FAQ

Are all Cobalt Retail modules fully integrated?

Yes, Point of Sale, Payroll & the Commission Sales module are all fully integrated with General Accounting … additionally, the Commission Sales module integrates with POS, and POS integrates with our eCommerce module.

Do I have to use all Cobalt Retail modules?

No, all modules (except eCommerce) are included in the system pricing – you choose which modules you wish to use, and you have the option of adding in any included modules along the way.

There’s some things my current system can’t do, how can I find out whether Cobalt Retail can?

The easiest way is to contact us for a remote demonstration of the system … keeping a list of all of the features you wish to have available or improve on will help you keep track of your questions, as will having your key staff members available, as we go through all of the relevant system modules for you.

Do you have a sample copy of Cobalt Retail I can download?

Unfortunately not, as our system runs securely on a customised server platform, which most PC’s don’t run … we are more than happy to schedule any time that suits you for a remote demo or two though!

What is the easiest way for me to see Cobalt Retail and ask some questions?

A remote demo will give you the opportunity for an overview look at the system – from there you are welcome to think through and compare this with your current system, and we’re more than happy to provide further demo’s to tackle questions you may have, or show key members of your team ! Also, if we have a client in your area, we are happy to see if they have the time to show you the system in a “real world” scenario – warts and all !!

Are all Cobalt Retail modules password protected?

Yes … both our Point of Sale & General Accounting modules have full User Access systems, while Payroll and Commission Sales have over-riding system password facilities.

How often do I need to back-up my system?

Automated off-site back-ups to secure servers occur nightly while automated hourly and monthly on-site backups are made to one of two supplied USB drives (for you to rotate on a daily basis with one taken off site each night). Note that we only provide back-up facilities for trading databases (not training systems).

Can I get a list of all of the Cobalt Retail features?

All of our website pages are able to be printed as .pdf files, and we are happy to provide any further information you are looking for!

Can I remotely access Cobalt Enterprise Server when on the road ?

Yes, CES and all Cobalt Retail modules can be accessed remotely by Windows and MacOS workstations and laptops. If you don’t have a printer available at the time all documents can be emailed to yourself or your clients.

Is your software capable of linking multiple stores with a Head Office?

Yes, Cobalt Retail can run across a range of site configurations, including either franchise or company owned stores, or a combination of both.

Do I need to buy new computers to run Cobalt Retail?

Not necessarily … Cobalt Enterprise Server, which runs Cobalt Retail Software, allows access from any computer running Windows XP SP3 or later, or Mac OS. Tablets and smartphones can also be used with CES including iOS (for iPad, iPhone or iPod) and Android with a third party App. Other systems may be compatible if they support RDP connections with Network Level Authentication.

What happens to my existing network?

Your current network running your email, internet access, word processing, other existing business applications etc will continue to run alongside Cobalt Enterprise Server.

Will my existing computers and other equipment still work with Cobalt Retail?

Any computer in your network will be able to access Cobalt Retail through the Cobalt Enterprise Server, and a list of currently approved peripheral hardware (such as barcode scanners, printers or cash drawers etc) is available from our office. We are also happy to test any equipment you currently have to assess its suitability for you!

Do I need to buy new computers to run Cobalt Retail?

Not necessarily … Cobalt Enterprise Server, which runs Cobalt Retail Software, allows access from any computer running Windows XP SP3 or later, or Mac OS. Tablets and smartphones can also be used with CES including iOS (for iPad, iPhone or iPod) and Android with a third party App. Other systems may be compatible if they support RDP connections with Network Level Authentication.

If I need more computer equipment, do I have to buy this from Merlin Software?

No, you are welcome to use your current IT support people for this, however we can supply hardware pricing if you require.

What is Cobalt Enterprise Server?

Cobalt Enterprise Server (CES) is a unique sever platform designed and optimised specifically to run Cobalt Retail. CES does all the processing for Cobalt Retail allowing workstations to have minimal system specifications.

Is there an approved list of hardware and peripherals that I can give to my own computer supplier?

Yes, please contact our office for further information.

Do I need internet access?

Yes, Cobalt Enterprise Server requires a connection to your network and access to the internet for remote access to Cobalt Retail, communication between multi-site businesses, system backups, remote support, remote monitoring, remote management and remote maintenance. We recommend considering some form of redundant internet connection such as 3G to minimise the impact of a loss of ADSL.

Will I have to run only PC’s on my network, or can I run other hardware?

Cobalt Enterprise Server provides access for all types of hardware, including notebooks, netbooks, laptops, tablets, plus thick and thin client computer terminals … allowing you more flexibility when at your store or on the road and lower computer costs as you can lower your computer costs through the use of thin clients, cost effective tablets and lower spec’d workstations.

What happens if I lose internet access?

Nothing, your store will continue to trade and any facility that requires internet access (such as Cobalt Link in a multi-site system, or program updates) will continue to be performed when your internet connection is restored. Of course, any remote access to your system may be suspended until your internet access is restored also.

Is there a warranty on Cobalt Enterprise Server?

