Cloud Based Services

The web is ubiquitous, touching almost every aspect of our lives. For the business owner, the question becomes how to integrate web-based technologies into your business in a way that best suits your needs.

As we have stated before, the most important part of any new addition to your business is a thorough understanding of your operations, and what aspects may be streamlined or improved through new offerings. What is your role? Are you a hands-on manager who wishes to use web-based tools to enhance your day-to-day processes, or are you someone who owns several locations, and wants a way to access information remotely in a meaningful way? We will discuss several offerings, using specific software, but all of the specific examples may be abstracted to a variety of options.

Cloud-based System Services

The most common utilization of remote applications is the access of information via the web. We offer a custom solution, used by both our service staff and clients, that allows a secure connection to the site via any Windows-based pc. This allows our support staff to dial in and access the site’s pc as if the tech were sitting before the computer. The benefits for our staff is obvious, but this same software allows the owner or manager to access the site and monitor activity on the computer, check sales and labor reporting, even settle credit cards remotely. Essentially, anything that can be done in the office can be done from the convenience of a remote location. This same software also allows the secure download and uploading of data on the site’s pc. Instead of simply viewing a sales report, the owner may save the sales report as a file, download it to their home pc and print it out for their records. The same goes for any report or file on the site’s computer. This allows the owner to virtually be at the site at any time of their choosing. One caveat when using remote applications – should you use the free applications available on the web, be sure they are PCI-certified if you are using them to access any computer that transacts credit cards. Using an unsecured solution on such a machine could lead to serious fines and the loss of your ability to accept credit cards at all.

Remote Monitoring and Surveillance

POS SecurityComputer-based monitoring works for reporting and some behaviors, but it doesn’t replace seeing what’s happening with your own eyes. For those who wish to visually monitor the goings-on in their businesses, as well as to have a digital visual record of what goes on inside the walls of their business, we offer a security camera solution that allows remote access. This gives the owner the ability to not only access sales information, but also to see what’s happening in every corner of their business. We’ve incorporated text overlay for some of these cameras, so that, for a bar and grill, the owner can dial in from home and watch a bartender serve the site’s customers, and bear witness to the precise orders being placed in the same view. This security measure can serve as proof should an owner discover an employee behaving dishonestly, or even record an event that occurred in the restaurant that requires objective evidence. There are many available camera systems on the market, and a later article will discuss in greater depth the offerings available, but, as always, be certain that any camera system you purchase is professionally installed and integrates with the software you are currently using, should you choose to explore the text overlay option.

Online Tools

Beyond access and security, there are web services available to further aid in your operations. HotSchedules allows you or your staff to upload employee schedules to a web application. This gives the employees a unique login to access their work schedule at any point, and, further, removes any excuse an employee may forward regarding scheduling. POSeReserveOther applications, such as Open Table, allow your customers to make reservations over the web and feed their contact information directly to your staff at the site, nearly eliminating the need for phone reservations and the use of hand-written reservation lists.

The point is, if you want nothing more than remote access to your site, there are several solutions available. But for any sort of customer or employee interaction you find overly burdensome, there is probably a web application that can accommodate you. Be certain you check with your software provider to ensure proper integration and security. Don’t let technology pass you by while your competitors gain an edge!