Q&A with Justin and Ivan - Part II
We held our second live Q&A with Justin and Ivan on Monday, August 5th. Customers brought a lot of great questions about the merge and the new LightSpeed Cloud. Below is the list of questions asked by customers and our answers to them. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask us in the comment section below. We will have another live Q&A sometime soon, follow us on our blog and FaceBook page to stay updated.
Q: Will there be any major functionality changes between MerchantOS and LightSpeed Cloud, or new integrations?
A: Nothing has changed yet. LightSpeed Cloud is the classic MerchantOS point of sale with a new name and a new user interface – coming soon to existing customers. However, the merge with LightSpeed Retail provides us with more opportunities and resources to hire more developers and focus on our goals and customer needs quicker and easier.
Q: What new resources do you see the merger bringing to the table? We’re in the process of testing the Swarm solution, does this change the relationship with them?
A: All current integrations will continue to be supported. SWARM in particular wrote the integration using our API and we’ll continue to support and improve our API so more useful applications like SWARM can integrate with us.
Q: Will we be able to use the same credit card processor as before?
A: Existing customers can keep using their same credit card processors. For new customers we may change what options are available but have made no decisions yet.
Q: Will folks be able to move from LightSpeed Pro to Cloud in the future? When?
A: There will be a migration path to move from LightSpeed Pro to Cloud, but for now we don’t have an exact plan or timeline. We will develop a smooth transition at some point down the road.
Q: How do you print receipts from the new iPad app?
A: The new UI and iPad app are only available to new accounts who are signing up right now. Yes you can print from the iPad App. You need a Star TSP100 printer with ethernet port. Once your Star printer is on your network with your iPad you can print from within the iPad app.
Q: Can we upgrade to the next level in pricing and then downgrade, for instance, during the holiday season?
A: Most likely not. You can stay on your current pricing as long as you stay on the plan you are on now. If you change plans you will be moved to the new pricing. This goes for temporary moves as well as permanent. You can now call our new sales team with questions about plan pricing and upgrading: 1-866-932-1801 Ext 1
Q: Why were the prices raised by 60%?
A: The pricing change is something that’s been in the works for a long time – MerchantOS pricing had not changed in several years. That said, existing customers will not see a change to their pricing unless they change plans.
The main goal of the price change was to allow folks to more easily mix and match sizes (you can now pair a small store with a big store in multi-shop setups for instance) and also allows us to rebalance the number of registers and employees in each plan size as well as adjust price points based on feedback we’d heard over the last few years.
We also added an annual plan discount because up-front paying customers asked for it fairly frequently.
Q: How will the pricing translate from LightSpeed Pro to Cloud? I’ve spent a lot of money buying the license, software, Static IP, VPN set up…Etc. Will I have to pay the same monthly fee as the former MerchantOS client?
A: If you are on the LightSpeed Pro product and you are paying for a maintenance subscription you can switch to Cloud for no additional cost. If you are considering the switch we recommend that you make sure you are on the full maintenance subscription for Pro now so you can switch in the future with no additional cost.
Q: Can you talk about the near future of the Shopify integration?
A: Joining with LightSpeed will bring lots of new resources (read: developers) to address stuff like our Shopify integration. We actually have jobs posted right now to hire more developers so that we can make the Shopify integration, and others, better than ever.
Q: As a bike shop that has benefitted tremendously from using your product, will bike shop functionality and even more enhanced vendor integrations continue to be an important market for LightSpeed?
A: Absolutely. We will continue to support vendor/catalogue integrations for bicycle shops. If you have any ideas on catalogues you’d like to see synced with LightSpeed Cloud, please let us know. We partially rely on you to tell us what you need in this area, as there are too many catalogs out there for us to know about.
Q: Can you reveal some of the development roadmap for LightSpeed Cloud? What are some of the main priorities besides Shopify?
A: We will increase our development team dramatically. Once we get that team up and running at full speed we will tackle a lot of projects. We will definitely re-write the Shopify integration as well as some of our other integrations. We will also hit some of the most-requested features on our feedback site, as well as hit as many bugs as possible.
Q: Any idea about the cost to add e-commerce integration to LightSpeed Cloud?
A: We don’t have an integration to a LightSpeed Web Store for LightSpeed Cloud at this time. We are unsure of the cost to add it to your subscription if/when we build it.
Q: Do you ever see a hybrid product that has some local component coupled with Cloud to enable things like an offline mode and better speed?
A: I’m doubtful that you will see an off-line mode. You may see local caching of data to increase speed/performance of the application. Our vision of retail in the future is one of connectivity, big data analysis, and a seamless experience for the consumer who starts shopping online and then moves to in-store. An off-line piece of software won’t support these big changes in retail.
Q: Will functionality for rentals be in the roadmap for the product? Like bike, scooter or car rentals?
A: At this time, creating a rental module is not on the roadmap. We’ve been looking for a good partner in this space and if we could find one I think we would be excited to make an integration work. If you know of a good rental system that we could integrate with let us know.
Q: Do you think LightSpeed will phase out resellers due to the growing sales team within the organization, especially since you haven’t had resellers with MerchantOS win the past?
A: I don’t think resellers will be phased out. I think they have a vital and important role to play. There are complex or large retail setups that will need someone to build a custom solution for that retailer. This is the ideal space for a reseller or VAR to step in. Resellers can also add a human relationship element that may be beneficial to a retailer in terms of trust and finding the right solution.
Q: Is importing data gonna be something we can do ourselves in the near future?
A: At some point we will allow self service of imports. There’s a lot of functionality we need to add to this area to make it a reality. The first step will probably be some sort of PO importer. We don’t have a timeline for this or know exactly how it would work, but I have to imagine it is coming at some point.
Q: When will mandatory switch to the new UI be? And, is it currently on two separate servers?
A: Once released – in the next few weeks – customers can switch over to the new user interface (UI). There will be a time period of a few months to switch back and forth from the old UI to the new UI, so you and your employees can learn the new UI on your own schedule. You can decide when you are ready to switch over for good. Both versions are deployed to the same high availability server cluster.
We believe that the new UI, and features that are added to it over the coming months, will offer a compelling case to switch over on your own. We’ll decide on a hard cut-over date based on the adoption rate we see from existing customers during the open transition. We will give plenty of notice when we decide to make the final switch and our hope is that the majority of customers will have already upgraded by that time.