Tower Systems website hacked

We sent this advice to our customers earlier today:

Tower Systems website hacked

A representative of CERT Australia, part of the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, contacted us this morning and advised that our website had been hacked. They discovered this on seeing some user and company data on a platform commonly used by hackers.

We have confirmed the authenticity of the data.

From what we understand, the information hacked is user email addresses and Tower website usernames. We do not store any customer financial records or banking information on our website.

Our website is hosted off site in a commercial server farm with a high level of security. The same server farm is used by RMIT, Fosters, kikki.k, Hallmark and Australia Post. That the hacker got into our website back end demonstrates a level of determination and skill.

The next time you log into our website you will be asked to change your password. Please log in and do this ASAP.

We have today made a number of back end changes to security. Plus we are working with the off-site server farm business.

It is possible that the main impact of the hack will be an increase of spam emails to you. We apologise for this.

For the record, I note that our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system in which all support call records are maintained is separate to our website and hosted out of the US. The hacker has not chested this site.

Also, to be certain, when you purchase items through our website, all payment details are handled directly by the ANZ with no payment data recorded or kept by us.

Mark Fletcher
Managing Director
M | 0418 321 338

Gavin Williams
Chief Operating Officer
M | 0418 554 759

Update: we now know how our website and others were hacked. We have other evidence which will help the investigators of the crime.

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Sunday retail management advice: use QR codes to drive shopper engagement

logo138Tower Systems has developed for small business retailers a FREE cloud based QR code accessible content hosting and shopper interaction platform.

QRKI offers excellent facilities for allowing in-store and out of store access to product videos, instruction files, competition entries and other information sharing and harvesting opportunities.

Free from Tower for any business, QR code is another example of Tower Systems helping small and independent retail businesses to use technology to compete.

We created QRki to help small businesses harness the opportunity of QR codes without needing to invest in software of their own.

We’ve kept the price low to make access affordable. It’s part of our commitment to small businesses and independent retailers.  We’ve also enabled QRki for anyone to use – you don’t need to be a Tower Systems customer.

Developed in Australia but for use from anywhere in the world, QRki is another example of cloud based innovation for small businesses.

Share your feedback at info@qrki.com.au.  You can also speak direct with the owner of Tower Systems, Mark Fletcher, on 0418 321 338 (+61 418 321 338).

We hope your like QRki.

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POS software customer displays help drive sales

cdispThis photo shows how one newsagency is using the smart customer display through our POS software by having ads play between customers and then the screen share the ad with details of purchases being scanned.

Being able to manage the serving of ads to customers at the counter is an important feature of our software, something that has been enhanced as hardware has evolved. The latest HP all in one registers are particularly good to work with thanks to their small footprint and smart customer display technology.

Small business owners love that thanks to the HP technology and our software they can offer a customer-facting IT solution that is competitive with bigger businesses.

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For a POS software company we help a lot with hardware

testingprintersHere at Tower Systems we try and help customers with hardware queries that relate to the use of our POS software.

One customer recently asked us to test our software with a receipt printer they have had in-store for many years. They sent us the printer and we tested it extensively. It did not do the job because the software is far more advanced than the printer technology.

The customer purchased a new printer to make more effective use of our software.

We are happy to undertake this testing as it could result in customers saving money non new hardware. The testing also exposes us to more hardware than might otherwise be the case and these experiences can be useful in broadening the range of hardware on which we have experience.

Testing hardware like this is a free service.

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POS software users love timely training even at Christmas time

Retailers using the Tower Systems POS software are loving the brief end of year live online training workshops being offered by the company.

Targeting topics of particular interest at this busy end of the year and running only for 30 minutes each, the free training from Tower has hit the mark.

This is Tower Systems delivering on its promises, demonstrating consistency and showing off genuine care for its customers.

The next free training session is December 9. It’s on applying discounts.

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Sunday retail management advice: say no to poor customer service and improve your business

Tower Systems is thrilled to have won several more customers from a competitor this month. We have done this on the back of delivering better customer service.

Good customer service from your POS software company can improve your business.

One customer switching lost important business data as a result of poor service from their old POS solution provider.

Another customer switching lost hours of time as a result of delays in help desk assistance from their POS solution provider.

This is our retail management tip today – use POS software from a company that delivers timely, professional help desk customer service on which you can rely. You will save time and money.

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Yes, privacy matters

A POS software company competitor has published real customer data – of a user of their software and a customer of the user – on their website to illustrate a point they are making about their software. They could have easily used made up data. Instead, they have breached the privacy of the customer and demonstrated a lack of attention to detail.

Privacy is important for all involved. How you deal with it reflects on your attention to detail.

UPADTE 17/11. Seems they read this blog. The name has been partially obscured. We wonder if they apologised to Mrs Whitchurch?

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POS software company uses technology to deliver excellent customer service

Thanks to state of the art infrastructure, POS software company Tower Systems is today delivering to small business retailers in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, The Cook Islands and other nearby countries timely and personal customer service.

Using VoIP technology and harnessing resources in three offices outside Victoria, the company is able to provide continuous live Help Desk services even though Victoria where the company is headquartered has come to a stop for the Melbourne Cup public holiday.

Having a geographically spread workforce and backing this with smart technology, Tower is able to deliver to its customers consistent help desk based services. This is a superior experience to the usually mobile phone based after hours and public holiday services retailers can experience from others.

While we all love a good public holiday, retail today is a seven day a week business with long hours and the need for rapid responses on technical and other questions. Partnering with a POS software company that gets this and backs it with sound infrastructure is good for business as to keeps downtime to a minimum.

