I’ve been working as a product manager in the Point Of Sale (POS) domain for a little over a decade. In that time I have been involved in making many decisions around our product strategy. Some have been simple and some have been more bold. This year we made what I consider our boldest move to date. We launched a true cloud-native POS solution.
You may think – what rock have you been hiding under, every POS vendor has a cloud offering? And in a sense you’d be right. Many can offer a solution that can be labeled “cloud”. But most often it is an on-prem solution that they provide managed hosting for and potentially include a few upgrades per year in the subscription fee. Or it’s an app with a lot of business logic and data residing in the app and a few capabilities kept in the cloud. Unlike these offerings, our solution is cloud-native and has all data and business logic at one place, in the cloud. Gone are the days when data was replicated to thousands of devices where you cross your fingers and hope that they are all up to date. As a result, the POS is not offline-capable. Yes, you read that right. An online-only POS system offered to the world’s biggest retailers. That’s bold.
Why compromise and not have an offline-capable POS system?
We have recognised three drivers for this decision. Firstly, the world is moving away from cash, and consumers that only use digital payments (that rely on Internet connectivity) are becoming the norm. Yes, you can accept offline card payments up to a certain amount. But how many of your baskets/carts are actually below that amount and how much do those sales amount to? It’s difficult to admit but it is normally very very little. Secondly, with redundant networks (and with 5G around the corner… and Starlink around the next corner) the likelihood that a store would go offline is extremely low. Thirdly and most importantly, the demand for innovation and quickly releasing new capabilities is so high today that the benefit of a pure cloud deployment outweighs the risks.