Cloud POS – Why it’s a better model

Posted by: Moe Assafiri
Category: Business advice

Melbourne is home to 1000’s of the hippest cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants and it’s an industry that is consistently growing.  One particular trend in the hospitality industry is the rise (or shift) of the Cloud Point of Sale (P.O.S).

What is Cloud POS?

“Cloud”, if you haven’t heard of it yet, is just another way of saying “centralised and accessible everywhere” – similar to how your emails are centralised on Google, or Hotmail, and accessible from your desktop, mobile or smartwatch. Cloud POS is very similar; it is accessible via the internet, all your products, reports and information are centralised and your POS can practically run on any device. This means that, no matter where you are in the world, you can see how many sales you have done for the day, you can even change your product offerings and pricing.

Woah.. What about if the internet cuts out?

Luckily Cloud POS’s like Kounta have already thought about this. When you have a reputable Cloud POS specialists (like Unify Services..ehm) install Kounta, they will require a local wired (or wireless) network. This sits on your premises, so provided the power is on, your POS will operate without any issues. Printing tickets and making orders do not require an internet connection, however Kounta does like a solid internet connection in order to update your reporting in real-time.

Now there are some caveats to this, like running multiple POS’s in restaurants. In Kounta; tables are monitored and updated through the internet, so finalising a bill on another POS is not possible without a internet connection. However, you can start, edit and finalise a sale on the same POS without an internet connection and, in many cases, one POS is all you need.


So why is it a better model?

Old school POS systems usually came “all in one” – they come with the hardware and the software. In many cases, the software was last updated in the year 2000. The median house price in Melbourne in the year 2000 was less than $200,000, the cost of a daily Met-card was $4 … you get my point; it’s ancient history.

Typically you can pick these all in one systems for around about $1,500-$2,000, depending on the make and model. They come with lackluster POS software that’s clunky, hard to setup and a nightmare to run. Most importantly, the software that you have is the software that you’ll operate with: forever. This means that if you want to “keep up” with technology, you’ll have to shell out another $2k just for another system or for the software update. Often this software has no internet connectivity and if you do want to do reporting, you have to do it on premises and it’s not very informative.

In contrast, Cloud POS allows you to keep the device that you’ve purchase, keep the printers, and has regular software updates that happen in the background. This means that you get all the bells and whistles as they come out, magically through regular internet updates. Updates which happened recently on Kounta included Beat the Q integration and coming soon will be the ability to run Kounta using Commbank’s Albert!

It also makes it super easy to push product updates to every POS, across multiple sites, across multiple states!
This also means that setting up your next POS, or next store is a snap, everything is already on the internet, waiting for you to be setup.

What about the price? Well, that’s another bonus. Rather than shelling out $100’s for software, it’s a monthly subscription fee that’s based on your needs. Kounta starts at the very affordable price of $50 per month for one POS, unlimited staff and as many printers as you need.

Our Cloud POS setup recommendations

Our #1 recommendation is to use good hardware. iPads are quickly becoming our POS touch screen of choice thanks to their all-in-one nature and ease of setup. We can even configure the iPads so they can only be used for Kounta software.

Next, use an Intelligent Cloud Printer. Despite the work which Kounta has put into their Kounta printing app, if you’re running Multiple POS’, you’ll want to invest into a Cloud Printer. In our experience, this results in less errors, less reprints and faster docket printing.

Finally if you’re way out of your comfort zone in setting up your Cloud POS, it’s worth the money to find a reputable Kounta Specialist (did we mention that we are certified Kounta Partners?). Not only will they be able to get it setup in the correct way, they’ll be able to help you through the teething process of moving to the Cloud POS.

Yes, there will be a teething process – trust me, it’s worth it in the long run.

Updated: Unify Services is now providing express delivered POS Supplies, Thermal printer rolls.


Author: Moe Assafiri
Mouhamed "Moe" Assafiri has a degree in Information Systems and over 5 year experience with cloud Point of Sale implantation and networking. He has worked with a range of Point of Sale solutions available in Australia and world-wide and delivered 100's of hospitality and retail projects across Australia.

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