Microsoft End of Support and Android Migration

Reminder:

·     July 9, 2019 end of support for MS Windows Embedded 8.1*

·     Jan. 14, 2020 end of support for MS Windows Embedded 6.5**

POSDATA can help your business by smoothing out the road bumps with Android migration planning.

How to Create an Android Readiness Plan

Here’s a list of tips to help you get started:

1. Map out your business processes and how your existing devices are utilized.

2. Perform a device count, and determine if your business will require the same, greater, or less number of future hardware devices.

3. Gather your current mobile computing hardware and application requirements.

4. Review hardware and software specifications for current Android devices, and verify they will meet current and anticipated future requirements. For example, are there any innovations with software, apps, or devices that can improve your productivity and generate a higher ROI?

5. Analyze your current device and network security.

6. Review any compliance or regulatory requirements that are specific for your business or industry.

7. Consider whether you need device management solutions or additional support for your implementation.

Prepare your total budget for device purchases, software upgrades, and training.

The POSDATA Zebra Advantage

POSDATA is a Zebra Premier Business partner, and we can help you select the right hardware and software solutions to streamline your migration. Zebra has a full line of Android OS scanning products, ranging from lightweight mobile scanning devices, to rugged units that can work in harsh warehouse environments.

*Mainstream Support End Date
**Extended Support End Date
POSDATA

Control Solutions Announces Company Name Change

Control Solutions, Inc. announced today that it will be named POSDATA Group, Inc., effective immediately. The name change is part of a re-branding initiative and corporate restructuring.

“The rebranding will allow us to better leverage our marketing efforts and create a greater impact on the market” said Jeffrey Creighton, company President.  “All parts of the business will now go to market as POSDATA Group as we emphasize our leadership position in providing a full range of transaction processing technologies.”

The automatic identification, mobile computing and wireless networking part of the company, previously doing business as Compsee, will operate now as POSDATA Group – AIDC.

Bill McCubbins, Executive Vice President, will be responsible for managing sales of all product lines.   In addition to AIDC products, POSDATA Group markets payment systems and devices, managed services such as logistics, deployment and key injection, and mobile software solutions for field data collection.

The name change will be phased in across all aspects of the business in the relatively near future.

About POSDATA Group

POSDATA Group is a leading payment systems distributor as well as a nationwide AIDC VAR and integrator.

POSDATA Group provides AIDC, mobile computing and RF systems, labeling systems and data collection solutions for a variety of markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation, retail, construction and healthcare.

POSDATA Group is also the most knowledgeable and trusted distributor of payment systems and devices in the United States, with full key injection and deployment capabilities.

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A downloadable version of this press release is available here.

For inquiries, contact Mike Kapp
POSDATA Group, Inc.
1-800-852-3282
mike.kapp@posdata.com

Replace Pre-PCI Devices Now

As 2014 slips away, there is an important piece of information that you will want to share with some of your customers.  December 31, 2014 is the last day that Pre-PCI devices can be used by customers that have them installed.  Please share this information with those that have Pre-PCI devices still installed in their stores.  We know that POSDATA sold many of these devices to resellers a number of years ago.  If you or your customers have not already replaced them, please make sure that they are aware of this PCI mandate.  If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your POSDATA Salesperson or call Senior Sales Support Engineer Bryan Jackson at 972-514-4236,  Bryan.Jackson@posdata.com.

10 Steps in a Point of Sale System Refresh

10 Steps in a Point of Sale System Refresh

Are you considering a Point Of Sale System Refresh?  Whether it’s a full refresh, server refresh or systems infrastructure upgrade, there are a lot of factors to consider. By following a few simple steps you can reduce your risk and increase your reward. Some of these may seem obvious to retailers, but you might be surprised what can be overlooked when planning a project of this scale.

  1. Customer Experience – You have most likely already investigated and determined that the refresh will be improving upon the customer experience. New systems are increasingly user-friendly and feature larger typography and vibrant graphics. Some systems also allow you to move remotely throughout the store to capture payment, a strategy that can break up lines and boost customer satisfaction. 

  2. Advance Communication – Enough cannot be said about communicating the details of the system refresh with your employees in advance and throughout the project to keep all parties apprised of status and benchmarks. Lack of communication, whether perceived or real, can kill a project.

