Wincor Nixdorf’s objective in the field of Research and Development is to provide customers with a competitive advantage through innovative products and solutions. Consequently, in fiscal 2010/2011 we continued to make substantial investments in this area – and therefore ultimately in the future of our business. Spending on Research and Development was down slightly by 1% to €100 million (2009/2010: €101 million). The R&D ratio fell 0.2 percentage points to 4.3% (2009/2010: 4.5%). By the end of the fiscal year, the R&D headcount had dropped to 785 (2009/2010: 882), primarily due to changes in the scope of consolidation.
History of R&D Expenses plus Embedded R&D Ratio in % of Net Sales.€m
The Research and Development network mainly is composed of sites in Germany, Austria, Brazil, Singapore, and China. In total, 78 new patent applications were filed during the fiscal year under review (2009/2010: 88). The overall number of active patent rights was 1,159 (2009/2010: 1,138).
Focus of R&D Activities.
Wincor Nixdorf’s activities in the field of R&D are concentrated in three main areas:
- Further development of convergent platform technologies for our core business in retail banking, the retail industry, and related areas of business.
- Software as the key to optimizing the overall branch process chains of retail banks and retailers.
- Continuous improvement to our solutions regarding their total costs during the product life cycle (TCO), in conjunction with the optimization of serviceability (Glossary) .
Cash Cycle Management Solutions with Identical Base Technology.
With the launch of the CINEO System Family, we equipped ATMs, automated teller safes, and self-checkout systems (Glossary) with our cash recycling technology: after being checked for authenticity, cash deposits are made available for withdrawal again. During the year under review, another main focus of our development efforts was on further refining our new solutions portfolio for Cash Cycle Management.
At the beginning of the year under review, a development center for coin processing was established in Linz, Austria. The new center is responsible for developing system components for the automated acceptance and processing of coins. In taking this route, we have extended our technology base, which until now specialized in processing banknotes.
We also developed a self-checkout (Glossary) system for smaller retail stores with no dedicated cash office, whereby banknotes are placed in cash cassettes.
We have improved our expertise in the area of image recognition for both of our target industries and translated this know-how into practical applications – for example a solution enabling the automatic scanning of products at checkouts (see ). We also draw on our expertise in the field of image recognition to prevent the attempted manipulation of ATMs or reverse vending systems. Another application in which image recognition plays an important role is for the acceptance of cash and checks by our Cash/Check Deposit Modules (CCDM (Glossary) ). During the year under review, we further improved these modules with regard to both processing speed and quality.
Expansion of Software Portfolio.
In the period under review, we added new applications to the Retail Banking Suite, particularly for cashless payments. Among the new components is one that processes card transactions at ATMs or POS (Glossary) terminals even more securely than previously possible. The “NFC standard,” which allows payments by mobile communication devices for example, has also been integrated into this solution. The development of new, intelligent interfaces simplifies user prompting at self-service systems (Glossary) ; their design is similar to that known from modern Internet or smart phone interfaces.
In the year under review, we also added new applications to the Retail Suite, our software portfolio for the retail industry, such as a solution for planning and managing the deployment of staff. Furthermore, we developed a software package that is specifically tailored to the needs of smaller retailers.
Low TCO Through Forward-looking Development.
When developing our products and solutions, we make sure that the costs incurred remain as low as possible, from the selection of components, through production and operations, to waste disposal. With the CINEO System family, we have achieved our objective of a considerably reduced total cost of ownership (Glossary) (TCO). In line with serviceability (Glossary) requirements, we have had the foresight to align hardware, software, and service processes with each other. The systems, featuring integrating Talking Devices (Glossary) , are capable of automatically transmitting a variety of information to the eServices platform, thus allowing preventive maintenance and the shortest possible recovery times (see also ).
Our customers are able to access and evaluate this wealth of information via a mobile Web-based application called “eServices Portal Management Dashboard.” Banks and retailers are thus provided with a consolidated graphics-based summary of system, service, and cash data – in real time.
Continuous Expansion of Security Solutions Portfolio.
To prevent criminals from gaining access to banknotes, we have developed a process for our new note storage units that sprays the banknotes with indelible ink in the event of unauthorized withdrawal or vibration, and renders them unusable. We have also developed next-generation technologies, which can identify cases of attempted fraud at self-service systems.