See The Cloud Clearly Through the Smoke & Mirrors – New vs Old Cloud Technology
The term “cloud” is being thrown around all over the place nowadays. It’s become kind of a catch phrase that generally indicates data is stored remotely, rather than at your business location. Even though this word is used interchangeably for many different things, it’s important to realize that not all clouds are created equal.
Cloud technologies have been around for quite a long time, although use of the term “cloud software” has increased a lot over the past several years. For instance, our QCloud product has been around for 17 years. QCloud is a great product that allows people to have their QFloors application and data stored remotely, so they can access their ERP software from anywhere.
However, there is a newer type of cloud technology. It is starting to crop up everywhere, although it hasn’t yet caught on in the floor covering industry. The technical term for this type of cloud technology is “full stack, open source”. QFloors has made a conscious decision to move their pc based flooring software to this newer cloud technology with our new QPro products. QPro POS+ is the first of these products.
There are many advantages to this newer type of browser-based cloud technology. The tricky thing is that for the average person, it is at times difficult to tell the difference between new and old technologies. Yet it makes a huge difference, the benefits of which we will address below.
It doesn’t help that many technology companies (including some of our flooring software competitors) are trying to confuse the issue. Many people claim there is no difference between the two, or that all cloud software is the same. Sometimes people will try to disguise or hide older cloud technologies by merging them with web browser skins and features. (The term “putting lipstick on a pig” is an analogy that comes to mind here.) For example, they will have you go to a web page to do labor scheduling, and it looks really cool and you can see that it’s on a browser. But then you find out that to do more complex operations, or to take it beyond labor scheduling, you must minimize the web browser and go to into another application. In this type of manner, there seems to be a lot of bait and switch going on. They showcase the initial web browser face, but not the other parts of the software.
The best way to discern whether you are being sold new or old cloud technologies is to ask this one simple question, “Does your full software solution run in a web browser, or do I have to minimize or exit the web browser to access some of the features of your application?” If you have to get out of the browser to complete certain tasks, it is the older technology.
Why Does it Matter? Some of the advantages you will get by going with newer cloud technologies are as follows:
- Open Source – the newer cloud technology used in QPro is not tied to any company [Microsoft, Apple, IBM, etc.]. This affects costs and compatibility in a significant way.
- Lower Cost – Because most of the IT issues go away with browser-based cloud technology, both the software company’s and the end users’ IT support costs go way down.
- Device Independent – This type of technology runs in a browser, which means that it will work on any device where you can run a browser. The full application of QPro cloud software has been optimized for a 7” tablet device, but even smaller devices such as smart phones can utilize critical parts of the program.
- 3rd Party Integration – QPro is built upon an API which allows people to connect other applications easily into our system. This is the future of how software programs will communicate with each other. And QPro is ready for it.
- Greater Customization – For floor covering businesses that require customization, you can create your own interface, using the QPro API. QPro will offer much more flexibility for those who want to write their own modules using the API.
- Automatic Updates and Backups – In our system we can update everyone with just a click of a button, which reduces support costs. Our elite backup system will provide greater security in the case of any natural or manmade disaster.
- Multiple Servers – QPro will have mirrored servers across the country which will all update each other within seconds. This provides an even greater level of security and redundancy.
- Latest & Greatest Technology– This new browser-based, full-stack, open source cloud technology is the future. It is where all technology is headed. You don’t want to be confined to older technologies which will be less compatible in the future.
We feel it’s important to deliver these benefits to our customers. As you probably are aware, QFloors has invested a tremendous amount of time and money into developing QPro, and we continue to do so. If, as our competitors say, there is no difference in cloud technologies, sacrificing so much towards this effort would be a very poor business decision indeed. But we know it is the right direction and in the best interest of our customers.
As far as we can determine, QFloors is the only flooring software company that has embraced this new cloud technology. In fact, we have not seen any indications that others plan to do it in the near future, likely because of the considerable time and money it takes to completely rewrite code in this new technology. You’re starting from scratch, and that is a difficult thing to do. In the case of QPro, every single line of code had to be rewritten – which equaled over 2 million lines. It is a considerable undertaking.
But as mentioned, this new cloud technology is the future. Which is why we made the decision at QFloors that all current customers will be grandfathered into the software, rather than having to pay to upgrade. You’ll eventually have newer technology at a lower cost! The process is painstaking, so many of you still have a bit of a wait until all of the features are added that you require. As we continue down this road, features will be added for every type and size of company in the floor covering industry. But we are moving along the path. And we’re excited about the horizon ahead.
For more information on QPro POS+ cloud software, contact us at 801-563-0140 (option 4) or email Sales@QProsoftware.com