Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Star Micronics vs. Epson: Sometimes better to stick with the market leader

I have always been one to support companies that herald innovation even if they are not market sales leaders. That would explain my avid support for Audi in the 80s, despite lackluster sales in the US, support for Saab in the 90s, and innovative software and computer hardware solutions from smaller vendors. Often, my decisions lead me to interesting and positive.

Sadly, sometimes they don't. Today, I was reminded why sticking with the market leader has value.  As Boston East India Hotels re-engineers The Sol hotel, which is part of our portfolio, I decided to leave the point-of-sale solution we had been using for years and adopt another solution made by a small company in Belgium. We have an event at The Sol that requires faster food and bar ordering, and we decided that the POSiOS system would be right fit. The only drawback was that the software that comes with the POSiOS solution requires printers made by a small Japanese company called Star Micronics, which has very little presence in India. The clear market leader is Epson, another Japanese company, which is supported by several other software packages I was evaluating.

The Sol currently uses Epson.  Against the advice of my food and beverage director and senior advisor, I placed my faith on the sales and support team of Star Micronics to deliver what they promised. I ordered a Star Micronics TSP-743LAN (which I was told is compatible with a Star Micronics TSP-143LAN), paid by immediate wire transfer as was urged by the Star sales team, and was promised delivery the next morning. Alas, the morning came and went, and the printer hadn't arrived. When it did finally arrive, it came without the LAN port, which enables the printer to connect to a network to receive print signals. In short, the printer can't print. The distributor for Star Micronics in India, POS Solutions Pvt. Ltd. lied to me and advised me that the LAN port had been shipped and would arrive later in the day. Alas, it hadn't. Upon further review and only after several hours of trying to locate support, I learned that the LAN port might arrive an entire day after the event for which we had adopted the new POS solution.

So, I'd like to publicly thank Star Micronics and POS Solutions for reminding me why some companies become market leaders and why some don't. If you are considering Star Micronics or POS Solutions in India, I'd highly recommend reconsidering. Stick with Epson and thank me later. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Sol presents The Suburban Jazz Ensemble

I'm looking forward to the first public event under our management at The Sol in Goa. Kudos to James Foster and the BEIH team for putting together what promises to be an amazing evening of Jazz in the monsoons. Come one, come all!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mumbai Unite!

While I left Mumbai before the unbelievable crackdown on people's liberties and right to congregate, I believe passionately about this issue. I urge you to sign the petition and read more about this worthy initiative.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Romney's Abortion Free America?

Mississippi would likely have company in being virtually abortion free if Mitt Romney were to become our next President. Political chameleons like him have no qualms about appointing more Justices like Scalia and Thomas to the Court. Is that what you really want, my fellow citizens?

The 2012 Supreme Court
See The New York Times article, US Judge Temporarily Blocks Miss. Abortion Law, for more information on how Supreme Court decisions since Roe v. Wade allowing state regulation of abortions in the first and second trimester have eroded the exercise of a woman's right to choose to safely end a pregnancy through the imposition of regulation which effectively force abortion clinics to close. The next President will likely be nominating at least one Justice to the Supreme Court, if not more. 

Obama's Bad Weed Trip

I have recently taken to the web to decry President Obama and Attorney General Holder for their misguided and overzealous enforcement of federal law in an area where both their political philosophies and latent campaign assurances did not require it. The current stance could very well lead the Roberts court to another restriction on Federal power and has already led many reasonable Californians away from Obama.

See The New York Times article, Cities Balk as Federal Law on Marijuana Is Enforced, for more information on the somewhat arbitrary enforcement of Federal law in California and the disarray it is creating in the reasonable regulation of California's medical marijuana statute.

This November's election, in which voters in several states including Colorado and Washington approved the legalization of marijuana has further heightened the conflict between federal and state laws governing pot use and possession. This interesting Seattle Police Department post entitled Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle further demonstrates the dilemma now faced by state officials, including police officers. Kudos to the Seattle Police for their brave position in the face of the currently enunciated federal law. To their further credit, the Seattle Police Department wrote the guide in a lighthearted manner, as noted by NPR in What Are They Smoking In Seattle? Check Out Police Dept.'s Guide To Pot Use, including a link to this Lord of the Rings clip: