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Solution Summary:

Initial discovery sessions revealed that there were opportunities for improvement in several different areas. We evaluated each challenge that was in place and began to formulate ideas for simple and effective ways that would provide solutions to these challenges.

Our approach was to create an elegant, all-in-one solution that would manage kiosks and user interaction, and simultaneously replace the handful of ad-hoc programs that were controlling the experience at that time. The primary concern was kiosk security and the integrity of the store’s network, as well as the retail network as a whole. Our secondary concern was how we could improve the current system so that potential kiosk-specific issues may be reported, proactively fixed, and/or remedied remotely.

The question that needed to be addressed was: How could we replace all existing kiosk software with a more streamlined solution that is both manageable and ready for enterprise-level usage and bandwidth?

After conducting months of research, we determined that it would be highly beneficial to use a software solution from a company with a very focused product called “Kioware”. We flew to meet with the software’s creators to confirm that all of the features we would need would be addressed. Once we fully vetted the solution, we presented it to T-Mobile. Our recommendation was approved and we began to implement our solution.

Our next task to be addressed was to create content that would generate a highly engaging and rich interactive experience that would showcase the company’s offerings and product catalog.

While interactive, this content was limited due to pricing and legal restrictions, as well as available plugins, etc. There was also a sharp contrast
between the kiosk content and the unified branding and design of the products T-Mobile was showing via print, web and television.

This is where the new content started. Originally, HTML/Flash/.NET-driven, this was later updated to purely Flash
to provide even more fully-interactive and engaging content structure.

This is the content as it is today. A fully-engaging, media rich experience full of high-definition video, engaging images and product catalogs.

After the new content was defined and created, we needed to architect an efficient and elegant way to deliver it. As we learned through our discovery sessions, delivery required the ability to deploy geographically-based content to various regions, stores, as well as individual kiosks.

This requirement was another challenge that our software recommendation was able to address. While setting up geographical groupings, we would be able to deliver content based on time zones for staggered deployment. We had the option to group any combination of kiosks together or deliver individual kiosk content.

We setup the management software on three redundant servers with a T-Mobile technology partner. This management software was able to direct any combination of kiosks what content they should have and what they should download. The kiosks would “check-in” every 15 minutes to see if there was any new content they should be downloading and also to verify that their version was the most current. This includes kiosks that were powered off during a content delivery phase. Once turned back on, the kiosk would receive the appropriate content.

With this new infrastructure in place, content updates now take 2-15 minutes, depending on the individual kiosk’s internet connection. In addition to this time, all kiosks in the US can be updated within one hour, providing a highly efficient means for delivering critical updates.

Once the new content was on the kiosks, we then addressed tracking usage/inactivity. Presently, each kiosk updates the servers with their daily usage statistics. This provides an in-depth analysis of how long customers are using the kiosks and where they are spending their time. Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – is the ability to view content traversal paths customers take. This provides a further analysis into what specific content is engaging and appealing to customers.

As of 2011, there are over 3,000 kiosks and video walls within T-Mobile stores across the US, running this new software, up-to-date content.

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