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[February 15, 2001]

Netkey Unveils Comprehensive Kiosk Network Management Solution 

Netkey, Inc., a provider of end-to-end software solutions for Web-enabled kiosks and ATMs, unveiled Netkey Manager, a new solution for kiosk network monitoring, reporting, analysis and content management. 

Netkey Manager is the latest addition to Netkey's line of kiosk software solutions used by leading companies including Borders, Yahoo!, J.C. Penney, and Microsoft to sell to, inform and service their customers.

Kiosks Emerging As Key CRM Channel
Self-service kiosks are becoming a critical customer interface in the retail, financial services, and hospitality industries as organizations seek new ways to leverage their investment in Web-based information and e-commerce assets. In the next phase of CRM technology, businesses are increasingly demanding measurable Return On Investment (ROI) and full integration of their kiosk networks with existing marketing and communications channels to better segment customer bases and deliver targeted messages, enabling the delivery of a single "customer view."

Analysts predict kiosk networks will play an important marketing role in the near future. "Personalized promotions will be tailored to each consumer. Instead of reading today's... supermarket circulars, consumers will scan their loyalty cards into kiosks built by they enter the store," said Forrester Research analyst Robert Rubin in a recent report.

"Netkey Manager helps provide a natural bridge between high-impact CRM activities and customer retention," said Alex Richardson, CEO of Netkey. "CRM initiatives impact Return on Sales (ROS) by strengthening customer relationships, building loyalty, and enhancing the customer experience."

Kiosk networks in the past have been difficult to manage and prone to outages and breakdown due to the lack of a centralized, cost-effective way to monitor, maintain, and analyze system performance. In addition, the use of kiosks by consumers diminishes if kiosk content is not current or attractive. Traditional PC network management tools are too costly and complicated to effectively manage the unique requirements of public-access kiosks systems.

Netkey Manager solves these problems with a purpose-built, Web-centric architecture designed to maximize the performance, reliability and value of kiosk networks. Netkey Manager is delivered through a hosted Application Service Provider (ASP) model, allowing organizations to focus on their business, and get on-line faster with reduced investment in technology infrastructure, maintenance and support.

Netkey Manager Features Reporting And Analysis
Designed to facilitate an organization's responsiveness to its customers through the kiosk channel, Netkey Manager can be used to collect valuable customer information including number of users accessing each kiosk; length of time a user spends on specific pages; type of research obtained by a user; and customer purchase information. These uses can be monitored by an individual location or by groups of locations so that businesses have the most accurate and current information possible to manage their kiosk operations as part of their CRM strategy.

Netkey Manager's report generator provides a complete analysis of kiosk usage on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The customizable reports include objects specific to the consumer and general information such as sites visited, date, time, and kiosk location. Clicks and transactions occurring on the kiosks can also be tracked so that the kiosk owners can monitor the success of the project.

Netkey Manager provides enhanced security because it does not require any changes in the client's firewall infrastructure unlike other point solutions that require TCP/IP ports to be opened for basic monitoring. Netkey Manager works on a HTTP level and therefore no lower level holes need to be opened.

Monitoring And Intelligent Error Response Management
Netkey Manager gives its users an analysis of kiosk up- and downtime, troubleshoots hardware glitches, and pinpoints any communication challenges. Clients are proactively alerted about problems with a kiosk before trouble starts, as well as being immediately notified when a problem does occur.

Users will also have the option to self-monitor their kiosks. Netkey Manager's elegant and easily understandable interface allows users to see at a glance if there are problems with any kiosk in an entire system. A green icon indicates that a kiosk is functioning properly, a red icon indicates a problem.

Content Management
The content module in Netkey Manager allows users to manage kiosk content via a centralized database. Using this service, users can modify and schedule the content of controlled sites, the look and feel of the system, advertising banners present on the system, and multimedia content. An added value allows for the localization of content for each kiosk based on particular preferences or local services.

Technical Design
Netkey Manager has been developed to be independent of specific kiosk technologies and peripheral devices. Netkey Manager has been designed to fully leverage the latest Web-based technology to capitalize on accuracy, scalability and flexibility. It has a highly extensible, component-based architecture and integration is facilitated through an XML-based interface. An extensible three-tiered architecture allows for the use of processing power of individual kiosks vs. a central server.

Netkey Manager is available immediately. Contact Netkey for pricing.

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