Empowered by the creativity and drive of President/CEO Mony Zenou, Lipman continues its focus on new products, web-based services and innovative programs and solutions.
"For a high tech company, progress is essential for continued success," says Zenou. "There is a natural evolution of existing products as well as the need for new ones. This year, we are primarily driven by the trend in the U.S. industry toward secure products. Another key factor is the market need for multiple applications, which Lipman pioneered years ago, which leads to a necessity for more and faster memory as well as alternative methods of communication. These factors drive our terminal business strategies "
Lipman is growing its business both vertically and horizontally. For example the new NURIT 2059i ECR uses a unique and innovative approach by addressing the ECR market with a back-end web solution for inventory control integrated with NURIT products on the front-end.
This year, Lipman introduces two new terminals to the NURIT line, a brand that is widely recognized and respected throughout the industry.
The 8320 is a landline terminal featuring more memory, more security and more speed. All of the applications available on existing NURIT terminals are fully compatible with the 8320. The source code is compatible across the entire platform for all NURIT products, thus saving processors time in certification.
Says Zenou, "In the 8320, we are not introducing a new look, new keyboard, or new apps. We are using a new platform that utilizes a stronger and faster cutting-edge microprocessor and supports multiple applications while keeping the new platform compatible with previous models. Backward compatibility is one of the many strong competitive advantages that Lipman has over its competitors ."
Another innovation of the NURIT 8320 is the optional GPRS � a wireless digital network that enables data flow. The new NURIT terminals possess this ability on desktop models. According to Zenou, Lipman has advocated "fixed" wireless technology for years and an evolution is taking hold whereby vendors and ISOs are working together to bring this methodology to market.
"You can have a fixed terminal, connected to power, with wireless communication," says Zenou. "The cost benefits of wireless technology favor GPRS over existing dial-up networks. GPRS is fast and secure and can be substantially less costly than traditional dedicated lines. Wireless prices are decreasing and cost benefits are substantially higher to the end-user. The cost analysis over a year or two favors fixed wireless devices."
Lipman's NURIT 8320 are competitively priced for its customers not only at the time of purchase but also from the point of cost-of-ownership over the lifecycle of the terminal. Lipman has worked closely with processors to gain certification for the NURIT 8320 as well as for the new NURIT 8100.
"With the 8100 we use the same logic of combining proven with new," says Zenou. "We took the 8000 wireless terminal and adapted two of its key elements into a desktop terminal incorporating a fast ARM microprocessor and a large graphic display. We also added six "hot" keys that are useful and intuitive to the NURIT 8100 user that require a multi-app terminal that combines credit/debit with other apps such as gift and loyalty, check, time and attendance, etc. We've developed a truly detachable printer which increases the reliability of the terminal and enhances merchant satisfaction through less interruption of business. This is a truly modular device."
The 8100 offers several communication methods including Ethernet, Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), dial-up and Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN � GPRS/CDMA). Because the microprocessor is faster, it enables more efficient terminal operation with increased data flow. In an environment where security and encryption are becoming standard, speed is key.
"With our microprocessor, we can process, in seconds, transactions that may take other products almost a minute," says Zenou.
As Lipman expands its product offering, its exposure also expands. The solution-to counterbalance that exposure� is with top-draw employees.
"We are recognized as the second or third platform in the industry, " says Zenou. "Our introduction of new apps has to be prudent and responsible as hundreds of thousands and soon millions of users will be impacted by it. So, we've added experienced and talented senior executives to our management team in the product management, engineering and sales and marketing groups."
Lipman also intends to expand their market focus into new areas such as hospitality, serve-at-the-table and health care. "Credit, debit, EBT, gift and loyalty have all become standard," says Zenou. "We are targeting areas that are large, yet more niche-driven. It embodies our professional ethics and pride that we continue to provide web-based solutions that empower our terminals and our customers to do more for the merchant."
In an effort to provide their customers with services beyond the terminal and application, Lipman has expanded their web portal, myNurit.com., which is currently used by thousands of customers.
"We introduced myNurit.com in late 2002 as a rewards site, and it was quickly copied by our competitors," says Zenou. "Our strategy has always been to provide not only rewards but also additional services that enhance the bottom line of our customers. With new modules such as Forecasting, CRM and Downloads now added to the site, myNurit.com is now a true portal for everything NURIT, containing the tools our customers need to manage their business effectively.
