IBM today announced a sleek, powerful new line of point-of-sale systems (POS) with advanced features and functions designed to help retailers create smarter, more dynamic and efficient business operations capable of helping reduce costs, manage risk and energize the consumer buying experience through improved customer service and shopper checkout time.
This latest edition of the IBM SurePOS 500 is among the first retail systems to deploy next generation infrared (IR) touch screen with inadvertent touch screen technology that reduces the risk of unintentionally registering a touch. The innovative touch screen never needs recalibrating, therefore improving accuracy and speeding up transaction times. The highly accurate display permits maximum light transmittal and significant glare reduction to create the highest possible image quality, even in sunlight. In addition, due to retail hardening on the touch screen, it is totally sealed to resist damage from accidental spills.
"A store experience that drives customer loyalty is a key ingredient for success in today's business economy," said Alan Outlaw, SurePOS Portfolio Business Line Executive, IBM Retail Store Solutions. "Now more than ever, consumers are looking for differentiation when choosing where they spend their money. They expect a higher level of satisfaction—better service, better prices, better quality and convenience. Smart businesses are meeting these demands by implementing new customer service initiatives and investing in cost-saving technology that enables them to respond to change faster and easier."
Along with significantly enhanced SurePOS 566 and 526 models for midsized and larger businesses, IBM introduced a new SurePOS express solution that offers smaller enterprises the optimum configuration of point-of-sale components to help them meet requirements to grow their businesses in a continually challenging business environment.
The IBM SurePOS 500 Express is the industry's leading compact point-of-sale system designed with small to midsized customers in mind. The new Express model provides clients the ability to capture real-time information and new insights at the POS that drive effective customer service initiatives and help ensure the right merchandise is in stock at the right time. By providing employees greater access to product and customer information at point-of-sale, retailers can deliver better customer service, improve employee productivity and, ultimately, deliver smarter business outcomes.
IBM is the only retail vendor to offer retail hardening, deep sleep automation, tool free serviceability and Light-Path and Remote Management capability on a single platform. The unique combination of innovative IR touch screen technology, tool free retail-hardened system design, a biometric fingerprint reader, along with Remote Management Agent and Light-Path diagnostics, is designed to keep point-of-sale systems up and running. IBM clients get a level of reliability, performance and security that is unmatched in the industry.
An IDC study has shown that "Store systems uniquely engineered for store employee and consumer usability directly address a critical business value for store management. The speed by which a cashier can train on and adapt to using a well-designed POS terminal will impact checkout efficiency, allowing an improvement in the ratio between labor costs and transaction volume, not to mention the shopper's perception of a speedier retail payment process."
Innovative Next-Generation Touch Screen Technology
The IBM SurePOS 500's infrared touch display is a versatile 15-inch screen that enables effective multimedia operator training, full-motion video for advertising up selling and interactive customer displays. Clients can also incorporate a 6.5" LCD customer display onto the compact point-of-sale footprint, enabling retailers to make the most of valuable counter space. Retail studies have show that even a quarter of a square foot of free checkout counter space can allow retailers to sell more impulse items and increase sales an estimated $84 per year per system.
Biometric Fingerprint Technology - Enhanced In-Store Security
The biometric fingerprint reader allows retailers to provide advanced security for manager functions and operator log-ons and log-offs. The cost of a data breach in 2008 was $202 per compromised record, up 2.5 percent from $197 per record in 2007, according to the Ponemon Institute, a Michigan-based privacy and information security research and consultancy firm. Ponemon's estimates are based on interviews with companies that have suffered breaches to customer records that include credit card numbers and, in some cases, personal identification information.
Tool Free Retailed Hardened Design
The tool free IBM SurePOS 500 is easy to install, and incorporates the technology retailers say they need to manage operations in specialty, food service and hospitality, gas and convenience, and other environments. It simplifies access to components such as the power supply or hard-disk drive so they can be quickly and easily replaced without tools. IBM’s advanced design and retail hardening increases the reliability of the SurePOS 500, thus helping to reduce downtime and maintenance costs. IBM retail hardening innovations include board flex testing, power cycling and pre-shipment integration. The highly reliable design helps protect the system from damaging factors such as electrostatic shock, fluctuations in temperature and humidity, dust pollution and harmful vibrations.
Energy Savings via Deep Sleep Technology
Designed specifically for midsized retailers looking to differentiate their brands, this new line of IBM SurePOS™ systems offers breakthrough energy-saving features capable of helping put retail clients’ high-energy costs to sleep. Along with a choice of energy-saving processors, the systems deploy new deep sleep technology that allows clients to reduce energy consumption by up to 47 percent, approximately $25,200 in savings for a store deploying 1,200 retail units. With deep sleep technology, clients can place checkout systems in a low-power mode that allows them to save almost as much energy as when the system is completely powered off. Systems can be set to sleep mode during after hours, then “wake up” via a remote cue using IBM’s Remote Management Agent, before employees arrive the next morning. During the work day, SurePOS units not being used can be put to sleep and reactivated quickly when traffic picks up.
Remote System Management & Light Path Diagnostics
The IBM SurePOS 500 also offers enterprise-class management capability through IBM Remote Management Agent (RMA). Available at no additional charge, this industry-leading system management tool allows retailers to remotely monitor POS units, as well as track assets and distribute software. When combined with IBM Director, also available at no additional charge for use on IBM servers, these functions can be monitored at an enterprise level across multiple store locations. IBM Director is an integrated, easy-to-use suite of tools that provide customers with flexible systems management capabilities to help realize maximum system availability and help lower IT costs. With IBM Director and IBM Remote Management Agent, IT administrators can view and track the hardware configuration of remote systems in detail and monitor the usage and performance of critical components, such as processors, disks and memory.
In addition, the easy-to-service IBM SurePOS 500 Model 566 has visual indicators that proactively monitor the system’s status through Light-Path Management. The service processor is based on an IBM System x™ server architecture refined for the retail environment, allowing both local and remote diagnostics.