Hewlett-Packard is entering the retail point of sale (POS) market, teaming with newly launched distributor Sektor.
At an event in Auckland last night, HP displayed its latest products, including POS systems aimed at "tier one retailers to the corner dairy", according to Rhys Warren, general manager of Sektor.
HP has developed or rebranded systems to be able to offer a consistent three-year return-to-base warranty across all components of the systems, something Warren says isn't really available now due to POS systems being built from multiple components from different providers.
The two systems, the RP3000 and RP5000 are also powered from a single power inlet with other compoenents then powered from the PC.
"There's one jug cord going into the machine," says Warren.
Sektor and resellers will load required software and drivers onto the systems, which use WEPOS (Windows Embedded Point of Service) and perform bench-testing before shipping.
Sektor has acquired Cashflow Retail Systems and says it will make more buys.
Fashion designer Trelise Cooper addressed the event, explaining how her company has benefited from the use of IT, but how she had to be dragged along into adopting it.
At one point the company had 20 staff but only one computer, she says. Growth and the need for constant travel effectively forced the adoption of new technology.
Trelise Cooper is in 14 countries, seven retail stores and services 300 customers. It designs and manufactures in two hemispheres with summer and winter ranges both on the go, she says..
After "higgledy piggledy" growth the fashion house employed a CEO and took delivery of a new HP server. Cooper herself can now connect and share designs and ideas as well as other information no matter where she is.
She uses an HP Mini Notebook and Skype to stay connected and to see protoypes of new products.
"It's like being in town." she says.
Cooper says digital photography has also transformed the industry with shots able to be viewed immediately rather than a week later.
"Now when we see a nipple, we say 'get rid of the nipples'," she says.
Cooper says she feels the risk of Facebook. She doesn't want to see a picture of herself "swinging from the chandaliers". Twitter, however, is winning her over.
"I believe there is a way I can use that that would speak a brand value," she says.
She says Twitter has potential as a means to communicate with a wider loyal following so people are not alienated by the brand but included.