Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Microsoft Dynamics RMS/HQ Annual Maintenance: Renew or Not?

A topic of debate over the last couple of months has been whether it makes sense to keep paying for annual software maintenance for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software (applies to HQ as well).

The Con List - reasons why RMS users have not been renewing their maintenance:
  • No updates will be made available and support is limited via Microsoft
  • There are no patches or hotfixes being added
  • Full end of life for RMS and HQ is coming up quickly (2020 and 2021)
  • I have no plans to migrate to a different POS program
  • I have no plans to look at any of the POS programs that are replacing Microsoft RMS
  • I plan on selling my business and letting the new owner worry about the POS hardware and software
The Pro List - reasons why RMS users have been renewing their maintenance:
  • We want to take advantage of the license trade / discounts for the RMS replacement programs in the next year (we need to run the numbers as it may be cheaper in the long run to go ahead and lapse if you will be hanging on to RMS for several more years)
  • We still need to be able to add lane and HQ store licenses
  • We do take advantage of the support directly from Microsoft
My Advice:

There is no hard and fast rule here. I would say that it makes sense to stay on annual maintenance if you will be moving to Retail Management Hero or Cloud Retailer in the next couple of years (the discounts are larger that what the annual maintenance costs in most cases). If you just plan to keep using RMS as long as possible, and tend to use little to no support, then it probably makes more sense to save the $214/year per lane license towards a new POS system down the road. 

Same if you have no interest in any of the RMS replacement programs like Retail Management Hero and Cloud Retailer - set the monies aside for a new POS system.

Just keep in mind that once you are no longer on software maintenance, you lose the following:
  • Ability to add lane and/or store licenses
  • License key recovery or replacement (easy fix here is to have all of your licenses keys written down for future reference)
  • Free support cases directly with Microsoft (which is nice but also limited to what Microsoft can/will support)
  • Free license trade to Retail Management Hero or Cloud Retailer (this would be the biggest reason to stay on software maintenance).
Need some personalized advice or help calculating the long term costs? Please contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632.

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