During spring 2009, T-Mobile and partners presented us with a very unique problem: How could they have the same cutting-edge content their web properties have, but on their retail kiosks?
T-Mobile’s existing portal software was a compilation of several third-party vendor software applications that controlled various elements (i.e. keyboard usage, internet traffic, etc), often times conflicting with other application management elements of the kiosks. Their network is, appropriately, very secure and rigid; so much so, however, that if any issues arose with a kiosk, they would usually be turned off by store employees, as help would require external resources being in the store in order to troubleshoot.
The final and perhaps the most important issue with T-Mobile’s retail infrastructure was the content itself and T-Mobile’s ability to update it. Individual kiosks would take anywhere from six weeks to two months to receive new content. Furthermore, this was applicable only for kiosks that were turned on and were in a state that was ready to receive new content via network deployment. Critical content updates could not be made in an appropriate timeframe, and as a result, most content was modified to remove any pricing that might change, legal offers, etc. Kiosk messaging and content was drastically different from T-Mobile’s website content and other media, presenting a rather difficult challenge to the retail department.