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".
- 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.
- Make a plan for EMV/Chip Cards
- If not current on software maintenance, look at either replacing RMS or look at the cost to renew your software maintenance
- 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
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a contact form to the right that can be used to reach me.