Finding security in the cloud

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When choosing a cloud security provider, enterprises will need to consider the level of data privacy and data security risk involved

Cloud computing services, where software and services are delivered over the internet instead of locally installed servers, are rapidly going mainstream.

All you need to know about the modern day restaurant POS system

My Post - 2019-03-19T114950.092.jpgAll you need to know about the modern day restaurant POS system

Good restaurant technology has multiple benefits. It enhances customer experience, reduces operational costs and helps in bring in more orders and revenue for your restaurant.

A POS is an indispensable piece of technology at your restaurant. Why? It takes care of multiple functions and links to crucial units of your business.

In this article, we will take you through the following

  • Functions of a modern day POS
  • Benefits of a cloud POS

Let’s get started with the functions of a modern day POS.

1.Takes care of the essential operations: Ticketing, billing & invoicing

When your staff takes in a customer order, it punches in the customer details in the restaurant POS. it then forwards the same to the kitchen (by printing Kitchen Order Tickets or making use of Kitchen Display systems). Meanwhile, a bill is generated through the POS and the customer is given a payment invoice, confirming the transaction.
The POS speeds up the operational processes at the restaurant thereby increasing overall efficiency.

2.Manages all your data

As all customer data gets punched into your POS, it becomes one big repository of all your customer data. A POS system allows you to segment this data in a multiple ways. Also if you have multiple outlets data management becomes a lot easier as it helps centralize your data across all your locations.

3.Does the Tax computations

Your POS system is capable of handling all the tax calculations. The computations needs minimal staff involvement, all he must do is feed in the order items and the POS system does the rest.

4.Conducts data analysis & reporting

Being a data warehouse, POS systems provide you analytics and insights on your data, helping you evaluate the performances of your outlets, your online delivery channels, individual menu items and so on. Once you set-up a few reporting modules, you’ll get periodic reports triggered to you. This will allow you to quickly see what’s working, what’s not. You could run the insights by your management and fix a few action points or pain areas which need to be looked at. In short, it lets you make more informed decisions.

5. Keeps track of the inventory

Does your restaurant frequently run out of the key raw materials?

POS keeps track of how you are faring with regards to the inventory numbers. It notifies you about the stock levels, alerts you in case of any shortfalls and so on. This increase your productivity and reduces the number of dissatisfied customer.

6. Links easily with your Loyalty programs

To run any business successfully, it is important to keep your customers engaged and happy. Building a loyal customer base is often a result of good customer experiences. Loyal customers not only bring you more business but become your brand advocates, help you promote your restaurant. To make customers more loyal, that is to make them make repeat visits to your outlet, you need to reward them as frequently as they eat at your restaurant. Good loyalty schemes act as great incentives for them to keep coming back to you.

Loyalty points is an effective method to gain more regular customers and to convert potential customers.

Loyalty point schemes are easily integrated to your POS system. As orders are placed you can give updates to your customers about the status of their loyalty points. If they are placing orders online, their loyalty points status displays automatically on the dashboard. Also you can keep a regular check of all your loyal customers and check on their visit statistically and reach out to them personally for your exclusive promotions.

7. Links to your restaurant’s CRM

When customer data gets synced on your POS, it is the starting point for all your post-meal communication. Good communications, post an eating out experience, is what keeps customers in touch with your brand. Obviously the likelihood of them coming back goes up this way. To better your customer communications, you can segment your data into neat buckets based on –

a. Type of order (favourite items)
b. Frequency of orders
c. Time of order
(You can make more segregations as per your discretion)

Sending well targeted communications will help get traffic back to your platform. This would ultimately result in more business.

8. Control theft and pilferage

Many restaurateurs would unanimously agree that thefts and pilferages are common across their restaurants. Mostly, they aren’t even able to track what happens.

The POS can help you control recurring thefts/pilferages through:

  • Set-up real-time reporting and analysis
  • Maintain Tight control on the inventory
  • Monitor system usage
  • Set up work schedules among your staff and track their work

Clearly, the modern day restaurant POS links to all the critical components of your business.

When you go looking for a POS, it’ll be very useful to have the above checklist of functions handy and you can test the same as you prepare to make this important purchase. In addition to this, you may have to choose between a cloud POS and an on-premise (legacy) POS.
In the next section we will introduce the key differences between the two POS systems.

 

A cloud POS gives significant benefits to a restaurant.

1.Safer data storage and high data security

A cloud POS system is hosted on reliable servers (remote servers such as Rackspace, AWS). In other words, A Cloud Server is actually a virtual server, running on a physical server in another location – off-site. Besides this, a cloud POS system is equipped with SSL encryptions to protect it from virus, malware and other security breaches.What this does is it minimizes the risks of data loss or data theft. A legacy POS on the other hand is hosted on local servers where data security is a big concern.

2. Operates from anywhere

With the restaurant POS you always stay connected to your business. As long as you have an active internet connection, you can login to your POS and check up on your day to day operations. In the on premise set-up, you must be physically present at the outlet to oversee your business. This obviously is inconvenient and the cloud POS helps overcome this.

