- Web Technology
- Object Technology
- High Performance
“We live in interesting times,” said Peter Bourne, managing director of Disc Computing, an Australia-based VAR who has been specializing in point-of-sale (POS) applications for 15 years. With his comment, Bourne was referring to the new business landscape where high-performance transactional systems and the Internet meet. At this juncture, a vast potential for growth is being offered to retailers and VARs alike.
But you have to be flexible to grow. Those who are the quickest in accepting the new environment will reap the greatest rewards from e-commerce. To position his company to take advantage of the Internet, Bourne radically changed Disc Computing’s entire focus. He transformed his business from one that concentrated strictly on application development to one that offers retailers everything they need to transact business over the Web.
At the heart of Bourne’s product offering is his new Caché-based application, WebPOS. WebPOS is an Internet-based, fully integrated POS that also performs inventory and order processing, letting retailers run their operations using the Web. With WebPOS, a small retailer could establish a worldwide presence to sell goods and services via the Web. Or, a retailer with outlets around the world could use the Web to connect its distributed operations.
Thanks to Caché, Caché Web technology, and the Internet, Bourne had a new, fully interactive, Internet-based POS system to sell.
WebPOS evolved as Bourne was re-engineering his Global Retail System, a POS system rich in functionality that is deployed throughout Australia and Asia. But, from a development standpoint, the application had a couple of problems. It still presented data with a character interface. And, as Bourne explained it, the system “was driven more by individualism at the source code level,” making it difficult to install and maintain. Bourne realized his development team needed a change in mindset.
“Technology was emerging,” explained Bourne. “Caché Objects had just been introduced, and we were working with Caché Web technology to add an adjunct Web system to our application.” It suddenly dawned on Bourne that a Web-based system should be the focus of his development efforts.
“The Internet makes a lot of sense as part of a cost-effective, reliable, client/server environment,” said Bourne. “The Internet is becoming the way business is conducted everywhere.”
Once Bourne made the decision to re-engineer his application, Caché Objects gave his team a quick method of developing. “We used Caché Objects to define all of our classes and utilized real-world modeling to write the entire order processing function of our application,” said Bourne. Caché Web technology gave his developers a proven method to connect state-aware transaction-processing applications to the Web. Visual Basic Professional Version 6 gave Bourne’s developers the functionality to build a powerful front end that lets retailers with a set of VB executables on their computers log onto the Web anywhere in the world and connect to the back office functionality of WebPOS.
Thanks to Caché, Caché Web technology, and the Internet, Bourne had a new, fully interactive, Internet-based POS system to sell. “The new system made commercialism across the Web practical,” said Bourne
We’re trying to make a big difference in the market. We’re trying to make a quantum leap, using Caché to close the loop between the retailer and the Web.
Peter Bourne, Managing Director
To interest customers in his new application, Bourne transformed his business from focusing solely on development to one that offers one-stop shopping for retailers who want Web-based retail technology. “We take the Web’s mystery from the technocrats and hand it back to the retailer in a very simple form,” explained Bourne. Even if a retailer already has pages on the Web, it can continue using that investment but also link through to the dynamic, on-line shopping features of WebPOS. And retailers who know nothing about getting a Web presence now can get everything they need from Disc. Disc provides:
- WebPOS, an off-the-shelf, Internet-based, fully integrated POS and inventory processing system
- scanners and digital cameras so retailers can capture digitized images of their products for their Web site
- a library of templates to create Web pages
- on-line credit and debit forms to establish an account for e-commerce
- disk space on a server, or assistance in signing up with an ISP
- assistance establishing a domain name
- consulting services about on-line retailing
- unlimited Web presence at a very competitive price
“We’re trying to make a big difference in the market,” Bourne said. “We’re trying to make a quantum leap, using Caché to close the loop between the retailer and the Web.”