Magazine Article | December 5, 2016

Reader Spotlight: Will Atkinson, President, CAP Software

CAP Software develops fast, easy to use POS software to help SMB retailers in a variety of verticals save time and money managing their businesses. Keep tabs on inventory, customers, employees, and data all in one simple interface. CAP's products help retailers sell more and provide better customer service too!

CAP Software

Will Atkinson, President, CAP Software

Describe the most innovative installation/solution you’ve been involved in recently.

We helped a reseller develop a modular tablet system for a chain of stores that also attends trade shows to sell their custom products.  The solution allows the retailer to quickly and easily take up to 20 tablets out of their stores to sell quickly at high volume trade shows while capturing sales, inventory and CRM data, e-mail receipts, and then sync up the data automatically with the primary database when the show is over.

What is the biggest threat to your business? What are you doing about it?

I would say the ISO and credit card processor backed solutions are the most disruptive now because they are being offered as a cheap/free solution along with the credit card processing, and those are some of the biggest/best sales forces out there. We're offering SaaS licensing at incredible prices to our resellers to help them bundle their services and our products at a competitive price so they can offer a more robust solution to merchants who realize they need more features and functionality than your average tablet system can.

What is the biggest opportunity for your business? What are you doing to take advantage of it?

SaaS is a great thing in general for us, and we're trying to help our resellers understand the long term cash flow and business model benefits of the recurring revenue model. We're really pushing to roll in software, services, security, processing, and other value adds so that resellers can compete and build their businesses for the long term.

What emerging technology will have the biggest impact on your business and why?

I think that the cloud is probably going to grow and grow and we'll be using it in ways that we don't foresee.  For us, as a traditional ISV, it's disruptive because of the flexibility that a true cloud application offers to its users. That said, we have many customers who do not want the cloud for various reasons, or do not have reliable internet to run a true cloud application, so we are building a hybrid cloud model that can run in a true hosted environment or on a local server.

What technology do you wish you had embraced sooner and why?

I wish we had started building certain cloud tools earlier, specifically reporting and data management for retailers.  This is the most common feature we are asked for that we don't have today, but we are launching it soon.

Where do you see the channel in 10 years?

Make no mistake, the channel is facing headwinds in the form of direct sales models, and especially from the ISO ranks.  More and more ISOs, with very large sales forces, are offering some kind of POS solution, and whether or not it's a great solution for merchants, it's easy to sign up for it and pay a low monthly price.  Often merchants find out after they've started using it that it's not a fit. As we see more younger people becoming business owners, or people who grew up with computers and the internet, I think we'll see more people who are willing to DIY their solutions, rather than using a traditional VAR, which they might perceive as expensive and outdated.  VARs will need to add new breed solutions, pricing models, and delivery systems if they're going to compete and adapt.

What about your company culture attracts new employees and helps retrain current ones?

We're a small business with a very relaxed atmosphere (flip flops are just fine, thanks) and our customers are varied enough that we face new challenges daily, so even jobs like tech support don't get stale. We don't try to be Google, but we keep a fun atmosphere and I try to empower people to make their own decisions and always be learning.

What advice would you give to a VAR/MSP/ISV new to the channel?

Spend a lot of time vetting products, and don't do it alone.  Ask for recommendations and look at what your competitors are doing.  Find a distributor who can help you with logistics and then spend the rest of your time finding the best people you can and spend a lot of time on training.

If you weren’t a VAR/MSP/ISV what would you be doing?

Driving race cars.