Backup, Backup, Backup – Do you have a backup plan?

Backup, Backup, Backup – Do you have a backup plan?

Backups are just as important as any other task related to your business.

Do you know what you would do if your Server crashed and will not boot backup? Do you know how long it will take to be back up and running?

Having a good backup could make this stressful event seem like a “glitch in the matrix”

When CCS sets up your Counterpoint software, we also setup an internal backup of your database. Although this is a backup, it is not a failsafe against a disaster. These backups allow CCS (or your support team) to get Counterpoint back up and running quickly. But what it does not do, is get your Server backup and running. These backups are stored on the hard drive of your system, and if the hard drive is not recoverable, either are your backups. That is why it is a good idea to have full system backups to another device like an external hard drive or even an offsite or cloud service to help with a quick recovery.

CCS has recently been testing a cloud backup service called MSP Backup. It allows for full system backups as well a disaster recovery tools like Bare Metal Recovery, which helps with the restoration of full systems to brand new hard drives.

It also allows for granular recovery of specific files that may have been accidentally deleted or infected.

MSP Backups allow for you, the customer to also manage and start a backup at any time (although not always advisable), restore from a previous backup, download a full backup to keep safe and many other tools and reporting features.

If you are interested in setting up a backup plan, talking about backups or just to see what is available for your system, give the CCS Retail Systems Team a call or email us at support

-Bryan

Quick Chip

Quick Chip.

NCR Counterpoint now supports “Quick Chip”!

What is Quick Chip?

Quick Chip for EMV allows customers to insert (dip) and remove their EMV chip card at checkout in about 2 seconds. They can even do so before the transaction is complete. This is similar to the “Swipe Any Time” feature in NCR Counterpoint.

Quick Chip is also meant to help the payment industry’s transition to EMV chip.

In order to use Quick Chip with NCR Counterpoint, you will need to be running version 8.5.4.1, have an Ingenico ISC250 payment terminal with the required firmware version, and an account setup and configured with NCR Secure Pay.

So if you are already processing EMV chip cards through your NCR Counterpoint software, all that should need to be done is update your software to 8.5.4.1 and update your payment terminal to the required firmware.

With the update to 8.5.4.1, you will also be able to accept Pin Debit transactions using the EMV technology as well. There are some processor specific restrictions for Pin Debit, so be sure to ask CCS about your current configuration.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department at 800.672.4806 or email us at support.

-Bryan

Summer Times Blues

Summer Times Blues

Its summer time again, and it is time to check that your PC is nice and clean inside to prevent unwanted shutdowns and possible damage to your PC.

Cleaning out your PC is very easy to do, to begin with, you should purchase a couple of cans of compressed air. These can be purchased at most office supply stores, as well as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Fred Meyer type stores. Once you have your compressed air, turn off your PC and unplug from the wall. You should remove the side of your case and blow out all of the dust that may be built up inside. Pay close attention to any fans and heat sinks as when the heat sink builds up with dust between the fins, it hampers the ability of it to cool properly causing strange problems to occur with your workstation.

Some symptoms of overheating are:

  • Strange errors/blue screens
  • A random shutdown of the computer
  • Slow or non-responsive actions

If you need help with removing the case or would prefer a professional do the job, contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department for help.

-Bryan

Staying Current on Your NCR Counterpoint Software

Staying Current on Your NCR Counterpoint Software.

With all the changes to security and PCI Compliance, it is a good idea to be and stay current on your NCR Counterpoint software. One example of why has just came to light recently.

To be PCI Compliant, the gateway which helps you process credit card transactions is being updated to support the latest encryption technology. With that update, your NCT Counterpoint software will also need to be updated. Not all version will be updated, but the latest version is almost always updated with a small patch or Service Pack which take only a few minutes to install. The older version of NCR Counterpoint (except two versions) will not be updated and will need to be brought up to a currently supported version of the software.

If you are running an older version of Counterpoint, there are a few things to consider. The first is to find out if your hardware and operation system will support both the updated version of Counterpoint and the new encryption technology being implemented. Second is time. Depending on what your current version is, the time it takes to upgrade can vary from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on how many workstations you have, how big of a jump from version to version you are going, and when you will be able to get the work done.

Although it is not always recommended to be on bleeding edge of technology, being somewhat current will save you time (and in return, money) on your next update.

-Bryan

Signature Capture Devices

 

 

Signature Capture Devices.

Would you like to have your customers signature show up on Invoices and Order printouts?

There are a couple devices that can be used to do this.

