A system provides more value if the system can talk to other systems. That is what we mean by "connected", the ability to exchange information with other systems. For example Store Chek has interfaces to accounting systems, points-of-sale, and vendors, all of which are central to what you should expect of a back office system.
Most single location truck stops and convenience stores find that Quick Books™ is a good fit as the accounting system. Store Chek has a direct interface to Quick Books™. But it doesn't stop there, we've interfaced with Sage (MAS 90, Peachtree, Accpac), AIMS, and others.
One of the primary functions of the back office is to interface to the point-of-sale. We interface to:
along with our own Store Chek point-of-sale. The interface is two way: we get transactional information and send up price book information. The back office is particularly essential when more than one point-of-sale system is present.
A big time saver is utilizing what we call electronic invoices. Many large vendors offer this, which amounts to an email with an attachment that can be turned into a purchase order. In addition we offer a sales data interface to Altria.