Lipman continues to lead in wireless with the new NURIT 8000S Wireless terminal. "Our advantage is that we have the smallest and most advanced products, complemented with more than six years of wireless experience under our belt. We've already faced and resolved the challenges needed to become proficient in the wireless field," says Zenou. "Wireless is like the MICR business. There's no off-the-shelf manual for either, it's all trial and error. Only with enough time and product do you learn and improve. The experience and knowledge we have gained domestically as well as outside the U.S. has enabled us to successfully bring wireless products into this market. We are well beyond the learning curve and are now working innovatively."
The fully featured NURIT 292 secure PIN Pad completes the NURIT line. A less featured NURIT 222 will be available in Q2 of 2004."Many non-secured NURIT products can be connected to this PIN Pad for a secure environment," says Zenou. "There's no need to change terminals," Zenou says adding that "in Canada the NURIT 292 is the first certified PIN Pad to fully comply with the new security requirements of Interac.
Lipman's latest transaction solution product line is its new 6000 ATM and scrip terminals. Originally introduced four years ago on a small scale, Lipman has completed further development and now will offer the 6000 line on a large nationwide scale. In fact, Lipman has already established relationships with brand name franchisees to deploy the new 6000 terminals to provide not only cash but value-added transactions, such as pre-paid MasterCard, pre-paid phone and pre-paid cellular products as well.
"With the proven concept of value-added ATMs coupled with hardware enabling ATMs to do multiple functions, we are entering the ATM kiosk market in an exciting and innovative way," says Zenou.
Zenou is adamant that the new products will complement the existing product lines and is quick to add, "We will manufacture, distribute and support our existing products in our flagship NURIT line. We are not phasing out any of our products but rather giving our clients options - to make the smart product choices for their businesses and to evolve at their own pace."
To help customers evolve, Lipman offers Sales Excellence Seminars. Last year, Lipman conducted over 2,000 training sessions in the U.S., continuing its commitment to customers through high-quality, industry relevant training.
"This investment is abundantly fruitful," says Zenou. "The training program is valuable in both outbound and inbound ways. We outbound our technology and knowledge. Inbound, we get feedback. We always know what we have to change to meet changing customer and markets needs. And Lipman is leading the way in this area. Our strength is our feet-on-the-street. Every quarter we find that this program requires more personnel and funding because of such high demand. That proves that the industry understands the value in our training. We are willing to commit our resources - it doesn't matter to us who you are � sales rep, processor or bank - even if you sell our competitors' products. We are here to train you and help you sell our products."
"With better recognition from processors through their understanding of the diversity and power of Lipman's product line, we can expand our position in the North American market faster. This will also benefit the processors and their customers by having a much more efficient certification cycle. More and quicker certifications equates to more products, features and options available to the industry. This means more sales and better customer retention," says Zenou. "We want people to understand that Lipman is on a mission. We intend on becoming number one and we are well on our way there."
Lipman moved agrressively down that path last year with its expansion into Canada and a strong and solid entry into Latin America.
"2003 was a record year for Lipman," says Zenou. "In 2004 it is my hope is to deepen the penetration, recognition and adaptation of our processor partners to our platform, enabling both of us to grow even faster. Lipman's platform is different and truly preferable with its compatibility. And Processors need to take advantage of it, in order to benefit their customers and the industry as a whole. "We aim to double our business in two years. This requires strong management skills. We have structured and recruited for this level. Our new team will enable Lipman to facilitate and maintain growth without taking focus away from our superior customer service. We have a legacy to preserve�we never lose a customer."
With such an emphasis on financial institutions and processors, what is Lipman's message to the MLS/ISO market? The answer is found in Lipman's heritage.
"When it comes to the ISO and the MLS, Lipman provides you with more bang for your buck," says Zenou. "It costs a little more up-front, but you get a lot more in the long run. The whole value proposition is truly the only way to maintain the happiness of the ISO. They are very price driven, but appreciative to value-add and ease-of-use. Lipman stands firm in maintaining the price integrity of our products by giving all our customers the tools to maintain their competitive edge. Nurit products provide the best value in terms of cost-of-ownership. There is price pressure, yes. We will be as price competitive as possible but Lipman will give you more. That's what this business is all about and its what Lipman does best. We give our customers the better product and help them aquire and retain merchants. In the end that is the key to success in this industry."