Retail is said to traditionally lag in technology, especially at the foundation level. And even though IT budgets are increasing, quite a few IT departments are saddled with outdated, hodgepodge systems, licensing fees, maintenance and multiyear rollouts.
At the same time, retail customers are more technology savvy than ever, and they want to use their technology to shop. This presents a real dilemma for IT. How does it come from behind the curve, keep ahead of customers and do it on growing but still limited budgets?
One answer is to ensure retail systems from the data center to the point of service (POS) systems are built on a solid, secure, flexible and cost-efficient platform. Many retailers are turning to open source systems due to their security, dependability, scalability and lower costs. And because they aren’t locked into a hardware platform, they can scale on a moment’s notice.
Here is where SUSE comes into the play:
1) We take the retail industry seriously – and offer a special solution for you.
It’s well-known that the robust SUSE operating systems and management solutions run all workloads in the data center and beyond, no matter the industry. But did you also know about our specific retail solution?
SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service is the only managed client-server Linux solution available in the market today that has been specifically tailored for the unique needs of the retail industry. It provides a reliable, flexible and open platform for point of service (POS) or point of sale terminals, kiosks, self- service systems and reverse-vending systems. Many of its features help your IT administrators enhance overall store operations by quickly delivering the data and services a reliable retail system needs to speed up computing. And, while it reduces total cost of ownership and improves quality of service, as a retailer it gives you a real competitive advantage and improves your customers’ satisfaction.
2) We listen to our customers – and adopt your requests.
Of course, customer satisfaction is also key for us! Many of you―our customers in the retail industry― told us that you run your POS client hardware for a long time or for the “life time” of the hardware. That means that the hardware will not be refreshed until the system itself is not supported anymore or breaks, and that systems are not touched without a real need for changes.
The pace of the Linux development doesn’t correspond to this approach. With Linux every four-to-five years a major product version is released; service packs are released, on average, every 18 months; and an upgrade policy forces retailers to implement the next version or service pack during a very limited period of time.
As a result, to meet the requirements of those of you who want to run POS infrastructures with a stable operating system platform that needs minimal changes during the full lifecycle of your deployed hardware, SUSE extends maintenance and support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 on certified hardware to March 31, 2022.
3) We extend the lifecycle for SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service – to make your life easier.
Today, SUSE is the only Linux distributor that meets the demands of retail customers to run such a stable POS infrastructure, providing you with a competitive advantage: you can fully exploit your POS/client HW device investment while getting a long-term proven, secure, stable and certified platform for your business-critical retail infrastructure.
Immediately effective, SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 is supported on all certified POS hardware until March 31, 2022, for use within the limits of a typical retail environment. However, we don´t want to conceal from you that you also have to follow some rules to benefit from the extended lifecycle.
Administration and branch servers inherit the support lifecycle from SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11. This means that, in general:
- You are entitled to get the full extended support lifecycle only if you upgrade to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP4 (or later) within the given upgrade periods. If you want to run your administration or branch server on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3 after that service pack has reached the end of general support, you have to buy Long Term Service Pack Support for SP3.
- After SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 has reached the end of regular support (in 2019), you have to buy Long Term Service Pack Support for the latest service pack of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11.
If you still run your POS Client systems on SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 Service Pack 2 or older versions, you must updated your systems to Service Pack 3 to fully benefit from the extended lifecycle. After that, you do not need to update to a new service pack or buy an additional support extension plan during the extended lifecycle period.
Or find us at our retail partner´s business conference Toshiba Connect 2015 in Sicily in May and talk to us directly at our booth or during the “Speedy Networking” sessions. We are looking forward to your feedback and requirements.