Industry News - September 27th 2014
RETAIL AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS
Epicor Ranked Top Retail Software Vendor
For the third consecutive year, Epicor is ranked Leading POS Software Vendor for both specialty retail soft goods and hard goods retailers by IHL Group. The annual rankings conducted by IHL are based on the number of accounts in the top 250 retailers in the hard goods and specialty soft goods segments, number of POS licenses and managed revenue.
Epicor was ranked first over top POS vendors in IHL's POS software for soft goods retailers – a report that evaluates vendors of POS software installed among the leading 250 North American retailers, including apparel, jewelry, luggage and shoes. Epicor and its affiliates have topped the ranking in the annual report for the past eight years.
In IHL's POS software for hard goods retailers report, Epicor remained in first position for a third consecutive year. The report evaluates vendors of POS software installed among the upper 250 retailers in hard goods segments, including books, electronics, DIY and sports.
"Specialty retailers face significant competition from mass merchandisers, and are extremely vulnerable to shifting trends," said Greg Buzek, founder and president of IHL Group. "They must be agile and focus on the shopping experience and investing in systems to make customers enjoy shopping their stores and be able to fulfill the instant gratification desire of the consumer. Technology is a significant competitive advantage for these retailers and getting to single business logic for transactions via traditional POS, mobile or e-commerce is a key to success. When it comes to specialty retail, Epicor clearly has the market leadership presence and impact potential as retailers migrate to omnichannel retailing."
Epicor provides advanced solutions for retailers seeking to streamline processes, integrate channels, leverage intelligence and inspire customers, to maximize profitability. The Epicor Retail end-to-end suite is designed to meet the evolving merchandise and service expectations of today's connected, cross-channel shoppers and the business requirements of the most demanding soft goods, hard goods and specialty retail environments in a variety of industries, including apparel, footwear, discount, general merchandise, automotive aftermarket, lumber and building materials, nursery and pharmacy.
Leading companies – from Aeropostale, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance and Build-A-Bear, to General Nutrition Centers, True Value Company and Under Armour – trust Epicor to help remain current, competitive and consistently strong.
Comcast Offers Hotels a Cloud-based Complete Managed Voice Solution
Comcast Business has announced that its Business VoiceEdge™. Com solution is now available to hospitality customers. It will be offered as part of the Comcast Business Hospitality suite. A cloud-based, hosted PBX service, Hospitality VoiceEdge provides hotel/motel properties of any size with a complete managed voice solution for their back offices, allowing hoteliers to focus on their businesses instead of business communications.
Hospitality VoiceEdge allows hoteliers to optimize their voice solutions within the hotel to maximize productivity and efficiency, while reducing expenses. Available across 39 states and the District of Columbia, Hospitality VoiceEdge is supported over Comcast’s fully managed IP network.
With Hospitality VoiceEdge, Comcast delivers unlimited nationwide calling, state-of-the-art phones at no additional charge, HD audio and advanced UC features, including:
- Mobility: Supports the mobility of hotel staff within a single property and across multiple properties. This is particularly beneficial for “anytime, anywhere” staff that are always on-the-move, such as maintenance, facilities and housekeeping personnel.
- Interconnectivity: Many hotel properties are on standalone voice systems. Hospitality VoiceEdge links multiple dispersed properties and phones on one voice network.
- Simplicity and Flexibility: Easy to manage communications services and settings across multiple properties enables hoteliers to add/move/change properties quickly.
- Reliability: Automatic re-routing of incoming calls in the case of a power outage or disaster ensures that mission critical systems like reservation lines are not susceptible to outages.
- Scalability: Hotel properties can scale their voice services as their business grows. Hospitality VoiceEdge allows hoteliers to buy the exact number of seats needed for today, and then easily add users in the future as needed.
- Cost Savings: Over 50% of typical business voice traffic is internal. With Hospitality VoiceEdge, all internal calls are free and on-network, and moves, adds, changes and other configurations for back-office communications do not require costly on-site fees.
Bevintel Teams with IPC to Optimize Efficiency and Cost Savings in Inventory Management
Bevintel has optimized its efficiency and realized cost savings by utilizing the Linea Pro™ 4 from Infinite Peripherals, Inc. (IPC). The Linea Pro 4 adds a barcode scanner and a magnetic stripe reader to the Apple® iPod touch® or iPhone®, and works with custom software to create a mobile system for point-of-sale, inventory management, asset tracking, ID verification and lead tracking, among other capabilities.
This handheld system uses the company’s BevMobile application, which was built in-house to run on iOS, to conduct inventory management for wine, beer and liquor when franchisees perform audits in bars and restaurants. The result is quicker, more accurate bar stock taking; ideal inventory levels; and minimized loss due to waste and theft.
Bevintel replaced its former bulky handheld devices with the Linea Pro in 2012 based on the excellent quality and reputation of the Linea Pro. Beyond inventory, Bevintel is considering adding capabilities to this robust mobile system, in order to make it “the do-it-all system for our franchisees’ day-to-day operations.
CSI Enterprises and M3 Accounting + Analytics Offer New Accounts Payable Solution
A partnership between CSI Enterprises and M3 Accounting + Analytics is now offering an Accounts Payable solution that can provide significant operational savings for hotel properties nationwide.
M3 is the nation’s leading provider of hotel-specific accounting solutions, while CSI has provided innovative payment solutions to some of the world’s most iconic brands. As a result of the partnership, CSI’s globalVCard paysystems, an electronic payment solution, was incorporated into M3’s hosted, back-office accounting platform. The integration is designed to help customers reduce both the hours and the materials required for typical accounts payable processes.
After strong reception from a limited initial offering, the two companies decided to offer this solution to M3’s entire 3,000-plus roster of hotels. In the podcast, leaders of each company talk about the product’s benefits to different sized organizations – with large hospitality operations benefiting more from streamlining, and smaller ones benefiting from having access to capabilities they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Allen Read, president and COO with M3, noted in the interview, "The industry is trending toward electronic payments and efficiencies,” adding that, “we’re always looking for best-in-class solutions, which we found with CSI."
During the interview with PYMNTS.com, David Disque, SVP/Director Operations with CSI, emphasized the “seamless integration” that occurs “when two best-in-class partners work together.” He said clients “literally turn the switch” to start seeing the benefits.
Further detail and the full 20-minute podcast are both available at: http://bit.ly/15Dis5I or atPYMNTS.com.
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