• Features and benefits of a point of sales designed for omnichannel
    Tuesday, 26 January 2021 09:00

    How to accurately select the digital sales system to optimize the ecosystem of services that the retailer can offer to its customers?

    The digital point of sales, an evolution of the analogue cash register, consists of a series of hardware peripherals (POS, PC or tablet, scanner, printer, cash drawer and pinpad) and software that processes purchase transactions as well as manages the peripherals connected to it.

    The transition from analogue to digital gives retailers a range of opportunities: simplifying operations, ensuring greater control and allowing them to implement an omnichannel customer relationship strategy.

    What are the characteristics that a digital point of sales should have in order to be a useful tool for implementing business strategies and achieving the technological evolution of Retail?

    • A Cloud Architecture to ensure scalability both in terms of the number of locations and in terms of new feature implementations. The cloud also provides a range of benefits related to security and centralized control.
    • Open to integration with new digital services related to loyalty, promotional systems, smart payments and ready for future evolutions.+
    • Natively multilingual, the language can be selected from the profile of each user.
    • Ensure business continuity of sales, even in offline mode.
    • Constant release of upgrades with easy distribution and installation, to stay always up with new regulations and technological advances.
    • Versatility of the system in terms of hardware, which guarantees adaptability to the size of the stores (from single point of sales managed with tablet or smartphone stations, to chain stores that require more complex hardware solutions); versatility of the software in terms of the store concept (food, non-food and mixed).

    There are several aspects to take into consideration when choosing a point of sales and all of them are of great importance for the good performance of sales processes and business growth.

    Konvergence has been developing its KiaraCloud suite for years keeping in mind that these features must be included in the solution developed to create and maintain over time a scalable, flexible and integrated platform that offers retailers a tool that enables omnichannel strategies.

    "We thought about a point of sales that would give the sales clerk a strong freedom of action and the retail manager a complete control, from any web access, for micro and macro data supervision."

    Said Francesco Mignogna, Product Manager at KiaraCloud, and added:

    "In recent years we have integrated KiaraCloud to several loyalty and CRM systems, such as Salesforce and Koncentro, and to many digital and smart payment systems. The almost 2000 Italian installations of the last year have confirmed the development strategy of the solution. The flexibility that we have given to our software allows us to offer a solution to the various needs of the market and users. We are constantly evolving and always ready for change."

    Choosing a digital point of sales influences business growth because it has an impact on marketing strategies, on the quality of services provided and on the work of sales clerk.

    Contact us to learn more.

  • Technological and communicative consistency: the mobile app for retail
    Friday, 08 January 2021 13:00

    In the process that retailers put in place to gain the trust of their customers, the mobile app can certainly be considered the primary supporting channel.

    It is perhaps unnecessary to remember how much the use of mobile has become an integral part of the daily life of all of us. The ease of use of mobile compared to desktop applications has succeeded in bringing users of all age groups to the tool, independently of their level of technical knowledge.
    A research by Osservatorio.net published last March shows that in 2021 smartphones will become the first channel for online purchases, with 51% penetration in the Food&Grocery sector.
    The recommendation when starting a Mobile App project is to consider the entire physical and digital communication context within which the brand presents itself and not to develop an app separately from the rest of the ICT systems.

    In fact, this channel must respect the criterion of consistency and be in total coherence with all the other touch points that the brand displays, both in store and online.

    Consistency is to be achieved from a technological point of view: customer services are digitalized and included within the App that, integrates them into the entire ecosystem as a new front-end, shares the customer's story with all the other tools.
    Technological consistency is strongly connected to the structural choices that the retailer makes for the management of its database. A unified cloud-based platform allows managing, in a stable way, a single view of the customer and in a flexible way the different contact points, in order to map all the possible interaction and purchase journey.

    Consistency is also achieved with a work of graphic and verbal alignment. Colors, icons, ideograms, words and messages that are used in the classic digital or paper flyer, on the website, on displays and totems in stores, must be take up and reinterpreted in a specific key for the mobile tool, within a user experience that is unique for that tool.

    Once the technological and communicative consistency is achieved for everything related to the database and digital services shared with other channels, it is possible to provide a personalized experience to customers with services useful for their purchases shopping lists, product information, prize catalog, coupons and promotions, dematerialized card with account statement and digital receipt.

    Then expand the portfolio with additional features, making the most of those potentialities that, due to the specific characteristics of the mobile medium, make the mobile app a unique and indispensable tool.

