The opportunities available to retailers through the virtual POS model are exciting and the benefits are significant. By eliminating the need to install and run the POS application on a server at each store, a significant burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support is alleviated. Here are a few of the benefits of switching to a virtual POS system:
- Reduced initial hardware costs: With virtual POS, retailers can utilize existing equipment and/or less-expensive equipment in the store because less processing power is needed at each location. In addition, hardware updates or refresh programs avoid the need for a mass replacement of de-centralized equipment in order to keep up with processing requirements.
- Reduced deployment time:The ability to utilize existing hardware and deploy new software from a centralized location can significantly reduce the time needed to deploy a new POS environment.
- Simplified hardware maintenance: With less hardware at the store and more of the processing performed at the data center it becomes far simpler and less expensive to maintain hardware.
- Labor savings: Fewer POS IT and infrastructure support staff are needed to maintain and support applications, resulting in significant reduction in annual IT and store support costs. Studies have shown that every company that used on-premises server-based software applications has to hire one on-site IT support person for every 50 employees. With Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, almost all of these customer-incurred support costs are eliminated. This can also be translated to a lean or thin client POS deployment
- Simplified software upgrades: Upgrades can be completed at the data center and may not need to be pushed to the store.
- Simplified PCI and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) compliance: Under PCI, credit card data is immediately encrypted and removed from the store over the secured credit authorization network. By segmenting it from normal transaction data and with special handling, compliance can be maintained. Similarly, by moving PII up to the data center, a more rigorous data security plan can be put in place to afford the protection this data requires. It is much easier to secure data at one location (centralized) than at 500 or thousands of locations.
- Better business agility and flexibility: Retailers have the opportunity to deliver critical applications in a much more flexible manner than with the traditional in-house, server-based systems. Flexibility becomes increasingly important to larger retailers who can become more nimble as they can add new applications more quickly because they no longer have to deal with individual store server-based constraints.
- Reduced telephone costs: The ability to utilize VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) as a telephone option can reduce the costs at the store-level for the individual lines.
- Increased customer service: The ability to implement Customer Wi-Fi hotspots as a customer service can enable
social networking within the store at faster speeds, simplify communication to your customer, and enhance customer loyalty.
- Reduced training costs: The ability to use video training helps reduce training materials, which are often outdated, at the store locations. Also, changes completed at Corporate or at the data center can be available for the stores to view immediately.
Are you ready for virtual POS?
For more details on virtual POS, check out this white paper: