Spotlight in Business Solutions Monthly

We were very excited to be approached by Business Solutions Monthly and asked to be featured in an article in their May issue. Here’s a little sample of what was in the article:

Small VAR Goes Big-Time With Mobile POS

By Matt Pillar, Business Solutions magazine

Chris Pace helped a pal who owns a coffee shop set up mobile POS. Next thing he knew, he was a POS VAR. Congruity Solutions is now the go-to provider of mobile POS for more than a dozen shops in Phoenix.

Chris Pace didn’t expect success selling mobile POS systems. He wasn’t even looking for it. By trade, Pace is a business analyst specializing in healthcare who — almost reluctantly — calls himself a POS VAR now.

In the summer of 2011, Pace had some time to kill in the midst of a career change. A friend of his, who operates a hip coffee shop in Gilbert, AZ, needed a new POS system. Pace offered to help and, after conducting some research, convinced the coffee shop owner to try ShopKeepPOS, an iOS POS application, on an iPad. Pace was the application’s first reseller, and he plugged it in for the first time in beta.

The coffee shop owner liked it. His customers, many of them independent business owners themselves, liked it too. Within days of helping his friend deploy the iPad POS application, Pace was taking calls from independent retailers and restaurants from around the Phoenix area.

That was about 20 months ago. Today, the healthcare business analyst-turned-POS VAR serves a dozen retail, hospitality, and small business customers under the Congruity Solutions moniker.

“This is an interesting and sort of weird path that I never planned for or counted on,” says Pace. With an MBA under his belt, he is well aware that the way his new business developed is a bit nontraditional. “Most new businesses develop a product and a sales model, then go out and create demand. We found ourselves faced with huge demand, so we built a product and sales model to meet it.”

The approach is turning out quite lucrative for him, thanks in no small part to the recurring revenue he’s making on the payment processing services he resells. It’s also opened a lot of doors to another facet of this techno-renaissance man’s skillset: Web and social media development.

Pace’s willingness to offer services that most VARs don’t — or can’t — puts him in a good competitive position that appeals to the independents he serves. “Start-up and independent restaurants and retailers often don’t have rich websites and SEO [search engine optimization] and social media presences, nor do they have the time or expertise to tackle these things in-house and integrate them with the POS,” explains Pace. “But those two sides of the business — what they’re doing online and what they’re doing in stores — are complementary. One drives the other.” That’s a synergy that’s been lost on the great VAR community, and there’s no exception in Phoenix. No other tech business in the city is offering this combination of goods and services. And surely no one else is doing it for a single up-front fee, with no monthly charge and free support service for the life of the install.

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