Diebold expands reach with Catalina Marketing deal

Thursday, September 25, 2008

NORTH CANTON, Ohio--Diebold's technicians, 3,000 strong across North America, are used to servicing all manner of high-tech security and IT system. Now, thanks to a deal with Catalina Marketing announced this week, they'll be in 25,000 grocery and drug stores servicing coupon printers, fixing them when they break and troubleshooting communications issues with Catalina's central host system.
"It's a good-sized opportunity for us," said Jack Finefrock, vice president, retail, at Diebold. "It keeps a lot of people busy every day."
This isn't just about coupon printers, of course. Catalina Marketing's Network ("Network" is the brand name) solution accesses shopper purchase data through a store's point-of-sale system and delivers targeted communications (i.e., coupons) to consumers as they buy products. Because Network operates on an IP network, it's something Diebold is comfortable with, and interested in, servicing.
"It used to be that there was security and there was point-of-sale, and they were separate systems," said Finefrock. "Now the businesses are emerging and converging, and the IT group is responsible for a lot more than ever before. Security systems are becoming more IT-connected than ever before. This non-security application is really just another sign of things moving in that IT direction."
Diebold picked up roughly 100 service employees as part of the deal with Catalina, and has already trained roughly 600 of its technicians on the Catalina product. Diebold's ability to service "99 percent" of the 25,000 locations with its own internal staff was a major reason Catalina chose Diebold, said Randy Parks, general manager, Retail and Information Technology, at Diebold. "In a large metro area," he said, "it would not be uncommon to have a tech do only security, or only drive-through service, or maybe only retail IT systems. However, in a lot of markets we support, where we have fewer technicians, the technicians are cross-trained, and they may work on security and retail. Then you get a place like Wyoming, and the technician will be cross-trained on everything."
Another attraction to the Catalina deal, said Finefrock, is that it puts Diebold employees in more locations that might need other services in the future. "Our main mission is that Diebold is a security company," he said, "but we do see opportunities. As you hang a CAT-5 or CAT-6 cable, you don't know what's going to end up being on the end of that ... The biggest leverage we have is a group of professionals across the country with Diebold trucks and Diebold shirts."