So being a thought leader in the Point of Sale arena has its perks. We were invited to be part of a pilot shortly after the announcement of the Revel-Intuit Partnership. We got the opportunity to go to San Francisco to receive training directly at the Revel Headquarters. We spent an entire week going through the same training that new Revel employees and resellers receive. In addition, we attended 1 and ½ of the Intuit Reseller certifications training for QuickBooks Point of Sale powered by Revel over the last month. Here are my impressions based on my experience over the last few months.
First of all, what is Revel? It is a Hybrid POS system. What that means is that unlike other Cloud based POS systems, the data lives both on the local iPad register, as well as in the cloud. One of the biggest advantages of that is that if you lose internet connectivity (it happens) you can continue to take sales, including processing credit cards, with appropriate safeguards as to the amount of risk you want to take on your credit card sales. In addition, you have a back end web based management console that tracks your sales in real time as well as performing inventory tasks that are pushed to the iPad. So having the back end in the cloud, means you can look at reports real time from anywhere. A number of my desktop Point of Sale customers don’t want to spend their lives in the store and having the ability to run reports in real time from anywhere is a huge benefit. Additionally, all of the back end settings for the system live in the cloud and then are pushed to the iPad. This gives us the best of both worlds. In addition, Revel has an integration with QBO meaning that you can run your retail business from anywhere.
Revel was developed and deployed into the Quick Serve Restaurants industry (QSR) first. Think sandwich, ice cream shops or juice bars and the like. This is very much in evidence looking at the back end setup screens. They have added traditional retail functionality, but this is not currently a strength of the product. The good news is that Intuit and Revel have been very open to receiving comments about the problem areas and are committed to making a better product and are working hard at it now.
I am excited about the possibilities that this product represents an opportunity to meet the needs of retailers where desktop is not a good fit while at the same time serving as a new POS foundation for the future.
So overall I view this new product as a very strong offering in a space that the traditional desktop product has not be able to service well. It is also an excellent platform for the future and I look forward to Revel and Intuit’s commitment to provide all of the inventory functionality in the current desktop product, plus much more. Quite frankly, iPad and other tablets solutions are the future. Also the hardware that is included makes for a more elegant and attractive solution that our customer’s want.
I would not hesitate and look forward to deploying this new product into the QSR space and service businesses with lite inventory needs, especially hair and nail salons as the product has many features that support these verticals. I expect continued progress on the traditional retailer front, but would not recommend the product for any retailer that has more than a few hundred items at most at this time.
I will be authoring another article on my impression of the new QB-POS desktop product very soon, and will also be writing a deep dive feature on Revel functionality including the QBO integration in the near future.