POS software: Cloud or on-premise? What are the advantages?
In the management and administration of a business, all tools that facilitate the management of processes and increase the efficiency of activities are always welcome. Technological progress has been a fundamental part of the emergence of new resources designed to improve sales establishments when it comes to the attention and management of tasks and information.
One of the resources that is here to stay and establish itself as a fundamental element in every shop in the different existing sectors, such as the hotel and catering industry, is the TPV or point of sale terminal, together with all the parts that make it up both at hardware and software level.
I will talk about this marvellous system below, with emphasis on the software, the advantages it can offer you and the necessary comparison so that you can choose the one that best suits your business and your aspirations in it.
What is POS software?
POS software is a computer system specifically designed to process data related to the management of tasks and sales in different business areas, offering an interface that optimises each of these processes for greater efficiency in service and control, resulting in an increase in revenue and a decrease in losses, which ultimately leads to a maximisation of profits for financial growth.
Importance of POS software
POS software has had a really high impact on the world of sales and service in different areas. The evolution of their operating characteristics and their increasing presence in businesses has meant a whole new landscape for retail establishments in the way their processes are executed, which has largely translated into benefits for owners and managers, consumers and employees alike.
The importance of these digital systems lies mainly in their influence on the optimisation and increase in sales efficiency, which translates into a significant increase in sales volume.
Using POS software brings about a revolution in the way the service provider and the consumer interact, creating a much more pleasurable experience than conventional buying and selling systems, such as a common analogue cash register.
POS systems not only process payments, they also have integrated functions that involve the recording of relevant information about sales, beyond the price and quantity of items sold; with them it is possible to access data related to stock or inventory control, customer profiles, consumption patterns and some other aspects that are both useful and important for the proper management and improvement of any business.
What are the ideal features of a POS software?
When it comes to POS software, it is important to keep in mind that there is a wide market in which many companies offer their systems for different sectors with different benefits and features. In order to know which one is the most convenient to choose, you must take into account the needs of the business in which it will be used and the objectives you intend to achieve with it.
But, in general, there are a few basic features that any POS software should have to offer a decent performance in any establishment that wants to increase its productivity by optimising the processes related to sales and service delivery. These features are the ones I will mention below.
Ease of use
Process optimisation has to go hand in hand with process simplification. Even though POS software, in a way, automates some tasks of the sales process, it does not completely eliminate human involvement, which is performed by the respective employees of each particular business. It is therefore very important that these systems are, as far as possible, as easy to use. This would guarantee a reduction of the time spent on collection tasks, and would also mean a minimum expenditure of time and money on training of new staff, at least with regard to the areas covered by the POS systems.
In the business world, as in life in general, change is one of the inevitable elements to experience. Whether it is because you get the opportunity to grow and evolve your business, or because you need to modify fundamental aspects that are causing you financial and operational problems, it is always convenient to have software and a POS system in general that is able to adapt and evolve along with your business.
This is an important advantage, because you can make the changes you need to make without having to worry about buying new sales software and reorganising your entire system accordingly.
This point is closely related to one of the types of POS software I will talk about next. Continuous updates are a fundamental part of keeping your business on the cutting edge of technology, which is very convenient for your goal of constant growth and evolution, while at the same time not missing out on new tools and resources that could boost your business even further at a moment's notice.
Staying consistent with software updates depends a little on whether or not the software works in the cloud, as well as the quality of the technical support offered by the company from which you purchased the POS software.
Cloud or on-premise POS software
When it comes to choosing POS software for your business, it is crucial that you think about your POS needs and how it can support your future aspirations in relation to the evolution of your business.
It is true that you can change the software and even the whole POS system if you need to, but ideally you should buy one that has enough features to be suitable for use over a long period of time, so that you don't have to adapt to the operation of a new system, let alone risk the loss of valuable information that this transition would represent. That is why it is worth doing a meticulous review of the features that different POS software possesses and how they fit the operational requirements of your business.
One of these features is the mode in which the software works and stores information, which is divided into two, local and cloud. I will tell you about these, their characteristics and their main advantages.
Cloud-based POS software
This type of POS software works completely in the cloud. That is to say, it depends on an internet connection to work and to be able to use its different tools. It does not need to be installed on any device within the premises or establishment, as all access is via online.
Among the main advantages of this type of POS, is the fact that it is possible to access it to control sales and other aspects from anywhere where you have a device with an internet connection; something that is very useful for owners and managers who cannot be present all the time in the physical space of the business, as they will not miss any relevant detail related to the operation of the company that is constantly updated in real time.
Furthermore, it is not necessary to have dedicated hardware for data storage, everything will be stored in the cloud and will be the responsibility of the company responsible for the software; which represents a decrease in costs if you think about what would be needed to maintain the hardware dedicated to storage, in addition to how limited it can be thanks to the fact that its capacity would be a function of the amount of money available to invest in that type of equipment. It is important to note that access to the information will only be available to those in possession of the corresponding access data.
Another important aspect of this type of POS software is that thanks to its working mode, it is compatible with almost any type of device, which would mean having a very important adaptability factor.
Local POS software
Unlike the previous one, this type of POS works based on the installation of the software on a central device which, preferably, should be in the business establishment. It is on this device that the information stored in the software can be accessed exclusively, as well as some other functions and tools that are not available on other hardware equipment.
The POS could be connected to other devices that would function as an extension of the main one, but it is on the latter that the sales processes will be managed and all the corresponding information will be stored.
The main reason why some prefer this type of POS software is because they consider it an advantage that access is limited to only one device with the required login information, which can be understood as a more secure handling and management of data and less susceptible to loss and/or theft.
Between these modes of operation and storage of information corresponding to POS software, it is possible to find what would be called a hybrid between the two mentioned above. Software of this nature combines local operation with cloud storage. They must be installed on a central device in the establishment through which all operations will pass and all corresponding data will be recorded, but at the same time there is the possibility of creating a backup directly in the cloud, which would be possible to access, provided you have the required authorisation.
How do I pay for POS software?
The way in which you pay for POS software and the services it includes will depend on the type of modality in which the software works. For cloud-based software, you will have to pay a monthly subscription to the company offering the programme. For this payment you will have access to all the software's functions and storage options.
Many of the companies offer a free trial for a few days with most of the features available, so that you can use the software and have the opportunity to decide if it is what you need and suits your work. You can also pay for it with some of the packages they usually offer, where you have the possibility to pay for 3 months, 6 months or even a full year, saving you a considerable amount compared to paying for each month separately.
Local POS software, on the other hand, requires you to pay a fee for the installation and then you will have to continue paying a rental fee for the technical service provided by the company, and another annual fee for the product licence.
Technical service in POS software
In both cases, technical support is actually available, but in the case of local software, this service may be required more, because not only the software, but also the hardware must be taken care of. It is important that the company you buy the software from offers a 24-hour technical service that is as efficient as possible, because every minute that passes during working hours without being able to work means a loss of money and customers.
For software that works in the cloud, the technical service, although it does have to do with repairs, is more related to the constant updating of the programme automatically.
You can take a look at our website Bliscop if you are looking for Cloud POS Software.