Alveni .:. Kiosks & Digital Signage

FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS

PROVISIO’s SiteKiosk Software Provides an ADA-Compliant Solution

A project done under a partnership between PROVISIO and kiosk provider Alveni is assisting a Texas county in providing government services to all users.

The players

With offices in the United States and Europe, PROVISIO is a market-leading software development company providing turnkey secure kiosk, digital signage software and remote management solutions. PROVISIO’s SiteKiosk software has become the most commonly used secure kiosk software for public computers worldwide.

Alveni is a leading interactive kiosk technology provider for the Americas with offices in USA and Mexico. The company’s focus is on planning, developing and deploying strategic business solutions using the best in self-service interactive technology. With a manufacturing plant in Mexico, Alveni provides everything from the design of the kiosk to the deployment of the service.

The challenge

Alveni has been working with PROVISIO for more than 15 years, deploying kiosks incorporating PROVISIO SiteKiosk software. Some of those kiosks have been deployed in industrial plants, retail stores and other businesses for HR purposes, providing information such as paycheck stubs and accrued vacation time. Others provide check-in capabilities for delivery drivers or perform customer service and loyalty functions at car dealerships and financial firms.

And still others provide wayfinding and informational services in government buildings.

Fort Bend County, Texas, was looking for those sorts of capabilities when, in early 2018, officials began considering the deployment of informational kiosks in county buildings.

Fort Bend County is part of the Greater Houston area, with a population estimated at more than 750,000. The county was recognized in 2015 as the wealthiest county in Texas and was recently ranked by Forbes as the fifthfastest growing county in the United States.

So with such tremendous growth, the county needed a way to provide efficient service when members of the public visit various buildings for services including marriage licenses or passport applications, or to obtain copies of documents such as birth certificates.

“We needed to provide more on-site information to the public in a self-service
manner,” said Robyn Doughtie, applications and systems programming manager
with Fort Bend County.

“Oftentimes the public doesn’t know where to go once they’ve entered a county facility or they go to the wrong building,” Doughtie said. “They also do not know what services are offered in that building.”

And to ensure that service was provided equally to all residents, the county wanted a solution that was compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 19 percent of the country’s population has some form of disability. For Fort Bend County, that could be more than 140,000 people.

The solution

To help address the issue, Fort Bend County deployed kiosks from Alveni, with
PROVISIO’s SiteKiosk software. Officials reviewed presentations from a number of
kiosk vendors, and found that Alveni’s solution was the one that best met its needs. The county’s purchasing agent had previously worked with Alveni on a kiosk project for the state and was familiar with its capabilities.

The kiosk Alveni designed is a portrait-style 43-inch wall-mounted touchscreen featuring 1920 x 1080 resolution.

“The self-service kiosk was to provide an information center for the public and help them navigate better,” Doughtie said.

SiteKiosk allows deployers to securely present Web-based content such as HTML,
animations and videos on kiosks while restricting access to the operating system,
system settings, files, folders and applications. The kiosk is protected against unwanted manipulation from bootup to shutdown.

SiteKiosk along with PROVISIO’s SiteRemote software enables administrators to manage machines remotely, allowing them to view the status of terminals, update content and perform maintenance operations from a central workstation. In addition, the software provides a number of customizable analytics reports, including usage statistics and hardware status. SiteRemote is available in either a cloud-based or server-based version.

In the case of Fort Bend County, the kiosks feature an ADA-compliant skin PROVISO
designed specifically for this application. When users press a button at the lower right corner of the touchscreen interface navigation controls switch to the bottom of the screen, making them easily accessible for users in a wheelchair.

The results

Fort Bend County deployed its first kiosk in March 2018. To date, the county has placed three kiosks in its main Administration building and two in its Justice Center. And thanks to PROVISIO’s design work, the devices can be used by nearly everyone.
Officials have also purchased two additional kiosks that will go into high traffic areas.

“They allow people to easily find the services they’re looking for,” Doughtie said.

Officials are looking at ways to encourage greater use of the devices by the public,
including a redesign of the kiosk home page. The goal is not to have the kiosks
take the place of humans, but to enhance the experience the public encounters upon entering a building.

Plans are to expand placement of the devices to the majority of county buildings in the near future.

“For those that use them, the response has been very good,” Doughtie said. “We’re
hoping to alleviate confusion and offer a more efficient means of navigating the services offered by Fort Bend County.”

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