One is the Ingenico ISC250 Pin Pad, it combines a signature capture device, along with a Pin Pad and MSR for processing credit/debit card payments. It will capture the customers signature, which can then be used to print on receipts, invoice and order forms and also be looked up in ticket history without printing.

There is also the Topaz signature capture device. It will only capture the customer signature that can then be printed on receipts, invoices, and order forms.

The signature will not automatically print on the forms with these devices and will need to be added to the form of your choice.

The Topaz is a useful device if you are processing payments outside of Counterpoint (i.e. Standalone Credit Card Terminal), or would still like to capture signatures for A/R charge type sales/returns or any transaction that you set as requiring a signature.

There is a little setup required, and there are specific device models that can be used, so if you are interested, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support or Sales Department at 800.672.4806 for help determining the right model for your system.

-Bryan

Physical Count Procedures and Equipment

Distribution Systems

Physical Count Procedures and Equipment

It’s that time of year again, Physical Count Time, and having the right equipment will help with quick and accurate counts.

CCS used to advise using an Optimus SP5500 PDT to do counts. It is simple, quick, and easy to use. Unfortunately, it has been discontinued and although there are still a few out there, they are getting harder to find.

CCS has been testing many different devices and have finally found one that is even easier to use. It is the AML LDX 10. There are many features that can be used that the Optimus did not have.

For example, with the AML device, it can be programmed to only allow keypad entry only for quantities, which eliminates barcodes scanned in as quantities, the user interface is easier to read and bigger and brighter.

It runs a compact version of the Windows OS, so it will also be more familiar looking to your users. It also has a touchscreen interface with bigger buttons for ease of use.

It also has a programmable barcode scanner and is USB connected for easy installation. Downloading of the information is also much more user-friendly and intuitive and multiple files can be saved for downloading all at once or one at a time.

Reviewing your work is also much easier and intuitive with on-screen directions and buttons for deleting and editing.

If you are ready to get your Physical Counts done quickly, contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department at 800.672.4806 or email us for pricing. We also have units available to rent with advanced notice.

-Bryan

Customizing CPSQL

Customizing CPSQL

I recently had a user ask me to notify NCR that a certain field in the customer table should be added as a search field because of how technology is advancing.

When this Counterpoint user added customers to their system, they were using the customer’s landline phone number as the customer account number.  Fortunately, in Counterpoint besides having a landline phone number field there is a mobile phone number field.

With more people choosing to not have a landline anymore, this user wanted to use the mobile phone number as a lookup field and wanted to give their mobile technicians an easier way to look up their customers when away from the office.

This can be accomplished easily in NCR Counterpoint by adding the mobile phone number field as a “keyword” to be used during lookups. As a matter of fact, just about any field can be set as a keyword field to be used for lookups.  Keywords can also be configured for item lookups, ticket history lookups, and most other table/field combination you need.

If you are not familiar with using some of the more advanced features of NCR Counterpoint, give the CCS Retail Systems Support department a call at 800.672.4806 or email us to help you make lookups more useful for you and your crew.

-Bryan

Windows Domain Networking

Windows Domain Networking

I have recently run into a few customers network domain issues.  When their Internet goes down so does the customers’ ability to run some of their software.

The reason for this is they have set up a Windows Domain controller node. You would think that this should not make that much of a difference but how you set this up can make all the difference.

There are pros and cons to Windows Domain.  If you are thinking about setting up your network in this way, you should weigh both the positives and negatives before you implement.

Here an example scenario.

There are 3 stores in a Domain.  The Domain Controller is located offsite at corporate headquarters. All stores have a connection to headquarters via the Internet and VPN.

As long as there is an Internet connection networking is functional.  When the Internet goes down, at either the stores or at corporate, the networking problems start.

A Windows Domain requires managing user accounts, Windows Updates, security and permissions to be centralized.  Being centralized, you can add, update, disable many different settings from one Server instead of going to each workstation to make these changes.  In medium and large companies can be a big time saver. That’s one of the pros of having a Windows Domain.  The big con in this scenario is, if the Internet goes down, the workstations now cannot authenticate to log in or resolve hostnames resulting in cascading issues. One of the biggest issues is that the workstations no longer have a way to “find” your application server on the network, so the software will not run.

There are a few different ways to approach resolving the issues mentioned above.   When your connection to your Domain Controller (or Internet) is lost, you will still be able to do business and get your customers through the checkout line.

If you are thinking of setting up a Windows Domain, or are already set up in a Domain, contact the CCS Support Department to help with setting up a fallback resolution when your Domain Controller (or Internet) is inaccessible.