    • Geolocation, to guide customers to the store but also, inside the point of sale, to the product.
    • Proximity Marketing, to communicate to your customers when they are near specific purchase areas or perform a specific action.
    • Scanning of barcodes, QR codes and tags for augmented reality, with the smartphone camera.
    • Gamification related to reaching scalable goals and objectives to drive engagement and purchases.

    picNews kwallet 02

    To complete the purchase process, the mobile app is certainly the ideal channel to integrate the digital payment tools that the retailer has enabled on its circuits. Automating the checkout phase is probably the most ambitious process for most brands. Once the customer has established trust and familiarity with the mobile app, a tool that they use and from which they receive benefits, they will look for nothing more than to be able to set up their payment tools there as well. A real digital wallet where not only credit cards but also gift cards and other forms of electronic wallets can be stored.

    Konvergence has developed KWallet, the Mobile App for Retail, modular, customized and integrated within the existing ICT ecosystem.

    Contact us for all the details!

  • Scala Enterprise 12.00 - a lot of new features ready to use!
    Friday, 02 October 2020 15:26

    The Release Features Linux and ARM Platform Support and Significantly Enhanced User Interface

    MALVERN, PA, US—September 23, 2020— Scala today announced the latest release of its flagship digital signage platform, Scala Enterprise version 12.00, featuring five major component upgrades with full support for Linux media players and more than 185 other key product enhancements. Scala, part of the STRATACACHE family of marketing technology companies, provides the tools to create, manage and deploy powerful digital experiences in any environment including retail, quick service restaurants, banking, transportation, gaming, out-of-home media and additional key digital signage markets.

    Highlights of Scala Enterprise 12 include:

    • Linux Playback Engine for both X86 and ARM processors in support of ARM-based devices,
    • Support for the new Scala Designer Cloud, an upcoming advanced web-based composition tool,
    • Updated UI/UX for Content Manager such as new dashboard view for quick status of all digital signage devices,
    • Improved interface for translations across all 17 supported languages,
    • Several key operational improvements for plan generation, inventory building and Python 3 support,
    • A preview of Scala Campaign Manager, an upcoming Scala Enterprise tool which enables digital display ad network monetization,
    • Full support for upcoming new commercial-grade tablets and digital poster-based platforms.

    “Scala has held a long-term, strong position in delivering digital display messaging. The introduction of Scala Enterprise 12 allows our global clients to extend their delivery of digital experiences to embedded ARM devices such as kiosks, tablets and shelf edge displays. This opens up a wide variety of new opportunities to attract and engage audiences for even deeper, personalized consumer activation,” said Joe Sullivan, COO of Scala.

    Enterprise 12 is available at Scala.com/updates for customers under current Scala Maintenance.

  • Compliance with best practices to minimize risk to information security.
    Friday, 18 September 2020 09:39

    Recently Konvergence achieved an important goal with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification.

    This international standard gives guidelines for the creation of an Information Security Management System (ISMS).

    The aim is to implement and organize information security policies by defining a system for the management, monitoring, control of business processes to ensure high levels of confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of information. The field of application is in the core business of Konvergence: design and development of software and related IT services in the retail sector.

    Achieving certification has become a strategic goal for Konvergence to increase the protection and security of managed information and improve corporate governance.

    The certification process, which started in 2019, has involved several professionals with multidisciplinary skills, proactively collaborated in the implementation of the ISMS. The process approach adopted has enabled Konvergence's ISMS to be established, implemented, monitored, reviewed, managed and improved.

    Bureau Veritas, an independent certification organization, has sent auditors to our headquarters to verify the compliance of the procedures implemented.

    Thanks to this certification, Konvergence has developed a conscious focus on information security risks, allowing a clear assignment of responsibilities for information security.

    Konvergence thus continues to consolidate one of its most important assets: security, a decisive advantage for retail operators who entrust their systems to a technology provider.

    Guerino di Giacomo, Head of Development and Projects at Konvergence says: "Undertaking the ISO 27001 certification process has brought several advantages at an organizational level: it has consolidated the global management of risks related to information and systems security, allowed a clear definition and implementation of suitable objectives for security interventions, allowing the constant monitoring of risk areas. In addition, the adoption of best practices delineated by the certification confirms Konvergence's commitment to fulfill its obligations to all stakeholders that daily enter into contracts with our company in order to ensure the necessary levels of security to protect systems, assets and data".

    Konvergence will maintain its commitment to the future by continuously improving processes and practices to protect and manage data.

  • KPay achieves the PA-DSS 3.2 security certification
    Thursday, 09 April 2020 15:19

    Electronic payment transaction security is at the forefront of our development goals. If the speed, flexibility and scalability of our payment platform are relevant features, security is the fundamental principle with which we constantly relate.
    KPay has completed the PA-DSS 3.2 certification process this year.

