Home spacer</td  

spacer Companies spacer News spacer Questions spacer Help
  NewsTip:    spacer

News Release

Editors Note -- In our opinion this project is particularly noteworthy. Here are some of the highlights of this story

  1. The 160+ kiosks were all deployed without a pilot and were deployed simultaneously.
  2. All of the content development, interface to the centralized database software, loading the software was done remotely (from our home office) No one went on site to install the kiosks, even though over 40 MB of content had to be downloaded.
  3. This is the largest Linux deployment of kiosks to date.
  4. New features to the kiosks are added in seconds and they have updated all of the kiosks simulataneously in minutes.
Recently while in transit we visited a Travel Center and observed first hand the truckers using the kiosk and using quite happily. The personnel there were very enthusiastic as to the performance of the kiosks. The TA we visited handles 300 to 500 trucks a days. Bear in mind there are over 150+ of these centers across the country.

SAN DIEGO, CA -- October 2000 --

Travel Centers of America and Apunix Computer Services announce the highly successful launch of TravelCenter's new RoadKing Club Customer Loyalty Program.

The RoadKing Club program was designed for TA's most loyal professional truck drivers and gives them access to the premier trucker rewards program in the industry. Drivers who fuel at any of its locations across the United States receive valuable points called RoadMiles which may be redeemed in TA's store, restaurant, or repair shop centers.

Drivers access their account by using the easy-to-use RoadMile Marker kiosk located at each TA location. After scanning either their card or key-tag they can instantly check their RoadMile balance, redeem RoadMiles by printing instant redemption certificates, or edit their personal profile. In addition, drivers can check the number of shower credits they have earned from their fuel purchases and redeem and print coupons for a free shower.

The national rollout for this program was performed simultaneously to all 160 TravelCenter sites coast-to-coast. This program is unique in that all of the content creation, content updates, and database interfacing was done remotely by Apunix in San Diego, California. All the RoadMile Marker kiosks access a central Oracle database server at TA's corporate headquarters in Westlake, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb.

The project was an ambitious undertaking in that the launch date was fixed to coincide with a major national advertising campaign announcing the start of RoadKing Club and therefore there was no opportunity for a pilot kiosk deployment. Since content development had to overlap with the building and shipping of the kiosks, they were shipped preintegrated to the sites with only test software loaded. The kiosks had to be plug-and-play as there was no on-site technical expertise available. The kiosks were unloaded, hooked up, remotely installed, tested, and then turned on for public use within a very tight time frame.

A total of four ambitious and critical processes occurred in parallel. One was content creation for the kiosks including both graphics and interfacing to TA's new Oracle loyalty database running at TA corporate headquarters. Second, was the upgrade to TravelCenter's diesel fuel island system which records all fuel transactions and loyalty point accumulation in the database in real time. Third, the TA Website was upgraded, and fourth the kiosks were preintegrated and shipped. At the end, the kiosk content and software was remotely uploaded onto each of the kiosks and installed across the country just days prior to launch. The installation of all new software and content was automated and occurred by typing a single command which caused up to 20 kiosks at a time to be updated in parallel. Over 80 MB of data was transferred to each of the kiosks without user intervention and without incident in less than 48 hours.

After only one day of minor fixes everything was up and running smoothly. The kiosks are remotely managed and minor content updates can be typically accomplished in less than four minutes from a central server via a 56K frame relay network.

The kiosk content was created using Apunix's Kiosk Software for the Java Platform. The kiosks are using the Linux Operating System, Mandrake Version 7.1. Apunix was the first company to deploy kiosks on this platform last year. TravelCenters of America is the largest Linux deployment to date. The kiosks utilize Elo Touchscreen Monitors, Swecoin Printers and Metrologic Bar Code Scanners. The enclosures were designed and built by Gibco Kiosks.

According to Bill Bartkus, Vice President of Systems at TA,"The RoadKing Club program is very important to our professional truck drivers. TA wants to reward its loyal drivers with a generous and dynamic program. Apunix has created a dynamic eye catching kiosk in record time that will be attractive to our drivers. Apunix's toolkit and remote management capability will allow us to easily adapt the program to the drivers needs. Apunix was chosen as TravelCenter's partner because of its reputation of delivering industry leading solutions. Their ability to integrate database content, and their remote management tools are key to the success of the program."

Sylvia Berens, Vice President of Apunix says: "We are excited to have completed our largest one time turnkey system. The remote management of the project saved both time and money, and made it possible to deploy the kiosks in what we believe is one of the most ambitious time schedules in the kiosk industry. The Linux platform was chosen not only because of its robustness and reliability but its ability to be easily administered and remotely updated."

Apunix is the leader in Java based kiosk technology. Apunix has received the Frost and Sullivan's Year 2000 Marketing Engineering Innovation Award for its industry leading approach to kiosk technology. Being first is not new to Apunix as it was the first company to deploy a commercial Java based kiosk solution, the first to use true thin client technology for kiosks and the first Kiosk deployment under the Linux platform.



TravelCenters of America, headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, is the largest network of full-service travel centers in the country, employing 13,000 people at 160 facilities in 40 states (www.tatravelcenters.com.

Apunix was founded in 1981 and has a twenty-year history of inventing leading edge software solutions for UNIX-based platforms such as Solaris and Linux. Apunix headquarters are in San Diego, California and has a sales office in Las Vegas.

Apunix has a strong team of Java software developers as well as a talented graphics department. Apunix has won numerous awards for its technology over the course of time and was the leader in adapting Java and true thin client computing technologies. Apunix was awarded industry analysts Frost and Sullivan the market engineering innovation award for its leading edge technology. Apunix's vast experience with UNIX based systems makes it unique in its ability to leverage UNIX's renown reliability, stability, and maintainability in the kiosk marketplace.
Visit www.apunix.com for more information.

Request For Information
Click Here to send us form-qualified specifications for projects. We'll distribute to members.

Refer Kiosks.Org
Tell your friends about this page!

Join our E-Mail Newsletter
Click Here and send blank email. The server will automatically send you a confirmation message. Once you reply, you'll be added to the list.

spacer Companies spacer News spacer Questions spacer Help

       © 2000 Kiosks.Org.
       All Rights Reserved.

Contact Us