3. Works across devices & operating systems

Cloud POS can work on your PC, mobile or tablet. It can run on multiple operating systems as well. This makes it very convenient for the user to install and use the software with ease. Legacy POS systems usually work on-prem only.

4. Easy monthly payments and say goodbye to bulky hardware

The last thing any restaurant owner wants is to invest too much money on something they are not familiar with. You can easily purchase a POS system on easy monthly instalments and discontinue it whenever you feel dissatisfied. Added to this, you do not have to worry about bulky hardware at your restaurant – you can use your POS on a laptop or a mobile. No need to invest in heavy artillery infrastructure like in the case of the on-premise POS.

5. Constant software updates

A cloud POS never gets obsolete. It is constantly auto-upgraded to keep the software as technologically sound as possible. You must be familiar with the updates that happen on your mobile device. The POS software updates take place in a similar manner. In legacy POS systems on the other hand, the software runs the risk of becoming outdated quickly and then you’d have to buy a new one.

A cloud POS is definitely superior to its legacy counterpart. While you go looking for the right POS for your restaurant, we would advise you to do your own research, drill down on the features you want from your POS and then finalise one for your restaurant.

We hope you found this read useful. Do let us know your take in the comments section below.

6 Upselling Lessons for a Successful SaaS Company

My Post - 2019-03-15T185613.536.jpgIt seems like everything is offered ‘as a service’ these days: platform, infrastructure, recovery, storage, database, security, management, and more. There are so many, they had to create an all-encompassing term – XaaS, or Anything-as-a-Service – to represent them all.

The XaaS industry is booming, and it’s the software-as-a-service(SaaS) companies under that umbrella that are growing faster than any other type.

And with good reason: most businesses, from SMBs to enterprise-level companies – use at least a few of them. Customer resource management, accounting, invoicing, data management, human resources, resource planning, marketing, email, project management, and many more crucial cogs in the business machine are offered under the SaaS model. – Read more

7 Tips for Financial Execs Transitioning to the Cloud

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If you are actively searching for best practices and tips to move to the cloud, here are 7 tips.

A tectonic shift — or, we could rename it a techtonic shift — is spreading rapidly across the globe as organizations move to the cloud. The transformation comes from not only the need to use software based in the cloud, but also from companies rethinking their corporate strategies and positioning in terms of their internal data, content, systems, privacy, security and even culture. Financial executives often find themselves in these type of digital transformation projects for their financial expertise as well as for their overarching business analysis, objectivity, compliance knowledge and high-level view of an organization. Fueled by market research data, Gartner estimates that more than $1.3 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud by 2022. Much of this spend will lead to company goals of improved efficiency, cash flow and overall cost savings.

Despite statistics, scores of small, medium and enterprise companies are not yet on the cutting edge of digital transformation and haven’t yet made the move to the cloud. If you fall into this bucket of companies you’re not alone, yet. If you are actively searching for best practices and tips to move to the cloud, please read on.

1. Select Executive Sponsorship

Your first order of business is to nominate your project champion or executive sponsor to lead the cloud transition project. This person must have the power to make decisions and be technically savvy enough to talk and understand “cloud speak.” They must also have the ear and respect of the entire executive team to keep all constituents informed throughout the organization’s shift to the cloud. Your executive sponsor will be able to consider different needs for business units, global ramifications and long-term goals. Similarly, this person will understand the existing infrastructure and the current technology stack, including ERP, CRM, RPA, line of business systems and repositories. Ultimately, this person will sign off on the type of cloud platform and any related vendors with financial implications and business objectives at the forefront. – Read more

With microservices, SaaS startups are giving large vendors a run for their money

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When Alibaba Cloud wanted to beef up its backend platforms, the company did not reach out to large enterprise technology giants.

Instead, it engaged the services of To The New, an up-and-coming SaaS-based integrated solutions provider based in Mumbai.

Similarly, when a large American retail giant needed to build an end-to-end order management system with multiple channels, it could have opted for a singular solution from the leading system management providers. Instead, the company zeroed in on an in-built all-in-one solution from Cybage, an outsourced product development company which is headquartered in Pune.

The dawn of the digital transformation era at enterprises has signalled the arrival of new-age technology firms which are not focussed on a singular specialisation, but instead have mastered the art of integrating several small solutions into a single customisable entity using the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.

A Gartner research report has estimated that SaaS will be the largest revenue generator for the cloud, with an estimated growth of 17.8% to reach $85.1 billion this year.

These digital transformation providers promise dynamic and innovative solutions at a lower time-to-market as compared to the IBMs and the Accentures of the industry.

Among their prominent skill-sets is working on integrated offerings in a bid to make clients understand that they do not have to source ten different singular solutions to hit the target return on investment (ROI). – Read more

Cloud Security Should Reduce Friction for Users

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Organizations need to protect both SaaS and IaaS environments, a McAfee expert says.

What is Cloud computing and why does it matter to business?

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Cloud computing refers to the provision of IT infrastructure, operating software, middleware and applications hosted within a datacentre and accessed by the end user via the Internet.