    What does this mean in terms of security?

    PA stands for Payment Application and DSS Data Security Standard: having this type of certification means having demonstrated that the Payment Application complies with the international standards defined as requirements by the payment security institutions, in this specific case the PCI Standard Security Council.

    The PA-DSS 3.2 certification covers various aspects, from software development methodology, to management and distribution of new software versions and updates, to timely verification of the technical safety requirements of the application.
    Using a PA-DSS 3.2 validated application is a major facilitator for the operator's PCI-DSS certification, who will not have to repeat the checks on the payment application.

    As regards functionality, the validation activity covered the Payment Gateway and on the processors involved in the transactions.

    Specifically, the verifications carried out have shown that the KPay solution:

    • Has been provided with all documentation and resources necessary to reach an accurate assessment of the PA-DSS compliance status.
    • Does not retain track data (magnetic-stripe or equivalent data on the chip), CID, CAV2, CVC2, CVV2 data or PIN data as result of the transaction authorization on any files or functionalities of the application.
    • End-users of the Payment Application receive a validated copy of the PA-DSS Implementation Guide.
    • It complies and will continue to comply with the Vulnerability Handling Procedures document set forth in the Vendor Release Agreement dated 4 October 2019.

    The certification process of a company like ours, which in this case is identified as a Payment Application Vendor, is followed and validated by a third party company, a Payment Application Quality Security Assessor, which is responsible for verifying the veracity of the declarations through a detailed investigation and a series of tests.

    Our Payment Application Qualified Security Assessor is Advantio, a company specialized in consulting, training and testing on cyber-security systems with offices throughout Europe.

    “Advantio announces with satisfaction the successful and timely completion of the validation of the KPay payment application according to the PA-DSS 3.2 standard. In addition, Advantio completed PA-DSS and PCI DSS training for Konvergence, that has demonstrated a continuous learning culture.
    Advantio is proud that Konvergence has chosen our organization as a Trusted Security Partner.

    To get a concrete idea of the solidity of the Kpay platform, in the last year more than 5 billion euros have been managed for electronic payments (credit and debit cards), more than one billion for Food Stamps (paper and electronic) and almost 7 millions Multiservice operations.

    With the renewal of this certification, we formalize our commitment to the development and evolution of the KPay platform, which guarantees retailers secure transactions at all stages of the payment management, authorization and traceability.
    By maintaining a solid level of security at the basis of payment management, we are more confident in implementing new ways of using digital payment services, that are becoming ubiquitous and integrated with the new contact channels.

    Mobile payment, digital wallet and dematerialized services are the new development frontiers that we make available to our customers, without neglecting a solid security base.

    Discover more on KPay.
    For further information contact us.

     

     

  • Konvergence is now a Toshiba Commerce Solutions Partner
    Friday, 10 January 2020 16:29

    Toshiba Commerce is a global leader in the retail technologies market and has created a partnership program where companies with diversified capabilities can be in contact, discuss and cooperate with the aim of more widely satisfy retailer's needs.

    This partnership program is called Together Commerce Alliance and makes community between Toshiba, associated ISV (Independent Software Vendors) and associated IHV (Independent Hardware Vendors). The program Together Commerce Alliance includes a set of business and marketing activities, training, products and solutions certifications all focused on the retail market. The organization provides growing and awards with a range of scalable levels based on the company's performance.

    Konvergence became Toshiba Commerce Alliance few years ago and recently has reached first the Gold Partner level and then the Solution Partner level as an ISV.
    Are the software solutions that have been selected by TGCS as cutting edges and innovatives and they are giong to be part of the proposal recommended for the entire Together Commerce Alliance even oveseas.

    The core solutions that TGCS is promoting are strenghts for retailers with customer engagement and loyalty strategies:

    • The Enriched Shopping, includes Digital Signage, Mobile andOmnichannel.
    • The Actionable Insights, for data-driven marketing data-driven enabled by loyalty and promotions systems for a much more personalized customer experience.
    • The Frictionless Checkout, for payment process optimization, fast and smart checkout.
    Konvergence's platforms are perfectly in line with this key points: Mobile Marketing, Marketing Automation and Loyalty, Electronic payments. They come out also from the knowledge and market vision that the Together Commerce Alliance program put at the partners disposal, sharing with them the possibility to better look at the future and follow the best retail market trends.

    Contact us to discover more!

     

  • Merry Christmas by Konvergence
    Monday, 23 December 2019 12:01

    This year we have chosen to celebrate Christmas with a special gift in favor of the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders projects.
    Our best wishes will be transformed into treatments, assistance and vaccinations for the forgotten populations.
    A small gesture that will give a concrete help to the operators of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders that every day, 365 days a year, provides assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict.

