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POS cloud software - what happens when internet goes down?

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Miles Weaver

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I've narrowed my POS software search down to FrameReady or LifeSaver (I think). With LifeSaver Cloud, what happens when your internet goes down? I live in a small town and periodically the internet will go out without warning. Would this affect the functionality of LifeSaver Cloud?

Happy to hear any arguments for/against either software but from reading other threads it seems like the consensus is to use the free trials and figure out which one best suits my needs.

PS - Anyone have a discount/reference code? Do those exist?
 

i-FRAMER

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HI Miles,
I-FRAMER was the first Cloud based software and over the years there are times where the software can go down for a brief period.
This can be due to coding issues, Telcos and possible the hosting server. In most cases it can be fixed quickly and is only an inconvenience.
If the internet goes down you can usually still hot spot off mobile 3g,4g,5g connection.
I am not sure in the US, but Australian Telcos now provide modems with a backup mobile sim
So if the landline internet gos down it switches to mobile internet.
I am sure you would be able to buy similar modems where you are too.

As for advantages and disadvantages i will let end users help you out.
But personally i think once you go cloud you never go back.
Everything and everyone is moving there.
 

i-FRAMER

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I just read your other post where you mentioned you will be framing from home and have your store front else where.
In this situation i would definitely recommend Cloud based. As the workshop can see new orders raised as they happen in real time.
 

JFeig

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MIKE?
As a person who worked with mainframes in the dark ages, I vote against a cloud based system in most (not all) instances. A computer with a battery backup is my choice. Server, desktop, or laptop offer a more secure method of conducting business.

I am also in a big metro area where internet service is provided via above ground utility poles. A fire or traffic accident might take more than an hour or two to bring back service.
 

Mike Labbe

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Sorry I didn't see this one yesterday. I didn't get home from work until 10pm, and missed it.

Fiber NEVER goes down here, but electric can sometimes fail.

I wouldn't let that concern stand in your way from considering one of the cloud based products. Just about every smartphone has a (WIFI) MOBILE HOTSPOT button that you can turn on, in such an instance of a brief power failure or internet failure. This will turn your phone into an internet provider, that you can then access from your tablet or desktop, until either of those items come back on. (as long as the tablet is charged, or the desktop is on a battery backup)

Cloud is the future and where most popular apps are heading. (Microsoft, Adobe, Quicken/Intuit, Netflix, etc) It uses encryption, and you don't have to have a dedicated server or backups locally in your shop. If your computer dies, it isn't the nightmare it used to be. (You can just move to another device, log in, and be up again) The folks that run the server do your daily price updates and software updates.

We switched from Lifesaver Desktop to Lifesaver Cloud on January 1st of this year, and it has been fantastic so far. It came in very handy while we were closed multiple months due to Covid, to work from home. Since our phone system is also cloud based, we were able to take calls and give basic quotes from home -- just like we were here in the shop.

As I always suggest, kick the tires and give the major products a test drive to see which one works well, make sure they provide weekly price updates for all of your vendors, and try out their technical support with a question or two. This will give you the confidence to make the right decision.

That's my take, in any case. Good luck with the research and congratulations for making the decision to employ the many benefits of a pro point of sale system!
Mike

PS/Disclaimer: I'm not an employee of LS, but sometimes volunteer at trade shows as a happy customer testimonial. I'm a framer and computer consultant and previously supported many shops that used the older version of LS for the past 20 years. We have been using it in our own frame shop since 2002. Lifesaver is also one of the generous sponsors that makes this forum possible, and keeps it as a free resource.
 
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JFeig

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Sorry I didn't see this one yesterday. I didn't get home from work until 10pm, and missed it.

Fiber NEVER goes down here, but electric can sometimes fail.

I wouldn't let that concern stand in your way from considering one of the cloud based products. Just about every smartphone has a (WIFI) MOBILE HOTSPOT button that you can turn on, in such an instance of a brief power failure or internet failure. This will turn your phone into an internet provider, that you can then access from your tablet or desktop, until either of those items come back on. (as long as the tablet is charged, or the desktop is on a battery backup)

Cloud is the future and where most popular apps are heading. (Microsoft, Adobe, Quicken/Intuit, Netflix, etc) It uses encryption, and you don't have to have a dedicated server or backups locally in your shop. If your computer dies, it isn't the nightmare it used to be. (You can just move to another device, log in, and be up again) The folks that run the server do your daily price updates and software updates.