So what is Cloud computing in business and what are the main trends?

Cloud computing is typically sold using three service models:

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): a model for renting out IT hardware, such as servers, data centre space or networking components, to IT systems administrators or network architects, saving them the cost of buying and building their own in-house data centre.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS): a model for providing IT platforms to allow app developers to create, run and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app.
  • Software as a service (SaaS): a model for licensing and delivering centrally hosted software via the Internet on a subscription basis to corporations and consumers.

Why does Cloud computing matter to business?

Cloud computing makes it easier, cheaper and faster to run state-of-the-art IT architectures in any type of company, large or small. The key benefits are:

  • Cost: Significant cost savings are likely across a company’s IT budget.
  • Cash flow: The billing is typically metered on usage, so IT expenditure shifts from one-off, upfront capital expenditure to monthly operating expenses, offering a cash flow advantage.
  • Flexibility: Businesses can rent IT equipment and applications as needed, rather than buying hardware and software assets outright.
  • Scalability: Computing capabilities like storage, processing power or network bandwidth can be scaled-up almost instantly and scaled-down again depending on demand and users are unlikely to ever be short of capacity.
  • Ubiquitous access: IT resources can be accessed by any authorised users on any authorised devices from any authorised location using an Internet connection.

Read more

How To Migrate To The Cloud With Ease In 2019

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Gartner recently predicted that by 2025, “80% of enterprises will migrate entirely away from on-premises data centers with the current trend of moving workloads to colocation, hosting and the cloud leading them to shut down their traditional data center.”

This creates a workload placement decision process that enterprises must solve in 2019.

For example, in 2018, a top Wall Street bank and current Panzura customer with over $2 trillion under management needed to modernize its legacy IT infrastructure to take advantage of cloud architectures.

Their complex infrastructure consisted of over 3,000 applications run on numerous different systems, and each had unique management requirements and life cycles. The wave of unstructured and file-based data made it unscalable and too costly to store and manage on legacy filers. Thus, the bank began a new initiative to streamline and deploy a cloud infrastructure to do everything from increase availability and control costs to improve management and integrate cloud-based technology.

Given the nature of their business, they needed to use a private cloud but also wanted to have the option to leverage the public cloud in the future. So, they implemented a highly scalable and resilient cloud storage infrastructure. – Read more

Moving to the cloud? Here are some factors to consider

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BUSINESSES are moving to the cloud, and the trend is not likely to slow down anytime soon.

According to IDC, public cloud infrastructure quarterly revenue has more than doubled in the past three years to US$9.0 billion in 1Q18, growing 55.8 percent year over year.

Private cloud revenue reached US$3.9 billion for an annual increase of 26.5 percent.

The combined public and private cloud revenues now represent 46.1 percent of the total worldwide IT infrastructure spending, up from 41.8 percent a year ago.

Given how this infrastructure is as crucial to companies to deliver the services, as it was in the data center, ability to explore the different cloud networks to identify various choke points and issues with routing in advance will immensely help in making informed network investment decisions and subsequently, determining its configurations.

To ensure a successful migration to the cloud as well as sustained efficient operations, these are the several things that organizations need to consider before deploying;

#1 | Network’s baseline performance

In order to get a baseline measurement of network performance, organizations need to pick a different set of data points than they previously used.

Upon moving to IaaS, SaaS, or virtually any cloud services, companies will be at the mercy of cloud vendors and other third-party service providers on which applications and services traffic will be transmitted. – Read more

You Have a Multi-Cloud Environment — Now What?

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Best practices for global enterprises moving to multi-cloud environments
Whether they set out to use multiple clouds or not, large enterprises today end up with several cloud suppliers. In fact, it’s probably hard to find a company that isn’t using some mix of Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, IBM Cloud, Salesforce.com, Oracle, Google G suite, ServiceNow or Box. The list goes on and on. This is more pronounced with enterprises that have a global site footprint.
The cloud, after all, gets you out of the business of hosting applications and constantly worrying about upgrading hardware and software. It also enables you to sidestep the capital commitments otherwise required.
However, the more clouds your enterprise uses, the more complex connectivity becomes. Security concerns skyrocket as it becomes hard to figure out who is accessing what, from where, and how. In addition, the network becomes central to application performance across the organization.
Forces at Work
Despite the network challenges that multi-cloud creates, there is no turning back. Multi-cloud is here to stay and will become even more complex with time, as:
  • Companies turn to more SaaS offerings that enable them to embrace best-of-breed solutions rather than multi-purpose on-premises solution bundles that have to meet various requirements of legacy environments
  • Technologies, such as serverless computing and other advances, that are only possible with cloud native applications attract more enterprise workloads
  • Adoption of Internet of Things technologies and strategies require organizations to collect and analyze data closer to scattered sensors at the edge of the network, probably in specialized cloud services
  • Companies try to mesh cloud tools with on-premises systems in hybrid configurations because stringent security or compliance requirements — or the tightly integrated nature of those legacy systems — prevents going all in with cloud

Read More