By: Velda Goodin, Manager of Tech Services and Solutions at ScanSource
In the beginning, hardware was king and a software developer (ISV) jumped through hoops to get their hands on a POS system so they could certify it with their software. The role of the ISV in the channel has been going through an evolution which started with the introduction of the iPad in retail about 5 years ago. Then EMV/PCI appeared and the revolution began. The balance of power shifted and now hardware vendors are pursuing ISVs to get their coveted certification for their POS systems and peripherals. ISVs are becoming the Decision Makers and that comes with a price.
With the current EMV certifications and PCI compliance standards, it is crucial to have ISVs who are familiar with these standards and can integrate them into their POS Software. The ability to accept payments has forced developers to make strategic choices as to which Gateways and Processors to partner. These choices may determine the rate of interest in their solution and success they experience in the market, so the ISV’s decisions already begin to color the offerings available to the resellers.
ISVs need to have defined go to market strategy: will you sell directly to end-users, will you only sell through a dealer channel or will you adopt a more hybrid approach? When engaging the reseller channel, the ISV needs to be able to communicate the compelling reason why a VAR would lead with their product and address issues such as how post-sale support will be provided, how the VAR can realize revenue, what are partnership levels, options for who provide the hardware sale, what financing/licensing models are available and who provides services to end user.
The Point of Sale ISV has never been a bigger part of the solution decision than now and as a result, never has so much been demanded from the POS software developer. There is a shift in the Retail Solution channel model and the ISV is at the center of it. The days of the clear lines of demarcation between software developer and hardware reseller are rapidly disappearing. A hybrid model of having one-source for the solution is emerging and the “as a service” model for revenue and delivery around the solution are making it even more attractive to the end-user. It streamlines the process.