Needless to say, Microsoft Dynamic RMS is a veteran in the point of sale system world. Having been used by tens of thousands of businesses for many years, RMS has proven to be a solid POS system. Designed to be customizable for any retail business, RMS has been the go-to point of sale system for most retail stores, small and large. Unfortunately, Microsoft has already discontinued production and sale of the RMS system beginning in July 2015, given the Fall 2015 EMV-compliance changes. Nevertheless, extended support will still be available for existing customers, though these customers will soon need to look for a new system to transition to.
Who Should Use Microsoft RMS?
The RMS point of sale system has been a go-to retail management system for most small to medium-sized businesses. While the features and tools provided in RMS have been customized to fit the needs of most retail stores, it is not as well suited for hospitality or food-service type businesses. Given that this is a Microsoft POS system, users looking to integrate their POS with other Microsoft software would benefit greatly from choosing RMS. I did find limitations in customizability, so this system may not be the the right fit for businesses with unique needs or in need of heavy customization.
Fees & Pricing
There are two pricing packages for Microsoft Dynamics RMS: Store Operations and Headquarters. The Store Operations package is geared more towards single-location retail stores, while the Headquarters package enables more analytics functions meant to be used by for a business operating multiple locations or storefronts. Prices fluctuate widely, but ranges between $400 to $1500 depending on the license purchased. In general prices seemed to be slightly higher than competitors’.
I found Microsoft Dynamics RMS to be quite limited in its features. While it does provide several retail management features, the features did not seem as well-developed as other similar systems. Given how big Microsoft is and it’s branding as a software industry leader, I was quite disappointed to see that the RMS pos system wasn’t more robust and well-designed. That being said, it does offer a few notable features:
- Integration with Microsoft software
- Provides sales and upsell feedback
- Tracks customers and inventory
- Marketing automation capabilities
I really wished that there was more customizability and depth to many of the features provided by RMS. Several of the tools provided were interesting, but had much room for improvements.
Ease of Use & User Interface
The user interface is reminiscent of Windows 2000, and looks a bit dated. Given how long RMS has been around though, this retro look is to be expected. Unfortunately, I found the platform clunky and much more difficult to navigate compared to more modern POS software platforms seen in the emerging tablet and mobile POS systems. This is also partially due to the dated layout and interface of the platform. In terms of functionality, the platform is really not that bad, but this potential is stifled by the poor interface design. Many users, if not most, will require detailed, proper training and set-up to be able to effectively use this system.
I found the customer support team to be very responsive, but was disappointed in my online chat session with the Microsoft RMS representative. When I inquired about more information regarding RMS, I was given an immediate response to contact the IT support team via phone. However, this may possibly be due to the recent discontinuation of RMS production and sales. Looking over user feedback and comments however, there seems to be a high level of discontent with the RMS system with frequent criticism on poor assistance.
POS Hardware & POS Software Compatibility
Microsoft Dynamics RMS provides support for commonly used peripheral devices such as barcode scanners, card readers, touch screens, and weight scales. Unfortunately, that’s about the extent of the available peripheral devices. Small businesses in need of more specialized hardware or devices may not be able to find a proper solution via RMS. What the system does have going for it in terms of compatibility is the capability of integrating with Microsoft software.
Integration & Add-Ons
There were few add-ons and integration options for Microsoft Dynamics RMS. In general, customization is limited and add-ons were similarly limited to Microsoft software and modules. That being said, the system does integrate with several popular software systems as well as Microsoft-based systems like Dynamics GP for accounting.
- Microsoft brand with long history
- Email marketing functions
- Provides a variety of core functions, though this is becoming more of a market standard
- Outdated look and functionality
- Limited customization
- Few peripheral devices and add-ons
- Not mobile
- Not EMV-compliant
In general, Microsoft RMS has provided solid service to many thousands of retail businesses and works well enough in terms of features and capabilities. The system does attempt to provide some unique features such as email marketing, but I felt that there were many improvement and optimizations that could have been made to create a better user experience. Unfortunately, the system has been falling more and more behind these more modern point of sale systems, especially cloud-based POS systems, and the change to EMV compliance was the final nail in the coffin. Overall, I was slightly disappointed by the Microsoft Dynamics RMS due to my higher expectations of the system given the Microsoft brand. While this is my own personal opinion of the product, user reviews and feedback was conflicted. A significant amount of users reported a similar experience to mine, while a significant amount of users also reported high satisfaction. I felt that this divide was also indicative of RMS falling further and further behind the times.