Friday, August 30, 2019

Are you a retailer in the path of Hurricane Dorian? What you need to do with your POS system

No matter what point of sale system you have, some general advice regarding what you should be doing with your point of sale system. All of you are in my prayers for safety and guidance over the coming days. Aside from the items listed below, please take steps to protect yourself and family first.

  1. Make sure that all of your data has been backed up online or to a device that you can take with you (like a flash drive or removable drive). Back up the data multiple ways if possible
  2. If you are using a cloud based POS system like Cloud Retailer - backups are done automatically for you and are safe at a secure facility 1000+ miles away from Florida.
  3. Batch and close out the pos system
  4. Close out of all your software
  5. Power down all hardware
  6. Power down all related equipment like surge/power strips, routers, payment terminals, etc
  7. Ensure that you have documentation (like receipts and invoices) and pictures of all your technology equipment for insurance purposes
  8. Ensure that you have any cd’s or dvd’s that came with the hardware and software
  9. As time permits, and as needed, document how all the cables are connected via pictures or even different colored twist ties attached to each of the cables
  10. Disconnect all technology equipment and related documentation, and move above the water line or to a secure offsite location (be sure to move carefully and store in a way not to cause damage)
Be sure to contact your point of sale partner/dealer/reseller for assistance as needed with any of the above items

Taking the above steps will help protect your point of sale system and related data.

If any of us at RITE can be of assistance, please call us at 888-267-7483. You can also reach me directly at 208-340-5632.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What other Microsoft RMS/HQ Users are doing for RMS End of Life

NOTE: I am keeping this updated as we move through 2019 as best I can

As summer 2019 quickly comes to a close, more and more retailers are contacting me for advice specific to the Microsoft Dynamics RMS / HQ point of sale software and the upcoming end of extended support dates.

Many of you have even paid my travel expenses so I could come onsite to advise/consult/meet in person!

A summery of retailers that I've had in person or phone conversations with broken down by whether HQ is being used or not.

