January 12, 2001

New Linux POS with GUI helps retailers expand 4690 POS systems

Author: JT Smith

Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc. announced today the Liberator, a new Linux-based point-of-sale software that runs existing 4690 point-of-sale (POS) applications. The combination of Liberator and the Fujitsu TeamPoS 2000 POS terminal gives retailers using IBM 4690 systems a low-risk POS hardware alternative that reduces costs, adds power and graphics, and moves them to an open systems environment. Liberator, available in March, is the first Linux offering from Fujitsu-ICL Systems. "The Liberator frees retailers from being locked into a single vendor's proprietary point-of-sale (POS) hardware or operating system," said Don Paschal, director of retail marketing at Fujitsu-ICL Systems. "Liberator uses Linux, adds a graphical user interface, JPOS drivers and remote program-load capabilities so retailers can reduce their total cost of ownership, migrate to an open platform, have an option for their POS hardware provider and improve store associate productivity. Liberator does all of this minus the risks and costs of changing existing host interfaces and/or 4690 POS applications."

Liberator is ideally suited for retailers using the IBM 4690 POS system that want an open platform and Fujitsu POS hardware option. The March release of Liberator will support "fat" or "thin" POS clients.

"With Liberator, 4690 users can move to open systems in two ways," said Paschal. "They can migrate just the POS or they can migrate both the POS and backroom."

This Linux-based offering is a first for Fujitsu-ICL Systems, said Ron Omohundro, executive vice president and general manager of Fujitsu-ICL's products division. "Retailers, large and small, like what they see in Linux - a powerful, reliable, low-cost operating system that helps them break out of the 4690 silo of hardware and software. Linux is the up-and-coming OS of today. That's why we're making this commitment."

According to IHL Consulting Group and other industry analysts, Linux is making great strides. About 15 of the nation's 20 largest retailers are considering Linux. Additionally, the market is ripe for a switch because retailers want more POS functionality as they face growing limitations of DOS and the 4690 OS.

"Retailers want an integrated bricks-and-clicks strategy that ties all their systems together," said Omohundro. "Fujitsu provides the retail and open-systems expertise in hardware, software and services. We see a POS market of one million POS terminals that need to be replaced within the next few years."

Instrumental to the Liberator is the TeamPoS 2000, a versatile, in-store point-of-sale terminal that offers unrivaled adaptability for POS, customer kiosks, multimedia displays or management terminals. It also offers full industry-standard remote management capability, to reduce overall helpdesk and support costs; a single platform across the store, which eliminates unnecessary system replacements and overlapping hardware purchases that can leave retailers with incompatibilities and increased maintenance costs; an open architecture that supports off-the-shelf components and industry standards; easy-to-maintain hardware, designed so that major component replacements can be completed in minutes by in-store personnel; and a system designed for efficient migration from other systems and peripherals.

About Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc.

Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc. is a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, a $50 billion provider of information technology solutions for the global marketplace. The company targets retail, financial and e-Business services markets. Its Fujitsu Products division has almost 30 years experience in providing hardware/software solutions and services for retail point-of-sale (POS), specialized handheld computing and ATM applications. Its Retail Software and Services division provides development and customization services and support for retail POS software applications. Its e-Business Services division provides consultancy-led e-services and customer relationship management (CRM) that enable its clients to build high-value, personalized relationships with their customers.

Web site: www.fjicl.com

About Fujitsu Limited

Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) is a leading provider of Internet-based information technology solutions for the global marketplace. Comprising over 500 group companies and affiliates worldwide -- including ICL, Amdahl and DMR Consulting -- it had consolidated revenues of 5.26 trillion yen ($49.6 billion) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000. Fujitsu's pace-setting technologies, world-class computing and telecommunications platforms and global corps of over 60,000 systems and services experts make it uniquely positioned to harness the power of the Internet to help its customers succeed. Altogether, the Fujitsu Group has 188,000 employees and operations in over 100 countries.

Fujitsu's website: www.fujitsu.com

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