Sydney, Australia, 3 August – Rolling out Windows 10 to 350 stores around the world and migrating its point of sale system to Microsoft Azure has streamlined the entire information ecosystem for Cash Converters and transformed the way they do business.
Cash Converters adopted Office 365 in 2012; the next step towards the cloud came with its POS deployment on Microsoft Azure. The POS system is now online in stores in Australia, the UK and the UAE.
Cash Converters CIO Glen Fee said, “When you are looking at an ecosystem where you have the same operating system on your desktop, tablet and phone, as well as running Office 365, it makes the management of IT smoother and more efficient. We’ve had extremely positive feedback from staff.”
Standardising on Windows 10 and embracing a cloud based POS also allows employees to better serve the changing needs of customers.
After preparatory work carried out by the Perth based Microsoft partner Ignia, the actual migration to Windows 10 for all corporate stores throughout Australia took around five weeks.
“We deployed Windows 10 because it offers a standard user interface across PC, Notebook, Tablet and Phone devices. Moving forward Microsoft ensures that the platform is up to date, so we can focus on servicing our stores and customers,” said Fee.
Besides streamlining day-to-day activities for staff, the solution has delivered enterprise wide benefits. According to Glen; “We originally commenced rolling out the POS on the individual store servers but we calculated that at the rate we were going it was going to take many years. However, once we explored Azure we worked out that we were going to be able to deploy across all Australian corporate stores in a matter of months, with the UK corporate stores over a similar timeframe”.
Josh Boys, Director at partner Ignia, said, “Ignia worked with Cash Converters during their national rollout of Windows 10 to retail stores. Leveraging their investment in System Center Configuration Manager, Cash Converters found the in-place upgrade simple and easy to implement and are now utilising the new security & functional features available within Windows 10 Cloud OS.”
Previously, when Cash Converters acquired a new store, the process for implementing the POS was time consuming and costly. It would require a network to be set up in the store, followed by the deployment of the application itself. Furthermore, simply maintaining the current version of the application was a timely exercise for Cash Converters’ IT team. Finally, systems back-up was sporadic, which led to inconsistencies with data management. All of these issues were addressed with the move to Azure.
Fee said that from an IT management perspective, “One of the greatest benefits we’ve seen from this deployment is the ability to take issues with POS away from the store level. Instead of having multiple people working to address issues locally, we have been able to manage the application from a central location. It’s allowed our local staff to add value at a store level in better ways”
Besides opening up a raft of fresh possibilities, Azure has proved a cost effective and efficient solution says Fee. “When we looked at the cost and the added efficiencies of software upgrades and patching, capability for backup and all the other capabilities of a data centre provided as a service, it really was a no brainer for us.”
Glen concluded, “Now that we have a solid IT foundation and the capability for consistent mobile access we can truly build for growth.”