Upgrades, maintenance and new hardware can all add up to equally significant financial and operational strain on your store. In an effort to reduce this hassle, MBS created our innovative hosting model, nearly nine years ago. Today, over three-fourths of our systems customers are deployed in a hosted model, providing full integration with the MBS POS, as well as all MBS applications.
Though there are undoubtedly many upsides to transitioning from a back-room server to a cloud computing model, such as the MBS hosted solution, some stores are still concerned about using the technology.
Cheryl Farmer, Manager of University Bookstore at Morehead State University, recently transitioned to a hosted server. She had some initial apprehension when considering the service.
“We were having difficulty finding the time to keep up with all the necessary upgrades and maintaining a staff with the knowledge to complete those operations,” Farmer said. “But, I was concerned with giving up control, because putting such a significant responsibility in someone else’s hands can be a little daunting.”
In the end, Farmer converted to the MBS hosting model out of necessity.
“The maintenance on our server ultimately became too costly, and we had to make a change,” she explained. “Once I finally ‘cut the cord,’ so to speak, and realized the benefits of the system, the decision was really a no-brainer.”
According to Jamie Knipp, Director of Online Client Services, Farmer’s experience is a common one.
“When a store owns their own server, they essentially own all the responsibilities required to maintain it,” Knipp said. “There are tangible costs, such as maintenance and operations, but there are also several intangible expenses that aren’t accounted for by dollars alone, such as man-power and knowledge. All together, these issues can create a lot of problems for store managers.”
Sarah Shiflett, Vice President of Customer Service, added, “Our hosting model relieves this burden by shifting the responsibility to MBS. We offer store managers the freedom to focus on the success of their operations and using the great tools we provide them with to do so.”
Eliminating all the issues Farmer experienced with her backroom server, the MBS hosting model freed University Bookstore’s resources. Finances could be better allocated to other areas and the efforts needed by their IT staff were greatly reduced.
Beyond global availability and significant savings, a hosted model also ensures each store is on the latest release with constant upgrades, provides a secure environment for encrypted data and eliminates the funds necessary for re-investing in new server hardware. But, what truly sets the MBS model apart is flexibility.
Because hosted data only requires internet access, stores have ultimate access to their applications anytime.
“Mobility is a requirement in today’s working environment, and hosting allows stores to take advantage of this capability with access to their data anywhere they go at any time, day or night,” Shiflett said.
Adding to the benefits, stores who use the MBS hosting model also receive frontline support and training from our client service representatives, simplifying every aspect of textbook management.
“We become the store’s server and system operator, all rolled into one,” Shiflett explained. “Our representatives work hand in hand with our Wholesale force to answer questions and coordinate the communication with other departments. Our goal is to effectively maximize each store’s business relationship with MBS.”
In fact, Farmer found the implementation process to be seamless with the support of MBS staff.
“Our sales representative held my hand throughout the process and made sure everything went smoothly, and the online service representatives were wonderful,” she said.
Now that she has adopted the hosting model, Farmer wouldn’t think of turning back. She recently even recommended the service to industry colleague Charlie Rutt, Director of University Store at University of Central Missouri. To those exploring the option of hosting, Farmer suggests doing the same.
“Call somebody that’s done it first, and talk over their experience, that way there’s no surprises; it really helps you identify the benefits and see how simple the process actually can be.”
To employ the MBS hosting model in your store, or for more information, contact your MBS representative or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.