Looking to touch base with a broader range of resellers, Ingram Micro has formed a new division to deliver Point of Sale (POS) and data capture equipment to the retail industry.
Ingram business manager, Linda Pifat, who is heading up the division, said it was part of a global strategy to invest into adjacent markets. The division will focus on retail POS equipment, such as barcode scanners, receipt printers and weighing units, as well as Automated ID and Data Capture (AIDC) products. They range from RFID chips, smartcards and access cards through to biometrics hardware.
The division currently employs three dedicated staff and will be supported by Ingram's sales team. It has signed six vendors to date: NCR, Cherry, Toshiba Tec, Datalogic, Printronics and MYOB Retail and Hospitality Management.
Additional vendors are expected to come on in July. Existing Ingram partners, SonicWall and DLink, will provide security, networking and mobility. Ingram is pitting itself against established POS players including Vantex, DH Technology, Wasp Systems and Goodsons. Pifat said Ingram was the only distributor offering solutions which covered transaction recording and back-end infrastructure. "These guys are only focused on POS and AIDC and don't do the end-to-end, including the network and security back-end," she said.
To help generate awareness and leads, the distributor has developed an Imrapt (Ingram Micro Retail AIDC and POS Technology) information portal primarily for end users. The site goes live on February 1. Features include a product catalogue sourced from the TechLink database; pre-packaged solutions from Ingram, such as asset management; a library of whitepapers from vendors and related industry association information. Content will be divided into two sections: POS and AIDC.
"There's no place for people setting up a new business to find all of the pieces," Pifat said. "Our aim is to wrap up all of the technology and information you need.
"We will be setting up different packages that users can subscribe to. These will include things like domain registration, available from NetRegistry, couriers, magazine subscriptions, business information, as well as Internet providers." While business startups were an obvious target,
Pifat said its offerings would also extend to existing retailers looking to advance their transaction technologies. "There are a lot of upgrade opportunities in the industry; cash register technology is still years behind," she claimed. "We'll take over a lot of the end-user touch that the vendors are now doing directly, including the large retailers."