Kiosk Financing available from IBM

If you’ve been thinking about implementing a self service kiosk program for your business, but  the capital expenditure may not be in your budget at the moment, you’ll be happy to hear that financing is available from IBM Global Finance division for IBM and non-IBM hardware, software, services and maintenance.   That means that they could help finance your kiosk hardware, software from Electronic Art and even the installation / deployment and ongoing maintenance contracts.   By paying in monthly installments for the entire project, your annual cost to implement the project is much, much less than paying for the entire project out of pocket this year.   Now you can’t afford NOT to move forward with your self service initiatives to grow your business and keep your satisfied customers!

Click here to Find out more about IBM financing and for information on their convenient pay system.

As IBM business partners, Electronic Art can help implement IBM’s superb kiosk hardware and provide custom kiosk software programs such as customer loyalty card programs, health care applications, lead generation solutions, retail and hospitality kiosk applications and so much more.  Contact us today for more information.  513-321-1771 or use our contact form .

KioskCom Las Vegas 2009 Review

The Kioskcom.com show last week was really good.  We were nervous going into it because of the economy.  We wondered if customers would come out to the show.  We were happy to see a great turn out by VP’s and decision makers with real projects in hand.  In years past you would see multiple team members from a brand attend, perhaps marketing folks, IT staff and VP’s.  Kind of a “design by committee” mentality. But this year, they seemed to not need to bring the whole committee out, just the decision makers, which all of the vendors appreciated.  We met with folks from Motorolla, Ikea, Target, Ceasars Palace, Delta, American Airlines and many more.

Our booth showcased the new Lobstr application on a 37″ touch screen, the new Zebra Kiosk Print Station with our “Hike & Bike” kiosk concept,  as well as our demo kiosk of various past customer implementations.  Our partners at 5Point also showcased Lobstr on their newest enclosure for Interactive Digital Signage (IDS) Platform, the Concierge.  Our app looked so cool on their 40″ screens that we are partnering with them to have this as our default hardware option for Lobstr. More to come on that soon.

Our booth chotsky was a full pack of Orbitz gum.  I figured it was better than most of the squeeze balls and pens given out by many vendors.  And also the obvious reason which is that I was tired of talking to people with bad breath.   Hmmm, I think Orbitz just found their next commercial idea!  Now if only I could brand the packaging with my company information it would have been perfect.

The educational break out sessions and tech talks were a big hit with attendees.  DT Research gave a session on “Interactive Digital Merchandising: Expanding brand and product impact and creating customer engagement.” which is a topic we can get behind.  Andrew Fischer did a great job in this session.   Another session was titled “Return on Message – Optimizing your digital signage network for success. ” which was giving by Keith Kelson who is the Chairman of the Content Best Practices committee of the Digital Signage Association along with Roger Sanford of the MediaTile company.  Return on Message (ROM) is the new buzzword in our industry and a methodology that  provides standards based processes to guide companies through complex variables that must be considered for a successful digital signage deployment.   This also showcased many of the best practices laid out by the association in the past years.

Speaking of the DSA (Digital Signage Association) of which I sit on the advisory board: we had our board meeting the night before the show at the M resort just south of the strip.  This new Casino / Hotel was only 62 days old and our board members were treated to a behind the scenes tour of the facility and the technology used by their VP of IT services.  I doubt I will ever get to see the NOC and security areas of another Casino in my lifetime, it was very interesting to see and learn about how they operate and how they use Digital Signage for both customer facing areas of the facility and also employee facing messages.  I appreciate the hospitality of the M Resort in Las Vegas.   During this meeting we did a review of several committees, discussed goals, events and recapped the past year’s success.  I am now the chairman of the PR & Marketing committee for the Digital Signage Association.   We have some good people on the committee already, so I’m excited about working with them to help promote the association, drive awareness and education, and help increase membership of the DSA.

As for new technology, there was a lot of the same hardware at the show that has been seen before.  I got a sneak peak at a new product from MicroVision which is a Pico Projector (ultra small projector) about the size of an Iphone.  Useful in our industry for some small digital signage applications for rear projection, etc.  However the brightness and resolution are the only current drawbacks I could see.  This may be addressed in the second and third generations of this unique laser projector called ShowWX.  See their site for a preview and watch for it to be launched later this year.  The projector is unique becuase of an ultra tiny red, blue & green laser that allows the image to be in focus at any distance.  It was really nice, but the first generation will likely be a consumer model.  They are interested in finding new products they could embed the engine into, such as a cell phone, or other device.

