June 2, 2009

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Success Never Tasted so Sweet

The tall, white chef hat, named the toque, has always been a symbol of culina...Read More

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Article

Business Building Gadgets

Three Utah Companies on the Mobility Fast Track

By Alex Koritz

June 2, 2009

In today’s mobile world, business is rarely conducted strictly within the office. As businesses become mobile, Utah’s companies remain at the forefront, providing solutions that enable other businesses to run regardless of location. Here’s a look at three Utah-based companies providing business building gadgets that keep your company moving. A Smart Idea When Celio Corp realized that the smartphone was quickly becoming a standard computing option for the mobile workforce, it launched REDFLY, a display terminal for smartphones. The device has a full keyboard, a 7- to 8-inch screen and multimedia ports for mp3 players. Users plug their phone into the device via USB or Bluetooth technology, and the REDFLY displays whatever is on the smartphone. The REDFLY’s large screen and keyboard includes a touch pad to fully utilize a smartphone’s capability. For example, on a smartphone, a standard Excel spreadsheet only displays three columns. By connecting the phone to the REDFLY, users can see and work on 12 to 15 columns on the same Excel spreadsheet, making editing documents much easier. The REDFLY also has an eight-hour battery life and can charge the phone while connected over USB cable. Users have a laptop-like experience with the REDFLY, yet since the device is smaller than a laptop, weighing only two pounds, e-mail and other word-processing can be easier. And, when Celio compared the ownership costs of buying laptops for mobile workers versus a REDFLY, it found the company’s device costs one-tenth to one-sixth the cost of a laptop, UMPC or Netbook. “With smartphones becoming more and more feature rich, many professionals are turning to them as a powerful business tool,” says Kirt Bailey, president and CEO of Celio Corp. “By extending the smartphone to a larger screen and keyboard, mobile professionals now have a laptop-like experience and are able to be more productive.” The Memphis, Tennessee police department is already utilizing 1,200 of the REDFLY devices. Previously, officers complained that their smartphone’s small keyboards were preventing them from effectively using key databases and applications. The REDFLY’s larger screen and keyboard now gives the officers the ability to access necessary information, as well as implement a new paperless reporting program. The Golden Ticket “Microsoft and other forward-looking companies are looking for ways to optimize the mobile workforce,” says Steve Spencer, CTO and co-founder of Twelve Horses. Spencer’s own company could fit into that category, since chances are if you’ve purchased online tickets to a concert or sporting event, you’ve used his company’s technology. Twelve Horses provides electronic ticketing solutions for entertainment and sports venues. The technology gives customers multiple ticket purchasing options: e-mail, traditional shipping, self-service kiosks, point of sale systems (POS) and mobile devices. Twelve Horses’ customers are using the services for its manageability. Event companies can update and change information remotely to have immediate control over all customer touch points. “Many companies are doing a majority of their business online,” says Spencer. “Our software allows event companies to extend their events online and automate the payment process.” The Las Vegas Monorail, for example, sells tickets in 122 different countries and in 54 different languages using the Twelve Horses ticketing system. It enabled 57 percent higher ticket value than onsite purchases, ultimately earning the monorail $370,000 in the first nine months. And that was accomplished and managed by just one employee. Safety Check According to a recent Wells Fargo report, 90 percent of data breaches come from small merchants, even though large merchants process the vast majority of card payment transactions. Orem-based ProPay offers a solution: the MicroSecure Card Readers, a payment reader that helps small merchants safeguard their data with less cost and effort. The MicroSecure Card Reader is a mobile credit card reader designed for small and home-based merchants who accept credit and debit card payments in face-to-face transactions. ProPay’s patent-pending process includes the card information being encrypted at swipe, stored in coded form for later processing or transmitted and processed in real-time through ProPay’s secure virtual terminal via the Internet. “Customers like the security and the speed. I estimate I save at least 10 minutes a sale by not having to fill out and record the transaction on manual forms,” says Erica Fetterolf, an independent sales consultant for Tastefully Simple, a direct selling company. “I like the fact that I can plug the card reader into my computer, type in the final information, and the transactions are done. I get my money immediately—well before I can get my money from the checks I need to take to the bank.” Since the cardholder’s information is encrypted at swipe and then securely transmitted and processed though ProPay’s virtual terminal, ProPay believes the card reader is the only true, secure end-to-end card processing solution. “Most small businesses don’t understand the risks they bear,” says Bryce Thacker, EVP of sales and marketing for ProPay. “The MicroSecure Card Reader removes this risk and allows the merchant to avoid the expensive technology investment traditionally needed to secure their customers’ card data.”
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