2017 has started off with such a blast, that again, we’ve found ourselves late with our traditional Our Year of Kiosks blog for yet another year. But I promise it is with good reason and you’ll see the recap in Our Year in Kiosks 2017 blog, when that time comes. (*wink, wink)
Last year also started off in a similar vein, with the launch of another kind – our site dedicated to showcasing our OEM solutions – usakiosks.com. The site was launched in January and features some of our customized kiosk units that were designed for clients in various industries including automated retail solutions, self-checkout solutions, healthcare solutions, locker systems and much more. The creation of the site was in response to a new industry trend which has seen an increase of automated vending kiosks used as engagement touchpoints that either complement a company’s physical locations or completely replaces them. It is a relatively new niche in the kiosk market space that doesn’t necessarily replace the traditional kiosk but offers a blend of both kiosk and vending machine components, resulting in larger, multi-functional units for businesses/industries that require such self-service solutions.
One of our OEM solutions was also showcased at one of the largest healthcare tradeshows – HIMSS. The event was held in our own backyard – Las Vegas and brought together more than 40,000 healthcare industry professionals to learn about and discuss health IT issues and view innovative solutions designed to transform healthcare. It was our first time exhibiting at the event and we were happy to share the experience with our partners Crane Payment Innovations (CPI), Patientway and CityBase. We were also excited to introduce a first-of-its-kind medical self-service and payment kiosk, the X11. This kiosk allows patients to register/check in for appointments as well as submit co-payments or pay for medical visits, all at one machine. It is a move away from the norm of a healthcare kiosk that only provides self-check in services.
The provision of easy-to-use, convenient payment facilities, seemed to be one of our themes for the year, as we became a member of Ingenico Group’s Unattended Partner Program, allowing us to offer our customers EMV-enabled unattended payment devices. The demand for EMV-enabled devices has and continues to increase as the deadline to ensure EMV compliant payment systems was October, 2015, making operators and businesses liable for fraudulent activity after that date. The Program was designed to facilitate integration among partners allowing them to offer turnkey unattended solutions for a wide variety of uses with secure EMV and NFC payment acceptance built in. It is a great ‘fit’ for our company as it provides unparalleled support, by making in-house engineering and support personnel available to our customers, while allowing us to offer our clients the latest payment methods, including Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Many of the initiatives we introduced throughout the year were all in an effort to provide a wide range of options and services to our clients. These initiatives could only be supported by dedicated and experienced staff and we realized with our growing client base that we also needed to expand our team. We were happy to welcome Rick Kobal and Ron Graves to the SlabbKiosks family.
Rick worked with one of the largest component suppliers for the industry for the past five years before joining SlabbKiosks and acquired an in-depth understanding of the industry’s dynamics including changes in end user requirements that have inevitably propelled hardware development. He has and continues to prove to be a great asset to the sales team.
Ron has extensive sales experience, gained from working in this field for the past fifteen (15) years. He is also no stranger to the kiosk industry, having spent five (5) years working with Fortune 500 clients, as well as, local, state, and federal government agencies to assess, deploy and manage their various kiosk projects. This provided him with in-depth knowledge of technological advances and new trends within the industry and has made his move to SlabbKiosks a natural fit.
It was not a bad way to end the year and judging from how this year is starting, we’re looking forward to letting you know about many other milestones in the SlabbKiosks journey.