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A Plan That Pointed to Success : Retail: Larry Imperiale, 1986 winner of SDSU's business plan competition, saw a niche among the point-of-sale giants and filled it.

December 11, 1990|CHRIS KRAUL

Despite contractual terms that prohibit SalePoint from selling its software with other brands of point-of-sale hardware, Imperiale said his relationship with IBM has worked well. The main advantage has been the sales leads that it receives from IBM salespeople, who receive the same commissions from a SalePoint deal that they would from selling the systems themselves.

The industry term industry remarketer has come to replace value-added reseller , or VAR, as a description for a company that buys computer hardware, then adds its own software, hardware or technical expertise before reselling the package to the end user, Imperiale said. There are an estimated 8,000 such companies in the country, according to International Data Corp., a market research firm based in Framingham, Mass.

SalePoint's five-year, $5-million deal signed last June to supply point-of-sale systems to Williams-Sonoma, a San Francisco-based retailer of specialty cookware items, was "a real feather in their cap," said Thomas H. Friedman, publisher of Retail Systems Alert, a Newton, Mass.-based industry newsletter that reports on retail automation trends.

"There are companies that are bigger than SalePoint, wealthier than SalePoint, with more technical resources than SalePoint, but there are few companies with the tenacity of SalePoint," Friedman said.

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