  3. Project Manager –Designate one project manager who has the availability to oversee installation and communicate both with the store employees and the installation specialists.  This individual is put in place to make sure tasks are assigned and closed and communicate both progress and setbacks. 

  4. Tax Benefits – Investigate the current tax laws. There may be tax benefits to performing a full Point of Sale refresh. Make certain to check on both hardware and software upgrades, as benefits can vary.

  5. Equipment Disposal – Investigate whether your existing equipment can be traded in for discount against the new purchase. If not, can it be sold to help offset the costs of the new products?  If there doesn’t appear to be any savings to be had, then consider how you intend to dispose of the equipment. You may want to consider donation, recycling for parts, or total destruction. Proper disposal of equipment is just as important as its initial deployment.  You will want to partner with an organization that provides Certificate of Disposal in compliance with EPA regulations.

  6. Site Surveys – Identify, in advance, potential issues at the sight with networking (both hard line and wireless), electrical, lay-out, etc. as well as other areas with the new equipment being installed.

  7. Test, test, and then test again – It’s important that the testing occur in the lab as well as the production environment. You will want to designate a percentage of each store footprint to test the new environment in each unique situation and isolate the problems before the main project deploys.

  8. Retrofit IT Infrastructure – Before the refresh occurs at a specific site, make certain that all aspects of the replacement technology have been explored and are prepared to go at the “flip of a switch”, as it will need to happen just about that quickly. Have you considered power requirements, glare, space requirements, etc.? 

  9. Stagger the Stores – It’s best to have a percentage of your stores roll each night, based on the time zone of their location. That way the onsite personnel can get their work done earlier and have time to fix any issues at a specific site. As you work from the east coast to the west coast the process will improve for each night of installs. 

  10. Post-Transition Support – Make certain you have taken into account that the stores may need a little assistance in the days right after an upgrade. Regardless of the amount of time spent in advance, there will be stores that need a little extra help after the fact.  Upon successful completion, make certain to communicate the results and how well the project went. Acknowledge those organizations and divisions that helped in making it a success.

Looking for a service partner to manage your system refresh? Take a look at POSDATA’s managed services and contact us when you are ready to get the ball rolling.

On-Site or Depot Services? Both May Be The Right Choice

When selecting the type of service that best fits your repair needs, often the question arises, onsite or depot? Both may be the right answer for your company.

In the past, onsite services have typically been viewed as a costly option. However, in the right situations the service can be very affordable, especially when compared to the cost of downtime for your company.  You also need to consider the costs, often overlooked, of lost productivity and cost effectiveness.

 Maintenance Options – Onsite vs. Depot

Questions to ask for determining type of service Onsite Depot
Is the equipment running your business critical applications, i.e., web site or billing system? X
Do you only have a quantity of 1 of this system or device with no viable back-up at that particular location? X
Do you have redundancy in place for the system or device? X X
Can the device be easily swapped and installed by one of your employees? X
Is the location near a major city or located within a major city? X X
Is the location in a rural area? X X
Can the device be “down” for a day or two? X
What is the weight of the equipment? X X

Mission Critical

Onsite services are almost always recommended for mission critical devices.  Those devices will vary by customer and type of business, but almost every business will have devices that are considered mission critical and need to be repaired the same day.

 Depot Service Options

Depot services offer quick and reliable response, and are not as expensive as onsite services.  Non-critical equipment might be covered by a repair and return service, if the equipment can be down for days or utilize the option of next day replacement shipped from the depot facility to your location.

 Understanding the difference

When evaluating your service needs, it is best to understand the differences between onsite and depot services.  You need to read the fine print; same day or next day onsite service does not always mean same day or next day repair.  Depot services will provide a unit, already repaired and tested.  Onsite typically travels with some parts, or parts as designated by the type of failure you report.

Combining the Service Options

You may determine, based upon the geographic location, that a combination of the service for a particular device is your best option.  If the location is not near a major city, onsite services may cost more and not guarantee a repair, but depot services may be a better fit with an advance exchange option.  With POSDATA’s advance exchange option you know you’ll have a working replacement device arrive at the specified location the next business day ready for use right out of the box. 

