December 18, 2005

Middle East Firm Launches Digital Self-Service Kiosk Business

The trend for Middle East IT distributors to diversify their business activities shows no signs of abating. Aptec Holdings, the parent company behind Aptecs Middle East distribution business, has launched its latest new venture, Aptec Kiosk Services (AKS). {News: Aptec launches kiosk business unit}

The new company plans to introduce the digital self-service concept to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region. AKS has joined forces with US-based Kiosk Information Systems, an established leader in the design and manufacturing of indoor and outdoor kiosks, to launch its new venture, which will be based in DIC.

This is a move towards the automation of services in the region. Users can order food, goods, tickets for travel or events, pay bills, checkout, fill forms, find information efficiently and quickly. They dont have to stand in ticketing queues anymore. One can literally have a post office anywhere in a space as small as phone booth. Thats all on top of internet browsing, information and digital media services, said Hazem Adel, project manager at AKS.

AKS hopes to position itself as a leading kiosk provider in the region offering a build-to-order assembly service. In addition, AKS will offer customers a remote monitoring and support service through a network operating centre (NOC), which will oversee and monitor the deployed kiosks.

My vision for AKS is to make sure that customers in the region have the state of the art technology in self-service. The customers are now computer literate and with enough awareness to deal with a self-serviced station that can deliver their needs in just few clicks. This will save them time that they sure need these days. With the increasing speed of DSL and with our new security solutions, we envisage that our kiosk solutions will open new opportunities for businesses, introduce substantial cost savings and open new horizons in distribution. Aptec Kiosks will be supported by Aptecs expanding network of service centres, which offers a new level of service under the Aptec Guarantee banner, added Dr. Ali Baghdadi, CEO at Aptec Holdings.

Peter Snyder, managing director of Kiosk Information Systems is upbeat about the potential for the new venture: Our partnership with Aptec brings to the GCC markets the best-of-breed in the kiosk industry. The ability of Aptec to bring designed and manufactured kiosk systems products and custom kiosk design capabilities to the GCC venues plus their ability to bring kiosk support services to install, maintain and troubleshoot kiosk problems should they arise, is a much needed asset in the region and they will have our maximum support in this endeavour.

Bahaa Salah, general manager and sales director at Aptec reckons that the opportunity for growth in kiosk sales in the region is immense, citing the fact that there are already some 80,000 kiosks in North America and 70,000 in Europe. In comparison, uptake in the Middle East has been limited to date.

Kiosk Information Systems client list is certainly impressive, including McDonalds, Citibank, IBM, Disney, WalMart, Sony and Mercedes Benz. The company has produced thousands of kiosks running over 900 different applications.

Posted by keefner at December 18, 2005 01:18 PM