We are about to hire a new POS software installation and training person to work out of Brisbane. Key to the role is a love for retail, small business retail in particular. Excellent training and guidance will be provided to help them be of value immediately.
From in-home innovation to retail innovation to tech trendy to geekery, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year is proving to be an exciting playground for the Tower Systems representatives we have there.
While CES is an opportunity to meet with hardware suppliers, it is more about spotting trends and considering these in the context of what we do with small and independent retailers and specific marketplaces in which we serve.
The trip is proving to be a good opportunity to network with some Australians attending this year.
Taking time out of the day to day to consider future possibilities is useful, especially at the start of the year.
The team at Tower Systems has had a busy lead up to Christmas 2014 with new installations being completed even this week, new software plans being finalised and fresh training opportunities being workshopped and retail business help being dispensed in good measure.
There has been no slowing to our efforts for our independent and small business retailer customers as we serve their needs of today and plan for great things for tomorrow.
With many staff not on leave at the moment, we have taken the opportunity to make a series of moves that position us well for 2015. We’re excited this last day before Christmas.
It’s not all tech talk and business this time of the year in the head office of our POS software company. Being Christmas time, we enjoy more Christmas cheer at lunchtime and during breaks thanks to more diverse food choices including tasty mince pies.
The office is decorated too – bringing some festive colour into our workplace.
The photo shows some of the decorations at our reception desk.
So while we may be all business on the phone during calls, we’re chilling out and enjoying the Christmas season in between. We draw the line at singing Christmas carols though – no one wants to hear that.
We are bringing the team to Melbourne next weekend for a terrific Christmas party in a boat shed by the banks of the Yarra. We’d have a lamb on the spit roast, delicious salads, a selection of tasty Aussie desserts and an open bar. As a consequence our office staffed Saturday support will end at 11:30am instead of the usual 3pm.
Always with a mind to customer service our after hours numbers will be working all through.
We will also email our customers so everyone knows the plans.
Tower Systems is inviting retailers to apply as alpha test sites for new software outside of the traditional POS software space. With development completed and in-house QA completed, this new product si ready for field experience prior to commercial release.
POS software experts Tower Systems have produced a video on the latest facilities in its POS software and in the video you can see the benefits of owning a POS software company and a retail business. In one scene you see some of developers behind using the software in a live environment. This is gold for users – showing developers learning retail from the other side of the counter.
The latest video offers more training and insights for Tower Systems customers.
The bigger the distance between POS software development and retail businesses the less likely the software is to serve needs. This is where Tower Systems shines through its ownership of retail businesses.
Tower Systems has produced a professional video to introduce the 2015 edition of its software. Hosted by our Software Development Manager, this video calls out the highlights of the most comprehensive POS software update from Tower in years.
Representing a year of professional software development and consultation with customers, the update release is supported by this overview video, training videos, written materials and fresh advice accessible online.
The YouTube video is another way Tower Systems presents itself in a fresh and unique way to its retail partners.
Tower Systems has started contacting customers to invite them to be part of a trial group to play with something completely different. In return for confidentiality, early adoption and detailed feedback, participating retailers will be given free access to software that breaks with tradition.
Two years in the making, this project is another example of Tower Systems investing in software for small businesses. Leadership in action will be clear when the software steps into the public eye, soon.
This is where it all began for Tower Systems – back in 1981 – before we sold our first system. This photo shows the first computer in which we started developing small business applications.
This tiny Apple II+ with dual floppy drives was our first development platform. It was new and exciting and fun to develop on. While storage on the Apple II+ was limited we made the most of the opportunity to provide small businesses with tools that cut labour intensive data related tasks.
While the software we sell today is generations beyond what we developed in 1981, the principles are the same – to offer our customers software facilities through which they can save time and money and on which they can rely to make better quality business decisions sooner.
Here is an internal communication sent by our Managing Director to all Tower Systems team members last week in advance of wider release of a major POS software update. We share this here to show how internally we are committed to the quality and engaged customer services we promote in our marketing pitch:
The next two months will present us with many challenges and opportunities as our customers load and engage with 2.6. For many in the company you will face new experiences as this is the biggest update ever in the history of the Retailer product.
There will be people who blame things on the update that have nothing to do with the update.
Many will not read the instructions prior to loading the update.
Most will be nervous.
Plenty will be happy with what’s in the u0date and some will want more changes urgently.
Others will say their systems are slower as a result.
Some will realise that they need to upgrade their hardware.
Please actively listen to what people have to say, make sure they know you are listening to them – even if what they are saying has been said to you many times before by others. People calling about the update is what we are here for. We promise them we are not your average software company. We promise to listen to them and serve their needs. This is where your contact, each contact, is vital.
While Ben owns 2.6, it is on all of us to serve our customers as they install, learn and start to use 2.6. Their experience will depend on each of us. What they think about Tower Systems for the future will depend on each of us.
Thank you in advance for your commitment through what will be a busy and challenging time.
We are committed to providing an enjoyable experience for our customers. This email and the considerable training of our team which preceded it is further evidence of that commitment.
Apple has received extraordinary attention for its announcements last week as is always the case when the tech giant announces new models and new products. While we applaud Apple’s innovation and its ability to engage people all around the world with its technology, there are many businesses and individual innovators who receive little or no attention.
Take POS software, the spare we work in. It’s not glamorous or fashionable. However, if we get it right and engage appropriately with our customers, we make small retail businesses more profitable.