Not Using HQ (approx 439 single location stores that I have spoken with):
  • 106 of you have upgraded to Retail Management Hero or Cloud Retailer
  • 48 of you have replaced RMS with a different POS system (NCR CounterPoint SQL, Bindo, ShopKeep, LightSpeed, LiquorPOS, Netsuite, QuickBooks POS, and Clover appear to be the most popular)
  • 120 of you have moved to stand alone payment terminals and will stick with that for the next 2+ years
  • 134 of you have put in Card Defender and will stick with that for the next 2+ years 
  • The remaining retailers have put in other payment terminal solutions as provided by your merchant services company (eg. Shift 4) or have not communicated back to me what your plans are
Using HQ (approx 44 chains that I have met/spoken with over the last 24 months):
  1. 3 location chain: staying on RMS for now - will start exploring options in late 2019
  2. 4 location chain: staying on RMS for now but will replace by Oct 2019. Looking at ERP or POS with built in accounting
  3. 8 location chain: still on RMS for now. Looking at options but nothing shared back to me.
  4. 4 location chain: staying on RMS and no plans to replace at this time
  5. 5 location chain: put in Card Defender. Will keep using RMS for another 2+ years
  6. 3 location chain: replaced RMS/HQ with SalesPad as they use Dynamics GP for accounting
  7. 18 location chain: started replacing RMS/HQ with Netsuite
  8. 9 location chain: started replacing RMS/HQ with Netsuite
  9. 50 location chain: replaced RMS and HQ with NCR CounterPoint 
  10. 2 location chain: staying on RMS for another 2+ years
  11. 38 location chain: staying on RMS for now - will evaluate replacement options in 2019 or 2020
  12. 8 location chain: staying on RMS for now - will evaluate replacement options in 2019 or 2020
  13. 5 location chain: staying on RMS for now - will evaluate replacement options in 2019 or 2020
  14. 4 location chain: staying on RMS for now - will evaluate replacement options in 2019 or 2020
  15. 14 location chain: staying on RMS for now - will evaluate replacement options in 2019 or 2020
  16. 18 location chain: just starting to evaluate options as of late 2018
  17. 3 location chain: staying on RMS for now - will evaluate replacement options in 2019 or 2020
  18. 6 location chain: Put in Cloud Retailer with Card Defender at all locations.
  19. 297 location franchise (technically not using HQ) - put in Card Defender, likely moving to Epicore in 2020
  20. 2 location chain: staying RMS for the time being - looking at Card Defender and updating some hardware
  21. 3 location chain: Replacing RMS/HQ with Cloud Retailer and Card Defender
  22. 7 location chain: staying on RMS/HQ for now but recently implemented Card Defender at all locations
  23. 5 location chain: initiated process to start putting in Netsuite per a franchise agreement.
  24. 16 location chain: just starting the process to look at RMS/HQ replacement options
  25. 2 location chain: replaced RMS with Retail Management Hero
  26. 2 location chain: moving to Cloud Retailer now for deployment in late summer 2019
  27. 16 location chain: moving to Cloud Retailer now for deployment in late 2019
  28. 34 location chain: exploring options like Cloud Retailer for deployment in 2019 or 2020
  29. 18 location chain: exploring options via an RFI to replace RMS/HQ in late 2020
  30. 8 location chain: put out an RFI in 1/2019 for RMS/HQ replacement options and still evaluating as of 8/2019.
  31. 40 location chain in Oregon: just now starting to look at RMS replacement options - very interested in Retail Management Hero but see no replacement for HQ yet if using RMH and the Retail Management Hero discounts end April 2020.
  32. 45 location chain in Illinois: just now starting to look at RMS replacement options - very interested in Retail Management Hero but see no replacement for HQ yet if using RMH and the Retail Management Hero discounts end April 2020.
  33. 50 location chain in Ohio: Renewing their maintenance program for RMS/HQ support with RITE. Very honestly told me that there is nothing on the market that matches their size of retail operation that isn't super expensive. They are looking at the Cloud Retailer option as well.
  34. 19 location chain in California: just starting their search for RMS replacement options.
  35. 3 location chain in Texas: using the DRS Bike Interface for RMS - holding out for RMH Central to be released soon.
  36. 4 location chain in Washington State: awaiting an appointment with me to discuss further.
  37. 19 location chain in Washington State and Alaska: awaiting an appointment with me to discuss further.
  38. 12 location chain in Oregon: testing out In Store POS in 3 locations as a potential RMS/HQ replacement
  39. 2 location chain in California: just starting the search - expressed some interest in Cloud Retailer
I have 5 other chains (with 3 to 5 stores each) that I've spoken with but have not been keeping me updated on their plans.

(Disclaimer: Microsoft RMS will not magically stop working come July of 2020 or July of 2021 but it will become more difficult to support over time as technology changes. We have 11 support techs and will keep supporting RMS/HQ as along as feasibly possible)

RMS Issues/Motivation to Change
  1. End of support for Windows 7
  2. End of support for Microsoft RMS
  3. Pressure / additional fees from merchant services provider for using an outdated POS system
  4. End of Retail Management Hero (RMH) licence discounts for Microsoft RMS users
  5. Lack of peripheral hardware support
Footnote on RMS Add-ons:
Some of you rely on various RMS add-on's like PoolCorp, ShipRush or the bike store and service modules from DRS for RMS. At this time, you can't move away from RMS without losing these add-on's. Initial indications are that many of these add-on's will work with some of the RMS replacement programs as we get closer to 2020 and 2021 (subject to change of course).

If you would like to have an in-person or phone conversation about the future of the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software and advice specific to your retail business, please contact me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com.

