By Brian Albright, Business Solutions magazine.
For VARs in the POS market, learning how to incorporate (or at least accommodate) new technologies in your POS offering will be an important strategy for generating new business and finding ways to expand your solution footprint with existing customers. New online marketing tools, social media-based advertising, cloud solutions, mobile payments, kiosks, and digital signage are increasingly part of the POS offering mix for VARs that want to put together bundled solutions for their customers.
"Consumer mobile devices have placed a nearly ubiquitous emphasis on real-time access to information, increasing service expectations in and around the store," says Will Atkinson, president of CAP Software. "Payment technology is filtering down to the most common device, and VARs need to be prepared to address these desires with technologies designed for the store environment."
Mobility is impacting the POS space in two ways — through the introduction of mobile POS stations (like those used to sell food at stadiums) and mobile payment solutions, which allow consumers to pay for items using their mobile phones. Both will require merchants to make sure their networks can handle these interactions. "The key will be to have the same level of access to information required by a standard POS," Roche says. "VARs can help a retailer most by providing guidance on store infrastructure. Without a solid infrastructure, mobility and other technologies will prove difficult to provide real value."
VARs can move beyond providing basic POS hardware/software packages and take an advisory role as their customers struggle to manage this transition and determine which technologies will suit their business needs.