Friday, April 21, 2006

Arrow Electronics to provide turnkey interactive kiosk offerings

Arrow Electronics recently sent out a press release outlining their interactive kiosk ambitions:
Arrow OEM Computing Solutions, the division of the North American Components (NAC) group of Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:ARW), today announced a new partnership with DecisionOne, the technology support services company, to provide a complete end-to-end kiosk solution to kiosk application developers and manufacturers.

With this new partnership in place, the Arrow OCS kiosk solution supports kiosk customers through every phase of the product lifecycle, including concept design, engineering services, materials procurement, product lifecycle management, integration, assembly, testing, packaging, and global order fulfillment. It will use DecisionOne for post-manufacturing support services including maintenance, deployment (IMAC), depot exchange logistics services and manning a technical service desk.

"While organizations like contract manufacturers and system integrators can provide some of these services, they can't provide all of what a kiosk manufacturer needs to turn a complex design concept into cash flow," said Steve Ramsland, vice president and general manager, Arrow OCS. "DecisionOne, who has a long history and quality reputation in providing post-manufacturing support services, complements our designing and manufacturing capabilities perfectly."

"We are pleased Arrow has selected DecisionOne as a valued partner to provide post-manufacturing technology support services as key part of their end-to-end kiosk solution," said John Rooney, EVP and chief commercial officer, DecisionOne. "We look forward to providing high-quality lifecycle support services for their customer base nationwide."

OEM customers use Arrow OCS to access a full range of customizable, scalable products and modular design and manufacturing services based on components from the world's leading technology suppliers. To reach their markets around the world, they then leverage Arrow's global presence and core competency in logistics.

DecisionOne's Kiosk Deployment and Support Services features include a dedicated single point of contact, skilled technology professionals trained in kiosk environments, national reach and local touch, pre-install screening to reduce multiple trips, flexible coverage based on customer requirements, and complete project management and reporting. Other available kiosk services include deployment (IMAC), technical service desk, maintenance, depot repair and integration and staging services.

You can read it here, along with the usual boilerplate and contact info.

Sainsbury’s rolls out entertainment kiosks to 100 stores

Gigantic UK retailer Sainsbury's, who I primarily know because of their large and very publicly acknowledged digital signage network, has deployed entertainment kiosks to their 100 largest retail stores, along with more traditional ad-driven digital signage. As tells us:
The service, on trial at eight locations since June 2005, will be installed and operated by Retec Interface, which has signed a three-year deal with Sainsbury’s said to be worth in the region of £5m ($8.7m). Advertising will be sold by Retec using the London-based retail-media specialist ABC Media.

The system allows customers to access a range of features on music, games, books and films via four to six interactive touchscreens located in a store’s Entertainment Xtra zone. Meanwhile, three large plasma screens are also employed to attract customers to the area and show more general advertising and promotional material.

The mixture of interactive and non-interactive content in-store is still fairly unique, but I certainly expect to see more of this sort of thing coming about in the future. In any case, go read the aka article here, as it has much more information.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

TIO Networks and Tranax to launch hybrid ATM network

From this press release:
TIO Networks Corp., formerly Info Touch Technologies Corp., owner of North America’s leading automated bill payment and financial services network, (TSX-V: TNC), and Tranax Technologies, Inc., the leading innovator of self-service technology, today announced a strategic partnership to pursue the self-service market. The first phase of the partnership is to launch a joint hybrid ATM initiative. With this agreement, TIO financial services will be available on the new Tranax Mini-Bank 4000 series ATMs.
As part of the joint initiative, Tranax has developed a new Hybrid kiosk which enables the Tranax Mini-Bank 4000 series ATM to offer TIO Networks’ suite of financial services. TIO’s services include bill payment, stored value card dispensing and reloading, and prepaid services. TIO networks will process all transactions for financial applications, except for the traditional ATM services. TIO’s capabilities allow real-time intelligent links to a number of the largest billers in the U.S. including telecommunications companies and utilities.
The unbanked market seems to be hot these days, and expanding TIO's core service line with traditional ATM capabilities makes sense. Of course, this will also widen their customer base to include a portion of the banked population willing to part with a few bucks in transaction fees when they badly need cash