California-based technology companies are finding a back-door into the Republic of Cuba marketplace.
San Francisco, California-based Revel Systems (2015 estimated revenues US$75 million; 400 employees; approximately US$1 billion market capitalization) has agreements to sell its cash management application to twelve privately-owned restaurants (paladares) in the Republic of Cuba.
The application will be used with independently-acquired iPad tablets (US$269.00 to US$1,229.00) manufactured by Cupertino, California-based Apple, Inc. (2015 revenue US$234 billion).
The names of the restaurants have not yet been disclosed. Needham, Massachusetts-based TripAdvisor LLC (www.tripadvisor.com) lists 650 restaurants (government-operated and non-government-operated) in the city of Havana. The Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Cuba reports approximately 1,800 paladares operating in the Republic of Cuba.
Revel Systems (www.revelsystems.com), which has its applications installed in more than 20,000 transacting terminals, markets software that enables tablet computers to function as cash registers- “a point of sale solution for single and multi-location businesses.”
Each application is delivered via the Internet and installed on an iPad. The restaurants pay a minimum of US$119.00 per month (US$1,428.00 annually) for the application (which may be customized at a higher pricing); payment by bank wire transfer or Palo Alto, California-based PayPal Holdings, Inc. (2015 revenues approximately US$9 billion) Internet portal (www.paypal.com), meaning that the payment(s) can be made by a third party residing in the United States on behalf of the restaurant located in the Republic of Cuba.
From Revel Systems, “Our monthly fee is all inclusive of our license, software, support, add-on modules and cloud hosting. And as we make additions to the software (every 3 months) all of that is all-inclusive in this price. So this is an ongoing fee for an ever-expanding software set that will allow their business to focus on doing what they love while we focus on enabling them to grow their business and make it more profitable. Customers do not need to sign on for a year, unless it is part of a promotion, standard contracts are month to month.”
About Revel Systems
Revel Systems software offers a POS solution for restaurant, retail and enterprises with integrated payroll, inventory tracking, customer relationship management and more. With the introduction of the Revel Marketplace, Revel iPad POS System users can now integrate directly into third-party enhancements, including mobile payments, online ordering, gift or reward cards and advanced financial software suites.
Point of Sale, POS, POS for Retail, POS for Restaurants, POS for Quick Service, POS for Grocery, Omni-Channel, Store solutions, Enterprise Management System, Enterprise Reporting, Inventory Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Mobile, eCommerce, Integration to External Systems, POS Hardware, Configuration Management, End to End Implementation Services, SaaS, Cloud Based, Payment Processing, Taxation, Shipment Processing, Device Based, Menu Board, Mobile Device Management, Label Printing, Loyalty Programs, Gift Card, Digital Signage
U.S. Technology Companies’ Backdoor To Cuba
The government of the Republic of Cuba remains unlikely to directly purchase technology hardware and software from United States-based companies.
A challenge for United States-based communications/telecommunications companies and the United States government remains today as has since the implementation of the Cuban Democracy Act (CDA) in 1992 (telecommunications services and facilities) and successive regulatory changes during the Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations, particularly since 17 December 2014- how to answer the following question from the Ministry of Communications of the Republic of Cuba:
“If we purchase your equipment, how do we know the equipment will not be compromised before it arrives or have an ability to be compromised from abroad after its installation? Will you augment the specifications of equipment so we may monitor all voice, text, data and email traffic flowing through the equipment?”
In January 2016, Daniel Sepulveda, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy led an official fourteen-member delegation to the Republic of Cuba which included Thomas Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and representatives of Information Technology Industry Council, California-based Cisco Systems, Pennsylvania-based Comcast, and the North American headquarters of Ericsson.
From FCC Chairman Wheeler: “Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda from the State Department led our delegation which also included representatives from the Department of the Treasury as well as representatives of the technology community. The inclusion of the private sector in the talks advanced the dialog with real life examples of what was possible.”
Soon after completion of the visit, Republic of Cuba government-operated ETECSA reported that it would install broadband services within the area of Old Havana using equipment sourced from China-based Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. In November of 2015, the same company had reported an agreement to market mobile devices, parts, accessories and to train repair personnel. The government of China has extended substantial financial credits to the government of Cuba; and there is bilateral military and intelligence cooperation.
But, there’s a backdoor not necessarily subject to an intense review by the government of the Republic of Cuba.
United States-based air carriers, United States-based hospitality companies, and the 201 categories of authorized self-employed that are and will operate within the Republic of Cuba (Casas Particulares- Bed & Breakfasts; Paladares; Services; there are an estimated 500,000/600,000 licensed/unlicensed full-time/part-time self-employed) have and will continue to directly and indirectly import technology for their use.
And an increasing number of the Republic of Cuba's 11.3 million citizens are using wireless devices equipped with Mountain View, California-based Alphabet Inc.'s (2015 revenues US$75 billion) Android operating system and Apple Inc.'s iOS.