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Solution Spotlight: M-DOT Network Platform Streamlines Coupon Usage

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Concept:

The couponing industry is moving into the digital age as numerous Web, mobile, and device-oriented solutions are now in place to deliver digital content. The problem is there is not an industry standard solution for integrating digital content with retailer point of sale (POS) systems. Designed to remedy the problem retailers have dealing with numerous integration points, which has potential to  deter consumers, MDot Network is an open platform that sits between the hundreds of companies producing digital content and the retailer’s POS. MDot’s solution is designed to provide a single point of integration that connects the coupon issuers to the retailers and the retailers’ clearing house.

Team:
Founder and CEO Bill Catania, who came up with the original concept, heads Erie, PA-based MDot Network. Catania has direct experience in new business start-ups through his Motorsports/e-Commerce based business RaceFan, Inc., an Internet-based motor sports marketing venture.

Mike Kavis, CTO, and Greg Rapp, VP of Engineering, architected the transaction processing engine and the open platform for eOffers. Kavis and Rapp both have over 20 years of IT experience and are both former Chief Architects at Catalina Marketing, with a combined 40+ years of retail and loyalty marketing experience.

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Market Relevance:
MDot Network’s open platform for digital redemption is designed to offer a solution for the slow adoption of Web and mobile couponing. MDot’s platform is designed to integrate with POS systems and aggregate digital content to enable  retailers to build effective digital marketing campaigns. At the same time, MDot is aimed at simplifying the user experience by eliminating the need to print out coupons. Coupons can live in consumers’ “virtual wallets” and all of the business rules about the coupon can be processed automatically without any cashier intervention.

Delivery:
MDot has built relationships with various POS vendors. MDot’s patent pending message broker technology is designed to provide a seamless integration with maximum security and high-speed communications so that the retailer POS and MDot can exchange encrypted and compressed messages in real time. No hardware is required in the stores. Instead, MDot processes all transactions in a secure cloud-based data center, a process designed to eliminate the need to push updates to the stores and slow down the POS system. To install, the retailer simply needs to work with their POS vendor to update their POS software. MDot also provides both a white label Web and mobile coupon portal for the retailer. If the retailer wants to continue to use their existing Web site, MDot provides the integration to connect the Web site to MDot’s eOffer platform. MDot provides the same integration for the various coupon issuers and the clearing houses.

The MDot solution does not require the retailer to have a loyalty card. Instead, the customer’s phone number becomes the key identifier.

Proof Points:
MDot’s platform is aimed at retailers and content providers across various verticals, including: grocery, pharmacy, C-Store, mass merchandise, medical, fuel and hotel. The content providers can be mobile, Web, manufacturers, retailers, new media, financial services, etc. MDot has just signed its first retailer and will launch in Q1 of 2010.


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