Server vs. Cloud POS Solutions

For many years, retailers have used point of sale products that ran on a server and workstations. Products such as CounterPoint and Retail Pro have been around for a long time and have had years of features and functions added to them. Although most people do not use all of the features of these systems, there are definitely some unique needs that have been addressed for specific uses. As technology is always changing, the ability to ditch the server and have a cloud-based solution has been a desire for retailers and their IT providers alike. There are a few reasons for this:

Reliability

There are different ways that the registers can talk to the server.  One method is to have the registers wired through the network to the server. When you have multiple locations to consider, it is difficult to make sure the registers at all locations can talk to the servers. If the communication between the sites goes down, there is time and expense involved to fix it. 

Maintenance

With an on-site solution, you have to worry about backups, patching, hardware failures, and physical security of the server that has all of your data on it. Retailers don’t typically have in-house IT experts to care for the computers, so they have to pay someone who does have this expertise.

Expense

Server-based solutions cost a lot of money. You have to purchase the computer, the server licenses, the maintenance and the point of sale software licenses. This is an up-front purchase of several thousand dollars, and yearly renewal expenses. Software upgrades can also add to these expenses.

CLOUD

A database that is in the cloud allows you to avoid the time and expense of dealing with a server. They also offer more mobility than server solutions.

Reliability

For the most part, cloud solutions are reliable and hassle-free. It’s a good idea to have a fallback option, such as cellular, in case the internet goes down. It’s also good to choose an option that has offline capability so it will automatically synch your data when the internet is back.

Maintenance

Cloud solutions are managed by IT experts, so you do not need to hire additional expertise to take care of your data. Most of the solutions available do upgrades for you with no additional charge.

Expense

The up-front cost is a lot lower than purchasing computers and licenses. The solutions are typically offered at a monthly rate based on the number of users or computers. Often there is no contract and you can change or cancel at any time. The cost of implementing these solutions is also lower.

We searched for years to find a solution that offered a cloud database but still offered the features and functions of the well-developed server-based solutions that have been in use for years. Some of the solutions on the market did not have enough reporting functions and information is very important to make decisions that affect your business. Many options charged more if you didn’t use their credit card processor. And some of the choices did not offer the ability to customize the software if you needed a feature that was not offered.

Finally, we discovered WooPOS. It is the most complete point of sale and inventory management software for retailers. It has all the bells and whistles of the long-standing server packages, and if it doesn’t have a feature that you need, it can be added quickly. Choose your own payment processor for no additional charge. The reporting is fantastic so you will have all the information you need to manage all of your locations and eCommerce right in one place. And we will support you with the implementation, training and any questions you have.

Many retailers plan to implement a new point of sale/inventory management solution after the holidays. For some, it will be the first time using an automated system to run their business. For others, it will be a shift from a current system to a new one.  Whichever your situation is, we can help.

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