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Cloud POS or In House POS Server?

With modern day POS Solution, you have two main types of software solution to choose from and that is Cloud Type of POS or In-House POS Server type of solution.  Functionally, both types of Point of Sale Solutions are similar in nature. Both of them requires a main server to feed and store information, as well as providing a Management Module (often referred to as Back Office) to keep prices and product up-to-date.

However, here are 8 different points for you to consider as to which POS type of solution is better for you:

  1. Are you comfortable having your data on the cloud. Some people are not comfortable to have their data in someone else's server.  Although most third party servers are generally secured (e.g. Amazon, Google or Drive Rack etc), there still will be a very small chance that your data may not be 100% safe with a third party company.   
  2. Every cloud solution may have a percentage of down time.  When this happens, is this critical to the function of your business.  A lot of cloud solutions will not work if you have a disruption on your internet line.  At present, there is no guarantee that your internet connection wont have any issues.  In saying this, some new Cloud POS solution are beginning to have caches, which can store your data when the internet is not working, and would sync up when the Cloud Servers are back online.
  3. Do you trust your security to your staff members.  In a Cloud POS solution, you must have a reasonably trustworthy IT literate sort of employee, who knows the importance of online security and the danger of hackers.  Traditional business operator may not be opened to new security issues and may jeopardise the security through human error of judgement such as those from spamming phishing sites or fake logon site sort of hack.
  4. Do you plan to access your data from all sorts of location.  Assuming that you are reasonably safe in your approach to security, Cloud POS is a good system for you to have especially if you are doing collaborative team type of task which may involve a number of members that may not necessarily be in one place.  Say an accountant may need to access the data at any time of the day to reconcile the accounts.  With a Cloud POS, it is rather easy to simply use your browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari) to access the information from the cloud and work on his/her laptop.  In saying this, modern internal servers can be connected externally in similar fashion.  The only disadvantage with traditional servers is that there is a medium amount of complexity to create a safe remote access for external users.  Once this remote access facility is set properly, the effective result wont be much different from a Cloud POS system.
  5. Once you have multiple sites that is spread out in far geo locations, then the Cloud POS Solution has the advantage of connectivity over diverse locations or even platforms.  Cloud POS will give you the flexibility of accessing your Management back office even if you are not on site.  Moreover, it will be able to pull all transactions to a single point to make it easier for consolidated summary reports, as well as franchise management reports for inter-branch comparisons. 
  6. On an internal server solution, one can achieve the same result with slightly more advanced type of connectivity and network settings. Such a connectivity can be slightly more complex and less flexible.    
  7. The platform of your hardware is important.  With an internal POS server type of solution, you will generally be working in a Microsoft Windows environment type of hardware.  But with Cloud Base, it opens up a gamut of preferred hardware such as Apple Macs, Ipads and Mini-Ipad, and for some, even Linux and Android devices.  This would mean that the POS solution can be dependent on your preferred type of hardware.
  8. Using Special Scales and Scanners for retail POS Interface may require you to work with only a limited type of PC POS hardware.  Therefore, some retail type of industry may not suit Cloud POS solutions as some of them do not support hardware such as Scales or integrated Scale-Barcode scanner units.  Not only that, the software itself may not have been verified by proper government body to allow the POS system to work with a directly linked scale.  In Australia, it is required that the scale would have to be pattern approved by the National Measurement Institute (NMI) for the POS and the scale to be used for retail purposes.  For further information, please contact NMI.

Here at Advance POS, you can book a trial for us to show you a demo.

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