Throughout 2016, one particular kiosk project was defined by 12 simple words. “The kiosks need to look and feel worthy of a national monument.”
Since the day we were approached by Arlington National Cemetery for this cemetery kiosk project, there was a united sense of pride and commitment with everyone here at Advanced Kiosks. The patriotic nature of this project was special and we were honored to be the kiosk manufacturer chosen and capable of delivering exactly what was needed.
A National Sacred Shrine in Need
As part of an inquiry performed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2010, it was discovered that Arlington National Cemetery was struggling with some cemetery way finding issues and the solutions that were in place at the time were not properly servicing loved ones and those who had come to pay their respects. While there were many areas of concern, the most troubling details involved:
- Graves with headstones that were not detailed on cemetery maps
- Multiple grave sites where the map only displayed one
- Graves that appear empty on the map but are occupied
You can imagine how upsetting this could be for visitors. These problems needed to be addressed with care and done swiftly.
In the years just prior this this, the Army had worked with a different company to produce the kiosks and interactive mapping system, but unfortunately those systems failed to deliver, and were a terrible disappointment.
Advanced Kiosks has a growing number of new customers that have suffered from very similar circumstances. The misfortune of clients who previously invested in self service products from our competitors, but things did not go as planned. They needed our help and expertise and we were more than anxious to deliver the US Army with a fleet of kiosks that were truly worthy of the task at hand .
Going above and beyond the expectations
Before starting work on the project, we underwent a rigorous vetting process with the Army Corps of Engineers.
In addition to the standard obligations that come with any government contract, the Army Corps made clear that they were in search of a kiosk manufacturer that lived up to their standards for superior quality and security.
Kiosk Quality: The fact that all of our products are built using only commercial grade parts and are backed up by our unmatched 3-Year Warranty was a clear indication that we were a great fit in regards to their standard for high quality products. Advanced Kiosks is a certified vendor for the government GSA Advantage program and we frequently attain government projects both at the state and federal level that are comparable in project size and quality demands.
Kiosk Security: When it came to security, we were diligent in taking the necessary steps to meet government cyber security standards like the Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG,) the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA,) and the Risk Management Framework (RMF,). This gave the Army Corps the peace of mind of knowing that their systems for this project would be secure.
Kiosk Software: The kiosks needed to perform reliably and be rock solid from an administrative aspect. Having kiosk software built in that would keep them locked down to specific web-based content or applications. This task is what our Zamok kiosk management software suite was built for and additionally provides a wealth of other kiosk management tools.
Cemetery Kiosk Locations: Due to the nature of this project, they also needed the interactive kiosks to be indoor and outdoor friendly, while being compact enough to occupy a small footprint on the busy grounds.
Kiosk Design: As mentioned earlier, the overriding concern on the part of the Army was that these kiosks have a look and feel that was worthy of the locale. For Arlington, this meant producing kiosks that were stylish in appearance but understated enough to reflect the somber mood that permeated the grounds. From the layout of the logo to the colors of the kiosks themselves, we spent hours discussing every detail just to make sure everything was perfect.
With all of those requirements to meet, it was decided that 8 Freestanding Kiosks for the indoor visitor center and 2 outdoor Enviro Kiosks for the grounds were the clear choice for the project. Packing the gold standard in high speed processing power into slight and sleek frames, both models would deliver on every single expectation that the Army Corps had tasked us with.
Worthy of our national monument
Our staff banded together and handled this project in a short time frame with professionalism and each task was accomplished without the slightest hitch or hiccup.
Put another way, the entire Advanced Kiosks team knew the stakes of producing a first class cemetery kiosk project to occupy the same sacred ground as soldiers, airmen, sailors, generals, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and two presidents. In a nutshell, there was no room for error.
When the day finally came to install the kiosks, our owner Howard Horn and his family made the trip down to Arlington to personally deliver them. Paying his respects on behalf of the entire Advanced Kiosks team, the visit was the culmination of a project that we’ll forever be proud to hang our hats on.
“No words can describe the supremely humbling feeling of being among the hundreds of thousands of fallen heroes who have been laid to rest on Arlington’s hallowed grounds,” said Horn. “When I began this company over 15 years ago, the thought of being able to contribute to something as meaningful as Arlington was a goal that I could only dream of. On the day we delivered those kiosks, that dream was realized. From start to finish, the whole experience was a constant rush of pride in both my company and my country.”