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Star Micronics continues to grow their portfolio of certified software partners at a rate that outpaces the industry.
When Jon Levin, Product Integration Manager, was asked why they continue to be the go-to channel resource for ISV’s, he had two reasons:
“Our Software Development Kit and Software Partner Program are the best in industry.”
Jon went on to explain how the growth of mobile platforms in our industry is being driven by developers creating robust and intuitive POS systems for mobile software platforms. The nature of software has changed with these new mobile operating systems. Now, merchants are moving to apps that they can download, install and launch with the touch of a screen. This transition to mobile operating systems, particularly iOS in the US market, has required developers to integrate deeper support for printers and other peripherals using Software Developer Kits (SDKs).
Star has long seen the value of Apple’s products in point of sale, creating the first point of sale printer drivers for Mac OSX , in 2005. When the iPad was announced their team immediately realized the importance that tablets would have in our market and began developing tools to work with it. This vision and early adoption gave them a competitive advantage and increased credibility as mPOS products began to gain traction in the channel.
Star continues to improve their SDKs and develop new technologies targeted towards the mobile market. Similar to many developers who are building mobile device based solutions; Star realized early on that the key is to design SDKs and products that are intuitive and easy to use. By integrating an SDK, communication with the printers is built directly into the software, and the customer no longer needs to worry about loading drivers. In the case of iOS and Android, drivers are no longer an option. Drew Schwartz, VP of Products at Shopkeep POS, verified this saying:
“The Star Micronics SDK was easy to understand and easy to implement. It allowed us to dramatically increase the reliability and stability of printing for our customers, provide actionable errors notices and enable Bluetooth printing for receipts.”
Having a library of code for developers to integrate commands into their application is great, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. To help onboard and provide continued support for qualified ISV’s, Star created their Software Partner Program. Even though their SDK is publically available, they realized the need to further support the community of developers; and then became one of the first channel partners to introduce ISV’s to the channel. Coupled with their knowledge of hardware they have leveraged their hardware partners to create full solutions for both the channel and the ISV’s. Star has created products that are easy for customers to set up and use with Square Stand, hardware that turns an iPad into a compete point of sale system.
In order to maintain their position as the go-to receipt printer company for developers, Jon said that:
“Star Micronics’ chief focus is making sure the SDK is the most feature rich and easiest to use.”
As ISV’s look to control their brand, user experience and move onto new software platforms; SDK’s are making it easier. The needed code is entirely pre-written and there is a dedicated team ready to help developers integrate printing support into their current software. When asked why they choose to work with Star printers, Vend says,
“It’s about the customer, all they need to do is connect their Star TSP143LAN printer to their modem and voila, it will work.”
The definition of Mobile Point of Sale or mPOS is still up for debate. But, many manufacturers see this as the next major shift in the POS industry, or the next move towards a true Omni-channel environment. Over the last three years, Star Micronics has become the clear leader in mPOS technology solutions.
Just look at the portfolio of ISV’s that continue to choose Star. With all of the uncertainty surrounding how the channel will define mPOS, Star is looking to ISV’s and retailers to shape the conversation. Star is creating hardware that compliments software, enabling ISV’s to get creative. Star’s SDK and integration team are ensuring that the software and hardware complement each other flawlessly.