This is the story of what happens when Jason Powell gets bored.
In 2003, with 15 years service as tech professional, he started to get restless. Maybe it was dues his being 8+ years into a stint as Chief Technology Officer for a large retail company. When you’re responsible for over 300 locations and more than 2500 terminals across a large geographic area, you tend to spend more time maintaining the status quo than pushing your infrastructure into new frontiers. Or maybe it was the 30 hour shift he pulled, patching up old technology—servers, wires, category 5 patch panels—while new technologies like fiber-optic storage farms and mirrored disaster recovery sites were changing the way other businesses operated. If you’re in the tech business, it’s usually because you’re interested in technology—new technology, specifically. Jason Powell is no different, and so it was hard for him to be passionate about the kinds of boring old tech he was dealing with. Where was the cool, new stuff?, he wondered. But that’s just the nature of corporate tech: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In 2003, upgrades were disruptive undertakings—especially in a big company—and they required months of planning and many more months of installation. An investment in software only became worth the money 3 to 5 years after implementation. But the pain of the upgrade often lasted longer than that, and businesses often squeezed upwards of 7 years out of their platforms if they could get away with it. That is a very long time in tech years to be playing around with the same hardware and software. So Powell got bored, and Tech Advantage was born.
Over his 8 years as CTO, Jason became familiar with the ins and outs of POS, he knew what separated the good from the bad, and he learned how to get more out of the software beyond transacting sales and tracking revenue. He also knew that smaller businesses could benefit from technology, but couldn’t afford the full time IT folks and Chief Technology Officers to take care of things like that. Tech Advantage aimed to fill that space between small business and big technology, and 13 years later, they’re still doing that. At the heart of that is the ability, as Powell puts it, “to translate technical geek speak into everyday language,” which puts his clients at ease and, more importantly, empowers them to make better decisions about the technology they choose. But Powell and his team of consultants also listen, as well. Their experience supporting retail and hospitality enables them to come at each business’s unique needs with a knowledge of what tools will best address them.
This whole idea of getting the latest technology in the hands of small businesses and giving them the same operational tools that multimillion dollar companies use makes Tech Advantage a natural fit for us as a partner. And the attention to detail is something we love to see. When I spoke with Powell to get more details about the services they offer around Kounta, he was quick to rattle of the big three: Installation, Training, and Support. But then he started getting all pie-eyed as he waxed philosophic about the ways good reporting helps shops achieve better staff management, or can be used to increase profits by tweaking menu prices here and there. There was a quick left turn into the topic of mobile features being used to sell more drinks before veering into add-on territory. They’re developing their own add-on for Kounta to integrate with Tech Advantage’s Digital Signage platform, and offer strategies for social marketing using Kounta with some of their other product offerings.
Through all of this, they hope not only to make their customers’ experiences better, but also their customers’ customers. This is the kind of slick new tech that Powell was thinking of during that nightmare 30 hour shift in his retail CTO days. It’s also the kind of tech that will be on display in Tech Advantage’s forthcoming “POS Experience Centre,” where potential clients can come and try out the newest POS technology running Kounta. Existing customers looking to add on will be able to try out integrations, and everyone will be guided through the experience by one of Tech Advantages knowledgeable experts. With all this going on, it’s safe to say Jason Powell won’t be getting bored anytime soon.