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Monday, 12 May 2014 00:00

Connecting in the POS environment

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A blog by XLink's CEO, Anton Leal

Often, POS (point of sale) Communication Services are misunderstood by Group IT Procurement Departments. In principle, the concept seems relatively straightforward: simply acquire a GSM POS Device, insert a SIM card, and connect the device to the required destination. In reality, the environment and requirements are far more complex than that.

Organisations need to consider the disciplines and infrastructure required to run POS connectivity services. XLink highlights a few of these:

1. Multiple versions and selected POS Devices require various connectivity solutions, and each POS Device has to be compatible with the required routing table.

2. Varied retail environments require appropriate communication offerings and routing devices. In some instances, the solutions are specific to a particular industry. XLink has developed a range of routers and modems to accommodate distinctive environments.

3. To ensure high levels of uptime in terms of a Managed Service Network, XLink has set up a comprehensive, fully redundant, private network to ensure redundancy and security beyond that which is currently offered at a Mobile Network Operator level. XLink has had to develop a deep technology skill set in order to manage this proprietary network.

This includes GSM, firewall, routing, and point-of-sale skills to manage this complex environment.

4. So far as the merchant service experience is concerned, remote management of the Communications Devices and POS Devices has become a key issue. We have developed proactive MIS Tools and Tracking Technologies to contain costs and ensure high levels of service for large-scale installed bases.

5. From a Call Centre User Help Desk and trouble-shooting perspective, there are multiple Service Providers involved in the POS Communication supply chain. These are managed on behalf of the bank and retail customer.

6. Dealing with the logistics of large volumes of SIMs and ensuring that the correct SIM is in the correct device, and managing any billing or contract issues requires a well-defined logistics capability. The networks are predominantly voice providers that are not geared up for such a function. XLink has created a niche logistics capability to manage this.

7. Providing high levels of 'man in a van' field support nationally, including managing complex installations in some instances, is a key component to the overall service

The result of XLink's continued research and development during the past decade indicates that, rather than trying to create and implement the same infrastructure, banks would benefit from partnering with a focused service provider in order to achieve these capabilities.

To address this need, XLink offers a co-sourcing package that is tailored to banks' requirements.


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