Remote Management is Catching on
By C. Niehus, CEO and Joint Owner of PROVISIO
If it weren’t for a handful of very specialised, and very clever, little software programs, public access terminals would be dropping like flies in hotels, banks, airports and soon across the globe. Kiosk software applications are the first line of defence against user manipulation, letting Joe Public access the info and services he needs, while making sure he (or his sticky-fingered three-year old)can’t accidentally wipe out your operating system into the bargain.
Traditional kiosk operators recognized the benefits of such software a long time ago, but until recently other administrators and IT managers have been slow to wakeup to the invaluable protection they can deliver across the board. Now, even big ISPs like Germany’s Freenet.de employ professional kiosk software on all their public access computers, like the desktops and laptops available at their booths at CeBIT 2004. As their systems could not be tampered with or misused in any way, Freenet was able to minimize their expenses for administrators and maintenance, showing an impressive saving in overall operating costs.Graphics chip manufacturer Nvidia Corporation is also a big exponent of kiosk software. The company takes part in over 50 fairs and exhibitions every year and runs up to 100 public demonstration computers, showcasing the latest PC games, tech demos and the performance of Nvidia’s next generation graphics chips. Without Kiosk software, Nvidia would find it hard to limit the number of users and prevent them from accessing system functions, but with the software installed, they are fully protected and can guarantees sufficient system performance for all their computers.
Look, no Hands!
One of the biggest advantages of kiosk software for non-kiosk users is the remote management solution, which allows operators to alter configurations from a remote location, load new contents onto the system and evaluate statistics on the activities of their users. Public access terminals are increasingly employed for internal corporate communications in manufacturing areas and with remote management, staff can log onto the system and use all unlocked software applications by means of their own individual user ID and password. They can also retrieve information issued by the management, register with Web based appointment calendars, and voice their opinion on in-house discussion boards.
When it comes to internal communications, German car giant BMW uses this technology to great effect. The company runs around 400internal Internet terminals, letting staff without an assigned terminal workspace full integration into the corporate communications process. Their system administrators use kiosk software to determine which contents, functions, and applications each staff member is allowed to access. It’s not just in the private sector that the benefits of kiosk software are finally being recognised. More and more public institutions has begun employing the applications to simplify the use of their workstations and to minimize technical problems, even in such unlikely places as Afghanistan Office, Kabul, and Camp Anaconda, Baghdad, where the US army has been employing kiosk software on their Internet computers since the start of 2004.
So it looks like we’re fast approaching the point where as soon as a new piece of kiosk software is developed, it’s just as likely to be loaded into a completely unrelated computer as into the traditional public access terminals it was written for. Good news for software providers, and good news for the kiosk industry as a whole.
The customers mentioned in the applications examples above rely on SiteKiosk as their prime kiosk software and remote management solution. Log on to http://www.sitekiosk.com to download a free trial version of the software and test all of the features described above.