As a point of sale (POS) reseller, you work with clients that have different perspectives when it comes to retail technology. Chances are you could characterize some of them as merchants who recognize technology as a valuable tool that helps them stay competitive and profitable. Others, though, are still hanging on to legacy systems that could be crippling their ability to attain the productivity, efficiency, and level of customer service they need to survive.
In the early part of the 21st century, during a decade I like to refer to as the Uh-Oh’s, my life looked very different than it does now. For starters, I worked for two different VARs over an eight-year period which may sound like a shocking revelation — but it is. The idea of me putting on a light blue dress shirt with a pair of khakis to discuss the value proposition of bleeding edge technologies is a pretty hilarious one, if you know me.
Over the past eight years major IT industry shifts have demanded attention and budget. Hot topics that have dominated the IT conversation have included unstructured data governance, network monitoring, threat detection, virtualization, new cost-effective approaches to infrastructure management, and backup and disaster recovery solutions that help restore sensitive information in case of data loss or theft. These topics have changed the way IT manages and protects their environment, but even more where they place their resources and time.
In response to continued retail hacks, several technologies are being introduced that promise to help keep consumers' financial information more secure. The most notable include EMV chip cards.
Many called 2014 the Year of the Breach, but 2015 and 2016 have taken a run at that title with multiple multi-million-record breaches of its own. How can huge data breaches still be happening? Solutions that provide increased protection for cardholder data while maintaining the highest levels of performance — up to millions of transactions per day — were defined and developed after the highly publicized breaches in 2009. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) released solution requirements for point-to-point encryption to assist merchants in protecting cardholder data and reducing the scope of their environment for PCI DSS assessments. However, these approaches still seem to be a concept rather than common practice.
An increase in global mobile payment transactions is expected this year with the growth of its total value of transactions predicted to be by 210 percent, according to eMarketer. Needless to say, the future looks good for proximity mobile payments technologies.
According to research consultancy IDC, the global IT market surpassed $3.7 trillion in 2015 and it’s on track to reach $3.8 trillion in 2016. However, diminished margins, competitive pressures and shifting channel dynamics are challenging resellers to do more with less, and to do it more creatively. Renewed ideas are necessary for today’s channel players to stay relevant – and stay profitable.
One of the benefits of having been in the sales coaching, consulting, and training business for the past 40 years is that I've had an opportunity to see a lot of so-called magical solutions come through our industry. There have been training programs with hypnotic closes associated with the program. There have been all kinds of gadgets and devices intended to help salespeople sell more.
This year, the relationship between application program interface (API) publisher and consumer is going to shift, and central to this is the Citizen Integrator. Traditionally, API integration has been the domain of software developers and IT organizations — until now. Citizen Integrators will be the primary consumers of APIs, but they are not yet directly marketed to by publishers.
The New Year often brings with it new business ambition. Whether it’s setting new financial goals, planning for growth and expansion, launching a new product line, or anything in between, chances are that branding and marketing are going to play some sort of role in the process. And if you haven’t touched up your logo, refreshed a tagline, or optimized any marketing or advertising campaigns for some time, it might be time to consider a rebrand.