Thursday, July 31, 2008

The next POPAI Digital Signage 101 webinar is coming up on August 7th

This is pretty much a cut-and-paste from the announcement two months ago, and admittedly this post probably won't be appropriate for 90% of the audience of this blog, considering that I know lots of you are already experts on all things digital signage.

However, if you have a client, partner or other interested party that's starting to explore the exciting world of digital out-of-home media, POPAI's holding another "Digital Signage 101" webinar on August 7th.

Specifically designed to help newcomers see past the industry hype and focus on the projects, business cases and best practices that have been successful in the real world, POPAI's Introduction to Digital Signage webinar is a great way to spend an hour of your time -- and only $50 -- to jump-start your understanding of what works and what doesn't in the digital signage world.

Dale Smith at Peerless will be leading the way, covering topics including:
  • An introduction to the digital signage market with some basic market history and analysis,
  • A look at some of the most common usage scenarios,
  • An explanation of the components used in typical digital signage networks,
  • A discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of using digital signage, and
  • An examination of some of the most common pitfalls and problems that occur, and ways to avoid them in the first place.

So please join us on Thursday, August 7, 2008 at 1:00pm EDT


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cybercafe software maker raises $5 Million from Sequoia

Remember cybercafes? I bet you thought they were all dead and buried, didn't you? Well, if you live in an industrialized nation, that's mostly true (though you can still find some pretty busy ones in major cities and airports). However, if you live in a developing nation, the cybercafe might well represent your link to the Internet and the outside world. And since there are literally billions of people living in such places, there are still companies like Ideacts who are writing software to make the experience as enjoyable for the customer and as profitable for the cafe owner as possible. Thus, it's not too surprising that the Mumbai-based company was able to pick up the cash from software-savvy Sequoia Capital India, as this article notes:

Ideacts has a desktop interface application called Clinck which is targeted at cybercafe users, providing shortcuts to internet browsers, messengers, search, news, entertainment and online storage, as well as advertisements from various companies.

Ideacts has tied up with cybercafes (especially white labeled ones, and not the Sifys or Reliance WebWorlds) and the latter will be paid for installing the Clinck application on the desktops. It’s an offline way to reach out to the cybercafe users. Ideacts will make money from advertisements. Some of the companies advertising with Ideacts are ICICI Bank, Yahoo, Naukri, Radio Mirchi, Dell, MSN, White Mischief and Makemytrip.

Rudrajeet Desai said the company’s focus is white-labeled cybercafes: “We pay these cybercafes on a monthly basis, which vary according to their size. At present, we have this arrangement with 625 cybercafes, which come to more than 5,000 computers.” Desai further said that they plan expand to around 3,000-3,500 cybercafes.
Don't expect to see their kit in the US or Western Europe anytime soon, but if you have a stopover in Mumbai on your way to Bangalore and you decide to pop in and check your email, perhaps you'll come across it.

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60 Kaiser Permanente clinics to deploy self-service kiosks for check-in and payment

As this press release notes, "Kaiser Permanente deployed its first KP Self-Service Kiosk to optimize the patient check-in and payment experience in an innovative project that will include over 60 medical clinics in Southern California. This is one of the largest pilot kiosk projects undertaken by any U.S. healthcare organization, and it is another example of Kaiser Permanente's market-leading efforts in electronic integration."

If you haven't run into them before, Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation's biggest integrated health plans, and it's a non-profit organization to boot. Consequently, they've tried all sorts of things over the years to help keep their overhead down and run efficiently as possible. Given the success of check-in kiosks in airlines, company executives no doubt realized both the cost savings and gains in efficiency possible by adopting a similar approach in-house. Using the devices to handle payments might be a bit more tricky, and will likely have a slower adoption. After all, people are used to getting money out of kiosks (in the form of ATMs, of course), but they might be more uncertain when it comes to putting money in.

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