A couple of years ago, enterprises have started to discover scenarios for tablet usage, but so far only a few office scenarios can be experienced in reality. But tablets are not only suitable for office jobs – there are many scenarios where tablets can be useful, especially in kiosk scenarios. In this context, “kiosk” describes a massively restricted usage scenario cut down for very few purposes. In the field, this typically means that just one app is running full-screen while all other apps as well as the device’s settings are hidden from the end user. If businesses are not taking advantage, they could very well be missing out on a ton of business opportunities, potential sales, and untapped marketing channels.
There are a couple of typical use cases for tablets in a kiosk mode can improve businesses.
• Point of Sales – Checkout in shops and for delivery personnel
• Industry 4.0 – Machine operation terminals
• Healthcare – Patient cards for medical personnel
• Education – Student e-learning solutions
• Hospitality/Hotels – Checklists for service managers
• General business – Document sharing, i.e. during meetings
• Conferences/Events – Participants information systems
• Airplanes/Transportation – Media center for travelers
This is just a subset of use cases, but it shows the improvement potential for business processes in different industries.
The market shows that a lot of customers are starting to think about kiosk scenarios for their businesses but are not aware of the challenges. There are even naive approaches, where companies buy thousands of low-budget Android tablets and not really have a plan how to manage these devices and how to deploy the software they need.
The main challenges in these scenarios are:
• Lock down the endpoint
• Limit functionality
• Simplify user experience
• Remote support/control
• Manage infrastructure flexibly
• Secure communication
• Secure against malicious/accidental misuse
Why Mobile Device Management is a necessity for kiosk scenarios
To master the aforementioned challenges, a modern Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution is necessary. The main purpose of an MDM is of course the lockdown of the devices. Tablets need to be restricted in different ways. First of all, many system features like task manager, system bar, notification bar and settings need to be disabled, as well as any hard and soft keys the device may have. The second task is to push the apps onto the devices and keep them up to date, no matter if they are native apps, web apps or just simple shortcuts to websites. In addition to system and app management, classic configuration management has to be performed: WiFi settings, VPN or LDAP/AD accounts need to be remotely configured and managed. Especially if business critical data is saved on the device, remote locking and wiping are “must” features of the MDM solution. Additional security issues can be avoided by encrypting the traffic to and from the device with SSL. An app or data container can be used to keep the data on the device safe. To monitor the status of the devices, information about their compliance state, device attributes, history and usage needs to be aggregated in a backend interface. Last but not least, the users need to be supported in different ways. The reduced complexity because of disabled features is a first step, but a communication feature to the support team, via chat or remote view (or even remote control) will help enhance usability. A software branding with the corporate identity can further encourage the user.
All things considered, kiosk solutions can improve a lot of business processes which were performed manually in the past, but they have to be managed correctly. It is definitely not enough to buy low-budget tablets and install an app on them. The correct management software needs to be evaluated and tested with a real device. Writing down requirements and choosing the software wisely before buying devices is the name of the game.
Download the key essentials of this article here. Relution Kiosk Mode