Forget POS – think EPOS!
- January 5, 2016
Just the word ‘cloud’ stuck in front of anything can make it look and sound a bit weird to those of us still remembering Windows 3.1 and Atari consoles.
‘Cloud’ just means that your system and data are held somewhere else, not exactly in a fluffy cloud but usually on a large server, miles away from you. There are advantages of course because if your shop burns down and you haven’t been creating daily backups ( and let’s face it……!), then you know that all your system and data are intact. As a business person, you are not interested in the mysteries of computing, only what it can do for you.
It doesn’t really matter to you where your information is stored as all you and your staff really need is an ability to access it and if you can do that using an iPad or any tablet or smartphone, then that is all you really need to know.
Now let’s assume for a minute that although you only have one shop today, in 5 or 10 years time you’re going to have a whole chain of shops. Imagine the problems of trying to integrate a whole collection of shops in order to produce a single set of accounts or to have an overall idea of stock across all your shops. Yes of course, you can have a POS system in each location and then connect them up.
But imagine if you already have a single remote system, in place right at the beginning all you need to do is add your future shops ‘virtually’ ……without having to buy any additional hardware. You’ll be pleased to hear that technology is with us now and it is called The Cloud.
Suddenly, POS systems have become about the software which you don’t even have to see. All you need is a means of communication plus you no longer have the constraints of your own in-house operating system – which is probably out of date anyway!
Nowadays, you can do absolutely everything on your iPad or smart phone at point of sale. For instance, your iPad can be everything from a payment terminal, card reader and even a barcode reader…… and that information can be transmitted to your part of the Cloud at the speed of light!
If you are lucky enough not to have invested in an old school POS system, you have a major opportunity in front of you and that is to go straight into a cloud-based system without having to experience all the headaches of installations, testing, software bugs, and the million other things that can go wrong with a traditional POS system.
Obviously, there’s nothing really wrong with a POS system residing totally within your own space and all you really need to do is to compare the cost of ongoing in-house IT management against the great advantage of the continual remote improvement of a cloud-based system.
From a technical point of view, if you do opt for a cloud-based system, all you need to worry about is an Internet connection because ideally, a cloud-based system does need continuous connection to the Internet. However that is easily overcome because the important aspect on a day-to-day basis is your ability to sell and to book the sales. That of course means that what you are really looking for is a hybrid system which is Cloud-based but which also has local functionality.
Some of us have already witnessed the rather sad sight of a shop not being able to process card payments because they are not connected to the Internet!
One of the great developments in software has been the advent of the ubiquitous ‘app’ which is allowing layman to use technology without ever having to worry about technology – if you know what I mean!
The advent of kit such as the iPad and the smart phone plus the concept of The Cloud means that any business can now take full advantage of the most up-to-date POS without ever having to worry about any technical aspects.
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