Article
October 11, 2023

How Can Kiosk Monitoring Minimize Downtime?

Kiosk monitoring software can detect issues, remotely resolve issues, and automate self-healing, minimizing downtime for smoother business operations

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Self-service kiosks are rapidly being deployed in sectors like retail, dining, and hospitality. 

Factors such as –  labor shortages, preference for contactless transactions, and more dependable technology are all driving forces for increased adoption. Another notable advancement that has enabled operators to expand their use of kiosks is kiosk monitoring software.

Recent research highlights that businesses with advanced kiosk monitoring software experience 47% fewer customer complaints and calls about kiosk malfunctions.

 

Furthermore, businesses saw a 17% reduction in incidents that require a technician to attend and fix a malfunctioning kiosk. Together, these improvements led to reduced kiosk downtime and smoother operations. 

But, what exactly is kiosk monitoring software?

What is Kiosk Monitoring Software?

What is Kiosk Monitoring Software?

Kiosk monitoring software can also be referred to as a kiosk management system. It is a broad category of software that helps technical teams support and maintain kiosks remotely. 

Kiosk Monitoring Software encompasses a wide range of product capabilities, some of which are combined into a single software platform. Let's break down the primary capabilities into two groups: monitoring and management.

1. Kiosk Monitoring:

  • Online/Offline Monitoring: Often termed "heartbeat monitoring," this basic feature provides updates on the kiosk's status at regular intervals. If a kiosk fails to report its status, a heartbeat checks in, and the software typically sends an alert about the potential offline issues. 
  • Peripheral Monitoring: While many kiosks may be simple tablets running a browser, others have peripheral devices like printers, scanners, cameras, and payment devices. Observability on the status of these peripherals is crucial for ensuring the kiosk's consistent operation and can significantly minimize downtime. 
  • Reporting and Analytics: This functionality offers historical insights on kiosk performance metrics, such as uptime and usage. Some Kiosk Monitoring Software will have customizable dashboards to present this data, and users can typically export these metrics to Excel for in-depth analysis.

2. Kiosk Management:

  • Configuration Management: This involves overseeing kiosk statuses based on various configuration settings, including software versions, operating system updates, and kiosk modes.
  • Remote Access and Actions: This feature allows users to access the kiosk remotely as though they were physically present. For Windows kiosks, popular tools include Splashtop, TeamViewer, and LogMeIn, whereas Linux kiosks often rely on remote SSH tools. Some kiosk management platforms, such as Canopy, have built-in remote access and SSH capabilities. 
  • Software Updates: The software can remotely deploy updates to the kiosk, whether it's for the main application or the operating system environment.
  • Advanced Features: High-end kiosk management tools often incorporate features like self-healing automation, remote power cycles, and resets for peripheral devices. These functionalities enhance the kiosk's uptime by enabling remote and automatic restorations. This means fewer customer complaints and a reduced need for onsite technicians.

In simple terms, kiosk monitoring software or kiosk management systems are tools designed to support and maintain large fleets of unattended kiosks remotely. They monitor the kiosk's overall health, including any peripheral devices. Additionally, they provide remote management capabilities, such as remote access and software updates, resolving downtime issues when they are spotted.

How Can Kiosk Monitoring Minimize Downtime?

Downtime is a function of adding – 1) the time taken to detect an issue, 2) the duration it waits in a support queue, and 3) the actual time required for effective resolution. You can  download our whitepaper on unlocking uptime which dives deep into the common root causes of downtime for more information. 

Full-service kiosk monitoring software, like Canopy, can help shorten the duration of each of these variables, thereby reducing overall downtime.

1. Proactively Identify Issues 

With real-time kiosk monitoring, businesses can identify potential kiosk problems before they are escalated. The "heartbeat monitoring" feature provides real-time status updates on kiosk health. If a kiosk doesn't report its status, alerts are sent out, allowing technical support teams to take immediate action. Monitoring the status of peripherals, software services, and hardware metrics such as CPU and memory usage provides technical teams with insights into potential issues or early signs of failure. Early detection will identify potential issues faster, reducing a key driver of downtime. This proactive approach also allows you to address problems before a customer encounters a negative experience. 

2. Remotely Resolves Issues 

Enhancing remote resolution capabilities is a significant advantage of kiosk management software and another component to reducing kiosk downtime. In the past, resolving a malfunction would frequently require sending a technician or employee onsite, a time-consuming and costly process. 

But with kiosk monitoring software, support technicians can frequently resolve issues from a remote location and remove the need to have someone physically touch the kiosk or wait for a technician to get on-site to fix the kiosk. Enhanced remote resolution tools, including remote access, not only lead to immediate problem-solving but also help reduce the amount of time an issue sits in the support queue, further minimizing downtime.

3. Automate Self-Healing 

One of the standout features of advanced kiosk management software, like Canopy, is the ability to automate self-healing. 

If the system detects a malfunction, it can attempt to rectify the problem on its own. This could mean resetting a peripheral device or restarting a particular software service. The beauty of Canopy’s technology in this realm is its ability to take action without human intervention, thus reducing the average time to resolution through immediate action and giving technical support resources more time back in their day to focus on critical operations vs. routine resolution workflows.

Businesses that heavily leverage automation have seen 1,000s of hours saved by their support team each month. 

Conclusion 

With more self-service kiosks being deployed every day, ensuring these solutions run smoothly is critical. 

With the evolution of kiosk monitoring software and kiosk management systems, businesses are better equipped to handle issues proactively, resolve problems remotely, and automate solutions to a wide range of common malfunctions. 

Leveraging Kiosk Monitoring and Management software, like Canopy, will help your team minimize downtime and provide end customers with an unparalleled experience.

If you're interested in harnessing the power of Canopy to minimize kiosk downtime, get started today! If you want to keep researching, download our whitepaper on unlocking uptime which dives deep into the common root causes of downtime.