-Bryan

XR7 And XR5 Terminals

 XR7 And XR5 Terminals

Ready for a sleek new look to your retail cash wrap? Look no further, The NCR XR7 and XR5 Terminals are here!

Here are some of the features of the XR7

The NCR RealPOS XR7’s sleek, modern appearance—with its slim profile, zero-bezel design, and elegant styling—sets it apart from other point-of-sale solutions. Powered by 4th-generation Intel® Core™ processor technology, the NCR RealPOS XR7 delivers amazing performance and future-proofs your investment. On-board “odometers” capture vital health and usage statistics to help us keep you up and running.

The NCR RealPOS XR7with its rugged die-cast aluminum chassis, long-life LED display, projected-capacitive or resistive touchscreen, and enterprise class solid state drive (SSD) or hard disk drive (HDD), the RealPOS XR7 is built to last. Our comprehensive environmental and compatibility testing, along with stringent manufacturing standards, ensure years of dependable operation.

The NCR RealPOS XR7 represents the latest evolution of NCR’s design and usability thinking around point-of-sale terminals. The product form, materials and user interface builds on over a century of knowledge and global experience. The result is a culmination of design, functionality, and quality that goes beyond any point-of-sale solution in the market.

The XR7 comes Pre-loaded with Windows 7 Pro or Windows 7 Embedded (64-bit)

Here are the XR5 Features

The NCR RealPOS™ XR5 is powered by the latest Quad core Intel® Celeron® processor-based system-on-chip (SoC) technology to give you high energy efficiency, lower operating temperature, and uncompromised performance. This means lower power cost and higher reliability. The associate display provides support to boost associate productivity and lets them interact in a way that is familiar to them.

Like our NCR RealPOS XR7, the XR5 was With its rugged die-cast aluminum chassis, long life LED display, resistive touchscreen, fan-less design, solid state drive, and long life components, the RealPOS XR5 will provide years of reliable operation.

The XR5 comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 (64-bit)

Both terminals were designed to offer the sophisticated elegance of the latest consumer technology, but with the robustness and reliability of industrial grade, purpose built POS technology – giving you the best of both worlds.

Both terminals also offer built-in encrypted card swipes (P2Pe) to further enhance the security of your environment. Along with NCR Secure Pay payment gateway, your customers data is safe and secure.

For more specs and information, please contact the CCS Retail Systems sales department at sales

-Bryan

 

 

Are You Ready For EMV Security?

 

Are You Ready For EMV Security?

Before you start taking chip cards (EMV) with your NCR Counterpoint System there are a few thing that need to be done.

  • First, you must be on at least NCR Counterpoint version 8.4.6.18, although this version of the software will work with EMV, it is recommended that you upgrade to the latest version of 8.5.3 so you may benefit from any fixes and new features.
  • With 8.5.3 in mind, it is also necessary that your operating system is at least Windows 7, as of 8.5.2, Windows 10 is supported. Windows 7 and above support the latest encryption protocols to help keep your data safe. Windows XP does not have these updated protocols and will not be updated by Microsoft to include them.
  • If you are already taking credit cards but have not updated to NCR Secure Pay, that will need to be done as well. With NCR Secure Pay, it will protect you and your customers data as it is no longer kept on your system and is tokenized to further protect the data. You may also need to update your merchant account to support NCR Secure pay. CCS can work with you and your merchant services rep to get your account ready for NCR Secure Pay and EMV processing.
  • You must be using an Ingenico ISC250 Pin Pad that has the correct version of firmware to work with your software AND NCR Secure Pay EMV processing. Firmware will vary depending on NCR Counterpoint version. CCS can help find your current firmware version and update (if necessary) to the correct version.
  • Pay codes (Touchscreen and Regular ticket entry) – the following pay codes must exist and be assigned to the store setup (but do not necessarily need a button) VISA, MC (or MasterCard), DISC (or Discover), AMEX (or American Express). Also there must be an EMV pay code button to activate the chip reader when processing a chip card. Note – If a card has a chip, it must be inserted into the reader, if a card does not have a chip it may be swiped just like before. In the case of a chip that will not read, a Manual EMV button can be setup to allow the customer to manually type in their card information securely through the Pin Pad.
  • Once the above has been complete, CCS can test the setup in a test environment to be sure that all settings both on the bank and the software side are correct. Once confirmed working, CCS can setup a time to implement and go through a test transaction so you can see the flow of an EMV chip card transaction.

If you need help with any of the above, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department @ 800.672.4806 or send us an email to get you started on your way to EMV processing

-Bryan