We switched from Lifesaver Desktop to Lifesaver Cloud on January 1st of this year, and it has been fantastic so far. It came in very handy while we were closed multiple months due to Covid, to work from home. Since our phone system is also cloud based, we were able to take calls and give basic quotes from home -- just like we were here in the shop.

As I always suggest, kick the tires and give the major products a test drive to see which one works well, make sure they provide weekly price updates for all of your vendors, and try out their technical support with a question or two. This will give you the confidence to make the right decision.

That's my take, in any case. Good luck with the research and congratulations for making the decision to employ the many benefits of a pro point of sale system!
Mike

PS/Disclaimer: I'm not an employee of LS, but sometimes volunteer at trade shows as a happy customer testimonial. I'm a framer and computer consultant and previously supported many shops that used the older version of LS for the past 20 years. We have been using it in our own frame shop since 2002. Lifesaver is also one of the generous sponsors that makes this forum possible, and keeps it as a free resource.
Mike, you say that fiber "never goes down". What happens when the fiber is cut by a storm or accident where the lines are above ground?
 

Miles Weaver

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Thanks for all the helpful information, everyone. The one part that I forgot to mention is that a mobile hotspot can also be unreliable in our town. We live in a small ski resort town that is hours from the nearest major city. On holiday weekends our town of 8,000 people can swell to 30,000+ people with all the visitors. On those full capacity weekends our mobile networks are overwhelmed and it can be impossible to even check Facebook or do simple web surfing on a cell phone. We're still on 4G networks here and it'll likely be years before we get 5G. So if our town is at capacity, and using a hotspot/mobile network as a backup isn't reliable/possible, and the internet goes down, how would a program like LifeSaver Cloud be limited? Would it still be fully functional for creating orders?
 

Mike Labbe

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Mike, you say that fiber "never goes down". What happens when the fiber is cut by a storm or accident where the lines are above ground?

The stuff is surprisingly hardy, I have never seen it go down here at 5 locations that I manage with Verizon FIOS. After several hurricanes and blizzards, the power and cable go out for our neighbors, but never fiber :) If that happened, we would just use the hotspot in our phones. The laptop and tablets go about 8+ hours on a charge, and we keep one at the ready - just in case! :) The fiber equipment, cctv, routers, and front counter pc's are all on UPS systems, too, so we can finish up any sale up to 90 minutes - when the power fails. If it got cut, like anything else, they would still fix it in less than a day.
 

Mike Labbe

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4g / LTE is a very hardy product, as long as you are in range of a tower. 5g is poorly implemented so far, and the real thing has a shocking range of only about 1000 feet from the nearest tower. Some companies are just re branding 4g as 5g, when it is more of an lte enhanced version that is between the two in technology (or in some cases slower than 4g)

Every provider will also have their own towers with different results. Verizon is generally the best for coverage in most of USA, but it really depends on the towers around you.

Yea if you cant use a web page, you cant use any cloud products. They are web based.

Mike
 
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Larry Peterson

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5g is poorly implemented so far, and the real thing has a shocking range of only about 1000 feet from the nearest tower. Some companies are just re branding 4g as 5g, when it is more of an lte enhanced version that is between the two in technology (or in some cases slower than 4g)

I doubt that I will see real 5G in my lifetime.
 

Mike Labbe

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Providence was the test city a couple years ago, and we have it - but with very poor range. It's at Brown University and a few other places, and only goes 1000 feet at true wide band 5g. It's on a lot of telephone poles with mini towers. My phone supports it, but it's rare to see it say 5G
 

wpfay

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Miles, with the uncertainty of internet support in your community you should have a fallback. I guess it depends on how long the normal outages are, and how that effects your business in general.
If the outages are weather related, does the pace of business slow down or pick up? Heavy snow storms can be a disaster or a calling card for skiers.

We have power outages and can still work with clients, but have to delay quoting prices until the computers are back in operation. Having been in the business a while, I can also ballpark the cost to a customer, finding out their interest level, and following up with a formal estimate when I can. But, the chances of that are slim since the outages are usually weather related, and businesses may be closed anyway.

