Home Datacenter Self service IT kiosks and vending machines could improve IT support satisfaction

Self service IT kiosks and vending machines could improve IT support satisfaction

by Philip Sellers

HP was showing off some of its new ideas for IT support at HP Discover.  The idea behind internal initiatives were to improve overall IT services to its internal customers – its employees.

One of the initiatives was setting up areas in offices similar to a genius bar in an Apple store where employees could bring their system in for help.  The idea was shown in video form on the Discover show floor.  Known as myITpc within HP, it is meant to keep support technicians in a single place to provide face to face support for offices that are large enough to warrant this.

For areas that did not have enough users, remote access stations with video chat, KVM and the vending machine provide 24/7 access for employees to get the support they needed.  The video chat allows a centralized help desk to support many more individuals without the need to travel.  For systems that won’t even boot, there is a KVM attached to allow for remote troubleshooting and recovery from critical failures.  But, sometimes the systems are too far gone and this is where the vending machines come into play.

The IT vending machines offer two things to employees within HP – first, it offers the ability to self-service for common parts that break or need replacement and second, it offers a depot for swapping out hardware and performing repairs.

The IT vending machine resembles a normal snack machine where users can swipe or tap an ID card and put in a code to have a particular part dispensed.  Everything is tracked by ID number and a code that is assigned for the transaction.

In addition, there are also lockers on the side.  If a user has a system that has completely failed, they can get a loaner system from a pre-assigned locker and place their broken machine the locker.  This gets the user back to work faster and allows for fewer pickups and drop-offs at remote locations for technicians along with less coordination with the employees.  Employees can come to the machine at their convenience to pickup the repaired system and return the loaner.

At upgrade or end-of-lease times, employees can pickup their new hardware from a locker and transition their data across on their own.  When done with the old system, they may return it to a locker for return and disposal.

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