experience, Joe and his Product and Solutions team will play a significant role in driving Zebra's overall strategy."
"I'm honored to be appointed Zebra's Chief Product and Solutions Officer and continue to collaborate with our executive leadership team to execute our growth strategy," declared White. "I look forward to the opportunities ahead to work with colleagues across Zebra to ensure we are well-positioned to empower our customers to digitize and automate their operations." A number of acquisitions have moved Zebra Technologies further into Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR), Machine Vision (MV), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Joe White, Chief Product and Solutions Officer, Zebra Technologies
Linga's Second Helping
A pair of industry veterans have joined restaurant software provider Linga (Naples, FL): David Herzig as Partner Account Manager and Mariell Rahmani as Sales Account Executive for the West Coast. Most recently, Herzig served as Channel Manager - Retail Solutions for HP, following his time as Regional Channel Manager for ParTech and Regional Manager for Squirrel Systems. "David's extensive background in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and his first-hand experience with partner channels makes him an essential new component of our team," stated Onur Haytac, CEO and Founder of Linga, which offers Linga rOS.
In her background, Rahmani most recently served as Regional Relationship Manager - Hospitality SMB for NCR. Earlier roles have included Account Executive for the Rewards Network, as well as Catering Sales Manager for Above & Beyond Catering, Fork & Spoon Productions, and the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. She will be based in San Francisco, CA. "Her knowledge and experience within the hospitality sector will be pivotal for Linga moving forward," stated Onur Haytac.
New at Linga: David Herzig, Partner Account Manager and Mariell Rahmani, Sales Account Executive - West Coast
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