ERPLY, AN ESTONIAN company, has created an innovative e-commerce solution for big-box retailers as well as medium and small retailers. “Our background is in building RP (retail payment) systems for enterprise-level businesses,” says Robert Jacob, Erply’s U.S. vice president of sales. “In 2009 we decided to develop an out-of-the-box solution. It just made sense that we should take the tools we customized for the big guys and revamp them for the small to mid-sized retailers.” Using an app for the iPad, Erply’s e-commerce solution transforms the tablet computer into a cash register. An additional $50 card swiper that fits on the side of the tablet allows the retailer to use the iPad to take credit card sales. While competing with companies such as Square and Verifone, Erply’s solution offer significant advantages over other POS systems on the market. Erply’s system runs off an Internet “cloud,” or a collection of remote servers, not requiring the retailer to have an investment in hardware. “There’s no need for a server in the back,” Jacob says, explaining that Erply hosts the back-end systems. “No information is stored on the register,” he adds. “If the iPad or cash register goes down everything is being pushed to the cloud, so you can pop up a browser on a computer and keep going.” The second system advantage is the robust design, which includes a complete ERP solution for big retailers. “We have a powerful suite of tools that is much deeper than the point of sale. In the web-based space, there are not many provers who are taking it to that level,” Jacob notes. “Our back end is much more complex, including inventory management, customer databases and reports that are all combined into one and hosted in the cloud,” he adds.