On February 3, data capture industry veteran Datalogic announced that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with retail solutions behemoth NCR Corporation for the supply of its Jade X7™ Automated Scanner. I have seen these at the NRF show – designed to facilitate automated scanning and checkout at high-volume retail locations. The products are placed on a moving conveyor belt in any orientation, and are then scanned by multiple array imagers as they move through a “tunnel,” easing the checkout process for both the attendant/cashier as well as the customer.
NCR will be integrating Datalogic’s Jade X7 into its ScanPortal™, which will be showcased at EuroCIS in Germany toward the end of this month. With an aim to free the cashier from having to scan individual items, this option is expected to yield significantly higher checkout speeds while also promoting extensive customer engagement. NCR brings its integration and POS solution design expertise into this partnership, and also leverages Datalogic’s credentials as the leader in the fixed-position or hands-free POS scanner market. The fully integrated solution’s launch at the European retail technology-centric show also lays emphasis on the region’s continued need for technology enablers that will help trim down high labor-related costs and thereby have a positive impact on overall profitability margins. That said, this solution is also generating interest in the US market as well.
What makes this announcement especially interesting to me is its potential impact on the competitive landscape for stationary POS scanners, if any. While the two companies are essentially neck-and-neck when it comes to bioptic scanner hardware revenues per our most recent report on the POS scanner market (download Executive Brief here), this partnership could open the doors for a deeper and more comprehensive collaboration in the future that extends beyond barcode scanning and data capture. Datalogic has a very strong relationship with one of NCR’s biggest competitors, European retail automation solutions provider Wincor Nixdorf – a company that has already designed checkout stations around this “tunnel” scanner.
I believe NCR will benefit from this partnership with Datalogic especially as it looks to better address the in-store automation demands of its retail customers in US and Europe (including Tesco), as discussed earlier. Although Datalogic and NCR cannot necessarily share a rapport similar to that between the former and Wincor, there is significant opportunity here for the two organizations to collectively redefine the retail point-of-sale, particularly in the Americas – with NCR capitalizing on Datalogic’s imaging expertise, and Datalogic leveraging NCR’s proficiency in designing and building the ultimate checkout experience for retail customers.