This coal face work with small and independent retailers is more important economically to Australia and New Zealand, the two main countries in which we trade, than Apple selling its devices and paying minimal tax.
We help people into business by making it easier for them. We help people find work by providing a skill they can learn and that is transferable.
What we do in our small and independent software company is economically valuable.
Later this week we release a software update that takes what we do to an entirely new plane. We won;t get Apple like hype but we do hope to help our customers enjoy their businesses more and make more money from them.
Having briefed retailers using the Tower Systems Point of Sale software at user meetings in recent weeks one of the most exciting features in our new software is the PayPal integration.
Being first to market and with a solution developed in close consultation with and at the request of PayPal, we are positioned to help retailers leverage the marketing and management opportunities available.
At our user meetings we demonstrated PayPal live to our customers, making it easier for them to understand how it could be useful to their businesses.
The PayPal integration is an excellent point of difference in our software compared to others. The user meetings are an excellent point of difference in the service we offer compared to others.
Tower Systems earlier this week announced details of a national capital city newsagent user meeting tour to provide newsagents with wonderful learning opportunities, marketing insights, newsagency management advice and other content that will add value to the Tower relationship with newsagents.
While travelling on the national roadshow, Tower will make its leadership team available to other users for one on one discussions and assistance as the company demonstrates its commitment to meet with customers.
Access to the user meetings is open to any newsagent. It’s free, breakfast included.
All POS software, and all software for that matter, has bugs. Some are known and others are yet to be discovered. Having bugs is a function of the human involvement in software development. Bugs are, usually, not deliberate and users of the software are often the first to discover bugs.
What is most important about software bugs is how software companies react.
At Tower Systems we have a structured approach for investigating bug reports and dealing with bugs. We have several checkpoints in the company for proving a bug and ensuring its is resolved. We also have escalation points where team members and users can take queries about a bug to ensure it has the level of attention they want.
Through a structured process of research, development and quality assurance, Tower Systems takes bugs seriously. With thousands of businesses relying on our software we understand the importance of software quality.
We’re getting some good reaction to the new-look for this blog and the even easier navigation to retail marketplace specific blog posts. The clean structure and layout is a reflection on the clean structure and layout of our POS software.
Tower Systems last week added a new full-time role to its Head Office team. With a title of Product Marketing Associate, this new role has a broad remit within the business to research and develop opportunities and services in existing and new marketplaces.
The new role will also benefit existing customers with some exciting enhanced resources being developed in training and support areas.
You can tell when a software company you’re competing with runs out of steam when they use truckloads of words targeting your business and people in your business. The announcements here in recent weeks about Paypal, Xero, Plants Plus, Transactor, Postec fuel integration and other developments speak for our innovation and focus. We are loving customer responses.
Tower Systems has been working with Paypal since last year on an innovative in-store payment option for small business retailers in the Tower Systems community. This work has resulted in an interface between the Tower Point of Sale software and a new consumer App being from Paypal.
Having passed tests, trials and rigorous acceptance testing, the next release of the Tower software will support Paypal as a method of over the counter payment for shoppers shopping in retail businesses using the Tower software.
This is genuine innovation that has come about as a result of professional development between Tower Systems and Paypal.
We are thrilled to be the partner chosen by Paypal for this work last year – giving Tower Systems customers a wonderful commercial advantage.
Here at our Point of Sale software company we seek out opportunities to support small businesses, especially small and independent retail businesses as part of a whole of business social responsibility commitment.
We often invest our own time and money in projects where we feel we can help these businesses grow. It is part of our pro-bono work helping small business without an expectation of any revenue benefit for us.
QRki, a QR code generation and content access platform for retailers and other small businesses as part of our social responsibility commitment.
Retailers and other small business operators can make videos, files, competition entry forms, Facebook links and other online content accessible through a unique QR code they generate using the QRki website.
We created QRki to help small businesses harness the opportunity of QR codes without needing to invest in software of their own.
QRki is free.
Developed in Australia but for use from anywhere in the world, QRki is another example of cloud based innovation for small businesses.
QRki is available now for anyone from anywhere to use regardless of POS or other software used in the business.
While there is plenty of noise about cloud based POS software supplied under a SaaS model, Tower Systems is winning business by demonstrating that its Point of Sale software pricing model is more attuned to the cash flow needs of a business than noisy cloud based applications chasing some of the marketplaces in which we serve.
In a recent price comparison over three years the price difference was considerable. Once we layered in functional differences and commercial opportunities compared with cloud opportunities, the retailers involved quickly discarded the options that initially looked cheaper.
With software you get what you pay for.
Good cloud offerings have an infrastructure cost. They also have a support opportunity cost in that most do not provide live in-store training and this can limit the benefits accessible to the retailers and their associates using their software.
In being armed with accurate information, Tower Systems is able to give retailers more information with which to make business decisions when comparing to some cloud based alternatives.
We are thrilled to see more retailers using QRki to generate QR codes and host videos, PDFR files and other content as well as to harvest competition entries and other data from shoppers. We launched QRki last year to give small and independent retailers a platform to use to compete with major national retailers. We made it free as part of our commitment to giving back to small and independent retailers.
Anyone anywhere in the world can use QRki. There is no barrier to entry. No cost. QR codes can be used immediately.
QRki speaks to our creativity as well as our social conscience.