Absolutely … your Cobalt Enterprise Server is fully covered under warranty for the three years of your contract and for any issues that cannot be remotely resolved a replacement will be despatched immediately during business hours.

What happens if I have a power black-out?

None of your computers will work !! If you have a generator in place, you can switch over and continue trading as normal.

If there is a problem with Cobalt Enterprise Server, can I continue trading?

Yes, contact our office immediately and we will transfer your server through to our emergency system to allow you to continue trading.

Can I run Microsoft Office, Outlook (emails) and the Internet on Cobalt Enterprise Server?

No, CES is an optimised platform for Cobalt Retail only. CES is designed to run alongside your existing IT systems.

Can I run Microsoft Office, Outlook (emails) and the Internet on Cobalt Enterprise Server?

No, CES is an optimised platform for Cobalt Retail only. CES is designed to run alongside your existing IT systems.

Will my current computer support company be able to install Cobalt Retail?

Absolutely … it is a relatively quick installation process and full documentation is available for your IT support team.

Can I run Microsoft Office, Outlook (emails) and the Internet on Cobalt Enterprise Server?

No, CES is an optimised platform for Cobalt Retail only. CES is designed to run alongside your existing IT systems.

Will it take long to install Cobalt Retail?

Once Cobalt Enterprise Server is installed and connected to your network, it takes approximately five minutes per computer to install the access link onto each computer that you wish to access CES.

Can I transfer my data from my existing system?

Yes, we provide up to five hours of database conversion time (per database), which should be plenty of time for your database to be configured if you export your data from your current system into the spread-sheet format we provide for this purpose … any additional time that may be required will be charged at an hourly rate, including assisting you with exporting data from your current system.

Will there be any loss of trading when I change my system over?

This depends on whether you are comfortable plugging your Cobalt Enterprise Server into your network or not … if you are, fine ! If not, you can ask your current IT Support company to help you with the installation and we will, of course, supply full instructions for your IT support team … or we can offer you a daily on-site rate for your installation (please note, there is a minimum requirement of two days on-site consecutively, although any remaining time can be utilised for training purposes also)!

How much training will I receive when Cobalt Retail is installed?

There is an inclusion for eight hours of remote training per database, and we can provide you with a suggested training plan to allow you to maximise this time … it is recommended that this be spread over 4 x 2 hour blocks for the highest impact, as more training than this can be somewhat daunting in one sitting ! It also allows you to tailor these training sessions for the most appropriate person in your team (ie, your stock purchasing officer for stock control, or your book-keeper for GA).

What happens if I have new staff down the track?

At any time you can purchase remote training sessions for your staff (new or old), for a minimum time of one hour onwards at a time suitable to you during our normal trading hours.

Can I get on-site training for all of my staff at once?

Absolutely, we are happy to provide an on-site training service over two or more days on-site for a daily fee (which includes all travel expenses).

How can I practice what I’ve learnt?

A training database is provided for all stores free of charge, allowing you the ability to learn and practice at your own pace, at a time that is suitable to your team.

How else can I get training?

Additional training blocks can be purchased at any time for remote training, or alternatively we are happy to provide on-site full day training with your team for a minimum of two days (at a daily rate fee) … we also provide a knowledge base of documentation on our website for common “how to” questions, as well as annual user group meetings throughout the country.

Do you provide support contracts on a monthly or annual basis?

Support for all modules of Cobalt Retail is included in our monthly fee, and is provided by remote internet connection and telephone.

How is support provided?

Support is provided remotely by telephone and internet connection to your system.

What hours is support available in?

Our office hours are 8.30am – 5.00pm ACST, and we provide an after-hours number for support outside this time.

What happens if I need support after normal business hours?

All clients have access to our website logging system to log a non-urgent or scheduled support tasks, and any urgent issues can be addressed by calling our 24 hour support phone service.

What is the simplest way for me to request assistance?

We encourage all non-urgent or scheduled tasks to be logged via email or by logging through our website, as this allows such tasks to be entered into our support system in chronological order … of course, please feel free to call and log jobs or ask for urgent support if needed.

Can I see what support jobs I have currently logged with Merlin Software?

We are currently in the process of updating our website to allow all of our clients to see the status of any jobs logged with us.

How often are program updates released?

Major releases are generally scheduled quarterly, in January April July and October … any issues that need immediate resolution will require interim program updates and these are released as necessary.

Do I have to download and install the program updates?

Cobalt Enterprise Server automatically receives and updates programs as they are released.

Can I see what support jobs I have currently logged with Merlin Software?

We are currently in the process of updating our website to allow all of our clients to see the status of any jobs logged with us.

How do I find out what is included in each program update?

Whenever a new program is released there will be a copy of the release notes outlining all new features and fixes in our website knowledge base.

What happens if I want to request a change in the software?

Any new features that you would like to see in Cobalt Retail, or if you would like to report any issues, these are best handled via email to our support team …

Will my requested changes automatically be included?

Any requests for program features are assessed for suitability to all clients, and will be added to our development schedule then released when completed … you will be advised when your request has been included in a program release.