Point of Sale: The future is on Clouds
Cloud POS
11-08-2015 00:00:00
Point of Sale: The future is on Clouds
Cloud computing has effected sweeping changes in people's life - the way they live and work. It has also transformed business houses and industries of all sizes and shapes. Though relatively new for India, retailers and non-retailing entities are grabbing the opportunity to be in line with the development in an effort to become competitive with their technologically agile peers.
First let's understand certain basics about Cloud POS solutions. Cloud computing is a system which is nothing but you store all your critical data in a remote third-party server (Virtual Private Servers) where you can buy a space dedicatedly for your usage by paying a nominal maintenance fee. These servers are highly safe and secure with multiple backups providing data protection from unscrupulous hacker attacks and natural calamities.
In the case of cloud-based POS system, it helps retail/convenience store or fast food restaurant in many ways. From billing, inventory and wastage management, price-fixing to promotional offers, accounting and multi-store operations, the cloud-based system can do all and even more compared to in-store POS system.
Other important reasons for people opting for cloud-based POS than conventional one are unlike traditional system, you don't need to update and maintain frequently, protect from data theft and other malware attacks, low initial cost and effortlessly help several back-end retail processes and save cost in the long run.
As the technology is new for retailers in India, there are still several apprehensions over switching over from traditional POS to cloud-based POS. Let's bust a few common myths and misconceptions about cloud POS technology.
Will my data be secure in the cloud?
This is one of the most important questions which comes to the minds of retailers who want to switch to cloud POS. Though cloud server service providers are gaining momentum in India, you should know to select the right one for your business. Try to get in touch with your business contacts who have adopted cloud POS with the same operator and get the feedback from them before signing the agreement.
On safety aspect is concerned, there is no second opinion that cloud server is safer than on-site system. With data breaches hitting the headlines frequently, it's better to rely on cloud servers.Since these servers are located in remote areashaving multiple backups, the data are safe and one can easily recover vital information in case of breakdowns.
Where ever your system or server is, there are chances for breaches and attacks. Howeverinstead of you bearing the cost of keeping your systems up-to-date or rectifying software or hardware problems, cloud servers engage experienced IT guysto maintain your data round the clock.
Moreover, in the event of a data loss due to fire or flood, if you have saved your data on cloud you can retrieve your data.
Will this new technology too expensive?
To install traditional POS systems, you have to bear a huge initial cost and the system may go outdated in just a few years. Whereas in Cloud-based POS you just need to pay a nominal monthly subscription with minimal or no upfront costs. The fee you pay will cover software, backups, support and future upgrades.
What will happen if I suddenly lose my internet connectivity?
Well, this used to be the concern in the early days of cloud-based POS systems, the advancement in technology has made the hardware runningthe business, even in the event of network failure. For example, your POS system work under Cloud will continue to run, take payments, and track sales, even in the event of a sudden loss internet connection.
What extra benefits cloud POS give compared to traditional POS
With a cloud-based POS system, a traditional retailer can automatically sync sales, inventory, payments, CRM and payroll information to their respective accounting software. Hence he can always have an eye on the money flowing in and out of businesses, which can help him to run the business as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
For restaurant type of business, since Cloud POS is based on open architecture designs, they can seamlessly integrate emerging solutionsand products, such as reservation, guest-facing technology and pre-payment systems.
Will I have control over remote server?
The Virtual Private Servers (VPS) offer to business houses the same kind of control they enjoy with their dedicated servers. These private servers also offer root access, technical support and guaranteed resources.
-K Ramanathan ram@justransact.com

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