Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This is New & Unique: Use Amazon Echo Dot to Retrieve Data from the Cloud Retailer POS Software

Yup - just in time for a series of trade shows and expos, an interface has been written to allow Amazon Echo Dot to retrieve information from the Cloud Retailer point of sale software. Here are some example commands: 
  • Alexa, ask Cloud Retailer about sales for {Date}
  • Alexa, ask Cloud Retailer about sales {Date} at {Location}
  • Alexa, ask Cloud Retailer about {Period} sales for {Date} at {Location}
  • Alexa, ask Cloud Retailer for my Monthly sales in April for Minneapolis
  • Alexa, ask Cloud Retailer about sales for today

It will be interesting to see the response to this unique feature within Cloud Retailer. I suspect that retailers will find this to be very helpful while doing other activities as making a simple voice command quicker and easier than having to stop and generate a report in Cloud Retailer

For more information on Cloud Retailer, visit the Cloud Retailer website at http://cloudretailer.com/

You can also contact me directly at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Please Replace those old MSR's!!!

More security breaches over the last couple of months. This time involving Snoney's and GameStop.

For the sake of your business and your customers, please replace those old Mag Stripe Readers (MSR's) that read card data and transmit it through the POS system. It is very easy to intercept credit card information with these devices. If you don't believe me, open up MS Word, NotePad or WordPad and swipe a credit or debit card. If you can see the actual card information in any of these word processing programs then you have outdated equipment that needs to be replaced ASAP.

Depending on which POS software program you use, there are plenty of hardware and software upgrades available like Card Defender.

Shoneys Article: http://www.nrn.com/technology/shoney-s-reports-credit-card-breach-37-locations

GameStop Article: www.mytotalretail.com/article/gamestop-investigating-possible-credit-card-security-breach-website

Need assistance? Please contact me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Locally Hosted Version of Microsoft Dynamics 365

I don't have a lot of details on this yet, but Microsoft has announced that they are offering a version of Dynamics 365 that can be hosted locally instead of being run as a cloud based application. No real reason was given but I suspect that a lot of retailers already have IT equipment in place and would prefer not to have a cloud based application.

I'll update as more information is provided to me - as a side note, I'm still receiving a 50/50 split when it comes to retailers wanting cloud based point of sale versus locally hosted/run point of sale.  This 50/50 split has been holding steady for 2017.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What Microsoft Dynamics RMS Users are Doing: 2017 Edition

***Video did not render correctly - yet another problem with my Surface Pro 4***

I will attempt to edit and re-upload  but the video is watchable - just the right side content is cutoff.

I'm in the midst of travel visiting retailers using the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software to advise what, if anything, they need to do between now and July 2021. The options are fairly clear cut between Card Defender, Cloud Retailer, Retail Management Hero, Retailer Realm Essentials, Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics 365 which are all covered briefly in this video:




If your store or chain is using RMS, I'm happy to consult with you on options (both short and long term). I can be reached at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

MasterCard May 1st 2017 Mandate for New Numbers - Will RMS Process the New Cards?

As retailers report receiving more letters and emails from WorldPay, Heartland and other merchant services companies related to the MasterCard 2 Series Bank Identification Number (BIN) Mandate, the biggest question is "will I be able to accept and process the new cards if I am using the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software?"

A quick reminder that this mandate goes in to effect on May 1st, 2017. Not being able to accept and process the new number sequence on these MasterCard credit cards means fines of up to $20,000 per the letters and emails that have been shared with us.

As for the question, the short answer is "yes, but...". We've done some testing and RMS appears to handle the new card numbers. However, there are quite a few variables at play related to the version of RMS being used and any add-ons being used with RMS.

There is also the reality that new payment processing requirements are being introduced on a fairly regular basis and RMS is not being updated to accommodate these requirements. A better solution is looking at Card Defender which integrates with RMS but assumes all the payment processing liability using the latest in payment processing terminals as well as being updatable to meet or exceed present as well as future payment processing requirements.

Because of the variables involved, as well as future payment processing requirements, the best answer to the question is "Yes, but please contact RITE at 888-267-7483 or sales@rite.us in order to discuss your specific situation and look at the best course of action".

Monday, April 3, 2017

Possible Issues with Mercury/Vantiv Magtek IPAD for Microsoft RMS

Wanted to make everyone aware of a potential issue specific to the Mercury/Vantiv Magtek "IPAD" payment processing add-on for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software.

I arrived at a customers site last week only to find that the entire system was down due to the Microsoft Dynamics RMS database being "full". The cause was a large amount of transaction data being put in to the RMS database from the Mercury/Vantiv Magtek "IPAD" payment processing add-on. The customer had only been using the add-on for just over 2 years and is a single lane RMS users.

Obviously, retailers can't have their system go down due to the RMS database being full so here are the possible resolutions:
  1. Purchase SQL Server which allows for a larger database size ($1100 - $2000 depending on version and license options).
  2. Have your point of sale partner/VAR/dealer monitor your RMS database and delete/archive old data as needed ($125-$250 per occurrence if needed).
  3. Consider switching to Card Defender which does not populate your RMS database with as much transaction data as the MagTek IPAD solution does (Card Defender does not presently work with Mercury/Vanticv but this will change in the coming months).
  4. Look at a different integration that RITE offers using an Vantiv ICS250 payment terminal with Microsoft Dynamics RMS.
Do contact me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com with any questions or contact your RMS Partner to have them check the size of your RMS database (or your IT staff can check the size fo the database as well - just takes about 5 minutes).