 POSDATA Onsite and Depot Services plans offer the following:

  • Trained technicians.  They know the equipment and have been trained to meet and/or exceed Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) specifications.
  • Preventative maintenance.  This service can be incorporated with several different types of equipment in ensure a longer service life.
  • Locally stocked parts.  For equipment under a maintenance contract, parts will be stocked locally to facilitate repairs, whether Onsite or Depot service is selected.
  • Tailored solution. Service level plans designed to meet your specific needs, not a cookie cutter solution.
  • You can select from several service offerings, same day/next day/monthly maintenance/time and materials, etc.
  • A wide variety of equipment is covered, pc’s, printers, monitors, point-of-sale equipment (including key injection services at our depot facility), networking, payment terminals, etc.
  • Warranty support, or extended warranty programs.
  • IMAC (installs, moves, adds, changes).
  • Hot swap programs
  • Imaging and configurations.
  • Technology upgrades.
  • and many more…

If you have concerns about whether your company’s equipment is properly covered, or if you just want to see if there are ways to save money, please contact us today.  We will be happy to assist you in the evaluation and determine your maintenance needs; where you might be vulnerable; or where you have overlap and can save money.

POSDATA Announces New Customer Support Services

POSDATA is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, we are offering customer support for all customers who purchase or develop software utilizing integrated terminals. Support includes configuration, troubleshooting and ongoing maintainance and is offered via annual support contracts, hourly programs, and other customized agreements.

According to Mr. William McCubbins, EVP Payment Sales and Services,

“POSDATA has always prided itself on being more than a simple ‘box seller’. The world of integrated payments is very complex and requires a great deal of knowledge from those who sell the products. I am very pleased that POSDATA can expand our value added services to include technical support for the product we sell.”

 

Three Ways a Wireless Network Benefits Your Business

Network accessibility is becoming increasing important in today’s fast paced world. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a business environment that cannot benefit from a wireless network. Companies across a broad spectrum — manufacturers, warehouses, retailers, schools, hospitals, hotels and service facilities — are implementing wireless networks in record numbers. The benefits they find include mobility, simpler installation and lower cost of ownership.

Retail clerk checking inventory using wireless terminal1. Mobility That Leads to Productivity

Wireless networks give users the flexibility to move around within the local coverage and still remain connected to the network. This supports productivity and service options which are not possible with wired networks.

Through a wireless network, a mobile worker has real time access to business applications and shared resources, such as databases and printers. This may also include connection to the wider Internet.

2. Installation Simplicity

In many cases, a wireless network may allow for easier and faster installation since the need to pull cable through walls and ceilings for fixed station terminations is eliminated. As such, adding or changing stations in the future becomes faster and more cost effective.

3. Lower Cost of Ownership

While the initial investment required for wireless LAN equipment may be higher than wired network hardware, the overall installation expenses and life cycle costs can be significantly lower. This is dramatically so for dynamic environments subject to frequent moves and changes, or older buildings where running additional cabling is cost prohibitive.

POSDATA’s Wireless LAN Services

POSDATA has been installing wireless networks for 15 years in a variety of customer environments, including giant distribution facilities requiring over 1 million sq. ft. of wireless coverage.

According to Nuset Conk, POSDATA’s Wireless Services Manager, “We’re a one-stop shop for wireless services. We can handle the complete job from the initial site survey, through wiring and equipment installation. One of the most common mistakes that we see with wireless network installations is the failure to spend the time necessary to properly plan and design the system.”

Motorola LANPlanner hotmapImplementing a robust wireless LAN requires both an expertise in wireless networks and the proper tools. POSDATA uses tools such as Motorola’s LANPlanner software to simulate the RF (radio frequency) coverage taking into account a facility’s unique construction and design.

Conk adds, “The benefit of these tools to our customers is more accurate site surveys, the ability to cost effectively run multiple ‘what if’ scenarios, and the elimination of costly rework that can result from trial-and-error site surveys.”

The POSDATA site survey provides a customer with a blueprint for moving forward to the implementation stage of the project. Most customers will then proceed with POSDATA on the wiring and installation of the access points and RF switches, and full commissioning of the system.

For more information about POSDATA’s wireless services, contact sales@posdata.com or call 800- 426-4004.