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  4. Case study, Vodafone. Design di soluzione di chioschi multimediali

Vodafone

“What Fujitsu doesn't know about kiosks isn't worth knowing. It's relentless and does whatever it takes to make things happen.” Stuart Farrell – Development Manager, Vodafone UK

Regioni:

  • United Kingdom

Sfide:

  • Design and implement a self-service, kiosk-based solution

Benefici:

  • Improve productivity
  • Increase profit margins
  • Open new revenue streams
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Improve customer experience
  • Strengthen brand image

Customer's Challenge

On the 1st January 1985, the first mobile phone call was made by comedian Ernie Wise on the Vodafone network. Since then, Vodafone was the first to introduce SMS in 1994 and to make a 3G voice call in July 2001.

Vodafone UK now has 15.7 million customers and is part of the world's largest mobile community with standard roaming agreements in 182 countries and 16 countries with 3G. Vodafone's leadership in mobile voice and data communications has continued with the recent launch of the UK's first vending machine for mobile phones.

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Stuart Farrell, Development Manager, Vodafone UK, explains, “Vodafone is constantly looking for new ways to drive customer interaction and enhance the service that we offer. We had already been looking at the possibility of some kind of self-service system, when our logistics partner UTL suggested the idea of a vending machine. We found that people were not at all averse to spending a reasonable amount of money through a machine. In fact, most were often prepared to pay more for the convenience, but we wanted to make it really great value.

As Vodafone UK's preferred IT supplier for in-store support, Fujitsu already had a long-standing relationship with the company, so it understood its business and was a natural partner to develop the technology needed for the vending machines. Stuart Farrell adds, “Fujitsu has a huge amount of experience both in designing and implementing self-service, kiosk-based solutions, such as our own E-TopUp Swipe Card machines, and in working closely with other companies to provide an end-to-end service.

Fujitsu's Solution

The Quickphone vending is based around the Easy5000 vending machine from Italian company FAS, which incorporates significant technology additions and modifications from Fujitsu and Vianet to meet Vodafone UK's business and customer requirements.

In particular, it incorporates four touchscreens displays to provide relevant product and network information, a Chip & PIN system, a bank note reader to handle payment, and a receipt printer. It also uses 3G technology to inform Vodafone UK of sales and stock levels, so that the vending machine can used in even the most remote locations. At the heart of each machine is a compact and powerful Fujitsu PC. Fujitsu also provides first line support through its Vodafone Retail IT Support Desk and second line, on-site support using its field engineers.

The Quickphone vending machine is designed for those who know what they want, from a simple £30 Pay As You Talk phone to a Sim only pack costing just £5. Each machine offers the customer a choice of three phones, which will be changed on a monthly basis, in line with new models and the latest trends. The Quickphone kiosks also have the potential to sell a range of additional services.

Following an initial pilot in Vodafone stores in Manchester, the success of the Quickphone kiosk means that it could soon become a common sight everywhere from festivals to airports and train stations. Tom Devine, Head of Retail, Vodafone UK, comments, “Increasingly, more people know what they want from a phone and want to buy it when it suits them. Vodafone's Quickphone will revolutionise the industry by allowing self-service in, potentially, almost any location.”

“We're now looking at putting the whole management of the Quickphone programme through Fujitsu. The infrastructure is already in place and we have the confidence that Fujitsu has the ability to deliver or find solutions to any problem. This allows us more time to get on with the next 'big thing'.” says Stuart Farrell.

The Quickphone kiosk will enable Vodafone to:

  • Improve productivity - cuts out the time spent by store staff handling commodity purchases, which take an average of 9-10 minutes, freeing up resources to help other customers
  • Increase profit margins - significantly reduces the cost of sale especially amongst core pre-pay customers
  • Open new revenue streams - could enable expansion into new sales venues, markets and services
  • Reduce operating costs - secondary distribution channels can be used to achieve a local presence quickly and avoid the cost of new store openings
  • Improve customer experience - people now have a choice of how to purchase, so everyone benefits from faster and more efficient service
  • Strengthen brand image - will significantly increase Vodafone's visibility

Quickphone will allow us to expand Vodafone's footprint at minimal cost - even if it's in the middle of nowhere,” comments Stuart Farrell. “All sales are automatically reported and it only takes minutes to restock the machine, so it virtually runs itself, because the operating costs of the system are so low.

Our Approach

To ensure that the project was completed within just six months, Fujitsu worked closely with Vodafone UK and its other suppliers throughout the concept, design and planning of the Quickphone prototype, its testing and evaluation, payment integration and pilot installation.

The whole design process was very tricky, because we were shoehorning in components that simply weren't designed to fit in a vending machine,” explains Stuart Farrell. “For example, cooling was a real issue and we had to find especially low power and low emission components. However, thanks to Quickphone's ingenious design, we were able to include all our requirements.

Fujitsu's contribution was extremely important - what it doesn't know about kiosks isn't worth knowing. It's also relentless and does whatever it takes to make things happen.

Our Expertise

Having pioneered the design of kiosk-based ATMs and delivered over 15,000 kiosk solutions, Fujitsu has amassed a wealth of expertise in providing customised, end-to-end interactive kiosk technology to open up new revenue opportunities, reduce operational costs and increase customer satisfaction.

Stuart Farrell says, “Our relationship with Fujitsu is built with confidence, because it has always helped us achieve our goals, or explained why it wasn't possible. The main reason is that Fujitsu understands the way we work - our IT needs, procedures and business. It is willing to listen and has a drive and passion to ensure that what we want to do makes sense commercially. Additionally, Fujitsu has acted as a sounding board, providing us with a wealth of knowledge in this specialist area. The whole experience from concept to installation has been fantastic. I really would struggle to find anything negative to say about working with Fujitsu.