Allmerica Financial Saves Over $1 million/yr With WebRocker Intranet Kiosks
Worcester, MA (August 26, 1998) - Allmerica Financial (www.allmerica.com) has deployed ten Intranet kiosks to provide their employees with access to a host of on-line services including 401k information, company news, and employee handbooks. Allmerica is so determined to wean employees from the Paper Age and move them on-line, that the only way an employee can apply for a job within Allmerica is to do it through the company Intranet. The results: Employees love the empowerment offered by kiosks, and management is saving a ton of money.
"Using these kiosks, we expect to save in excess of $1 million over the next twelve months," said Gary Simeone, Allmerica's Assistant Vice President of Information Services. The cost savings will benefit both IS and HR departments. By providing Intranet access in ten targeted locations with the kiosks, instead of on the 4,000 desktops in their Worcester offices, Allmerica's IS Dept. is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on data and system maintenance. Also important is the fact that employees without access to a PC, e.g., custodial and maintenance staff, now have access to the same resources other employees do. Human Resources will reap the cost savings offered by the kiosks by eliminating the high printing and distribution costs of employee handbooks, directories and job postings. Another result of employees being required to use the kiosks for job applications is a reduction of real-time demands upon the HR staff. Access to all of these Intranet services are only a touch away for every Allmerica employee.
The kiosk systems were designed and manufactured by WebRocker, Inc. (www.webrocker.com). Allmerica's kiosks are equipped with 17" touch screens, ruggedized membrane keyboards and stereo speakers. WebRocker developed a secure and robust interface to Allmerica's Intranet, thereby prohibiting employees access to system functions. Telephones are also integrated with the kiosks, and provide employees with a hotline to the IS Help Desk in case they have questions while browsing. Allmerica designed their Intranet so that even phobics would find it easy to use. WebRocker's kiosk software provided the elements of security and reliability which are crucial for this project to succeed.
Security and reliability are hallmarks at this Massachusetts-based kiosk company. Skip King, WebRocker's founder and CEO said, "We realize that our kiosks are only valuable to our clients when they work. We have eliminated the reliability issues which have plagued kiosks, by building a number of layers of security and reliability into our kiosk software." For example, keyboard blocking software prohibits the use of function keys and Ctrl+Alt+Del, applications restart upon failure either by initiating a complete system shutdown and reboot, or alarming WebRocker's Network Operations Center to dispatch service personnel, depending on the severity of the problem. So far, these systems have provided Allmerica with continuous, trouble free operation. "Previously, we deployed several (workstations) to provide Intranet access, and we were getting five or six trouble tickets per machine per day," claims Simeone. "Now that we have installed these new WebRocker kiosks, our systems never go down."
The more companies utilize Intranets to empower their employees, and save on data maintenance and printing, the more attractive interactive kiosk systems become as a means for employees to gain control of their professional lives, and save the corporation money. Allmerica and WebRocker's story strongly supports this.
Allmerica Financial, in Worcester, MA, is the principal holding company for the Allmerica Financial companies, a diversified group of insurance and financial services companies which include Allmerica Financial Life Insurance and Annuity Company, Citizens Corporation (NYSE: CZC), Citizens Insurance Company of America, First Allmerica Financial Life Insurance Company, and The Hanover Insurance Company. The Allmerica Financial companies provide life insurance, individual and group fixed and variable annuities, retirement income, asset accumulation, corporate risk management, property/casualty, and other financial security services to individual and institutional clients throughout the country. Allmerica Financial is a Fortune 500 company. Contact: Michael F. Buckley, Director, Public Information of Allmerica Financial Corporation, 508-855-3099
WebRocker, in Stow, MA, designs, manufactures, installs, integrates, and maintains interactive kiosk systems, and develops kiosk software. Clients include AGENCY.COM, Allmerica Financial, Digital, Lucent Technologies, Mail Boxes Etc. and Regal Hotels.
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