The Secret to Happy Customers and Better Budgets? Kiosk Software

Henry Tuttle

When it comes to pleasing customers, increasing employee efficiency, and maximizing the value of your existing resources, providing meaningful self-service options is a solid strategy that is sometimes overlooked. After all, letting your customers search for a product in your store's inventory or equipping your employees with a streamlined way to enter and log distribution data creates a win-win situation; your end users can quickly and efficiently take care of their needs, and your company benefits from an interaction that doesn't require additional time or resources.


Henry Tuttle is a consultant to triCerat, a leading provider of enterprise management software for desktops and applications.

But with the benefit of self-service come risks. Users may do something as seemingly harmless as using the computer to engage in tasks other than those you intended - checking their e-mail and surfing the Web while the customer behind them waits to place her order - or even something malicious, like intentionally corrupting data files, setting the computer's home page to an undesirable site, or attempting to gain access to private company information that may be stored on the hard drive or network.


Kiosks Reduce Risks, Brings Benefits to Businesses

For businesses interested in providing end users with self-service options, but also concerned about mitigating the risks associated with it, kiosk software offers an extremely secure and cost-effective option. Kiosk software allows your business to provide end users with a variety of self-service options, from searching for products, to placing an order, to updating benefits information or filling out registration information, all without jeopardizing your IT investment or your company's reputation.


Kiosk software solutions work by configuring your desktop OS to behave like a thin client. In doing so, you are essentially reducing IT expenditures and extending the life of your existing PCs. Kiosk software solutions also offer businesses and enterprises a variety of other benefits, namely:


  • More focused end users: Because you're able to completely control the applications and services which are accessible, end users are more likely to stay on task, successfully completing their search, registration or purchase, rather than being distracted by other options. End users who stay on task take less time and free up your machines for other users, meaning you can serve more people in the same amount of time.
  • Superior disaster recovery: Unlike traditional PCs running Windows Explorer Shell, PCs using kiosk software virtually lock down the machine, allowing only the predetermined application, website or RDP/ICA session to be run. This means that kiosk computers receive increased security against common threats like trojans, downloadable Internet files and dangerous websites, as well as more uptime because end users cannot inadvertently or intentionally disrupt the machine's intended functions.
  • Non-existent maintenance and management: Compared to traditional PCs, kiosk PCs require little to no maintenance. Boot up and shut down tasks can be fully automated, user data can be automatically removed at the end of each session, and any updates that need to be applied, like anti-virus definition upgrades, can be administered remotely.


Kiosks Offer Cost Savings

For businesses looking to transition from a physical to a virtual computing environment, kiosks are often viewed as an attractive 'halfway' point that offers the best of both worlds. One of the most attractive features that kiosk software offers is the ability to keep costs down by extending the life of your current PCs and eliminating the need for additional hardware purchases. Cost savings are also realized in terms of end point/desktop support, as kiosk computers are focused on helping users complete very specific tasks and are virtually maintenance-free, reducing the number of tech support calls and issues.


Kiosk Software: A Solid Investment

Certainly, there are a variety of reasons that businesses would consider moving to a kiosk software solution: security considerations, cost concerns and ease of maintenance issues top the list. For most businesses, investing in a software-based kiosk solution to allow customers and employees to complete transactions and tasks is a solid investment in your business' IT infrastructure and your customer and employee satisfaction levels.

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Sep 29, 2010 9:52 AM Yves Mailhot Yves Mailhot  says:

Hi, I wrote a kiosk application for Mac that may be interesting to you readers - the software is called eCrisper and is found at



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