    SMF Eng

    Merry Christmas by Konvergence!

  • We are going to talk about Smart Retail at Lumi expo 2019
    Wednesday, 06 November 2019 14:03 System integration, IoT, technological innovation for the construction of Smart environments at the service of the citizen and the consumer are the main themes of the LUMI Expo 2019 event which will take place on 21st and 22nd November at Bologna Fiere.

    We will be there and we will participate in the Talk Show "Technological Convergence, AV, IoT and Smart Data in people's everyday life experience", sharing our point of view together with other industry experts.

    It will be a moment of aggregation and comparison to which we invite everyone to participate.

    “LUMI expresses the supply chain of the system integration market. Represents the ecosystem that sees human at the center, from the closed space in which he works and lives (SMART BUILDING), to the built space, in which the person moves and interacts with the community (SMART CITY), up to the built landscape, where the individual becomes collective (SMART LAND). "

    Retail is an integral part of this ecosystem and must be able to take advantage from the technological opportunities offering to its customers services and digital content in omnichannel mode.

    The digital signage in the store is a valuable point of contact to give concrete meaning to the expectations that the customer has created online. It is necessary to reflect on how to best integrate digital content in the store based on business objectives and to make the shopping experience engaging and memorable.

    You can find additional info and the free registration form HERE
  • French pharmacy sales with digital signage powered by Scala
    Tuesday, 06 August 2019 08:50

    The Scala-based digital signage networks push content to customers both inside and outside the retail outlet, and are boosting unique product sales by up to 80% for those pharmacies.

    FUTURAMEDIA, a French company specialized in the rollout of dynamic signage solutions in the health and beauty retail space, has rolled out over 10,000 PoS screens in 2,500 pharmacies across France, supporting both queue management and upselling within the pharmacies. In addition, over 1,000 pharmacies have either rolled out or added the shop window screens to their network to support their branding, visibility and drive foot traffic into the outlet.

    From day one, FUTURAMEDIA set up a multiple award-winning creative studio dedicated to the generation of content for these digital communication networks. A database containing information on over 15,000 products is at the disposal of the pharmacies, allowing their teams to organise their own tailored promotions via a Scala Content Manager web interface. The content manager also allows them to personalise the screens with pricing information and other information such as the weather forecast which is often sponsored by the pharmaceutical laboratories.

    A recent study performed by FUTURAMEDIA and a pharmaceutical laboratory showed that a combination of both PoS and street-facing signage has the strongest impact, driving sales for a particular product up by 77%, with a rise in sales of 64% noticed by pharmacies using PoS screens only and nearly 50% for those using street-facing screens alone.

    At Pharmacie Edgard Quinet in Paris XIV, also equipped with both solutions, the street-facing network is particularly effective: “The impact of the screen we have placed in our shop window is undeniable, its locaton is perfect looking out onto a very busy street and carrying very targeted content.”


    Would you like to know more about Scala platform?

    Contact us to schedule a live demo!

  • Konvergence is now partner of OutSystems low-code platform
    Friday, 28 June 2019 09:03
    A high jump in performance in terms of speed, scalability and integration in the development of web and mobile applications.

     

    Konvergence established a distribution partnership with Outsystems, a PaaS (Platform as a Service) for web and mobile app development, to Deliver Custom Applications to italian Retailers

    OutSystems platform simplifies every stage of the app development and delivery process. Visual modeling and an automated, one-click deployment approach to application delivery help reduce costs and enable continuous delivery without breaks in the lifecycle. Developers and teams can provide apps the business requires at the speed the market demands with:

    • Rapid productivity: Create your apps and integrate in weeks, not months.
    • Speed and code: Improve efficiency and accelerate speed by developing in a visual environment while retaining complete flexibility to integrate custom code.
    • Multi-channel development: Develop an application that can run on any device or platform. Delivery time and risks are significantly reduced with error-free, automated deployments.
    • Open platform: Protect your investment in large back-end systems by integrating with existing systems of record and data sources.
    • Enterprise-grade platform: Build and manage very large portfolios of applications created by teams of developers just as easily and quickly as a single app.

    Guerino Di Giacomo, R&D Manager in Konvergence has explained that:

    “We chose Outsystems because we expect to significantly reduce development times and meet market demands faster and faster, improving performance and releasing new versions of our mobile and web apps more frequently.”

    In addition to acquiring the platform, Konvergence has also entered into a distribution agreement and is following the entire certification process to reach the further levels of partnership envisaged.

    If you want to find out more about Outsystems, don't hesitate to contact us!