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Dynamics AX for Retail Point of Sale Solution Launched

Microsoft has launched the Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail Point of Sale solution . When I visited the Microsoft Convergence show in 2009, I saw the solution in action under its prior owner and was very impressed with it. The thought that crossed my mind then was ‘I wish Microsoft would buy this solution’ – and they did. Today that solution has been re-launched with improvements as the Dynamics AX for Retail Point of Sale Solution.

We’ve had quite a bit of experience with the product today by dint of being a Microsoft premier partner – in the last few months, we have integrated the AX for Retail with Ignify eCommerce, demonstrated it to a few customers and done some configurations for a demonstration store we plan to launch early next year. In this time, we have gotten to know the solution very well.

Most Point of sales do a basic set of functions and then some do more advanced functions. Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail has the basic functions covered very well but has some incredible advanced functionality. In this blog, I plan to cover primarily the basic functions and in my part-II talk about the advanced functions.

User Interface: First off – the interface is extremely slick. This is what caught my eye. An example lay out is below. But what’s attractive is not that it is a cool-looking lay out but that you can make changes to this in a snap. For example, I can right click a button and not only re-label it but also trigger a completely different function. For example – I can make the Edit Line Item button be my Void Transaction button. I can also decide how many buttons I want and how many rows and columns and what colors they should be. For example – I can have my top selling items each be a separate button – or my top selling category each be a button e.g. Men’s Shoes, Men’s Hats, Women’s Shoes, Women’s Hats etc. But then I can also color code all the Men categories in blue and the Women product categories in Pink for example. Now you will likely not have a sales clerk do these changes – but someone like a store manager or IT do them. But you can create multiple POS layouts and based on the user or role you can assign the layout and when the person logs in they see the lay out assigned to them. For example I can have the same machine show a lay out for customer service supervisor that has returns, credits, returns, warranties, exchanges while for a sales clerk the focus may be on the sale, checkout like the one below. I don’t need to setup a machine specifically for customer service and another one specifically for checkout. Any machine can be used for any role and adjusts to who logs in. Additionally the user interface is built to work with a touch screen so it will natively support a self-service Kiosk touch pad. I’ve put this in my basic blog feature description but frankly most point of sale products in the market don’t offer this flexibility. California law (and some other states) requires retailers offer a dual screen where not only the cashier can see what is being transacted but so can the customer. Dynamics AX for retail offers this dual screen capability natively.

Dynamics AX for Retail POS has the capability to automatically apply discounts

Figure 1.Dynamics AX for Retail POS has the capability to automatically apply discounts

Upsell: Items can be configured to do up sell. For example when I rang up the HP 22 inch LCD monitor in the transaction shown above the system automatically prompted me to check if the customer wants extended warranty with it. This was a pretty simple up sell but you can do much more e.g. have multiple options for extended warranty or have a bundled item. The upsell screen can be configured in many ways – it can be a pop-up or another screen or just show up as a reminder. In this case I set it to be a pop-up where the cashier has to select an option thus increasing my average order amount.

Example of Upsell in Dynamics AX for Retail

Figure 2.Example of Upsell in Dynamics AX for Retail

System Interfaces: Dynamics AX for Retail provides out of the box interface for the cash drawer for opening the drawer for cash out to the customer, or for accepting cash and interfaces with credit card swipe but also an interface with the credit card payment providers through Dynamics payment services. This interface is at no charge.

Native Credit Card capability in Dynamics AX for Retail POS

Figure 3.Native Credit Card capability in Dynamics AX for Retail POS

Promotions: Dynamics AX for Retail has rich promotion capability to support item discounts, quantity discounts, mix and match, multi-buys etc. For example, the screen below shows a promotion of 10% running in August starting August 1st 2010 and expiring on August 31st, 2010 on all of my HP LCD monitors. Promotional offers can be a discount amount, a discount percentage or just a flat offer price, or an offer price including tax (the last is more common in places like UK)

Dynamics AX for Retail Headquarters with Promotions

Figure 4. Dynamics AX for Retail Headquarters with Promotions

Technology: Finally the platform is built entirely on Microsoft Technology written in C# and the .NET framework. The database behind this is SQL Server. A local database is available through SQL Server Express that can maintain a local copy in case connectivity in the store is an issue. I will talk more about the architecture in the next blog. In addition, the product natively interfaces with the Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP for financials, end of day reconciliation, refunds, credit card settlements, Item Master, Pricing etc. The entire AX for Retail Headquarters is natively integrated into the Dynamics AX ERP

All in – I am very excited of the future of Microsoft Dynamics in Retail. Microsoft is too – their Microsoft Stores run the Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail Point of Sale. Kevin Turner – the Chief Operating Officer comes from a Retail background having been the CEO of Sam's Club and the CIO of Wal-Mart. He has definitely taken Microsoft into Retail with great results.

Microsoft Stores run the Dynamics AX for Retail Point of Sale

Figure 5.Microsoft Stores run the Dynamics AX for Retail Point of Sale

Here is a great video for you that gives an overview of the product.

Here is a great video

If you have specific questions on Dynamics AX for Retail Point of Sale – email us at dynamics@ignify.com and we'd be happy to answer them.

Sandeep Walia is the Chief Executive Officer of Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, POS, CRM, and eCommerce software solutions to mid-market and enterprise businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify is a Top-tier Microsoft Gold Certified partner ranked in the Microsoft Partner of the Year for Retail in 2010 and both the Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle and the Microsoft Dynamics Presidents Club in 2009 . Ignify offers Microsoft Dynamics AX, Dynamics AX for Retail POS and the Dynamics CRM Loyalty Management solution for retailers and to several other businesses. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 3 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine. Sandeep was ranked in 2010 in the Microsoft Dynamics Top 100 Most Influential People List by DynamicsWorld. Ignify has offices in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Nashville, Chicago, Toronto, Manila, Pune and Bangalore.

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  1. August 4th, 2010 at 18:13 | #1

    I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

  1. August 5th, 2010 at 08:49 | #1