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New POS software training videos keep online training resources current

Our in-house studio has been busy this week with new training videos being shot to accompany our 2015 edition POS software. The training videos are necessary to ensure that our online and digital training resources are useful for the current release of the software.

Fifteen new videos are being filmed and produced.

With more than one hundreds training videos in our library, Tower Systems has a comprehensive suite of training that is best practice in each marketplace in which the company operates.

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Sunday retail management advice: Lay-by now for Christmas

Offering Lay-by services is essential if you want to grow sales of collectibles and higher priced items. It provides shoppers an opportunity to purchase today what they are unable to fully pay for today.

Essential to your success with Lay-bys is having a streamlined and consistent process for processing Lay-bys, storying lay-by product, collecting payment and tracking customers.

Once mistake with managing Lay-bys can be expensive.

Use software to track Lay-bys. Do not do it manually.

Use the software to capture the sale, record customer details, document your terms and conditions, record the deposit, track payments, chase late payments and finalise the sale. Again, to not attempt to do this manually.

Be complete in what you record. Only Lay-by stock for which you have records in your software, always enter full customer details such a full name, complete address and an ID number such as a driver’s licence number.

If you are not complete in your records keeping at some point this will cost you money.

In your software set your deposit requirements, payment requirements and other Lay-by terms. This provides a foundation of consistency for you and your employees.

Before you begin with Lay-bys check the website of your state Consumer Affairs office to familiarise yourself with local requirements. Information there will help you determine your own terms and conditions.

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Chinese language POS software support shows true customer service

Around eight years ago Tower Systems was the first software company in the newsagency marketplace to offer Chinese language support – help desk support for customers who prefer to speak in Mandarin or Cantonese. Tower still offers this service today and customers love it.

Just about every day we have one or more customer thrilled to have support provided in Cantonese or Mandarin. Indeed offering this service is one reason our newsagency software customer base continues to grow.

We get a buzz in the office hearing these calls as we know we are doing something unique in POS software help desk circles in Australia.

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New POS software training videos in production

studioWe are filming several videos to accompany the launch of our next major POS software update. These videos will help our customers learn more abut their new software and encourage them to engage with new facilities and opportunities embedded in the new software. Our video training suite is a resource our customers love and use as we can see from tracking data.

The photo is from our in-house studio.

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POS software advice helps small business retailers protect their data

backupcorrectlyPOS software company Tower Systems has revised and refreshed advice published at its Knowledge Base on taking backups for on site and off site storage to help them ensure that data is protected.

This latest advice is one of several items of assistance for retailers on data backups from Tower Systems. The company is providing advice in multiple forms and locations to help retailers get information when and where they need it.

Backups can br frustrating to small business retailers. Tower Systems makes them easy and supports flexibility.

The Tower Knowledge Base is a powerful resource for retailers.

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Terrific Launceston POS software user meeting

launcA group from our Tower Systems head office had a terrific morning Tuesday this week meeting with users of our POS software in Launceston, talking about the next software update, sharing training and covering some business management opportunities in the software.

We were fortunate to be located in the warm and beautifully-appointed boardroom of the Clarion Hotel, a luxury heritage hotel in downtown Launceston.

The meeting started with a fully catered breakfast of scrambled eggs, mushrooms, bacon and muffins plus fruit, juice, coffee and tea. The 7am start on a cold Tassie morning makes a hearty breakfast important.

Participation in the meeting was free to Tower Systems customers.

The Launceston meeting is the latest in a series by the company putting its leadership team in front of customers.

This is customer service.

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Old style POS software user meetings loved by small business retailers

sydmeetTower Systems has been hosting POS software user meetings around Australia over the last three weeks.

Years ago software companies used to run user meetings regularly. Today, few companies offer them. They are a point of difference for us.

We find the sessions are excellent for two-way discussion. We learn as much from our customers as they learn from what we share. It’s terrific.

This latest round of user meetings has offered training on the software, answered many questions and shared business building advice that will help our customers make more money in their businesses.

Access to the sessions has been free and it includes a tasty breakfast to keep them fuelled.

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POS software user meeting tour popular with retailers

usermeetThe national capital city newsagent user meeting tour commenced by Tower Systems this week is proving to be successful at attracting interest amend Tower retail partners thanks to the free training and business insights provided at the events.

While travelling on the national roadshow, Tower is making 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.

Numbers are limited. Booking is essential.

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Promoting PayPal as a POS software payment option in-store

paypcomingPayPal is helps partner retailers to promote PayPal as a payment option in-store with collateral and other promotional material and help to drive shopper engagement. Their in-store commitment is another way of helping retail partners to drive business through using PayPal itself as a means of reaching out to new prospective customers.

Our integration with PayPal is at for forefront of integration technology. In our marketplaces we are first to market – driving good business outcomes.

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PayPal in-store payment through smart POS software at a simple swish

paypknxscreenPaying via PayPal for anything in a store using our smart POS software is easy. Via the app and our smart integration the retailer will already know about a customer with a PayPal enabled device just as the customer will know about retailers nearby offering the Paypal payment option.

When it comes to paying at the counter, it’s as fast as using a credit card. And certain too with excellent details provided for transparency to the customer.

Refunds are a breeze too.

The integration between the Tower Point of sale software and PayPal is leading edge for us, our software and our retail partners.

We are grateful to PayPal for their support and faith in us.

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POS software user meetings help small & indie retailers get more form POS software

usermeetTower Systems next week starts 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.

Numbers are limited. Booking is essential.

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Tower Systems announces national user meeting tour

usermeetTower 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.

Numbers are limited. Booking is essential.

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