Please do share this post/site with other retailers who are using RMS / HQ as well.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Still using Windows 7 with POS Software? What you need to know about Jan 14th, 2020

If you happen to still be using Windows 7 on your point of sale computers, it is important to note that all support for Windows 7 will end on January 14th, 2020. What does this mean? Basically, you will be using an un-supported operating system and will most likely need to upgrade to Windows 10 (and may need to upgrade your computers as well).  Reasons for this include the following:
  • Being non-PCI compliant
  • Being vulnerable to virus and malware attacks (potential loss and/or compromise of data)
  • POS software may no longer be supported if using Windows 7
  • Peripherals like receipt printers, payment terminals, scales, customer displays, etc may no longer be supported
  • Your point of sale Partner/VAR/Dealer/Reseller will no longer assist you
You may want to take this opportunity to evaluate which point of sale software program to use and see if it is time to make a switch to newer point of sale software as you will likely already be investing in new computers. Keep in mind that the only way to by-pass this would be to use stand alone payment terminals and computers that have no internet access.

Questions or need some advice? Please contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Liquor Store Operatiosn Crash Course

Wanted to say thanks to the folks at WestSide Liquor in Waite Park, MN for today's crash course in liquor store operations.  It was a very eye opening experience and helped me understand what challenges liquor store retailers are facing (even beyond what the point of sale system can help with)!





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Curious to have me come onsite to learn more about your retail operation? You can reach me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com for more information.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

News Flash: Important Retail Management Hero (RMH) Upcoming Price Changes

I wanted to pass along some VERY important information regarding the pricing for the Retail Management Hero (RMH) Point of Sale software. this includes information on the Microsoft RMS to RMH discount schemes.
  1. Effective Immediately: RMH iPOS license prices are now $495/each instead of $695/each.
  2. Effective August 1st. 2019: RMH Base license price will be $1300. Additional lane and manager licence pricing will remain the same.
  3. Effective August 1st, 2019: Payment Processing through RMH will carry a $7/month per lane charge to new users or users who let their annual maintenance lapse. This will not apply to users who do not process payments via RMH.
  4. Effective October 1st, 2019: Microsoft RMS users who wish to migrate to RMH will only receive a 50% RMH license discount if current on RMS maintenance. The discount will be reduced to 20% for RMS users who are lapsed on maintenance.
  5. Effective April 1st, 2020: All RMS license discounts end. There will be no RMH license discount available to RMS users.
For more details, please contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

T Minus Less Than1 (or 2) Years to RMS End of Extended Support

OK retailers, we are just over one year away from the end of extended support for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software.  Two years if you are current on annual software maintenance.  July 2020 and July 2021 are the key dates to remember.

Many of you have been asking me what will and what won't happen on these days. Here is a summary:

What will happen:
  • All support from Microsoft will end
  • No new feature packs, updates, hot fixes, etc (although we have not seen anything for a couple of years anyway)
  • No ability to add new licenses
  • No ability to activate licenses whether new or existing (if you replace a computer, you will not be able to activate the RMS POS module)
  • Support will be limited as Dynamics RMS Partners/VAR's/Dealers/Resellers will only have their own internal resources
What will not happen:
  • RMS will magically stop working
  • You will lose all your data (assuming that you are backing everything up daily)
What we don't know just yet:
  • Will support for payment processing cease since the software will likely no longer meet compliance with the payment processing industry?
  • Will support for the various RMS plug in's and add on's end?
  • Will the license swap program end for Retail Management Hero (yes it will! More information coming soon as this will end in 2020!)
  • Will RMS be compatible with newer versions of Windows and SQL Server?
  • How many current companies supporting RMS will continue to support RMS past 2020/2021?
Summary of what other retailers who use the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software are doing regarding the end of life/end of support dates for RMS:

What should you do?

Have a plan to replace RMS before the deadline so you are not scrambling at the last minute. I've worked with many retailers to help them migrate to Retail Management Hero or Cloud Retailer over the last year.  If you truly want to hang on to RMS past 2020/2021, then be sure that you are backing up your data and that you have a contingency plan in place should RMS stop working.

Each retailer is different, and I have worked with well over 2000 of you since the late 1990's. Please contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632 for some personalized advice.