HP Plan Aims to Make Point-of-Sale Play Nice

The company unveils a program designed to make combining point-of-sale hardware with software applications a smooth, compatible process.

Last month, HP released the RP3000, a small-footprint POS computer system designed to help small retailers manage their businesses. Today, the company unveiled a verification program intended to make it easier for those same retailers to find reliably compatible POS software applications.

When it comes to point-of-sale solutions, hardware is just one part of the equation, said Tate Davis, an HP product manager. " The HP POS Solution Ready Program is a big step forward for us in supporting our customers on the software side," he said.

The by-invitation-only program allows software developers to optimize their POS software applications on HP hardware. Davis said each software application must pass a joint-verification process to ensure that the software is completely compatible with HP POS systems and peripherals.

The process takes approximately one month. The developer loads the software onto HP's hardware, runs the application and then goes through a verification checklist to make certain all aspects work properly. Davis said that HP then verifies the results. When a developer's application passes, it receives a logo indicating that the software is HP POS Solution Ready.

Currently, the list of software developers invited to be a part of HP's POS Solution Ready program include: Microsoft, Intuit, Oracle, InfoTouch, Torex, CAP Software, pcAmerica, Retail Pro, Nova Libra, Uniforce and Business Machine Sales and Service.

Davis explained that, unlike a standard PC, a typical point-of-sale retail system is not plug-and-play. When you plug in different types of peripherals, and then add industry-specific software applications, you run the risk that the various pieces won't work together.

"Here's the 'so what' for merchants," said Davis. "Our verification program mitigates the risk in buying a total POS solution. Retailers can see the logo and feel confident that the software will work with their HP POS hardware. We want to create as close to a plug-and-play experience as possible."

When selecting a technology to help run their business, small retailers typically choose between an electric cash register (ECR) and a POS system. Naturally HP has an interest in retailers choosing the POS path.

"We want to drive down the cost and complexity of POS," said Davis. "This logo program gives retailers the confidence in POS, which in turn gives them more control over managing inventory, better understanding of their customer base, and an improved capability to market to them."

You'll find a list of all the verified software providers, and you can get more information about HP's POS retail products here.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

This article was first published on SmallBusinessComputing.com.






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