November 2, 2010, (updated Nov 5): Whitech Software Solutions has announced the release of its next generation Photo.Teller kiosk software; rebadged as Imagine, promising pre-Christmas availability to retailers.
The all-new Imagine Kiosk software is a based on the successful Imagine web service, offered through retail chains such as Big W and Harvey Norman, with websites hosted by Fujifilm.
‘Whitech’s previous version of Photo.Teller software has had a major impact and stronghold on the photo kiosk market for many years and is considered by many as an industry standard by which all others offerings are compared,’ said Steve Delnawaz, managing director of Whitech (pictured right).
‘Our kiosk applications are the market leaders and are installed on thousands of kiosks across retail in Australia.’
Whitech says operators will be able to manage all promotional tools and marketing capabilities and general management across all Imagine Kiosks and the related Imagine applications suite with a single web-based administration tool. There is ‘minimal reliance on the internet at the kiosk level in-store or with the desktop version also; the internet is only used when required for applications updates or asset changes provided by Whitech and its partners globally.’
Delnawaz noted that the new software allows consumers to easily start an order with Imagine Web at home and finish and pay at the retail kiosk in-store, or vice versa.
‘It also allows for sharing of images between Imagine kiosks and related applications as well as all the assets used to create the photo gifts order. The resulting customers orders will also be shared and accessible between all Imagine Kiosk, Imagine Web and related Imagine applications,’ said Delnawaz.
(Avoiding accusations of humility), Whitech claims the new software ‘will revolutionise the photographic market, and in particular kiosks at retail globally.’
The Imagine Kiosk software has been developed using the same internet-based thin-client Adobe Flex & Air technology as Imagine Web. Whitech says it offers a tightly integrated solution between Imagine kiosks and Imagine web.
Imagine kiosk software will be followed by the release of the Imagine Desktop Application for consumer use at home or office, as well as Imagine smartphone applications for iPhone, iPad and Android.
No release dates have been supplied for the critical desktop version of the software.
UPDATE: Since we posted this story, based on the original press release, Whitech has kindly supplied Photo Counter readers with some further details:
Q. Imagine was originally presented as being more suited to larger retailers. Who does Whitech see as the market for kiosk-based Imagine. (ie, is this an upgraded Photo.Teller solution or something different?)
A. Imagine web and kiosk are tied together at the hip with identical interface, database, assets etc Imagine family of products are available to all retailers of any size. Especially in the latest release where the scalability allows for deployment at any store within 1-2 hours as the solution is all cloud based and very easy to deploy/manage remotely.
Not a Photo.Teller upgrade at all, it’s an Imagine extension so not re-badged by any stretch of the imagination
Q. Most Imagine web-based clients seem to be hosted on Fujifilm-based websites. Will there be any interface with Fujifilm Australia involved in this new release?
A-Whitech hosts its own servers so Whitech customers will be on Whitech servers and Fuji on their own servers.
Q. Will it tie retailers in Australia to the Photo Create fulfilment service, or can they choose their own outsourced suppliers if they don’t produce, say, photo books in store?
A. Again as per previous question, Whitech hosts its own servers and these are independent of Fuji servers. If a group of stores have their own fulfilment or wish to use another wholesaler, they can easily direct their orders to them instead. We recommend PhotoCreate only because they provide high quality products with excellent tracking processes and at competitive prices.
Q. What is the costing structure – Outright purchase? Yearly subscription? Per click? A combination?
A. -Imagine kiosk costing is almost exactly as Photo.Teller. We will discuss these with any potential customers.
Q. Who owns the customer database generated by the kiosk software if the relationship with the client ends?
A. Our clients always have and always will own their customer database. This is regardless of whether it’s Imagine Web or kiosk. Whitech will seek equal ownership of the database only in cases where there is co-marketing in acquiring the customers.
Across the board, this is not an issue in Australia/NZ as Whitech does no marketing on behalf of customers. Different story in the US as the market, culture and expectations are different.
I hope that covers your questions Keith,
Managing director, Whitech Solutions