Restaurant retailers considering mobile point of sale (POS), cloud-based technology may be wise to consider the question: How are value added resellers (VARs) responding to the tsunami of new offerings which are arguably cheaper and more convenient?
From software development to franchise incubator to ongoing support, part of Sintel’s commitment to our customers and industry is to share information on how technology impacts the hospitality industry at the point of sale. Whether you’re a first-time franchise hopeful, a small business owner or an established chain, it’s always smart to stay on top of information technology.
As POS continues to shift it’s POV to the cloud via mobile point of sale systems, value added resellers are responding in kind. In its recent article, “POS Is Not An ‘App’,”BusinessSolutions.com, an Information Technology channel-oriented website, caught up with Scott Lamb of Pinnacle Technologies. Below, we list Lamb’s five strategies he believes will drive channel revenue in this transformative time.
Think about your own challenges as you consider Lamb’s VAR strategies to take on the hospitality industry’s ever-growing appetite for mobile point of sale:
1. Get Your Head Out of the Cloud
– Don’t trade perceived convenience for degraded application performance. “Full-featured software, when used to its full potential, it’s bandwidth-intensive,” Lamb tells BusinessSolutions.com. “While many of our competitors have moved their lighter applications to the cloud, a powerful business application consumes too much bandwidth to run over the Internet for more than a couple of terminals.”
– Reporting can leverage the cloud’s “anywhere, any time” convenience, but for his company’s core POS applications, Lamb recommends a local database. “Many of the newer POS products, especially those built for mobile devices, are really just apps. They might run fine via the Internet on a couple of terminals. But a deep application that’s been perfected over 30 years needs an optimally stabilized delivery platform to do its job,” says Lamb. He agrees with customers skeptical of real-world results using cloud-based apps. “We refuse to trade functionality for a delivery method that’s arguably more convenient or cheaper,” he says. “We’re not app developers; we’re a hospitality company.”
2. Don’t Sweat the Small Margins
– While demand for mobile POS in the restaurant/bar industries drove Pinnacle to embrace iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices, Lamb says the company doesn’t make money on them. Rather, Pinnacle focuses on the rest of the physical POS infrastructure such as credit card readers, servers, mobile printers, bar code readers, iPad stands and wireless access points. “We learned from experience that our customers are willing to pay for infrastructure and integration expertise; too many attempted it themselves only to realize that not all these components play nice with one another.”
3. Sell Security
– According to some estimates, 80 percent of credit card identity theft originates in the hospitality industry, due in part because patrons have been trained to accept allowing a server to take their cards out of sight. “The more aware of card and network security issues our customers are, the more money we make on the sale of PCI-compliant solutions,” says Lamb.
– Surveillance is also part of an integrated hospitality security POS solution, and once again, Lamb states that “… the more aware of card and network security issues our customers are, the more money we make on the sale of PCI-compliant solutions.”
4. Sell More
– Selling more can be a key component of growth for a VAR. Lamb tells BusinessSolutions.com that the prevailing swing toward mobile devices and wireless networks allows him to send one technician on most installation engagements, freeing up labor to take on more work.
– So to with efficiencies made possible with remote support. “We can sell software upgrades and implement them remotely, which dramatically reduces our overhead,” says Lamb.
5. Sell Your Experience
– Lamb stresses the difference between demonstration and consultation, where the real sales value lies. “The server must have the training and confidence to do this, and it’s up to the operator to ensure that,” he tells BusinessSolutions.com. “In the wrong hands, mobile POS won’t net anything.” But educated servers will fight for use of the devices. Again, Lamb, “It’s proven that being armed with mobile tools like these yields more tips due to better service.”
Read the full BusinessSolutions.com post here, free with registration.
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