Magazine Article | June 25, 2012

VARs' Guide To All-In-One/POS Systems

By Business Solutions magazine

Significant Trends

Target Nontraditional Verticals — “We are seeing more all-in-one solutions being used in nontraditional retail verticals.  For example, they are being used in healthcare settings  on mobile carts and patient admission sites in place of traditional laptop solutions or PCs. The durability and form factors make them a good solution for these areas.” Paul Constantine, president, ScanSource POS & Barcoding

Offer Creative Ways To Buy — “There is a major movement towards product usage programs (Software/Hardware as a Service) for technology products, partially driven by the ISO community offering ‘free POS’ bundled with their processing services. This trend will accelerate with the emergence of low-cost POS solutions that run on consumergrade tablets and other mobile devices.” Terry Zeigler, president/CEO, Datacap Systems

Keep An Eye On Multitouch — “We are seeing a rapid shift toward Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT) touch screens. Multitouch and gesturing will most certainly be deployed on next-generation POS software. This makes sense as we have new generations of users being raised on iPad and iPhone devices. ” Alex Nelson, CEO, J2 Retail Systems

Pitfalls To Avoid

Don’t Avoid Talking About Price — “VARs should work with store owners to understand product life cycle expectations and replacement costs for less reliable products. VARs and store owners must also understand how device failure affects performance and ultimately, profits.” Bill Brennan, senior director of channel sales, Panasonic Solutions for Business

Don’t Be Shortsighted — “Think about what other technologies your customers could need as part of a total solution. Do they need scanning that is mobile and can be used for receiving or inventory purposes? Maybe they need a customer loyalty system that allows for printing of the cards in the store. There are many ways to enhance the solution they are providing.” Paul Constantine, president, ScanSource POS & Barcoding

Focus On Core Vendor Partnerships — “Avoid ‘deals of the week’ from ‘xyz’ vendor. This may sound great at first, but in the long run a VAR who uses these deals will just end up with several hundred different pieces of equipment from several vendors that will be difficult to support.” Alex Nelson, CEO, J2 Retail Systems

Sales Advice

Use ROI To Help Close The Sale — “VARs must consider return on investment and be able to educate customers about support beyond the initial purchase price. VARs should know how long the customer plans to keep the POS installed and discuss options to keep total cost of ownership low.” Bill Brennan, senior director of channel sales, Panasonic Solutions for Business

Add Value Via Services — “Providing value-added services (i.e. staging, integration, implementation, training, and support) is the foundation of building long-lasting partnerships, and services margins do not erode as quickly as product margins.” Doyle Ledford, VP of Sales, Posiflex USA

Consider Flash ROM Terminals — “IT people in franchisee operations or individual store owners are tired of having to constantly conform to PCI regulations with changing passwords, checking their firewalls, data being compromised, and the list goes on. Flash ROM terminal technology bypasses much of the PCI regulations and cannot be hacked from the outside world.” Glen Deal, sales development manager, Casio Systems Products Division

Why Sell All-In-Ones?

Customer Satisfaction Wins The Day — “At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is paramount. New technologies such as integrated reservation modules, iPad ordering, and reporting tools will ultimately result in a more satisfied customer and a more user-friendly experience for the business owner. These technologies also help you meet the needs of a wider range of businesses, thus expanding your customer base.” Rohan Mani, reseller division director, Harbortouch

All-In-Ones Are Proven — “Many of our industry applications are still dependent upon stationary solutions that are designed to withstand the harsh day-to-day elements present within the industries we serve. Mobile products’ pervasiveness is inevitable and will continue to have a great impact on our business, but there will still be a continued need for stationary, purpose-built, tried and true products.” Doyle Ledford, VP of Sales, Posiflex USA

Growth Opportunities Exist — “POS systems are the financial backbone of an operation, with other business management solutions including software, digital signage, and security tied to it. Restaurants are looking to introduce improved POS workstations to increase efficiency and enhance guest services.” Bill Brennan, senior director of channel sales, Panasonic Solutions for Business