This is a very interesting discussion currently.
Cloud POS is where your venues POS data sits on a server somewhere in the cloud environment ie: usually on a Microsoft Azure (AZU) server farm or an Amazon Web Services (AWS) server farm. All POS devices communicate via the internet and do not require to be data cabled in to each other.
On-Premise POS is where your venues POS data sits on a PC or Server inside your venues own 4 walls, usually in an office or below the counter somewhere. A Server machine must have a decent set of specifications and all POS machines in the venue are cabled in to that Server machine requesting information from it to operate the tasks that users require.
The decision to go with either methodology is what you would be speaking to your professional POS provider.
If a POS company doesnt offer either methodology then walk away. This is because different venues suit different methodologies and so they will not be giving you an unbiased analysis of your needs. They will clearly only be promoting one of those methodologies. Here at BOSSII, we have both to offer our clients.
There are clear advantages and disadvantages to both systems. At BOSSII we look at firstly your needs, your venue design and your understanding of technology to determine the right way to move forward.
Once we know the methodology we then work on a plan for the times where the methodology fails. Because dont let anyone ever tell you that POS NEVER fails. It certainly does. And most times its not the technologies fault, its because of outside influences.
We have seen a disgruntled staff member pull the plug out of a clients server right in the middle of a busy Friday lunch.
We have seen a Telstra employee cancel by mistake a venues internet service instead of their requested second phone line cancelation.
Both of these scenarios actually happened but because of our attention to detail on the redundancies required we had both clients covered for immediate lack of impact on their business from such acts of madness.
A second Server power supply and cable plugged in to an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) allowed the primary power to be pulled out but didnt immediately switch the Server off giving staff enough time to plug the primary power back in.
Having a backup internet 5G SIM gave the client a 70 second downtime when the Telstra employee cancelled their primary internet. We always design a backup separate ISP service for Cloud clients.
Its this sort of attention to detail that you wont get from mainstream POS companies because they are all about getting the sale not getting the right solution for the client.
And importantly dont let the methodology confuse you. Its our job to explain both and our job to give you unbiased advantages and disadvantages of both.
Never be afraid to ask questions and always ask to see real world examples of both. Sometimes the best way to understand is to see other venues setups to see how your venue might be setup.