Key to Moving POS to the Cloud: Readiness for Disconnected Experiences
2. Posting Completed POS Transactions
When you are connected to the cloud, normal expected behavior would be for each POS device to post completed transactions as soon as they are completed (i.e., the transaction leaves the store and posts immediately in the cloud).
In the event a POS device disconnects from the cloud, the solution should be able to self-identify that it is not connected and seamlessly kick into offline mode, with no user intervention required. While the system is in offline mode (i.e., unable to connect to the cloud), all transactions would remain on the POS device.
To mitigate risk of losing any transactions while in this offline state, along with all completed transactions remaining on the POS device, a good design will also support the ability to post all completed transactions to other POS devices in the store. In the event of a hardware failure on a POS device while offline, any completed transactions from that device will not be lost, as they will have been posted to other POS devices in the store.
When the store reconnects to the cloud, the solution should self-identify that the connection to the cloud has been restored and should automatically post to the cloud all transactions completed while offline. Additional capabilities are needed in the cloud to resolve multiple versions of the same transaction.
3. Automated, Seamless Activation of Offline Processes
As stated, activation of offline processes should not require any user intervention – the solution should be able to self-identify both the loss of connection and the reconnection, and automatically activate the required processes to ensure a seamless experience for your store associates. Local functionality is limited to core store activities, and it should be expected that certain features that require calling an outside source will not be available when the system is offline from the cloud.
Most important, store associates should also be able to access the key elements required to serve your customers and complete sales transactions. An added benefit of this design is that if you have the capability to continue to sell when you are not connected to the cloud, then you should have what you need to easily run pop-up events in any location, regardless of whether the location can connect to the cloud.
A cloud-based POS architecture should be designed to ensure the store can continue to trade in any environment. An important key to a cloud-based POS design is a solid infrastructure that can support optimal (connected) experiences and, just as important, is ready to support sub-optimal (disconnected) experiences. Bandwidth may be more ubiquitous than ever, but constant high-quality connections are not. Cloud-based POS needs much more than an internet connection in order to be successful.