We enjoyed the opportunities to talk with many customers about their projects, hardware or software needs and to explain to them once again, that no… we are not THAT Electronic Arts company in California.   The “S” at the end of their name is short for dollar signs and no, our firm does not make games for the Playstation or Nintendo.   You have to love our name, but the similarities do make it confusing.  I’m pretty sure the lady at the Paris Casino was treating me really good because she thought that was our company when she saw my shirt.  For a free drink… I didn’t correct her.

Upcoming Kiosk / Digital Signage Tradeshow Preview

It’s that time again, we are exhibiting at the KioskCom Self Service Expo in Las Vegas on May 6th & 7th, 2009. I think this is our 7th time exhibiting at the show which is in Vegas in the springtime and NYC in the fall. The show is packed with all of the vendors in the Kiosk and Digital Signage industry showing off their latest hardware, software, accessories and giving seminars and speeches. It’s a good show to attend to become familiar with the industry and what is available for your projects. Many of our vendors are there such as Zebra Printers, Site Kiosk, Scala, LG, Samsung and more.

Lobstr Directory ServiceWe use the show to exhibit recent software apps and designs to show prospects the quality of work we can do and showcase new services or products. In this year’s booth we have a new digital signage way finding service targeted towards property managers, architects and developers called  Lobstr. This turnkey interactive office directory solution is a great way to attract new tenants, retain existing tenants, set your buildings apart from the competition and provide great service to your guests and visitors. A low cost enables the software and touch screen LCD panels to be installed quickly and easily. The booth demo will have a 37″ touch LCD mounted on a floor mount that enables you to rotate from landscape to portrait mode easily.

We are also showing the new Zebra Kiosk Print Station. The new product can be wall mounted or table top mounted to provide printing capabilities to your kiosk terminal in a very small footprint. Made by Zebra, who manufactures printers that are used in retail, POS, and many kiosks. As Zebra VAR partners we first saw the kiosk print station at the National Retail Federation show back in January (NRF in NYC).  I think this will be a big hit with applications such as gift registries, loyalty card programs, product locators and HR applications. Come see our booth #829 to see a demo. And, those of you who subscribe to our E-Newsletter get a special promo price this month to kick it off!

vzwstorm_lg1Also in our booth at the KioskCom tradeshow is the IBM AnyPlace kiosk showcasing some of our past kiosk applications from clients such as Verizon, Citrucel, Charbroil Grills, Os-Cal, BlackBerry and more. The IBM AnyPlace kiosk is a retail hardened all-in-one touch screen kiosk that has most of the features required for kiosk applications such as IR glass touch screen, Mag card reader, barcode scanner,  Wifi, built in precense sensor, stereo speakers, Express card slot for cellular broadband connectivity, and Windows XP embedded. The entire PC and screen are built in to one hardware component the size of a large laptop. This enables it to be wall , pole , desktop mounted or integrated into an enclosure. It truely can be mounted just about Any Place!  In the past we’ve combined it with various printers, mounted it on retail end-caps and even combined it with medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs, pedometers and weight scales to facilitate client needs. What can we do for you? Come see it at the KioskCom Self Service Expo.

If you are considering going to the show, post a comment below or let one of our staff know and we’ll be happy to send you free tickets good for free admission to the expo. The show management, JD Events, does a great job every year and we’ve seen the list of registered attendees. It should be another great show!

Tradeshows are work! But you're worth it.
Tradeshows are work! But you’re worth it.

IBM Financing Makes It Easy To Invest Now

With the credit crisis and market volatility, you may be holding off on purchasing hardware right now, but IBM Global Financing is making it easy for our customers to buy with a 3 month deferral on payment, or a leasing program that can give you a low monthly rate.  Leasing is great because you can expense the costs each year in full, versus depreciating the capital purchase over 5-7 years.  And you can always upgrade at the end of the lease, which is useful with technology.

See IBM’s announcment and details here:

http://www-03.ibm.com/financing/partner/promotions/esa.html 

So if you are thinking of purchasing or leasing kiosk technology, contact Tim or Rob at Electronic Art and we will walk you through the process, and help make the financing easy.

From the article, benefits of leasing:

Client benefits
  • Leasing reduces risk and provides a hedge against technology obsolescence
  • Leasing offers payment and term flexibility tailored to match either project or revenue-generation milestones
  • Leasing preserves cash and credit lines for more strategic investments such as facilities expansion, increased research and development, sales force expansion or receivables financing
  • Leasing enables more acquisitions within their current budget
  • Leasing accelerates implementation of economically attractive new technologies
  • Leasing reduces total cost of ownership and improves price-performance Leasing improves key financial measurements such as return on assets or debt-to-equity ratios