Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Take Aways from the 2015 Retail Realm Conference for Microsoft Dynamics RMS and HQ Users

Updated information on the upcoming Retail Management Hero Software (or what I am coining "RMS 3.0 for 2015 and beyond") can be found here:

The recent Retail Realm Conference in April of 2015 helped clarify the current situation related to the Microsoft RMS and HQ point of sale programs. Here are the highlights:
  • Sales of RMS to new users will end July 2016
  • Extended support for RMS will end July 2021
  • Right now complying with the October 1st 2015 EMV Liability Shift Date in the US can only be accomplished using paid third party payment gateways or using payment terminals that are not connected to RMS
  • If you do not stay current on your annual software maintenance agreement, you will not qualify for any updates or license swap options for new point of sale programs
  • Retail Realm Essentials is a new point of sale program that is a possible replacement option for stores with multiple locations that also currently use HQ.
  • Retail Management Hero is a new program under development that is designed for single location RMS users and they will be offering license swap options to RMS users who are current on their annual maintenance. No word on when Retail Management Hero will be available other than that the software presently is about "40% complete". 
There are obviously some trends that you need to be aware of based on the above information:
  • If you are not current on your annual maintenance for RMS and/or HQ - your options are very limited for EMV/Chip Cards and switching to Retail Realm Essentials or Retail Management Hero.
  • It does not make sense to invest in RMS at this point if you are searching for a point of sale system for your business or organization (would you buy a car if you knew that you could no longer obtain service for it after a specific date?).
  • If you are current on your software maintenance then Retail Realm Essentials might be an option if you presently also use HQ and have multiple store locations.
  • Retail Management Hero may be a good option for single stores using RMS or stores that do not use or need HQ and are also current on their annual maintenance agreement. However it is not clear when Retail Management Hero will be available.
My advice to RMS and HQ Users:
  1. Make a plan for EMV/Chip Cards
  2. If not current on software maintenance, look at either replacing RMS or look at the cost to renew your software maintenance
  3. Make a plan as to whether you want to keep investing in RMS/HQ, for how long, and whether Retail Realm Essentials or Retail Management Hero are possible replacement programs
  4. Look at other point of sale options just to see what might be of interest to you - a lot has changed over the last couple of years and you may find that a much better option exists for your business or organization that is well worth the cost to switch point of sale systems.
If you need some unbiased advice, please visit my contact page for information on how to reach me. I've worked extensively with QuickSell 2000, QuickSell HQ, QuickSell Commerce, Microsoft Dynamics RMS, HQ, and multiple other point of sale programs and apps. Currently I'm offering  advice and information to around 700 stores in the US using RMS of which around 15 also use HQ.

Are you  in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice?  I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (I am on Mountain Time) or via email at There is also a contact form to the right that can be used to reach me.


  1. We have over 50 stores in the US (sporting goods) and have already begun the process to switch away from RMS - the lack of communication from Microsoft and our point of sale dealer over the last year was reason enough to start replacing RMS.

    1. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I've heard similar comments from other RMS and HQ users. Hopefully my blog post will help clarify the different options or folks can always contact me directly for help and advice as well.

    2. Hi Kevin,
      Retail Management Hero(RMH) Was announced to be available late 2015 early 2016. Currently there are about a dozen software engineers working on the developement. Any existi g 3rd party add ons should continue to work the same with RMH as they do with RMS. RMH will come out of the box with some features microsoft should have added(loyalty, email receipts, case cou t break out) just to name a few. Have you seen the video show casing RMH? Almost forgot, HQ for RMH will be cloud based only.... Thought I would share..... questions let me know.

  2. Our small chain of bookstores has also already started replacing RMS with a different program as we could not wait any further with the chip card date coming up. Retail Essentials is way too expensive for smaller stores and chains like ours.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I'm not sure what POS system you are switching to but I know that Retail Pro and Bindo have proven to be popular.

  3. I don't see any information about Retail Realm Essentials on Customer Source. Will Microsoft or RR be responsible for customer support? I have found RR customer support to be pretty spotty.

    1. Retail Realm Essentials will be sold and supported by certified/trained partners/dealers. I believe the training/certification of Retail Realm Essentials partners/dealers is being handled by Retail Realm. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

  4. After much discussion, our organization is not considering the retail realm essentials program - too new and too pricey. We have found that cloud based pos systems are much more affordable and easier to work with from an IT standpoint.

    1. Before you buy into the cloud, I advise you to test the operation of the cloud system you choose with your dataset or at least the same count of items, suppliers and customers to see what performance is like before you sign and start paying.

      The cloud works great for hospitality as there are less than 100 items typically. For retail if you have more than 5000 skus you may be waiting a while for the app to open.

    2. We have around 12,000 plu's at each location and several thousand customers in the POS system - no issues at all using Bindo!