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Not All Terminals are Created Equal

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Balancing a feather and a rock

All our tech and terminals are designed to be fit for purpose -- but one unit can’t be fit for all purposes

  • Cost considerations should not trump effectiveness when evaluating value for investment

  • The breadth of Element’s product range includes terminals for practically all environments

  • Product showcase: Element 455 vs CA850

Especially in an economy that’s still reeling from the effects of COVID-19, everyone is mindful of the bottom line. At Element, we are able to offer products at an affordable price point, providing excellent value to suit market requirements -- but that value chain can differ greatly from one application to another.

In some situations, the issue of cost can override the question of whether a terminal is truly going to be effective for its intended use-case environment. Element’s economical offerings are perfectly suitable for 90% of the market. But for that remaining 10%, it is vitally important for us to competently support our partners and vendors so they understand the limitations of specific platforms, and consider the environments in which they will be deployed. This allows us to deliver the right solution at the right value, without letting budgetary considerations compromise performance expectations.

Driving ambition

Let’s use different classes of cars as an analogy: both a Land Cruiser and a Yaris are made by Toyota, and both will drive on a road. But while a Land Cruiser thrives in deserts and rainforests alike, it’s not your concrete-jungle runabout. Conversely, a Yaris is right at home in the urban sprawl, but put it in a sprawling natural wilderness and it won’t fare so well.

Nobody would expect a Yaris to perform effortlessly in the Gibson Desert, and this mismatch of purpose to environment would not be seen as a reflection on the vehicle’s quality. But when a POS terminal is deployed in a different value chain or application to what it was designed for, misconceptions can sometimes arise about the worthiness of the product -- or even the brand.

Realigning experience with expectation

Just as one car manufacturer offers various models to meet differing expectations, Element has an incredible breadth of products suitable for practically every vertical, from POS to mining to medicine. And our mission is centred around working with our partners to provide interaction points with technology that result in an outstanding customer experience.

In most instances, a best-case scenario is the natural consequence of Element’s investment in design, quality and purpose. But there are also situations when the operator or customer experience proves to be inconsistent with the expected performance of a terminal.

Our transparent approach to communicating with our partners allows us to prevent this scenario in most cases. If it does happen -- despite our best efforts -- we work collaboratively and proactively with our partners to identify the reasons behind the inconsistency, and to realign experience with the expectation. The result is an outcome that meets everyone’s needs.

Raising the bar

For a good example of how environmental factors can influence a unit being fit for purpose, let’s compare the Element 455 with the CA850.

An Element 455 device
Element 455

The 455 has CPU options of J1900 all the way up to 11th-gen Elkhart Lake J6412, and its touchscreen, mainboard and I/O ports are all included in the head unit. In a hospitality setting such as a bar, there is a high probability of liquid spills -- if the I/O was in the base, there would be a greater potential for liquid ingress.

By comparison, the CA850 is designed with a strong emphasis on looks as well as performance. It has a very thin, tablet-like screen, with the I/O and mainboard in the base of the unit. As with the Element 455, it has the option of a J6412 processor and offers the same graphics capabilities, so the same software applications will run on either platform.

An Element CA850 device
Element CA850

But when the environmental layer comes into play, other factors must be considered. In its integrated-base configuration, the CA850 is best suited to a setting such as retail or hospitality environments where spills are unlikely.

Qualifying the design of the solution is fit for all layers of the purpose -- from environment and aesthetics to feeds and speeds -- will ensure your installed hardware provides a quality experience for users and customers alike. Ultimately, this experience will reflect that your investment in Element has achieved the design, quality and purpose it was intended for.

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