I have the original Lifesaver, not yet a convert to the cloud based product, but will probably switch over at some point.

I do have my accounting software cloud based, and have run into some frustrating situations in spotty service, and slowness, but it is usually fine.
 

David Waldmann

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With LifeSaver Cloud, what happens when your internet goes down? I live in a small town and periodically the internet will go out without warning. Would this affect the functionality of LifeSaver Cloud?
Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Having your data in the cloud is like having your electricity supply on the grid. As long as the grid is up, the lights are (or can be) on. When the grid goes down, the lights go out.

Note: I am not here commenting on the suitability of a cloud based system. There are many, many factors that will affect that answer. We would be using two different cloud based systems, but there are complications that prevent us from doing that (different reasons for each one). Neither one of those are the connectivity issues, although that IS still a check in the negative column.
 
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David Waldmann

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Just about every smartphone has a (WIFI) MOBILE HOTSPOT button that you can turn on, in such an instance of a brief power failure or internet failure. This will turn your phone into an internet provider, that you can then access from your tablet or desktop, until either of those items come back on. (as long as the tablet is charged, or the desktop is on a battery backup)
About one month ago there was a major outage in our area. Our local ISP where we get our fiber internet was down, AND our cellular service through AT&T was concurrent. I don't know the "connections" but suspect that the local cell towers for ATT use our ISP (which is also the local TelCo) to forward the cell calls. There was close to 36 hours of mostly no service. However, our phone service (via Comcast VoIP) stayed up. Made me consider adding Comcast Internet as a backup...
 

David Waldmann

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I would switch to Fios in a heartbeat. Unfortunately it is not offered in our town, and not in the foreseeable future.
That's amazing. We are 6 miles from the nearest town (of about 6,000) and 1-1/2 hours from the nearest actual "city" (population over 50,000). We've had FiOS for maybe 5 years(?). And it costs us +/- $80/mo.
 

Mike Labbe

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About one month ago there was a major outage in our area. Our local ISP where we get our fiber internet was down, AND our cellular service through AT&T was concurrent. I don't know the "connections" but suspect that the local cell towers for ATT use our ISP (which is also the local TelCo) to forward the cell calls. There was close to 36 hours of mostly no service. However, our phone service (via Comcast VoIP) stayed up. Made me consider adding Comcast Internet as a backup...

We do that at my full time (non framing/IT director) job. I have Verizon FIOS as primary for voice and data, with Cox Cable as a backup. I can move just one Ethernet wire to switch everything over, if needed. It has NEVER gone down, though, in 4 years. Cable is far less reliable. We had the Cox cable for years, and now it sits there unplugged, as a backup.
 
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Ylva

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That's amazing. We are 6 miles from the nearest town (of about 6,000) and 1-1/2 hours from the nearest actual "city" (population over 50,000). We've had FiOS for maybe 5 years(?). And it costs us +/- $80/mo.
I can only hope we will get it at some point. No towns around here have it, last time I checked (year ago or so)
I signed up for an alert if it would become available.
Comcast dominates the market here.
 

Stephen Ray

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I've narrowed my POS software search down to FrameReady or LifeSaver (I think).
Is framing your primary business or is photography gallery sales your primary business?
In either case, I recommend FrameReady because the FileMaker platform it runs on offers more options to function, either cloud or not, and much more possibility as other business tools.
 
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Miles Weaver

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Is framing your primary business or is photography gallery sales your primary business?
In either case, I recommend FrameReady because the FileMaker platform it runs on offers more options to function, either cloud or not, and much more possibility as other business tools.
I'm hoping to have a pretty steady combination of custom framing orders and photography gallery sales once things are up and running in the next month or so. But until I open my shop, I'm currently not taking many orders for either.
 

Stephen Ray

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I'm hoping to have a pretty steady combination of custom framing orders and photography gallery sales once things are up and running in the next month or so. But until I open my shop, I'm currently not taking many orders for either
Because of your "mixed use," know that some enterprises use FrameReady as an ancillary application to help with their picture framing pricing while using a different, more principle application made with FileMaker to handle other studio or gallery business aspects such as photo archiving, print product management, marketing efforts, invoicing, etc.

Maybe take a look at the linked 5 minute video from FileMaker...
Quickly Create a Custom App with FileMaker 15
 
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